- Hello Everyone
#917 & #918 5/27/04 US 30 SPEEDWAY (1/3 & 1/10 MILE OVALS), COLUMBUS, NE
My first racing stop of the road trip was 1,092 miles from my home. This regular Thursday night show was a surprise 2 tracks for 1 night. The 1/3 mile had a good field of 24 IMCA Modifieds for the top class. There were 15 Outlaw Street Stocks and only 8 IMCA Hobby Stocks. Also on hand were 21 old coupes and coaches from the Good Old Time Racing Association (GOTRA). Most of these old cars were from the 1930s and early 1940s, however, there were a couple of them that looked to be from the 1920s with their unique upright body styles. Most had small block V-8 engines with just a couple having 6 cylinder engines. The best racing of the night was in one of the 2 GOTRA features that had 2 cars race side by side most of the race until one of them dropped a driveshaft on the last lap.
The only Modified name I recognized was Johnny Saathoff, a former National IMCA Modified champion. He was leading the track points before the night started. He started 7th in his heat and was up to 5th but could not proceed higher because the cars in front of him were 2 abreast and hugging the bottom. Saathoff went high in the fourth corner and passed all 4 cars to take the lead. Unfortunately, a back marker spun in turn 3 while this pass was being made so the caution came out. Saathoff was put back to 5th place. During the remaining few laps he was only able to re-pass one car and started the feature deep in the field. He finished around 6th in the feature.
The evening show was run off fairly quick even though the racing started 17 minutes late at 7:47. There was no intermission and the final checker flag of the night fell on the Modifieds at 10:10. The crowd for the night was relatively small.
The very tiny oval (1/10 mile?) ran the 10 front wheel drive 4 cylinders. The 2 heats of 5 cars each were just the right number of cars for the track. In the feature the 10 cars ran nose to tail most of the time because the track was only about 2 car widths wide and the corners were very tight. After the 4 cylinder feature there was a trophy presentation to the feature winner and the trophy dash winner, who was a young girl who was having her 15th birthday the next week. I looked at the feature winner through my binoculars and he looked like a 12 year old kid. I was concerned that this might be just a junior class so I asked a track staff person about it. The class had no upper age limit but you had to be at least 14 years old to run in it. There were adults racing but the 95 pound 14 year olds probably had a weight advantage over the older drivers.
#919 5/28/04 McCOOK SPEEDWAY, McCOOK, NE
After a 95 degree day it cooled off slightly when dark clouds blocked out the sun 5 minutes before the 8 o'clock starting time. The racing started 9 minutes late in front of a small crowd similar in size to the night before. There were 15 IMCA Modifieds, 11 IMCA Stock Cars, 10 IMCA Hobby Stocks, 11 Mini Sprints, 8 Mini Trucks and 6 Classic Modifieds (the class with very wide fiberglass bodies over a Street Stock chassis). The racing was not very good as the track was slick and dusty. They re-watered the track during the 20 minute intermission but it didn't help much. After each race the top 4 finishers went into the tech area, which was an inner oval formerly used for the Mini Sprints the last couple of years. This year the Mini Sprints went back to racing on the 1/3 mile because the inner oval was always too dusty. I left at 10:30, before the Modified feature as it would be feature number 6 of 6.
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