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Bristol Motor Speedway

Notes: Rayburn series starts in Ohio, Kentucky

July 23, 2009, 3:52 pm
From series, track and staff reports

The National All Star Racing Association, a new series backed by Hall of Fame chassis builder C.J. Rayburn, has scheduled its first four races as the tour kicks off mid-season with events in Ohio and Kentucky.

The tour, which allows open-competition Super Late Models to compete along with the series-encouraged aluminum crate engine (General Motors LS3 CT525), has scheduled an Aug. 14-15 weekend for Moler Raceway Park near Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bluegrass Speedway in Bardstown, Ky. The following weekend the series will sanctioned the Wayne Coakley Memorial weekend with an Aug. 22 event at Western Kentucky Speedway in Nebo, Ky., and an Aug. 23 event at Windy Hollow Speedway near Owensboro, Ky. All four events pays $3,000 to the winner.

The series has an equalizer package via weight and spoiler rules that allows crate engine cars to run with Super Late Models. For more information, email Eva Goeb at rayburn@indy.net or call (877) 828-8232.

The western Kentucky events will honor Coakley, the Sacramento, Ky., driver killed in a 1989 highway accident after leaving a racetrack. The lore of Western Kentucky Speedway says that Coakley walked the farmland when the track was just a gleam in the builder's eye, and Coakley was a track champion at Windy Hollow Speedway.

"It's very fitting that after Wayne drove a Rayburn chassis for most of his career, that at his home track of Windy Hollow we wind up bringing back Super Late Models for an event and it be with C.J.'s new series," said race promoter Richard Cunningham, adding the improvements by Windy Hollow promoter Scott Slaton make the D-shaped oval worthy.

"If he hadn't made such improvements, I'd never suggested we attempt a Super Late Model show, but Scott and his family have the same passion for this sport I do, and I'm really excited about helping them reintroduce Windy Hollow to the Late Model scene," Cunningham said.

Tim and Tammy Coble are glad that Western Kentucky Speedway will join a list of ovals that have hosted Wayne Coakley Memorial events over the years.

"Madisonville is its own market," Tim Coble said. "We aren't by a hugely populated community and we just can only get so many fans. So it makes it tough to put on any big specials, but this Wayne Coakley Memorial, along with the Rayburn series might give us a shot." — From track reports

FANS HELP STRENGTHEN CEDAR LAKE FIELD: Fans at Cedar Lake Speedway's 22nd annual USA Nationals on July 31-Aug. 1 can thank themselves to helping to make the field of rarely-visiting drivers stronger for the $50,000-to-win event in New Richmond, Wis. The second year of the FANS Fund raised $10,000 to provide $1,000 tow money for 10 drivers who would commit to the race. Fans who donated were eligible to vote for drivers not recently attending the event and among the top-10 votegetters� was previous race winner Rick Aukland of Zanesville, Ohio, reigning World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and three-time UMP DIRTcar Summernationals champion Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill. The other seven drivers: Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill; Jason Feger of Bloomington, Ill. (who topped the voting); John Gill of Mitchell, Ind., Ronny Lee Hollingsworth of Northport, Ala.; Scott James of Lawrenceburg, Ind.; Josh McGuire of Grayson, Ky.,; and four-time O'Reilly MARS DIRTcar Series champion Terry Phillips of Springfield, Ill. Those contributing at least $25 to the FANS fund receive a free T-shirt and those donating are welcome to a FANS fund luncheon on 2 p.m. Aug. 1 at the track, where other door prizes will be given away. — Rich Olson

LUCAS OIL MAKES FIRST VISIT TO NEW YORK: With a Wednesday night special on July 29, the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will make its first visit to New York with a $10,000-to-win event at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y. Utica-Rome Speedway first opened in 1961 as an asphalt track and was the home for many years for the late legend Richie Evans, a nine-time NASCAR modified champion. Evans was a four-time track champion at Utica-Rome Speedway and recorded 33 wins there from 1965-1978. Following his last title at the track in '78, Utica-Rome went to a dirt surface. The track was built by Joe Lesik and is now owned by Gene Cole. — James Essex

KANKAKEE RETURNS TO UMP FOLD WITH NEW PROMOTER: UMP DIRTcar Racing announced July 22 it's restoring the sanctioning to Kankakee County Speedway, a quarter-mile dirt track in central Illinois that was recently reopened by promoter Tom Smith of Tinley Park, Ill. The track closed under former promoter Doug Judy after the track failed to pay UMP purse money for the June 12 UMP DIRTcar Summernationals event, UMP officials said. Smith, who owns the asphalt Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway, held a meeting with track employees, drivers and others on July 16 and plans to reopen Kankakee on July 24. The track hosts a weekly Late Model division. — From track and series reports

DISCOUNT TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR NORTH-SOUTH 100: Fans have until July 31 to purchase advance discount tickets for the 27th Annual Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100 at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky. For prices and to order tickets and reserved seats for the Aug. 7-8 event, call the track office at (859) 493-0034. See the track website for more information. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event pays $50,000 to the winner and at least $2,500 to each starter. Weekend events include induction ceremonies for the 2009 Class of the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame. Inductees are Gene Chupp, Tootle Estes, Bruce Gould, Stick Elliott, Kris Patterson, Don Hester, Mark Richards, Carlton Lamm and Ken Schrader. — James Essex

ONE DRIVER COULD WIN $5,500 IN CRATE DOUBLEHEADER: The NDRA Crate organization has scheduled a July 31-Aug. 1 weekend that could pay one driver $5,500. The weekend opener is a $2,000-to-win event at Carolina Speedway near Gastonia, N.C., with the $3,000-to-win Johnny Arrants Memorial the following night at Lancaster (S.C.) Motor Speedway. The drivers with the best combined finishes on the weekend gets a $500 bonus. The Lancaster event pays tribute to Arrants, the late Rock Hill, S.C., dirt racer who won track championships in the Carolinas at Cherokee Speedway, Metrolina Speedway and Lancaster. He died last year at age 51. — From series reports

ELKINS JOINS UFO SERIES WITH ARMSTRONG CLASSIC: The Unified Force Race Championship Series will sanctioned the Aug. 8 R.H. Armstrong Classic at Elkins (W.Va.) Motor Speedway, a 51-lap event paying $6,000 to the winner. The event will be the richest race at the track under the management of W.V. Motorsports Promotions and A.J. Rockwell. The event will also include a $1,500-to-win event for Fastrak Crate Late Models. In other UFO news, the series shifted a July 25 event at Tyler County (W.Va.) Speedway to Aug. 2, giving the tour an Aug. 1-2 weekend at Roaring Knob (Pa.) Motorsports Complex and Tyler County. — From series reports

PROCTOR HOSTS RICH NIGHT OF RACING: The fifth annual Amsoil Twin Ports Twin 25s are scheduled for Aug. 2 at Proctor (Minn.) Speedway, an event where organizers spread the wealth to as many race teams as possible. The $30,000 purse is the richest single-day purse of the season for WISSOTA Late Models with each twin feature paying $1,500 to the winner and bonuses available for the driver for the best combined finish. Among other bonuses are a long-tow bonus of $100 for the five longest-traveling drivers and a non-qualifier bonus program divided equally among drivers who failed to make the features. Along with $100 showup money, last year's non-qualifiers each went home with $223 thanks for donations by businesses and individuals. Last year's feature winners were Harry Hanson of Eveleth, Minn., and A.J. Diemel of Navarino, Wis. — Troy Powers

I-80 SPEEDWAY PUTS MONEY WHERE MOUTH IS: Plenty of tracks aim to get fans home as quickly as possible, but I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., is going further with a promise of free tickets. If the July 26 feature event for the O'Reilly MLRA and NCRA competitors doesn't roll onto the track by 9 p.m., everyone in the grandstand will receive free admission to the track's Aug. 2 event. The track's NASCAR-sanctioned Late Model division will also be in action. The race will be the finale of a three-race MLRA-NCRA weekend that starts July 24 at Park Jefferson (S.D.) Speedway and continues July 25 at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa. Also at I-80, a lucky fan can win $1,000 by picking, in order, the top three finishers of the Late Model feature. — From track reports

LONG-TIME EAST TENNESSEE CAR OWNER DIES: James Vanover of Harriman, Tenn., a long-time Dirt Late Model team owner in east Tennessee, died at his home July 18. He was 67. Survivors include his wife Jody Vanover, four sons and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn., drove Vanover-owned cars for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1985 when he replaced driver Sherman Howell. The Vanover-Ogle connection results in more than a dozen track championships and several special event victories at Atomic Speedway near Knoxville, Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway and other tracks. Among other drivers to pilot Vanover's car were Rex Richey of Ringgold, Ga., Terry Shannon of Pilot Mountain, Tenn., and the late Roy Ledbetter. — From staff reports

SOUTHERN ALL STAR, SAS EAST SCHEDULE CHANGES ANNOUNCED: The O'Reilly Southern All Stars have added a pair of $5,000-to-win races to the schedule. The series will visit Magnolia Motor Speedway near Columbus, Miss., on Aug. 22 and Waycross (Ga.) Motor Speedway on Sept. 26. Removed from the schedule is a pair of Labor Day weekend events in North Carolina at Hammer Down Speedway and Fayetteville Motor Speedway. The O'Reilly SAS East sister series also made a change, canceling a July 31 event at Modoc (S.C.) Speedway and adding an Aug. 28 race at Union County Speedway in Buffalo, S.C. — Kelley Carlton

ODDS AND ENDS: R2C Performance Products has posted $1,000 for any driver setting fast time at Cedar Lake Speedway's 22nd annual USA Nationals using an R2C filter. If the car is using another filter, the driver receives $500. ... Whit Holley, a former racer and long-time track announcer at East Bay Raceway Park in Gibsonton, Fla., died July 4 after a lengthy illness. ... Because of work on the track's grandstands, the Sept. 5-6 NLRA events at Nodak (N.D.) Speedway have been cancelled. ... The O’Reilly Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series moved the $4,000-to-win Pepsi 40 at Ponderosa Speedway in Junction City, Ky., to Sept. 4, two weeks later than the original date. ... Bobby Pierce, the 12-year-old son of Hall of Fame racer and chassis builder Bob Pierce, won two UMP Crate Late Model features July 18 at Spoon River Speedway near Banner, Ill., for his fifth and sixth victories of the season. ... The Southern Regional Racing Series moved its July visit at Camden (Tenn.) Speedway to Sept. 11-12 with $3,000- and $5,000-to-win events.

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