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National notebook

Notes: SAS suspends pair for using illegal tires

August 13, 2010, 8:39 am
From series, correspondent, staff and track reports

Two Alabama drivers face $2,500 fines and 60-day suspensions on the Southern All Star Dirt Racing Series after the tour announced lab tests revealing they used chemically altered tires at the July 31 event at Talladega Short Track.

Stacy Holmes of Munford, Ala., and Dingus Griffin of Alexandria, Ala. — the third- and fifth-place finishers in the Michael Head Jr. Memorial won by Ronnie Johnson of Chattanooga, Tenn. — must forfeit winnings and points earned at the Eastaboga, Ala., event.

Their 60-day suspensions will begin after the drivers have paid fines and costs of tire testing. The drivers also lose 150 points, forfeit their July 31 winnings and team crew chiefs also are fined $500.

Samples of Johnson's tires were cleared by the independent lab.

A Crate Late Model series stripped a victory after tire violation at another July 31 event. Jason Hiett of Lincoln, Ala., was found to be using a chemically altered tire and his NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series victory at Greenville (Miss.) Speedway was handed to Matthew Turner of Dawsonville, Ga. Hiett forfeits $2,500 in earnings, points and receives a $1,000 fine. — From series reports

BAZELL RACE FUELS PICKING LUCKY FAN AT NORTH-SOUTH: Fans at the Aug. 13-14 Sunoco Race Fuels North-South 100 can register to become the event's grand marshal at Florence Speedway in Union, Ky. Bazell Race Fuels, a Sunoco distributor, will have a booth on vendor row with giveaways, including tickets for a grand prize drawing that will make one lucky fan the person who asks drivers to start their engines before the $50,000-to-win main event. "We wanted to do a little more for the fans this year that attend the event and support Dirt Late Model racing," said Russ Bradford of Bazell Race Fuels. — James Essex

TEXAS RACER DIES IN CROP-DUSTING ACCIDENT: Part-time Dirt Late Model racer Alan East of Wichita Falls, Texas, was killed Aug. 8 in a crop-dusting accident in Platte County, Neb. He was 41. The likable East was an infrequent competitor at race in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Fans of Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway might remember his fiery backstretch crash in a 2005 consolation race when he escaped serious injury. William Alan East was a self-employed crop duster and also worked as a test pilot for Air Tractor. Survivors include his wife, Kara, and daughter, Elisabeth Grace. A memorial celebration and barbecue dinner is planned for 6 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Air Tractor factory in Olney, Texas. Those planning to attend should contact Sarah Dixon at sdixon@airtractor.com or (940) 564-5616. — Times Record News

IRON HORSE DIRT LATE MODEL SERIES SET FOR 2011: A new Dirt Late Model series plans to run in western North Carolina and southwest Virginia in 2011 with races within a 150-mile radius. The tour for spec-engine and steel-head engine Late Models hopes to offer 18 races paying at least $1,000 to the winner, capping the season with a $4,000-to-win event. In a twist, the series will allow wedge bodies and spec-engine cars can use 20-inch Lexan sideboards and fins to improve aerodynamics. For more information, call (276) 617-1164. — From staff reports

MARS MAKES OFFER TO SISTER SERIES DRIVERS: For Aug. 13's MARS DIRTcar Series event at Outlaw Motor Speedway near Muskogee, Okla., the series is offering Show Me Racing Series competitors (or Crate Late Models) the ability to compete with a 100-pound weight break. MARS is also offering a provisional starting spot to the highest driver in points in the Show Me Series, which is operated by MARS director Randy Mooneyham. — From series reports

SERIES SCHEDULE CHANGES: The Dart Corn Belt Clash has added an Aug. 25 event at Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa; the series also announced an event previously rained out at Highway 3 Raceway in Allison, Iowa, has been rescheduled for Aug. 26. ... The Northern LateModel Racing Association has added an Aug. 19 event at Dacotah Speedway in Mandan, N.D.; the night's racing will also include a makeup feature rained out July 31. ... The Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series has added a Sept. 11 race at Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin, N.C. ... The Clash South Tour has cancelled two dates: Aug. 21 at Lavonia (Ga.) Speedway and Aug. 28 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga. The Screven race may be rescheduled. — From series reports

ODDS AND ENDS: Because of medical issues facing track owner Marty Lance, Hartwell (Ga.) Speedway has closed. Anyone interested in buying the track can call Lance at (706) 693-4493. ... Knoxville, Tenn.-based Warrior Race Cars is relaunching a house car program with Hall of Fame driver Freddy Smith behind the wheel at the Aug. 13-14 North-South 100 at Florence (Ky.) Speedway. ... Mike Johnson of Lompoc, Calif., became perhaps the first Dirt Late Model track champion of 2010, winning the honors at Santa Maria (Calif.) Speedway on Aug. 7.

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