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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Mother Nature wreaking havoc on Midwest racing schedules

Posted Friday, March 21, 2008, at 5:15 PM

The area surrounding Brownstown Speedway is more likely to see fishermen than late models this weekend.
Mother Nature is proving once more that she is one fickle lady.

While racers and fans certainly know that the opening dates at Midwest tracks are always in limbo as winter is winding down, we always hold out hope that the weather might provide a break for us.

With heavy rains dousing a large portion of the Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois area this week, cancellations abound at area tracks.

I was particularly disappointed that the Bluegrass Bash for modifieds was forced to move back its date until the weekend of March 28-29 after Western Kentucky Speedway became more fit for fishing than racing.

I'd been looking forward to heading the four hours south to watch what undoubtedly would have been a sterling field of hot shoes ready to compete for the $6,000 top prize in Nebo, KY. The trip, which I also hope to re-schedule, would have been my first to a track that I've always been told is a fun place to see the mods run.

As a photographer, I've been limited in some of the excursions I've been able to take due to my duties with the newspaper and as track photographer at Lincoln Park Speedway. But I'm hoping to get out and about to some tracks on the outskirts of the state like the renovated Lawrenceburg Speedway in southern Indiana, which looks to be lightning quick with higher banking and longer straights. But alas, Mother Nature has put the kabosh on the original opening date there as well.

Bad weather has pushed back the last stages of construction at Lawrenceburg, which made the opening April 19 USAC Sprint show a near impossible feat to accomplish. However, never fear, Gas City's excellent promotional team reacted quickly to pick up the date and include a rare, early season doubleheader. That special weekend should make for some very amped up fans when you consider that the Rich Vogler Classic will run at the famed, mile paved Winchester Speedway on Sunday, April 20.

"Inclement weather led to construction delays at Lawrenceburg, opening the April 19 date," indicated series coordinator Greg Staab. "While we are in the process of rescheduling the Lawrenceburg race, Jiggs (Thomason) has stepped forward to keep the three-race weekend intact for race fans."

Race fans should be able to get their fix during what should be a fantastic long weekend of racing at two history laden speedways.

So I've got to give many thanks to both tracks and their organizers for reacting quickly to keep everything running smoothly for the fans, who are so often forgotten in the red tape of promotion.

With the Bluegrass event washed out, many eyes turned to Brownstown Speedway for the second shot at a March show.

But once again, the wet conditions forced postponement for the second consecutive week so hopes are high that everything will come together so that the 11th Annual Indiana Icebreaker will take place on March 29 for the $10,000 to win for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. UMP Modifieds and bombers are also scheduled to run on Saturday.

Wabash Valley area fans have been excited the past month or so after the promotional triumvirate of motorsports broadcaster Mike King, Terre Haute area businessman and former major league baseball player, Brian Dorsett and open wheel great Davey Hamilton gained control of the Terre Haute Action Track.

Work is feverishly going on at one of the nation's most historic mile tracks in efforts to prepare the surface for racing this year.

A six-race schedule was announced for the 2008 season, fronted by the return of MSCS sprint car competition for the Clabber Girl Don Smith Classic on Friday, May 2. The event is sponsored by Indiana State University. On Thursday, May 22, First Financial Bank is sponsoring the Tony Hulman Classic featuring the USAC National Sprint Car Series.

Plenty of fireworks are assured on Friday, July 4 as the O'Reilly All-Star Circuit of Champions invades for the Wolfie's Auto Auction "Run with the Pack Classic."

A mid-week show on July 23 will give fans the chance to go racing several times during the warm Wednesday night air. First Financial Bank sponsors the SUMAR Classic that evening for the return of the Silver Crown Series.

Modified drivers have long anticipated the spotlight to focus on them for an evening at the Action Track after having several of their A-Mains either cut short or canceled in recent years due to a curfew at the track.

However, on Friday, Sept. 12 the Wolfpack Modified Series hits the mile for The Monster Energy Modified Classic.

The season finale is set for Saturday, Oct. 4 and what a season capper it will be as the historic HUT Hundred returns sponsored by First Financial Bank and the USAC National Midgets rev up for the coveted trophy.

Bloomington Speedway opens on Friday, April 11 with sprints, UMP modifieds, UMP Super Stocks. This date is always an exciting night since many USAC regulars hit the red clay to test their mettle.

Lincoln Park Speedway begins the season on April 12 with super stocks, modifieds and bombers along with a super stock autograph session for fans.

For fans of Paragon Speedway, the track kicks off the season by running sprints, street stocks, bombers and pure stocks and LPS.

For those looking to head out-of-state for what will surely be a great event, Eldora Speedway in Ohio will host USAC Sprint Cars on Saturday, April 5 with tickets set at $18 for ages 16-and-up, $8 for ages 12-15, $4 for ages 7-11 and ages 6-and-under are free.

So until I see ya at the race track, pray for sunny skies and safe mud slingin'.

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