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  1. #1
    Senior Member Johnny Racer's Avatar
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    Default Illiana Speedway story/summary August 6

    By Tony Baranek

    SCHERERVILLE, Ind. (Aug. 6) – He avoided the mayhem. He held off Jeff Cannon.

    All in all, it was a good night for long-time veteran Eddie Hoffman, who returned after a one-week absence to score the late-model feature victory during Saturday night’s “Race Fest” at the ASA-sanctioned Illiana Speedway.

    Hoffman took the lead from Michael Martin Jr., on lap 9, then thwarted persistent challenges from Cannon at various points of the 35-lap main event.

    His biggest decisions came on the double-file restarts, each of which Hoffman chose the high side.

    “On the restarts, that’s the place to be,” Hoffman said. “You get a little bit of momentum. As long as you can trust the guy inside, it’s sort of a key advantage.”

    Hoffman was also a bit lucky not to be involved in a lap 4 incident which was triggered when Joe O’Connor brushed the wall coming out Turn 4, bounced into Bobby Gash and eventually collected new points leader Blake Brown.

    “We just pushed up,” O’Connor said. “I caught the wall with the right rear, and Bobby was all over me. There was just nowhere to go. I glanced off the wall and bounced back down into him.”

    O’Connor got more of Brown than Gash. Brown sustained front end and tire damage on the right side that sent his No. 71 to the pits. He returned for the restart, but soon after left the race.

    Hoffman and Cannon would wage a pretty good battle for several laps until Hoffman eventually pulled away. By the end, Cannon had all he could do to hold off a charging Mike White for second. John Nutley checked in fourth, followed by Gash and D.J. Weltmeyer.

    Alex Arelano, meanwhile, had one word for his car after winning the 25-lap Legends feature.

    “Terrible,” he said.

    A winning car, terrible?

    “Man, it started out really great,” he said. “But after the first caution, it had no turn at all. I could barely steer the car.”

    Arelano was nonetheless able to take the lead from Paul Shafer Jr., on lap 9. Shafer didn’t go away, though, putting a lot of pressure on Arelano over the final 10 laps.

    On lap 21, the yellow flag came out for a spun car in Turn 2. A split-second later, Arelano found his No. 82 heading straight into the front straightaway wall.

    “I spun out, but somehow I saved it (from hitting the wall),” Arelano said. “I don’t know what happened, but I had the good Lord looking over me and we pulled off the win.”

    Arelano beat Shafer to the finish line by two car-lengths. Third went to Chris King, ahead of early leader Matt Erich, Jimmy Uteg III and Matt O’Leary.

    Turbo stox feature winner Eddie Wolf dedicated his victory in the 30-lap event to four-time track champion and the man who came into the night with the division points lead, Bill Serviss.

    Serviss suffered a back injury in a work accident on Friday and was rushed to Ingalls Memorial Hospital. He will likely miss the rest of the 2011 season.

    “He’s our points leader and I hate that I’m taking it by not racing with him because he’s sitting at home,” Wolf said. “We’re all wishing the best for him.”

    Wolf spent much of the main event chasing down Pat Ligue, who led from laps 1 through 24. Once in front, he went on to beat Jacob McKown by 0.935 seconds. Chris Woodall was third, followed by Brian Kucaba, Ligue and Cheryl Hryn.

    The HOSS Outlaw winged sprints made their annual visit to Race Fest. Geoff Kaiser, subbing in a car owned by Joe Swanson, lapped the entire field of cars save for three others.

    One of them was also owned and driven by Swanson, who after falling well behind the leader made up some ground to finish within 1.531 seconds. Third place Denny England was 16.334 seconds in arrears.

    “We made a few changes from the heat and (the crew) made some great calls,” Kaiser said. “The regular driver couldn’t be here. I’ve filled in for three races and had two firsts and a second, so its going pretty good so far.”

    The bandolero main went to Kenny Myer (his 1st win) over Stan Zolodz and Caleb Hepner.

    SUMMARY
    Late-model
    Fast time: Eddie Hoffman (19.591). 35-lap feature: 1. Hoffman, 2. Jeff Cannon, 3. Mike White, 4. John Nutley, 5. Bobby Gash, 6. D.J. Weltmeyer, 7. Phil Splant, 8. Matt Byrne, 9. Dean Patterson, 10. Richie Dawson.

    Legends
    Fast time: Paul Shafer Jr. (18.009). 25-lap feature: 1. Alex Arelano, 2. Shafer, 3. Chris King, 4. Matt Erich, 5. Jimmy Uteg III, 6. Matt O’Leary.

    Turbo Stox
    Fast time: Eddie Wolf (17.876). 30-lap feature: 1. Wolf, 2. Jacob McKown, 3. Chris Woodall, 4. Brian Kucaba, 5. Pat Ligue, 6. Cheryl Hryn.

    HOSS Outlaws
    Fast time: Joe Swanson (15.982). 1st heat: 1. Swanson, 2. Bill Tyler. 2nd heat: 1. Kevin Feeny, 2. Denny England. 30-lap feature: 1. Geoff Kaiser, 2. Swanson, 3. England, 4. Jim Swain, 5. Kevin Feeny, 6. Steve Ball.

    Pure stocks
    1st heat: 1. Jason Parratt, 2. Mac Hastings, 3. Josh Seravian. 2nd heat: 1. Phil Sallay, 2. Chris Czaszwicz, 3. Matt Baikie. 15-lap feature: 1. Czaszwicz, 2. Baikie, 3. Sallay, 4. Michael Gerike.
    Gamblers Drag Racing Association
    Director of Media / Public Relations
    www.GamblersDragRacing.com


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  2. #2
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    From a spectator's perspective, what's a typical race-day like? ... and thanks for the rcap!!

    You Will Respect My Authoritah!!

  3. #3
    Hall of Fame Member john mastalerz's Avatar
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    Great recap Mike.

  4. #4
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    Great writing, makes me want to go watch some races there!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Johnny Racer's Avatar
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    Well Marcel, it depends on when you get there. Races start at 7. So if you dont want to see qualifying or practice... its usually good to get there about 6:30 ish to get settled in and what not. Normal Saturday night programs runs like this:

    Late Model Heat Races (2 or more depending on car count)
    Legends Heat Races (2 or more depending on car count)
    Street Stock Heat Races (2 or more depending on car count)
    Pure Stock Heat Races (2 or more depending on car count)

    Some sort of intermission

    Bandelero Feature Race (1 1/2 laps for every car in the field)
    Legends Feature Race (25 laps)
    Late Model Feature Race (Usually 35 laps but sometimes more)
    Street Stock Feature Race (Usually 25 laps but sometimes more)
    Pure Stock Feature Race (25 laps)

    Races are usually over by 10ish depending on caution counts. Then the pits open to the general spectators and they can meet and greet with the drivers and what not. Good times had by all.
    Gamblers Drag Racing Association
    Director of Media / Public Relations
    www.GamblersDragRacing.com


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  6. #6
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike! It's definitely on my to-do list! Schedule's been a bit hectic of lately travelling almost every weekend but keep sending the invites on fb!

    You Will Respect My Authoritah!!


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