After two Fridays of rainy weather, Mother Nature finally provided a sunny day for hot racing action at the South Bend Motor Speedway on Friday.
Dave Mannia took over where he left off by racing up from the back of the field of the 30 lap Sportsman Late Model Feature for another checker flag. Greg Gifford led the majority of the event holding off a challenge by Frank Fairchild, then Charlie Hanna before Mannia made his way up to challenge and take over the top spot on lap 37. Bob Golubski, Jr. followed Mannia to cross in 2nd with Hanna, Gifford and Fairchild finishing in the top 5. Rich Nyari, Paul Scott Erik Bidwell, Brian Miller and Jeff Forsythe rounded out the top 10. Jim Burge, Jr. led through lap 10 of the Sportsman “B” event when he was caught speeding and had to drop to the back of the pack. John Streeting, Jr. and Bob Bean then battled for the lead when Bean slipped to the high side of the track allowing Streeting to stay out front for the win. Bean, Robert Haisley, Les McLean and Jackie Coffel made up the top 5.
Kevin Davis had the early lead in the 25 lap Mini Stock Main. Ben McCallum challenged and went by on lap 5 followed closely by Jim Cauffman. Cauffman made a move to get by in the final laps but had to settle for 2nd as McCallum took the win. Jim Newman, Bruce Pratt, Brian Lindsey, Paul Mester, Rich Hensley, Chad Lindsey, Tom Burke and Davis finished in the top 10.
21 Thunder Cars started their 25 lap Feature event. Duane McLaughlin got out front first pulling away from the field. Lapped traffic would soon come into play allowing the cars to bunch back up with Matt Elliott challenging and getting by McLaughlin leading the final 3 laps to the checker. Corey Woods was able to follow Elliott for 2nd with McLaughlin, Corey Blume and Kenneth Dodd crossing in the top 5. 6th – 10th spots went to Tony Johns, Ron Sikorski, Paul Fontanelli, Robert Grahl and Steve Opfer.
In preliminary events, Dave Mannia was fast qualifier for Sportsman Late Models with a 12.767 and took a Heat win. Al Mauer finished first in the Dash with Bob Bean winning a Heat and a very happy Les McLean winning a Heat – his first ever win.
Derrick Griffin was fastest in the Mini Stocks with a 13.359. Jim Cauffman was the Dash winner with Kevin Davis and Jim Newman picking up Heat wins.
During intermission, the kids took to the track to race their homemade box cars.
In the 5 year and under age group, Kyle Hurley of LaPorte came across in first with Brian Howell of Kentucky and Jeremy Ball taking 2nd and 3rd. In 6, 7 & 8 year olds, Jeffrey Sindle of Elkhart was the winner followed by Ryan Hensley and Dustin Newgent, both of South Bend. The top 3 finishers in the 9 year olds and up were Nick Foye of Elkhart, Cameron Mester of Walkerton and Nick Newgent of South Bend. Thanks to all the kids who participated and did such a great job putting together their “cars”.
This coming Friday, the Sportsman Late Models, Mini Stocks and Thunder Cars take to the ¼ mile for another Super Show. Gates open at 6:00, Time Trials at 7:00 and Racing begins at 8:00.