May 8, 2003
2002 Track Champions Start Right Where They Left Off In Points Opener At SCS
When it rains it pours. Fortunately for Scotland County Speedway Promoter Terry Hoenig the rain let up in time for him to host Saturday Night Excitement at SCS for week two on May 3. But that's about all that went right for the poor guy who told the gathering at the driver's meetings he wished he would have just stayed in bed that morning.
Hoenig was faced with some difficult track conditions caused by two weeks without any cooperation from Mother Nature. Midway through hot laps the work crews came out and did some maintenance, adding water and other necessities to try to make things right.
Once that delay cleared up the jinxed evening got worse as one of the main power transformers for the track burnt out a wire shutting down the lights on more than half the track and the grandstands.
But Hoenig maintained the helm. He did not abandon ship on a night of tough circumstances basically out of everyone's control. The track staff persevered and brought the show through the rough waters putting on all six feature races.
After missing week one's opener to attend a wedding in his family, 2002 track champion Tony Fraise wasted little time proving he is planning to maintain his perch atop the A-modified ranks at SCS.
Tony Fraise wasted little time starting 2003 off in style as he moved up from his fifth row starting spot to take the lead in the A-modified feature, a lead which he never relinquished.
It took the Montrose, IA driver a little less than two laps to move up from his fifth row starting spot to take command of the show.
Ryan Meyer out of Liberty, IL looked like he might give Fraise a run for the money. Meyer piloted the 82M car up into third position after starting dead last in the 14-car field. But it was not to be as the 82M car went to the pits with just three laps to go leaving the checkered flag to Fraise.
Paul Lawson finished in second followed by Jim Gillenwater (10), Jim Redman (14R) and Dennis Elliott (29).
Fraise proved after the race why he is one of the more popular racers at SCS. The humble driver didn't waste any breath complaining about track conditions or delays and instead thanked the crowd and the track staff for their efforts.
"Sure the track was rough but then again we were spoiled last year as these guys had this track in near perfect shape every race night," Fraise said. "I'm sure if the weather cooperates they'll have it right back there again as soon as possible."
Another track champion started his season at SCS just as he left off the previous year. B-modified champ Chris Larson took over the lead following the second early caution in the race and never relinquished the top spot on his way to win number one of 2003 in the premier of the B-mods at SCS.
Chris Larson continued his dominance of the B-modified class at SCS starting the 2003 season off with a trip to victory lane May 3.
Josh Foster of Montrose, IA challenged for a while with the 77 car before ultimately falling off the pace and settling for second. Bruce Summers (77B) finished third followed by Rob Jennings (7) and Tyler Roach (13T).
Jim Walker made it two wins in a row at SCS as he survived a caution-filled hobby stock feature to take the victory.
Track announcer Andy Middleton gets reacquainted with Jim Walker after the two visited for the second straight week following Walkerís back-to-back wins in the hobby stock feature race.
The Mystic, IA pilot took his #80 ride from its sixth row starting spot and had the lead by the midway point of the event. He took over the top spot after battling with the 3M car of Duane Miller who ultimately retired with a flat tire. That handed the second spot over to Wyatt Green in the 11W car. The real battle was for third place where Jeff Soper (43S) held off Jason Overhulser and Jim Lynch.
The Pepsi "outlaw" late models made their debut at SCS after the opening night USMTS event froze out the big boys on week #1.
A familiar face found himself in the winner's circle and it wasn't Tommy Elston. Gary Webb of Bluegrass, IA, picked up where he left of in 2002 after taking several wins late last year.
Elston, last year's top points man, showed off a new look with a different color scheme on the 45 car. But the different car was not the only thing fans weren't used to from Elston as he finished 11th in the 12-car field.
Memphis driver Lynn Monroe made his debut in the late model class after several years in the A-mod division. The veteran driver finished 10th after being taken out in an early collision.
Following Webb across the finish line were Ace Ihm of Hazle Green, WI, Kahoka's Thad Trump, #8 Sonny Findling, of Kirksville and #42 Terry Schlipman of Mendon, IL.
The stock car feature had fans seeing double early on before the race took its toll on the field that dwindled from nine starters to just three finishers.
Mike Robinson continued the trend of track champion's with strong starts as he won the main event.
Mike Robinson made it three 2002 track champions to pick up wins in the first points race of 2003 as he piloted the 78R car to the win in the stock car feature race.
At one point it was Robinson in the 78R car holding off the 78 car of Josh Walker. While that was going on the 27R car of Ryan Cook was fending of the 27J car of Jason Cook. But the twins show didn't last as both Cook cars ended the night in the infield with mechanical problems.
That left the win to Robinson. Walker was second followed by Roger Dresden in third.
The final race of the night was the cruiser clash. Last week's winners, Rick and P.J. Hudson, took a while to find their way to the front but once they did there was no stopping the 40 car.
Rick and P.J. Hudson drove the 40 car to victory lane for the second week in a row as the Memphis driverís captured the win in the two-man cruiser class to close out the May 3 show.
They got a little help when the 0 car of Justin and Bill O'Haver lost a wheel in the back stretch knocking them out of the lead.
The teams of Myron Vanbebber and Olan Husband (01), Brian Overhulser and Sean Verdon (42), Donnie Peters and Greg Peters (87) and Scott and Danny Kirby (61) rounded out the top five behind the Hudsons.