South Bend, IN – It was Friday the 13th AND a full moon. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that, right? It was also Old Timer’s night and six new members were inducted into the Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Dean Huppert of Fox 28 News, Jim Brown, Farmer Joe Smith, Bob Senneker, Barry Naragon: aka Sparky the Clown, and Carl Smith joined a host of other drivers, car owners, builders and track officials who have already been honored. Huppert, sports director for Fox 28 News has been a friend to auto racing for many years and said he was “humbled to join such an impressive group.” Jim Brown has been a driver, car owner and builder who, over the years has teamed up with many of the local greats, including Cindy Stremme. Farmer Joe Smith started out as a drag racer in the mid 60‘s but found success in the street stock class beginning in the early 70‘s and raced as recently as last year. Bob Senneker has been a top contender in area Late Model racing since the mid 60‘s when he raced under an assumed name at the Kalamazoo Speedway and has won numerous championships. Barry Naragon has won the hearts of fans for years as Sparky the Clown, entertaining children and children at heart all over the area. Perhaps the most fitting inductee was Carl Smith. Carl, who raced some during the 70‘s was the founder of Stock Car Extreme and promoted racing all over the area as he helped preserve the rich history of the sport. Unfortunately, Carl lost his battle with cancer late last summer. Congratulations to all the nominees and to all the past inductees. Drivers from nearly six decades were on hand to help celebrate the evening.
In racing action, three new drivers joined the crop of first time winners at the high banked track. Kevin Clash scored his first ever win in an Outlaw Late Model as Jason Horton picked up his first FWD feature win of the season and Jay Coffin mirrored his brother’s feat of a week ago by winning the Street Stock main while Derek Davis picked up his third Mini Stock win of the year.
In the Front Wheel Drive 20 lap feature, Dads & Lads teammates, Jason Horton and Rowdy Ronnie Holloway, both from South Bend, shared the front row with Horton taking the advantage at the start. As the laps ticked off, Horton and Holloway built up a good lead, only to watch it disappear for a series of cautions. With two laps to go, yet another caution bunched the field one last time. As the field took the green, defending series champ, Bryant Ragsdale of Mishawaka muscled past Holloway for second but Horton was not to be denied. Holloway ended up third over Drew Davis and Devin Lauderback, both of South Bend. Matt Maurer of Granger was next as Kyle O’Dell of Plymouth, James aAustin of South Bend, Derek Danley of Mishawaka and Doug Close of South Bend rounded out the top ten. Ragsdale took the win in heat one over Bryan Banta of South Bend and Lauderback. Alyson Cretacci of Walkerton picked up her first ever win in heat two ahead of O’Dell and Maurer.
In the Bellman Oil Company Outlaw Late Model 30 lap feature, ten of the eleven cars on hand took the green with rookie Kevin Clash of South Bend taking the lead early. As the field took the white flag, Clash’s car slowed as the engine began missing noticeably. Last week’s winner, Charlie Hanna of Goshen made a bold move off turn four, going from fourth to second, falling just inches short of overtaking the leader at the line. Kenny Lollar Jr of Buchanan ended up third over defending champ, Mike Tutino of Walkerton and Jerry Zachary of Dowagiac. Cory Pressler of South Bend was sixth as Scott Ross of Plymouth, Nick Kretchmer of Granger, Corey Woods of South Bend and Robert Haisley of South Bend rounded out the field. In heat race action, Pressler topped Ross and Lollar in heat one while Tutino bested Hanna and Azchary in heat two. South Bend’s Chuck Lymangrover took a nasty ride as he smashed the outside wall in heat one. The car suffered heavy damage but Lymangrover was uninjured.
For Derek Davis of South Bend, it was his third feature win of the season but it did not come without some serious challenges from runner-up, Jason Cogswell of LaPorte. Dustin Kline of Constantine, MI was next ahead of Dennis Frazier of Warsaw and Kevin Davis of South Bend. Howie Fisette of South Bend ended up sixth over James Trussell of Niles , Aaron Zimmerman of Shipshewana, Ryne Balsley of Plymouth and David Raley Jr of Elkhart. Balsley crashed into the frontstretch wall but was unhurt. Kline took the win in heat one over Derek Davis and Balsley while Raley took heat two over Kevin Davis and Cogswell.
Nineteen drivers took the green for the Street Stock main event with last week’s winner, Joe Coffin of Plymouth on the tail but it was his brother, Jay Coffin of Hamlet who dominiated the 25 lap event. Lap after lap, Coffin led runner-up Jeff Kaiser of Plymouth and Mishawaka’s Mark Swan. With a handful of laps remaining, Swan and Kaiser tangled with Swan relegated to the tail of the field on the restart. As the checker flew, Coffin took his first win ahead of Kaiser. Andrew Rigley of Mishawaka was third over Rich Hensley of South Bend and Joe Coffin as Swan recovered to finish sixth. A.J. Lubelski of Walkerton, Derek Wunder of South Bend, Addison Davis of North Liberty and Jordan Cretacci of Walkerton completed the top ten. Doug Fox of South Bend took the win in heat one over James Haisler of South Bend and Lubelski as Joe Coffin topped Swan and Ronnie McLean of South Bend in heat two. Wunder won heat three over Cretacci and Kaiser.
This Friday, the High Five show is on tap once again as the Pro Late Models will return to join the Bellman Oil Company Outlaw Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks and Front Wheel Drive cars. The pit gate opens at 5 with spectator gates opening at 7 and racing at 8 pm. Adult admission is just $12 with kids 6-12 only $5 and kids 5 & under free with an adult. Small coolers are welcome but NO alcohol or glass containers please. Bring a friend and join us at the races.
Front Wheel Drive:
1) Jason Horton – South Bend, IN
2) Bryant Ragsdale – Mishawaka, IN
3) Ronnie Holloway – South Bend, IN
1) Bryant Ragsdale – Mishawaka, IN
2) Bryan Banta – South Bend, IN
3) Devin Lauderback – South Bend, IN
1) Alyson Cretacci – Walkerton, IN
2) Kyle O’Dell – Plymouth, IN
3) Matt Maurer – Granger, IN
Bellman Oil Company Outlaw Late Model:
1) Kevin Clash – South Bend, IN
2) Charlie Hanna – Goshen, IN
3) Kenny Lollar Jr – Buchanan, MI
1) Cory Pressler – South Bend, IN
2) Scott Ross – Plymouth, IN
3) Kenny Lollar Jr – Buchanan, MI
1) Mike Tutino – Walkerton, IN
2) Charlie Hanna – Goshen, IN
3) Jerry Zachary – Dowagiac, MI
1) Derek Davis – South Bend, IN
2) Jason Cogswell – LaPorte, IN
3) Dustin Kline – Constantine, MI
1) Dustin Kline – Constantine, MI
2) Derek Davis – South Bend, IN
3) Ryn Balsley – Plymouth, IN
1) David Raley Jr – Elkhart, IN
2) Kevin Davis – South Bend, IN
3) Jason Cogswell – LaPorte, IN
1) Jay Coffin – Hamlet, IN
2) Jeff Kaiser – Plymouth, IN
3) Andrew Rigley – Mishawaka, IN
1) Doug Fox – South Bend, IN
2) James Haisley – South Bend, IN
3) A.J. Lubelski – Walkerton, IN
1) Joe Coffin – Plymouth, IN
2) Mark Swan – Mishawaka, IN
3) Ronnie Mclean – South Bend, IN
1) Derek Wunder – South Bend, IN
2) Jordan Cretacci – Walkerton, IN
3) Jeff Kaiser – Plymouth, IN
Track PR – Track Facbook Photo