16 Late Models arrived at the Bryant Heating and Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome Saturday April 23th to contest the 3rd night of regular season points competiton. Under Cloudy skies Ben Tunney in the #5 was the fastest qualifyer at 13.250 seconds. Like usual at the Speedrome, qualifying 1st means you have to start 4th in the trophy dash. Doug Greig won the Trophy dash by a pretty healthy margin over Jesse Tunney and Ben Tunney. The first late model heat on the oval was won by Corey Turner over Casey White and Mark Tunney. The first heat didn’t go without incident as title favorite Gary Bedell was spun in turn 2 by Austin Tunney. The 2nd oval late model heat was won by Steve Frost Jr. ahead of Chad Sizemore and Steve Frost Sr. The Late model oval feature was very competitive as Steve Frost Jr. in the #16 scored an emotional victory over Rodney Sizemore and Eddie Rogers. There was close racing thoughtout the field the whole race and even past the checkered flag as Corey Turner spun across the finish line to end the race in 7th.
Next up was the main event, the 35 lap figure 8 late model feature. Track officals were frantically trying to get the race in as rain was in the area. Luckily for the competitors and fans, the rain held off until about 5 minutes after the completion of the racing program. The #18 of Eddie Rogers started on pole with Steve Frost Jr. 2nd and Gary Bedell 3rd. Bedell would jump out to an early lead and dominate the first 12 laps opening up a sizeable gap to 2nd. Then a yellow flag came out on lap 12 erasing his lead. On the ensuing restart Bedell was passed by 3 cars before the field even got to turn one. After another couple laps Bedell would pull of the track with an apperant mechanical problem for a 14th place finish.
After about 20 laps the top 3 cars would pull away from the rest of the field, first second and third place were under a blanket all the way through lap 35. The #41 of Casey White was being hounded by the #33 of Doug Greig and the # 5 of Ben tunney. Lapped traffic would prove difficult for all the front runners as it seemed everyone was having trouble getting passed slower cars. Casey White would hold on for the victory in the #41 machine sponsored by That Place in Greenwood/Coomer Roofing/Skiles Country Auto Parts/Washington Square Dairy Queen over Doug Greig in the Harts Auto Center #41 and Ben Tunney in the TMC Machine/Upper Cuts/Westside Auto Salvage/Residential Fence and Deck/Direct Delivery/Jim Jones Racing Engines/Hazard Experts/Peters Auto Service #5. Jesse Tunney and Corey Turner rounded out the top 5.
White was escatic after the victory “The race was real good, it was real bunched up, I made a couple of agressive moves, some of the others drivers came down here and voiced their opinon that they didn’t like it, but if you see a hole open you have to take it or you are going to end up at the back of the field.” White continuted “I knew as long as Ben(Tunney) was back there behind Doug (Grieg) I could just drive my line and be a little bit more conservative.” Ben Tunney Also shared his thoughts on the close racing in the top 3 “We were in a tight battle in the end with me and Doug Grieg and Casey White up front. That Red Flag kind of bunched us back up together and it was a pretty rough and wild figure 8. There was alot of traffic and slower cars slowing up the bunch and guys behind them were beating and banging running 3 wide and it was pretty exciting so we are lucky to come out of it pretty unscathed. ”
The Indianapolis Speedrome continues racing next Saturday night April 30th and the International Outlaw Figure 8 Series begins their season at Anderson Speedway.
Troy DeCaire went into the last night of the season in the Biobased.us Must See Racing xtreme sprint series with a 19 point lead over Jeff Bloom. All he had to do was finish in the top 10 and he is champion. Sounds easy for a young hard charger right? Well not exactly considering the car he drove on championship night was one he had never been in before. With only 1 race remaining Decaire and car owner Mike Blake split leaving the points leader looking for a ride, Decaire found an open seat in the Swanson family owned #7s. “We came here today and Ive never driven this car until today, off the trailer we were pretty quick but it was a struggle because it wasn’t something I was used to. We had a hard time dealing with a lot of the different handling characteristics of this car. ” Stated Decaire It didn’t take him to long to get up to speed as he finished 3rd in the second heat. The night started out fast as Dave Baumgartner set fast time with a new track record of 11.358 seconds around the 1/3 mile oval. Heat race winners were the #88 of Jimmy McCune, the #6 of Mike Larrison and the #10s of Jason Blonde. The third heat race had the crowd on their feet as Jason Blonde staged a great duel with Jerry Caryer. Blonde gave his thoughts on the battle “Thats what its all about putting on a good show, that gets these people to come back and watch us. ” The B-main had some big names in it as Jason Cox was the winner in front of hurrying Hank Lower. The 50 lap feature got underway with the #7 of Tim Cox on pole due to a 10 car invert. The battle for the lead was fierce for the first half of the race with Brownsburg, Indiana’s Bobby East taking the point midway through the A main. The #5 machine of East battled with Decaire and Blonde through lapped traffic and then took the lead, once he got out front the clean air was all he needed as he took victory in the 50 lap race at Dells Raceway Park. 2nd was Troy Decaire and 3rd was Jason Blonde. 2nd was good enough for Decaire as Jeff Bloom struggled all night with an Ill-handing race car. East was ecstatic after the race picking up his first MSR victory. “The car was just really good. The beast chassis was awesome, the roush-yates ford motor ran great, and the car handled good all night. We were just a little loose at the start and I kept pulling the wing back a little bit at a time, and it would really take off and take off through the center of the corner.” It wasn’t all easy for East though as he did have to make some pretty hairy overtaking maneuvers through lapped traffic. “That was wild and I seen Troy went to the outside of a lapped car and I just stuck to the bottom just to see what would happen and the guy got lose and it pushed Troy high and there was just enough room to squeeze by and get to 2nd. That was really a big move right there.” The big story at the end of the night though was the driver of the #7s from Tampa, Florida who won the championship. “I’m supper happy, I’m very proud of all the people I have behind me. I get a lot of credit because my name is on the side of the car but really there are a lot of people behind us that make this possible and it really starts with everyone back in Florida, my mom and dad they would send me 50 bucks here and 50 bucks there just to get me into the pits. And I have everybody back there supporting me. I also have to thank Mike Blake and Suzy Blake for letting me run there car the first half of the season getting me in this position and the Swanson family for letting me bring it home. Its a group effort and I couldn’t be happier.” While this was the last MSR Xtreme Sprint Series race of the year, there are still 2 Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series races remaining. This Saturday September 18th at the Baer Field Speedway in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Saturday September 25th at the Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana.
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