Thanks to Marvin Holman and Nathan Stephens and Chris Nunn
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OAKWOOD — Kevin Gummere said that it is time for local racers to step up at Vermilion County Speedway.
On Saturday, the Danville racer did his part, winning the first modified feature in his five-year career, but it was not easy as he held off the constant challenge of current VCS points leader Roger Cary.
“I could feel him. … I knew he was back there,” Gummere said. “But I stayed low and there was no way I was thinking of going to the top.”
For Gummere, it ends a journey where he has struggled at times and has gotten closer and closer to that first win this season.
“In my first, year I was able to do OK and get a win in a heat,” Gummere said. “But now we have been racing pretty well.”
Gummere said that while out-of-town racers are good, local racers should try to go in and branch out to some of the bigger classes.
“We just need to have local racers in every class,” Gummere said. “If that happens, it can keep a lot of things going.”
Gummere’s win was the highlight of a night where three of the four feature winners were local racers.
In the street stocks, Neil Rollins won his second race of the season, holding off the likes of Scott Dunlap and VCS points leader Ed Lahey.
“Those guys are tough and they are the fastest racers here,” Rollins said. “I couldn’t believe it when I did pass (Dunlap) to take the lead.”
What was also tough for the Ridge Farm racer were the caution flags, which plagued most of the races for the night and one was placed right before the final lap, which meant Rollins had to hold on to win for two laps.
“I saw the two white flags and I was hoping when the caution that I would get a green-white-checkered,” Rollins said. “It was a tough ride at the end, but I had to stay low and smooth.”
Jack Dowers had no problems at pure stock, getting his first win in over a month and extended his points lead over James Buyno, who had won the last four features.
“With all the trouble I had today, I had to get the win,” Dowers said. “I had a battery die and I had to replace it, but everything worked out.
“I needed that win because it has been awhile since I did get a win.”
In the sprint race, Casey Shuman, a veteran of the old Bell Helmet Series at VCS, was able to come back and shock Terry Babb with a few laps to go to get the feature win.
“Sometimes it is tough to be ahead because you really don’t know who is back there,” Shuman said. “I had been close to passing him a few times before cautions but I don’t think he saw me.”
For the Tempe, Ariz. racer, it was another win at VCS, where he did well at the Bell Helmet Series.
“It’s always good to be here because it seems like I always get to the top three in most of my races here,” Shuman said. “So we like this place.”
Marvin Holman is a writer for the Danville Commercial-News.
Thanks to Rocky Ragusa for the photos....click on thumbnail to enlarge
OAKWOOD — On Sunday, no one had anything on King Kong at Vermilion County Speedway.
That is the nickname for Highland’s Randy Korte, who was able to win the annual UMP Summernational stop at VCS and hang on to his series lead.
The win was definitely without some challenges though. Korte had to mostly deal with defending Summernational champion Dennis Erb, Jr., who was only down four points to Korte entering Sunday’s race and Ryan Unzicker.
“He (Erb) usually does a lot better than us here,” Korte said. “I knew he was coming so the only thing I did was hold my line on the track.”
Korte was behind Jeep Van Wormer earlier in the 40-lap feature. Van Wormer, who won last year in the Summernational race at VCS, held up a little before the halfway mark, giving the lead to Korte.
“I think Jeep had tires that were a little hard when you go to the bottom,” Korte said. “Me and Dennis got softer tires and it made the difference.”
The series was rained out Saturday at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., which was not a great thing for Korte.
“That is our home track and we knew Dennis usually does not do so well there,” Korte said. “So we were disheartened when the race was cancelled.”
The series takes a day off today before starting its final week of action on Tuesday at Shepps Speedway in Alexander, with stops at Spoon River Raceway in Banner on Wednesday; LaSalle Speedway on Thursday; Waynesfield Motor Sports Park in Waynesfield, Ohio on Friday and the final race on Saturday at Oakshade Raceway in Wauseon, Ohio.
“The pressure is on for sure,” Korte said. “Dennis is going to race hard and I know I will have to race hard to stay ahead of him. … We race clean and hard every time and it will be a fun finish.”
In the other races at VCS on Sunday, former VCS modified champion Denny Schwartz started in the middle of the pack in the heats but came back to win that heat and went on to win the modified feature.
In the street stock class, Rick Thomas made the most of his first trip to VCS this season, winning out in the feature.
With feature races in the area cancelled on Saturday, VCS was able to reap the harvest as racers tried to get some action in as the Fourth of July weekend came to an end.
On Saturday, it will be a regular night of racing at VCS, with the sprints, modifieds, Crate late models, street stocks and pure stocks. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and free for children under 10.
Marvin Holman is a writer for the Danville Commercial-News.
OAKWOOD — Jon Stanbrough is not from Danville, but the Brownsburg, Ind. racer did something that the local sprint legends that were honored Saturday night at Vermilion County Speedway would have enjoyed.
Sticking with the pack at the bottom of the track in the middle of the race, Stanbrough was able to go up on the track just enough to pass then-leader Ricky Williams and was able to win the $2,000-to-win Midwest Sprint Car Series feature.
“I had no choice really,” Stanbrough said. “I just couldn’t sit around any longer and stay back. I tried to make a move a few times, but I knew I had to try something. I didn’t care if I ended up last in the race, I knew I had to try to move.”
With the move up, Stanbrough took the lead midway through the race and did not look back. Brady Short was second, A.J. Anderson took third and Williams ended up fourth.
With VCS honoring legends like the late Larry Cannon, Steve Cannon and Bubby Jones, Stanbrough was happy to win the race and hope other racers can realize what they have done to pave the way.
“I do remember them racing and it is great to win,” Stanbrough said. “Earlier in the day, I was talking about how these young racers did not even know much about the older racers and that is a shame. I hope that they can learn more about them in the future.”
While a local racer did not win the main event in sprints, there was plenty of local representation for the night.
In the modified race, Danville’s B.J. McCammon was able to hang on after a problem with his car to get his first win ever at the track.
“I have raced late models for years but I have dabbled in modifieds as of late,” McCammon said. “Gordon Curtis owns this car, but he has his own business to look after and he asked me to race for him.
“It took some weeks to get things together, but everything is starting to work out.”
Brian Hayden ended up second, last week’s winner, Tim Reynolds, took third, Don Kiger was fourth and Roger Cary finished fifth.
The most heated finish of the evening was in the street stock class with Danville racers Ed Lahey and Jesse Simmons.
Simmons was pushed into the infield by Lahey with a few laps left, but Simmons regrouped to get second, but Lahey was dropped two spots because of the push.
“He’s mad, but I didn’t do anything to him,” Simmons said. “I was more than willing to take second and was ready to take the second place money before they stopped me at the track to tell me that I won.”
Lahey said he was pushed first by Simmons during the race and was only retaliating.
“He pushed me to one of the tires (around the infield) and when I tried to retaliate, I get penalized,” Lahey said. “I am trying to win the points title and I am trying to race everyone clean and if someone is trying to mess it up, I will not stand for it.”
Lahey was pushed behind Simmons and Patrick Bruns, who usually races sprints, but was able to take second in his first ever race in a street stock. Jacob Johnson was fourth and Jordan Smith took fifth.
Another close finish was in the pure stock race, where James Buyno won his second straight feature after holding off the late charge of Walter Parsons.
Buyno was stuck behind the lapped car of Jerrie Yost, giving Parsons a late chance to catch up.
“I felt some love taps from someone near the end,” Buyno said. “But I knew if I tried to go up to pass her, he would get his chance to go under and take the lead. So I stayed behind her and she kinda guided me to the win.”
For Buyno, to get on the track was tough after his engine broke down.
“I have to thank my brother Jonah because he had a motor that he wasn’t using and he helped me in putting it in,” Buyno said. “It was good because I didn’t want to be behind in the points race.
“I also have to thank Route 1 Auto Repair for sponsoring me and also this series because this series would not be here if it wasn’t for them.”
After Buyno and Parsons, Tony Mitchell was third, Tim Miller was fourth and Robert Dieu ended up fifth.
Next weekend will be full of action at VCS. On Saturday, the first Spiker 100 will be raced with 50-lap features for sprints and modifieds. There will also be action from the Crate late models, street stocks and pure stocks.
Also, there will be a car show and a Rock Band video game contest on Saturday. The car show begins at noon and will have eight categories including Best in Show, Best Import, Best Domestic and Best Bike. The Rock Band contest will start at 1 p.m. with awards for both events being handed out by 5 p.m.
On Sunday, the UMP summernationals series for late models will make its annual stop at VCS and will include the modifieds and street stock classes. There will also be fireworks during the show.
OAKWOOD — Bobby Pierce took a while in getting used to the Crate late model class, but he is starting to get the hang of it.
The son of National Late Model Hall of Famer Bob Pierce was able to get his second win this season in the class on Saturday at Vermilion County Speedway.
“It is awesome and my dad has made me a great car,” Bobby Pierce said about the class. “It is a lot faster and the cars are wider and it is good to go against those older drivers.”
After a slow start in the class, Pierce has won two races in the past three weeks and entered the day fourth in the class. The leader is Randy Shuman, who took second in Saturday’s feature.
“Well if he was able to miss a race, maybe there is a chance,” Pierce said. “I’m in fourth now and everything has been going good so far.
“I have to thank my family, my sponsors and my crew for their help.”
Another racer on a hot streak at VCS is Tim Reynolds. The veteran from Boswell, Ind. was able to get past Don Kiger on the last lap to get win in the modified division.
“I remembered something that Denny Schwartz told me,” Reynolds said. “He said that if there are no lanes open, you try to make one open and that is what I did.”
Reynolds saw his chance a few laps before the final and was willing to take the risk to get the victory.
“I wanted to pass on the bottom, but Jason (Lakey) was there and I was trying for the middle but Roger was sticking his nose in, so I couldn’t do that,” Reynolds said. “I took it to the outside near the end and it just hooked up right for me. I thought I could win it during the last three laps.
“I knew doing that I would either be first or be last because I would have been in an accident.”
Another close finish brought up the first win of the season for Ricky Williams. The Akron, Ohio racer was able to edge out Casey Riggs in the sprint car division.
Williams was actually passed up by Riggs, but a caution flag before the lap was completed gave Williams back his spot.
“It was a great victory,” Williams said. “I was getting scared there for a second, but I learned some things after that caution came up
“I learned that I was not going up on the track, so I went up when the race restarted and I hung on.”
In the street stock division, Scott Dunlap returned to the winners circle.
“It meant a lot to get a good draw for once,” Dunlap said. “I had not been getting the best numbers on the heats.”
Dunlap won the first three races of the season, but has dropped to second behind Ed Lahey in the points standings.
“I think Ed is pretty far ahead right now,” Dunlap said. “I’m just here now to have fun and to get as many wins as possible.”
In the pure stock class, James Buyno was able to hold off the charge of Jack Dowers to get the win and inch a little closer to him in the points standings.
Next week is the Sprint Legends of Danville race, where local legends like the late Larry Cannon, Steve Cannon and Bubby Jones will be honored.
Also, the Midwest Sprint Car Series will be at VCS for the first time this year with a $2,000 to win feature. The class will be joined by the modified, street stocks and pure stocks.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and racing will start at 7 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and free for children under 10.
OAKWOOD — Chad Kinder was very close to leaving Vermilion County Speedway on Saturday because of the mud accumulated during the day thanks to rainstorms.
But Kinder decided to stay at the track and it turned out to be a very profitable decision as he would win the “Revenge of the Richardson” modified feature and with it $1,500.
“We were this close to leaving,” Kinder said. “But we saw that they were working hard on the track, so we decided to race.
“I have to thank the track prep guys because they did work very hard to get the track going.”
Kinder, a former winner of the David Richardson Memorial and third in this year’s race, took the lead from the start and was comfortably ahead of second-place finisher B.J. McCammon for most of the race. Kinder was only slowed near the end by a lapped car but McCammon still was not a challenge.
“The first time I passed (the lapped car), I was guessing he was going high, but he went low and then I was thinking he was going low, but he went high,” Kinder said. “But we still got the win and it is always good to win.”
After Kinder and McCammon, Jason Lakey was third, Doug Taylor finished fourth and Derrick Hufford took fifth.
While many racers in the O’Reilly Midwest All-Stars series for winged sprints were experiencing their first race at VCS, an old face was able to come back and get the feature win.
Billy Rose, a veteran racer from Plainfield, Ind., was a racer in the old late model class at VCS years ago. He returned to the track from Tuesday’s Illinois Sprint Week race and was able to fight the mud and a late charge from Randy Hannagan to get the win.
“I won one of the first races in that old class,” Rose said. “When I raced her on Tuesday, it was the first time in years that I have been here.
“The race was close at the end and I thought I saw Randy’s nose, but I saw an opening and I just sped away.
Rose was fourth in the standings entering the night for the series, which has been a good thing for him on and off the track.
“Well I like this series mostly because we don’t have to go that far to travel,” Rose said. “This has been a good series and it is very competitive.”
Jordan Goldesberry was third in the feature, with Kody Kinser taking fourth and Jerrod Hull finishing fifth.
In the street stock race, Danville’s Jesse Simmons was able to get his first win of the season at the track.
Simmons said he is just now winning the battle in getting his new car up to speed in the class.
“We just got the car before the season and me and my crew guy, Kevin West, worked on it,” Simmons said. “The first three weeks we struggled, but last week I took two second-place finishes, so it was a matter of time.
Keaton Streeval ended up second while Neil Rollins was third, Ed Lahey took fourth and Michael Daugherty ended up fifth.
In the pure stock class, Willie Kerst returned to the track to get the win. The racer from Williamsport, Ind. won a race last season but had not raced at VCS this season before Saturday.
“I decided to cut back mostly because of my family,” Kerst said. “So when I have some free time, I still go out and race.
“I have always liked coming to this track and I like the way it is run this year and the pay is very good as well this year.”
Jason Turner challenged Kerst near the end of the race, but settle fro second, Robert Dieu was third, James Buyno took fourth and Tim Miller was fifth.
In the Crate late model race, Jeremy Hines was able to win his second feature of the season, holding off Georgetown veteran Marvin Burton.
Kyle Madison was third, Roger Cary was fourth and David Henderson finished fifth.
Next week, the non-winged sprints return after competing in Illinois Sprint Week this weekend, along with the modifieds, Crate late models, pure stocks and street stocks.
Also, it is Dukes of Hazzard night at VCS. There will be a full-sized replica of the famous General Lee car along with a replica of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane’s car. Also there will be a Bo, Luke, Uncle Jesse and Daisy Duke Look-a-like contest and a yelling contest.
Admission to the show is $10 for adults with children under 10 admitted for free. The gates open at 5 p.m. and racing will start at 7 p.m.
OAKWOOD — Jon Stanbrough had not been at Vermilion County Speedway for the past few weeks while Jay Ledford had not appeared at the track for the past couple of years.
But on Tuesday, both racers returned to VCS and picked up some big victories.
For Stanbrough, he won the first leg of Illinois Sprint Week with a dominant win while Ledford picked up his first win ever at VCS in the modified class.
Stanbrough started in the second row, but was able to overtake early leader Nic Faas before the middle of the race. Before breaking out for the lead, he was challenged by Bryan Clauson, who had also won a race at VCS this season.
“I was stuck earlier in lapped traffic and Clauson was able to get ahead for a while,” Stanbrough said. “But then I just got on a run and I was able to go almost everywhere on the track with no problem even through all the traffic.”
The veteran from Brownsburg, Ind. has won sprint series titles in Indiana and was battling for the King of Indiana series title for the last few weeks.
“I was second in the points race so I decided to go and try to chase it,” Stanbrough said. “Now there is one race left and I am 52 points behind, so I would have to win and the other guy must have a run of bad luck.”
Stanbrough would love to be part of the competition for the Illinois Sprint Week title, but other issues may keep him for trying to win the title.
“I think this is a good series for Illinois and I am sorry that I will not be that much of a part in it,” Stanbrough said. “I have my business to think about and also gas prices as well. But we will like to try to make some more races this week.”
Ledford had a tougher route to the winners circle in his feature, holding off hard-charging Wes McClara in the last few laps.
“I could see him and I could feel him trying to take the lead,” Ledford said. “It got real tight at the end of the race, but I held on and it was unbelievable.”
For the Pontiac racer, it was a triumphant return to VCS after racing at the track for a few years at the start of his career.
“I used to race here when they used to race on Sundays,” Ledford said. “I now race at Farmer City and Fairbury for the most part.
“I tried to make it to the big race (May’s David Richardson Memorial) but I am a farmer and I was busy working the farm.”
With the first leg of the series done, the sprint cars will move on to Spoon River Speedway at Banner today and Morgan County Speedway in Jacksonville on Thursday.
On Saturday, the O’Reilly Midwest All-Stars winged sprint class will be at VCS, along with a $1,500-to win race for the modified class. The Crate late models, street stocks and pure stocks will also make their return on Saturday.
2009 Racing Summary- 16th Annual Richardson Memorial Race
Compliments of Chris Nunn
May 24, 2009
(click here for the entire 16 year history of this race)
Kevin Weaver wins by over a half track over Gary Cook Jr.
FEATURE RESULTS(70 cars)
Vermilion County Speedway May 09, 2009
OAKWOOD —John DeMoss said this season he wanted to win the big-money races and he started on that quest by winning at a place that he had never won.
The veteran from Bloomington, Ind. was able to get his first win at Vermilion County Speedway on Saturday and was able to beat out two former David Richardson Memorial winners in Tommy Burnside and Denny Schwartz.
“I have raced here for 10-12 years and it is great to finally win one,” DeMoss said. “I think I was lucky to get the pole for the race because of everyone who was in it.”
DeMoss hoped that it could be a good omen for him in a couple of weeks for the Richardson Memorial.
“We are not really racing for points anywhere, we are going for the most paying,” DeMoss said. “I have raced in second in that race twice, but something always happens to my car, so we are due.”
Another person that was due to win at VCS was Jon Stanbrough in the sprints. Stanbrough, who finished second last week, was able to break through with his first win at the track.
Like DeMoss, Stanbrough was on the pole as well for the feature.
“When you take the pole, it is an advantage but there is a disadvantage because you never know who is behind you,” Stanbrough said. “After we finished second last week, we worked on some things.”
Stanbrough, from Brownsburg, Ind., said it has been a good experience so far at VCS.
“I like this track. It is a little slick, but I like slick tracks,” Stanbrough said. “What I like is that it is only an hour away from my place. Most other tracks in Indiana are about two hours away, but now I can just go on I-74 and be home in an hour.”
The best finish of the night was in the street stocks where Ridge Farm veteran Neil Rollins was able to rally in the final lap to beat out Ed Lahey and Randy Lee, who was leading for most of the race until the last lap.
“It was such a great race and it was something that I knew the fans enjoyed,” Rollins said. “I hope I can watch the tape of that because it was so exciting, I want to see it again.
“Going into turn two, the track had some grip and I took advantage of it. But to be honest, I still don’t know how I did it for sure.”
Rollins said even with the non-sanctioning from the UMP in street stocks at VCS, the action is still tough in the division.
“Now we are getting some people in from Charleston and even some from Kamp,” Rollins said. “I think we will have some really good races ahead.”
In the pure stock, Jack Dowers won his second straight race and third overall in this young season even with the back of his car showing smoke for most of the race.
“I didn’t even know what was going on until people told me about it,” Dowers said. “But everything is going great and it has been a pretty good year so far.”
Randy Shuman won his fourth straight Crate late models feature but it was a close one as he turned away the challenge of Tim Rivers, who battled Shuman in the first week of action.
Next week will be a Salute to the Armed Forces at VCS. The American Legion Riders — a motorcycle group that does fundraisers for families of soldiers overseas — will be at the track, along with the sprints, modified, Crate late models, street stocks and pure stocks will be at the track.
Gates open at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and free for kids under 10.
OAKWOOD — It was a night for three-peats at Vermilion County Speedway as Randy Shuman and Scott Dunlap were each able to keep their winning streaks at the track intact.
Shuman won again in the Crate Late Models Class and for the second straight week, held off the challenge of Bobby Pierce, the son of Bob Pierce, a National Dirt Late Model Hall of Famer.
For Dunlap, he also had a tough challenge in Danville driver Ed Lahey.
Lahey was leading for the entire race until a lapped car held him up and gave Dunlap a chance.
“If it wasn’t for the (lapped) car, I would not have won,” Dunlap said. “It was (Lahey’s) night and he is a great racer, and he is clean racer.”
In the pure stock class, Jack Dowers won his second race of the season. The veteran from Danville was able to win the race with no real problems.
There were also new occupants in the VCS winners circle in the sprint and modified class.
Bryan Clauson was able to win the sprint feature in his first night at the track.
“This is a good track, it is a real fast track for its size,” Clauson said. “It got a little slick near the end, but I was able to get past that.”
Clauson got past A.J. Anderson early in the race and was able to hang on for the rest of the race.
“When I passed him, I was surprised,” Clauson said. “The first few laps, I was trying to figure out where I had to be on the track and I figured it out.’’
The Noblesville, Ind., racer said he will return at some point during the season.
“Our schedule takes us to a bunch of places around the area, but if we have some open dates, we would like to come back,” Clauson said.
In the modified class, Urbana veteran Jason Lakey was able to get his first win at VCS in over two years.
Lakey was in the lead for most of the race, but had a little problem near the end when a caution put second-place finisher Ryan Cary right next to him.
“I didn’t need that caution, but that is part of racing,” Lakey said. “I talked to Ryan before and I know he wanted his first win here, but I was not going to just let him have it.
“The car was excellent. We made some changes between the heat and the feature and they worked out very well.”
It was Lakey’s first time back at the track under promoter Joe Spiker and he said the chance of returning will be good.
“I usually race at Kamp (Motor Speedway in Boswell, Ind.) on Saturdays, but I had to see how things are running here now,” Lakey said. “The new promoter is doing real well and he seems to care about the racers, so we will stick around.”
Next week will be the Mother’s Day Special at VCS, with the sprints, modifieds, Crate Late Models, street stocks and pure stocks will race again under the lights.
Gates open at 3 p.m. with hot laps starting at 5:30 and racing at 7. The price of admission is $10 with kids under 10 admitted for free.
Roger Cary holds off determined Chad Kinder in thriller at Vermilion County Speedway
OAKWOOD — Roger Cary knew one person was behind him all race and he did whatever he could to stay in front of him.
The veteran from Catlin out pointed last week’s winner Chad Kinder in the modified feature Saturday at Vermilion County Speedway.
“It was a good feeling to win,” Cary said. “Chad is a good racer and it is tough to beat him.”
Kinder was the biggest challenger in a field that included racers like former VCS champion Denny Schwartz, who usually races at his home track at Charleston.
“The track today was fast and I knew that there would be no margin of error,” Cary said. “I could see (Kinder) next to me, so I knew that I had to go as fast as I could.”
For Cary it was his first win at the track since August of last year.
In the sprints, Springfield racer Korey Weyant was also able to turn back the big racers, beating out racers like Shane Cottle, a former Bell Helmet Series race winner at the track, A.J. Anderson, a former winner of the Cannon Memorial and Jon Stanbrough, who had won over 100 races, tons of awards and was also signing autographs for fans on Saturday.
“It is pretty good to beat those guys,” Weyant said. “It was a tough race with all the competition but the car was running real well tonight.”
The sprint race happened just after VCS crew members watered down the track and racing was held up for almost an hour until they got the whole track ready for feature racing.
“This is the second time I raced here and this track has always been pretty good,” Weyant said. “We are going to spend all of our Saturdays this season after racing at Jacksonville on Fridays.”
In the Crate late models, Oakwood’s Randy Shuman won his second straight feature, but it was not without a fight.
Bobby Pierce, the defending UMP Kidmodz champion and son of Late Model Dirt Track Hall of Famer Bob Pierce, was able to get close to Shuman but could not overtake him.
After a coin flip earlier in the night, the pure stock class raced the other way for its feature and defending champion Gordon Parsons, Jr. was able to win his first race of the season.
In the street stocks, Scott Dunlap won his second straight race in a row. The veteran from Oblong said last week his home track in Flora was opening up this upcoming week, but he may think twice after getting another win at VCS.
Next week, the sprints, modifieds, Crate late models, street stocks and pure stocks will return to VCS and as part of an in-track promotion, residents from Crawfordsville, Ind., who has a state-issued ID will be admitted at $2 off the regular $10 admission.
The gates to the track will open at 3 p.m. with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.
OAKWOOD — There were new faces, new changes and old faces in new classes in Saturday’s first night of action at the Vermilion County Speedway.
Under new promoter Joe Spiker, the big two changes were two new classes with the non-wing sprints and the Crate late models and in the sprint race, Riverton’s Mike Hess beat out top drivers and a rain delay to get his first win at VCS.
For Hess, it was his second win in two days.
“We won at Jacksonville on Friday,” Hess said. “This is my second year racing sprints after 12 years in midgets and I didn’t win anything last year, so this was a good start.”
Hess said he would be back and he hoped that more racers and more spectators will continue to fill the seats.
“I just hope the community will stay behind it,” Hess said. “This is a nice track and they have done a good job with the place. They just have to work out a few bugs and it will be great.”
For the most part, sprint racers who had never been at the track were very impressed with the track.
“It reminded me of midget tracks I used to race in,” Ricky Williams from Akron, Ohio said. “There are no non-wing races near where I live, do I drive at Bloomington, Ind. on Fridays. But we will be back here because we like this track.”
Randy Shuman, a former VCS champion in UMP modifieds, got the first win at late models and said that he will have a lot to learn with the new class.
“This car is almost like the sportsman class but it has wider wheels,” Shuman said. “We are going to go back to the garage and fix what needs to be done for next week.”
Shuman and Tim Rivers were battling early in the race, but an apparent bump knocked Rivers out of contention.
“I think what happened was that we just bumped tires,” Shuman said. “I was shocked that they didn’t give him his spot back and after the race I talked to him about it and we are good friends so everything was settled.”
In the UMP modified race, former David Richardson Memorial winner Chad Kinder returned to VCS and got the win.
Kinder almost wasn’t in contention in the first lap after trying to go to the top of the track, but a caution negated the lap and Kinder went to the bottom and cruised from there.
“When that happened I knew now to try it again,” Kinder said. “Everyone was wondering who was going to win in this first race with this new promoter so we decided to go and try to win.”
For Kinder, a veteran with many big wins, he said he will be willing to spend a few more Saturdays at VCS this season.
“They may have the best payoffs in the area now and that is great,” Kinder said. “But there is always great competition and the track is the same and it always a good track.
“So we I am not committed to any other races in the area, we will try to come down here as much as we can.”
Scott Dunlap’s first race at VCS was a memorable one as he won the street stock race.
“This track reminds me of the old Sullivan, Ind. track we used to run at,” Oblong’s Dunlap said. “I usually race at the Flora Speedway but it hasn’t opened yet, so we went out here and we will return.”
Danville veteran Jack Dowers, who was second in last year’s pure stock title run, started the year with a win in a feature that was halted early because of rain. James Buyno was second and defending champion Gordon Parsons, Jr. was third.
The sprints, Crate late models, UMP modifieds, street stocks and pure stocks will return next week at VCS and it will be Champaign/Urbana day at the track. Residents of Champaign and Urbana with valid identification will get $2 off the $10 general admission. Hot laps are at 5:30 p.m. and racing will start at 7 p.m.
Vermilion County Speedway; Danville, Illinois- UMP Late Model Summer Nationals July 5th & the track has a new promoter Mr. Spiker....more info coming soon
Todays Champaign News-Gazette....page A-3 reports that VCS will run every Sat. night with a few exceptions. Like a Summer Nationals race for Sunday July 5th. The Promoter, Joe Spiker, signed a 2 year deal with the Fairboard. As far as what kind of cars will run. The paper just said "That includes running open wheel cars, a lot of sprint cars and more." Spiker said as far as going up against other Saturday night tracks. He felt that for the track to survive, Saturday night was the best night. He also said to visit the speedway website in JANUARY at www.vermilioncountyspeedway.com We wish him the best and hope he can get VCS going again.