Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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Big changes coming soon at Toledo Speedway

Looking back on my formative years in Missouri, I remember hearing some of the good ol' boys saying: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Looking ahead to the changes that will be taking place at Toledo Speedway over the next month or two, I don't see the facility ever being the same.

On Aug. 14 six skyboxes are scheduled to be delivered to the speedway, with plans calling for them to be installed and ready to use by Labor Day weekend. Beginning next year, four of the skyboxes will be rented out for the season; one, when not in use by television crews, will be rented out on a race- by-race basis, with the remaining box being used by race officials.

After 30 years of racing, the speedway's half-mile asphalt oval will be getting a facelift. Track manager Greg Riddle said, “We're working with the engineer and the paving people and hope to get started right after Labor Day weekend.”

In addition to the new racing surface, a type of rubberized asphalt, the bump in Turn 3 will be removed, and the drainage problem that appears on the front straightaway after it rains will be fixed.

Looking out over the track, Riddle said, “It's going to be pretty tricky to pave this place.” Not wanting a repeat of 30 years ago, when two trucks overturned while the banks in the turns were being paved, the project planners are trying to decide whether to run the paver on the track or off to the side.

Time and weather also will play roles in the project. Two double shows - the Jasper Engines & Transmissions 200 for the ARCA RE/MAX Series on Sept. 15-16, and the Budweiser Glass City 200 for late models on Sept. 29-30 - are still on the Toledo Speedway 2001 schedule. Riddle sees these races as “a good opportunity to run the new track in before it sits for the winter.”

  • Two major late model events will take place this weekend at Toledo and Flat Rock speedways. Friday night the Kendall Late Model Series will sanction the Sunoco 100, a 100-lap, all-green-flag contest on Toledo Speedway's half-mile oval. A field of 30 to 40 cars, led by Canadian star Jr. Hanley of Campbellville, Ont., is expected for the contest. Toledo's ARCA Sportsman and Factory Stocks will round out the program. Time trials are set for 6:15 and racing gets the green at 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday night finds the fourth and final leg of the Royal Truck and Trailer/G Tec Truck Equipment Gold Cup Series for the ARCA late models at Flat Rock. With $2,500 going to the winner and $500 posted to start the race, the 150-lap race on the quarter mile oval carries with it the largest payout ever for late models at “The Rock.”

    There have been 10 different winners in Flat Rock's late model class in 10 events this season. Scott Schultz, the track's general manager, points out that the 150-lap race will be all-green-flag racing. The event counts in the points battle for the track championship. The Flat Rock gates will open at 4 p.m., time trials are set for 5:30 and racing begins at 7 o'clock.

  • In an effort to curb rising car costs and keep the racing competitive in their support divisions a number of promoters at tracks all across the country have installed some type of engine claims in their rule books.

    Brian Liskai, Fremont Speedway's public relations person, reported that after a recent race defending truck champion and current division points leader Danny Roepke lost all of his points when he refused to accept a claim on his motor by fellow truck driver Brian Sebetto. Sebetto posted the necessary $500 claming fee for Roepke's motor and the $50 fee for pulling it. Had Roepke accepted, he would have gotten the $500 and Sebetto's engine. Instead Roepke refused and lost all pay for the night in addition to the points.

    To make sure that the claim rule doesn't get misused the driver making the claim must finish the feature on the same lap in the race as the driver whose motor is being claimed. In addition each driver is allowed no more than two claim opportunities each year.

    Liskai reported that Roepke has put his truck up for sale.

  • This week's special events:

    The 410-winged sprint cars take center stage during the three-night The Historical Big One IX at Eldora Speedway. Tomorrow night Kears Speed Shop presents All Star Sprints, UMP modifieds and Eldora stocks. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws and the Sunoco American Late Model Series are in action Friday night on the high-banked clay oval. Saturday it's $100,000 to win The Big One for the 410-winged sprint cars plus NRA sprint cars.

    Friday is Family Night at Attica Raceway Park with 410 and 305 sprint cars and limited late models on the race card. Admission is free for those 16 and under with a paid adult.

    The Sunoco American Late Model Series headlines the race lineup at Oakshade Raceway Saturday night. Also in action are sportsman/trucks and bombers.

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