Speed will be the name of the game when the monsters of open wheel racing - the International Super Modified Association and the Auto Value Super Sprints - invade Toledo Speedway Friday evening for the fourth annual "Fastest Short Track Show in the World."
Toledo Speedway was the first track to bring together these two types of racing machines on the same card.
The New York based ISMA will be led by 2003 winner Russ Wood of Toledo and the super modified half-mile track lap record holder Chris Perley (13:187/130 mph).
Overall 35 to 40 of the low slung winged racing machines are expected for this race. The ISMA cars normally do not qualify against the clock, but the Toledo race is for bragging rights as to who has the fastest cars on a half-mile paved oval - super mods or sprints.
The Michigan-based AVSS Sprint Series holds the fastest car heading into Friday's event. Winged sprint car driver Kevin Feeney stunned the large crowd and the pit-siders with a blistering lap (12:958/130.4 mph) during last year's time trials - still the Toledo record.
Legendary winged sprint car star Gary Fedewa leads the AVSS entries, along with Toledo-area residents Brian Lay, Jimmy McCune and Dave Baumgartner.
Drivers from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania and Canada are entered for the classic. Practice begins at 3 p.m. Time trials will start at 5p.m. and racing gets the green flag at 7:30 p.m. Each group will qualify, run heat races, last-chance events and their respective feature races.
I wonder if Perley or Feeney took a breath during their record breaking runs around Toledo's high banked half-mile asphalt oval.
Tonight Attica Raceway Park kicks off the Pepsi Buckeye Nationals. Racing under the United States Auto Club banner will be winged sprint cars and midgets.
Tomorrow night the USAC doubleheader will be featured at Fremont Speedway. A number of Attica and Fremont winged sprint car teams are expected to remove the wings and race against the USAC regulars.
Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway, Marco's Pizza presents the School Bus Figure 8 races. Full-size school buses (and maybe even a small one or two) race on Flat Rock's Figure 8 track to provide one of the most hilarious and entertaining nights of the season.
Joining the bus races will be the track's weekly Figure 8 class, dubbed the Motor City Madmen as they criss-cross at the intersection. The MCR Dwarf Cars will also make a stop at Flat Rock for the Saturday event. The event draws huge crowds to the track, and fans are encouraged to arrive early.
"This is by far our biggest weekend of the year when you combine these two events," said Scott Schultz, general manager of both tracks.
Tickets are available for both events by calling either Toledo Speedway at 419-727-1100 or Flat Rock Speedway at 734-782-2480.
For you short dirt track late model fans, Oakshade Raceway will be holding the 15th annual Barney Oldfield Race on Saturday and $4,000 is on the line for the winner of the late model feature. Race time is 7 p.m.