Even though most short track race vehicles don't use pump gas, it doesn't mean the car owners aren't having to dig deeper into their wallets to feed the thirsty engines on race night.
Driver/car owner/builder Ron Miller of Lambertville, Mich., said that methanol is selling for $2.50 a gallon. Not a bad price until you figure that Miller's late model gets "about 2 1/2 to three laps per gallon on the half-mile dirt tracks." The high-octane gasoline used in race cars, which produces about twice the laps per gallon as methanol, costs anywhere from $4 to $8 a gallon.
Like the rest of us, race teams are finding their off-track fuel cost rising also. Miller, who races at Hartford (Mich.) Speedway on Friday and Oakshade Raceway on Saturday, figures that he spends $100 for diesel fuel each week towing his late model to and from the tracks. The 2 1/2-hour drive is paying off for Miller as he is leading in points.
Miller says the rising cost of fuel hasn't kept any race teams at home on race night. "Oakshade is still averaging 50 late models, 30 sportsman and 60-plus bombers every Saturday night."
After winning The Royal Truck and Trailer/GTech 100 at Flat Rock Speedway last Saturday, late model driver Dave Kuhlman said "We got a lot of lap money and I would like to give half of it to Ron Allen's benefit fund.''
One of the best spectator bargains in short track auto racing takes place tonight at Toledo Speedway with Wendy's/WB5 Toledo's WB Family Fun Night. For $25 one gets 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 soft drinks and a program. On the race card are sportsman, factory stocks, figure 8's, legends, and 4-cylinder stock cars. Time trials are set for 6:30 p.m. and racing gets the green flag at 7:30.
Flat Rock Speedway tomorrow will feature the Mountain Dew 250-lap enduro, the 4-cylinder stock cars, the faster pastor race and race car bowling. Practice begins at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7.
The Howard Miller Memorial for UMP late models headlines tomorrow's 7 p.m. race program at Oakshade Raceway.
Although school is out for the summer, school buses will be making their rounds Sunday night at Fremont Speedway. The yellow and black buses will hit the track for two races. The first race will feature six buses driven by professional school bus drivers with CDL licenses. The second school bus race will find racers from the speedway in the driver's seat
Bus No. 29 will be driven by Woodmore bus driver Anna Brewster in one race and race driver Rich Farmer in the other. Gibsonburg bus driver Chris Roepke and race driver Otis Clymer will each drive bus No. 20x. Driving bus No. 20 will be Fremont bus driver Kevin Rhineberger and racer Bobby Foster.
Driving a bus yet to be numbered will be Fremont bus driver Dawn Horn and sprint car driver John Ivy. Bus No. 3 will be driven by Fremont Ross bus driver Ron Reed and race driver Ross Rollins. Rounding out the field will be bus No. 10 with a school bus driver from New Jersey and racer Bill Fleming at the controls. All sponsorship monies for this race will be donated to the National Foundation for Transplants.
Competing in a complete race program that night will be the dirt trucks and the UUI Limited Late Models The ladies will take center stage in the second annual Powder Puff truck race. Rounding out the holiday race card will be a race featuring vintage race cars. Racing gets under way at 7:30 p.m.
The world's largest one-day drag racing show, Night Under Fire, takes place tomorrow night at Norwalk Raceway. Eight nitro funny cars and six jet dragsters are among the many vehicles racing on the quarter-mile dragstrip. Showtime is 7 p.m. For more information, call 419-668-5555.