During the 1970s, some of the biggest races of the year for the late models on the half-mile paved ovals across the Midwest were 100-lap feature events. There were sold-out crowds in the grandstands, and the pits were packed with race cars. The fans came to see if the track regulars could keep the best of the out-of-town racers behind them when the checkered flag flew at the end of 100 laps of racing.
Bringing back the thrills of the 70s tonight, Toledo Speedway holds its first of five 100-lap races in the Gold Cup series in 2006. Fifty race teams have already filed entries for tonight's race. Practice begins at 4:30 this afternoon with time trials set for 6:30 followed by racing at 7:30. Tickets are available on a walk-up basis only at the gate. The box office opens at 4:30 p.m. The track phone number is 419-727-1100.
The Gold Cup series moves solely to Toledo this season, after a long stint as a four-race series between Flat Rock and Toledo speedways. The five race dates for the 100-lap features are tonight; June 2; July 2; July 21, and Aug. 11.
A point system will be put in place for the five events. Royal Truck and Trailer will also award a trip for two, worth a minimum of $2,000 to the first driver that wins two of the 100-lap contests. If no one wins two events, the top five in the final points will go into a random draw for the trip.
Each race will award $2,500 to the winner, with $500 posted to start the contest for the 24-car field. A solid payoff goes down the line, with eighth place paying $1,000. Bonus money is also posted, including the $100 Rumpf Ambulance Fast Qualifier Award, the $50 Burge Wrecking Hard Charger Award, and lap money at $5 per lap for each of the five events.
DETOURS: Toledo Speedway patrons should note that there will be construction on the Alexis Road exit off I-75 throughout the summer months. At times, the exit ramps for southbound and/or northbound I-75 onto Alexis Road will be closed. The following are suggested alternate routes.
Southbound I-75. Exit at Michigan exit 2, Summit Street. Follow Summit Street southbound for approximately three miles to the first stoplight (Shoreland Drive). Turn right (west) on Shoreland straight past the stoplight at Suder Ave. Past Suder Ave., Shoreland Drive turns into Benore Road, and Toledo Speedway will be on the left.
Northbound I-75. Exit at Ohio exit 209, Ottawa River Road. At the first stoplight, turn left (north) onto Suder Avenue. Take Suder Ave. to the first stoplight (Shoreland Drive/Benore Road) and turn left (west) onto Benore. Toledo Speedway will be on the left.
RACING AT ATTICA: One of the favorites in tonight's Attica Raceway Park's World of Outlaws feature race is Findlay's Chad Kemenah.
During his career, Kemenah, who is currently eighth in the World of Outlaws point standings, has won 18 feature races in a 410-winged sprint car at the one-third-mile track.
HE'LL BE MISSED: Michael Elbert "Mike" Miller, former ARCA Figure-8 driver died last Thursday in his home in New Boston. He was 51.