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Published: Saturday, 9/29/2012

Drivers ready to tackle fast Toledo Speedway

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The season finale at Toledo Speedway may not be the biggest of the outlaw Super Late Model races, but Brad Rogers believes it's one of the more competitive ones.

Rogers, a driver from Mooresville, N.C., made the trek to Toledo to take part in today's Great Lakes Helicopter Glass City 200.

"I'm from the south, and it's funny because we've read about what the drivers are doing up here, and they read about what we're doing in the south," Rogers said. "So I'm excited to drive against the field."

Rogers will drive for the Toledo-based PB Fabrication team and will compete today in his third Glass City 200. Two years ago he finished third, but last year he finished 26th, the result of a crash and mechanical problems.

Rogers was one of two drivers to take part in track testing Wednesday and Friday at Toledo Speedway, joining Brent Jack, a driver from Angola, Ind.

Jack explained that during the course of a season, he typically competes in 100-lap races, and that driving in the Glass City 200 doesn't just come with prestige — it also comes with a certain strategy that aims to preserve both the car and the driver.

"Don't run as hard in the first 100 laps," Jack said. "Stay out of trouble and don't take chances. In the second 100 laps, go hard."

As of Friday afternoon, 32 drivers were on the entry list for the Glass City 200, and this year's field will include Harold Fair, Jr., who won the 2008 and 2010 Glass City 200 championship, and J.R. Roahrig, who set the track record of 14.718 seconds in the 2011 Glass City 200. Charlie Schultz, who set a lap record of 12.389 in 2011 in a winged Sprint car, will also be part of the field.

In a field primarily made up of drivers from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, Moore isn't the only driver making the long-distance trek to Toledo. Scott Mulkern, a driver from Falmouth, Maine, is also on the entry list for this year's Glass City 200, which carries a purse of more than $50,000, in addition to more than $5,000 in contingency awards.

"It's always a good race, with a lot of good drivers," Jack said. "And it's a competitive field. I've been running with a lot of these same guys all year."

The half-mile oval has hosted racing almost every weekend this season, including the ARCA Racing Series' Menards 200 in May.

"It's a fast, nice, smooth race track with good grip," Rogers said.

Jack agreed — the track's biggest asset was its speed.

The testing was key not only for track familiarity, but also for familiarity with the car and with the practice of driving, as Rogers hasn't raced since last season.

"We need practice in the car, and I need time to practice," Rogers said.

The track will also host a 40-lap Sportsman invitational and a 30-lap race on the quarter-mile oval for the "X" cars, preceding the 200-lap Late Model invitational.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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