Tonight was the second attempt to run the Modified Mayhem show at Hilltop and that damn Mother Nature rolled in just before the heat races were to be lined up, ending the show. It will be rescheduled once again, and that information will be posted when it's been finalized.
Ohio Sprint Speedweek has seen it's share of shitty weather this past week too. As of tonight, they've had 3 shows rained out including tonight's show at Limaland Speedway. Mother Nature was kind enough on Tuesday night to let them get in a great show at Hilltop. The overflowing crowd was treated to a field of 48 top notch Sprints and 27 or so Super Late Models. The field of Sprints was made up of guys like Blaney, Shaffer, Blonde, Kinser, and of course the Jacobs clan, just to name a few. Randy Hannagan set fast time at 13.201 and went on to pick up the feature win with Reed and Blaney hot on his tail for much of the race. Was it dusty Tuesday night? You bet your ass it was! Was it as bad as the recent Lucas Oil show at Hilltop? Not even close. Strangely enough, of the nearly 30 people I talked with about the race since Tuesday night, only 2 of them even mentioned the dust until I brought it up. Hmmm,, to read comments from an online forum, you'd swear it was the dustiest show ever seen on dirt. One has to wonder a bit about the agenda of at least one poster though. Imagine that. Anybody that has actually been at Hilltop the past few weeks knows that the track has been pretty damn good with very minimal dust since the Lucas show. Now to be perfectly honest, it was pretty damn dusty Tuesday and yes it could have been better, but I've seen much worse dust on a regular show at other tracks, as I think we all have. Hell even the asphalt guys I was standing with much of the night didn't bitch, and you know those guys don't like to get dirty! ;-) I think the proof is in the end results. Those Sprint guys were turning some very quick laps in the feature, even in traffic. The 40 laps were also only slowed by a few cautions. I guess they could see something the bleacher creatures couldn't. ;-) As for the Late Models, all I can say is DAMN! Doug Drown put on a clinic for anybody interested in getting around Hilltop in a hurry. George Lee may have set fast time in qualifying but Drown showed all night just how fast a smooth lap can be. That was purrrrrrty!
Last Friday night at Hilltop it was probably the Pure Stocks that put on the best show of the night. Lee ran off and hid in the Late Model feature, Hartman picked up another win in the Mods, and that damn Craver kid continued his perfect win streak for the season in the trucks. More on that shortly. As for the Pure Stocks, this is the class that some said would turn into nothing but Cruisers with the new rules. RIGHT! Somebody should explain that to guys like Snyder, Anderson, and Gardner, who are now all fighting for a top five, much less a win on any given night. Guys like Mayer, Shaffer, Sharier, Wolford, and the rest all want a piece of the action lately, and they've put on some great shows. Friday night it was Gardner holding off Anderson and very hard charging Roger Drouhard for the win. Yes, Roger has dusted of that old #66 Camaro, and DAMN did he look good! Roger may not have turned many laps in recent years, but he sure as hell hasn't lost anything in the talent department. This guy can wheel a car at any track and I hope like hell to see him more often at Hilltop.
On a sad note, Hilltop lost one of their most dedicated racers last Friday night when Mike Duncan died from a heart attack he suffered at the end of the Modified B-Main race. Mike will certainly be missed and plans are in the works at Hilltop for some sort of a memorial event for his family. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers during this tough time.
Now, back to that Brandon Craver guy. It seems that his win streak has some of his competition crying foul, and they swear he's given some sort of advantage. Some even believe he's running a full blown Draime Racing engine since his dad works there and all. Sure he had some help from his dad, and I have to believe that engine was put together right, but do you seriously think Draime would spend the time to mess with a 4.3 truck engine on a budget? The advantage I see (and have seen for a few years now) is the talent and dedication Brandon has. He's not one to bring the truck home from the track and leave it on the trailer until next week or next season. He learned from his championship winning father that winning doesn't come easy, and you have to work at it. His old man didn't win those championships because of the power plant. He won them by working hard each week, and his natural talent did the rest. Watch how smooth Brandon is on even the roughest of tracks, and you'll find his biggest "advantage". This young fella is the poster child for smooth/patient driving on dirt. To help quiet the controversy, Brandon himself has offered to waive his earned feature starting spot on any given night, and take any starting spot designated to him, even if that's the tail. If you think that sounds cocky, you simply don't know Brandon. If you think that sounds like he wants to give somebody else a win, you really don't know the Cravers. This is a racing family and you'll have to earn a win from any one of them. I think Brandon might just be looking for a good challenge for himself to see if he can pull off the win from any starting spot. Any bets?? ;-)
Saturday night action was ended early at Midvale last week as Mother Nature stopped by with plenty of ugly weather. They were able to get qualifying and some of the heat races in before the shit rolled in though. For the second week in a row Mike Miller turned in the fastest qualifying lap, and ya just gotta love that! After some chubby old fart rolled a pretty ugly number for the inversion, I was almost relieved to see the rain come. (I guess I won't be heading to Vegas anytime soon with luck like that.) Mike would have started 14th in the feature but the rains washed that away for now. This week will be a whole new show and another opportunity for a better roll. It's also another chance to find that "extra something" that's still missing from the car to make it perfect. Something tells me that Mother Nature may have other plans for our Saturday night, but we'll see.