I've said for many years that while it may be nice to see a traveling series such as the Outlaws or Lucas Oil guys come to town once in a while, I'd much rather see our local tracks put on big shows for our own local talent instead. It only makes sense to offer the bigger payouts to those in the area that support the local tracks every week, and there's sure as hell no shortage of talent in this area. Sure the increased payouts tend to bring some different teams in to try for the "easy money" but they usually find that it ain't easy taking one away from some of the best this area has to offer. It just makes the show that more exciting to watch them "earn" that money if they can.
Big sanctioned shows tend to actually hurt the local tracks with the huge fees they demand, and hurt the local fans with the need to increase the cost of admission. Over the years Lakeville has resisted the urge to bring in those expensive sanctioned events and focus more on highlighting those in the area that support all of our local tracks all year long, and I applaud them for that. The Late Model Triple Crown Series is just one example of how they've always seemed to give a little back to those that deserve it while always putting on a great show. This Friday night will be the first event in the series and you don't want to miss it. In recent years some teams may have been a bit shy about making this show due to the reputation Lakeville had for some rough driving and questionable calls. From all I've witnessed this year, I can honestly say those days are over and I think the word is finally getting out there about the "new & improved Lakeville". As a way to even further their show of support for the local guys, the purse has just been increased throughout the entire field including an extra $200 going to the winner. Grandstand prices will also remain the same as a normal show at $12 ($10 for seniors, $5 for ages 13-16) and pit passes will only be increased for this show to $30. Nice move Lakeville!!!
While we're on the subject of Lakeville, they had a great show last Friday night with good clean side by side action all night long. The track was smooth and FAST, the best I've seen it in quite a while. The Late Model feature win was up for grabs almost every lap between the top 4 or 5 cars. Nobody had quite enough to take it away from young Ryan Eddleblute though as he EARNED his first feature win the hard way. With guys like Eicholtz, Gentry, and Duncan breathing down his neck on many restarts he kept his head straight and showed that he could handle the pressure just fine. This kid is gonna be tough from here on out now that he's tasted victory.
One of the best parts of the evening for me had to be seeing those Mopars of Donna Canode and Dave Haven Sr. in the Pure Stocks though. Donna has suffered from mechanical problems all season with her new Dodge but it looked like she was past all that in the heat race. She ran off with the heat race in a car that looked pretty damn happy to be there. That thing was just plain hooked up! Early in the feature she jumped out front and once again started to run away with it but those mechanical gremlins came back to bite her and her night was over. That's when the old timer stepped up to take over. Haven took his Mopar to the front and the rest of the strong field would have to settle for racing for second place from well behind the old fella. He was GONE! Congrats to ya Dave and thanks for putting a Dodge in the Winners Circle!
Photos provided by Lakeville track photographer, Mike Bugg. THANKS Mike!