Friday night was Kids night at Lakeville and folks of all ages were treated to some great action all night. A HUGE thanks goes out to all the race teams, sponsors, and staff that helped to put together a night for the kids to talk about for years. A special tip of the hat goes out to those drivers that went into the stands to put a big smile on one youngster in particular. A few kids even got to throw the green flag to start some races and we'll try this week to get some others up there that missed their shot. I couldn't believe the number of kids out on the track and having fun. What an awesome sight!
A damn strong field of Late Models rolled into Lakeville this week to put on a great show. If I remember right their feature was slowed by just 2 cautions and there was door to door action to be found throughout the entire field. Well, all except the lead spot. ;-) George Lee hasn't always been known as a guy to actually use the throttle in any position other than on the floor but he showed some great control working through the lapped traffic all night. A couple times he would have to battle Markham for the lead but those battles didn't last long. Lee stepped out front and simply drove away. It was great to see guys like Bond, Canada, Maffet, and Pollock back in action this week. Thanks for the kickass show guys!
The Pure Stock points chase couldn't be any tighter but it almost seems like neither one of these guys wants to win it. Every night this year that Miller or Daugherty has had problems the other one was on the trailer soon after the first one. It's crazy I tell ya. Daugherty would end up with the biggest problem this week with a broken crankshaft. Miller would soon follow him to the pits with a flat tire. I look for Daugherty to return with either a backup car or borrowed engine so this fight ain't over folks. Whoever ends up with the trophy on Friday can sure as hell say they've earned it. Another Pure Stock driver has almost silently slipped his way towards the top of the points list and that's Denny Shear. They call him Mr. Consistency for a reason and lately he's been getting consistently faster. Knocking down a few heat race wins and top fives in the features have been his rewards. While it may be too late for Shear to be a threat for the championship, he's sure as hell made his mark at Lakeville this year.
After avoiding the asphalt stuff all season for the most part, it only took one phone call to get me back out there. Mike Miller called last week with news that he had a ride for Season Championship night at Midvale. Mother Nature wiped out most of his chances to practice in a car he's never strapped into but the veteran didn't seem to be too worried about it. To say he didn't exactly fit into the car comfortably would be a huge understatement but he certainly didn't forget how to get around Midvale in the past year. Watching him run away with the fast heat win brought back some fond memories for sure. The feature started out looking pretty good too but contact with another car would send him to the tail. He was able to work his way back up to 7th when it was over and that's not too damn shabby for his first ride in a borrowed car. Plans were made for him to strap into another borrowed ride this weekend so I wasn't gonna miss this show either. Midvale ended their season with twin 25 lap features and Miller was hungry for a feature win. This car fit him a little better and with a little tweaking on the setup he had a ride he felt comfortable running in either groove. No, it wasn't as comfortable as his old ride but a guy with his experience makes up for alot. Miller would have to settle for 3rd in the heat race but I had no doubts he would be a threat in the features. The first feature showcased the true talent this old fella has too. Avoiding some ugliness early allowed him to smell the front spot and as hungry as he was there would be no stopping him. Not even being spun out by one of those ever popular "green monsters" of Midvale Speedway. Much of the feature would involve door to door action with one of the best in the field and even some lead swaps, but Miller put on one of the best clinics I've ever witnessed when it came to restarts. It didn't matter which lane he was in on the restarts it seemed, Miller was taking at least one trophy home tonight. By the time the checkers flew there was no longer a threat from behind as he cruised across the line all alone. Things were looking great for a sweep of the twin features with a starting spot in the second row for the second feature but the ugliness came with the drop of the green. The front row moved up to the wall and just when it looked like Miller would clear them for the lead that damn "Green Monster" came into the pile with his head up his ass causing one of the other cars to bounce off the wall and put Mike into the front stretch wall hard. That would end his night way too early and ruin an almost certain double win to end the season. It may have taken all season for Miller to pick up his first feature win for 2011 but he did it in just 2 nights of racing and both of those nights in unfamiliar cars. That's what I call one hell of a driver! On a sad note, it didn't take long to go from celebration to a much more somber mood. Sunday morning news came that the owner of the car Mike drove on Saturday night, Ron Jaberg Sr. had passed away. Please keep the Jaberg family in your prayers.