Saturday, March 21, 2009

West Plains Day 1, Beatrice Day 1

On Thursday March 19th, I headed south for my first ever trip to West Plains Motor Speedway in West Plains, Missouri. On this night it was Day 1 of the Justin Stanfill Memorial race for modifieds. Forty-two cars were on hand to try their luck in the track's debut event of the season. Six heat races was the format with the top 4 going to the feature event. Everybody else was left watching from their trailers. The feature lineup was determined straight up from the heat races, with the winner of heat 1 starting on the pole and second heat winner outside. Twenty-five laps seemed to take quite awhile as the feature was slow by many cautions, including four yellows in the first five laps. Early leader Jesse Stovall looked to have a comfortable command on the field until his machine spun around in turn two. This opened the door to Shawn Walsh and Brandon Ball, who together put on a great show for the slim crowd. Side-by-side for several laps, Walsh would get the advantage at the finish. Kevin Blackburn, Jared Landers, and Warren Fender rounded out the top 5.

A few side notes: West Plains must utilize a "free pass" rule as one car spun out before a lap was completed and wound up with a flat tire. Not only did officials wait for him to change it, but he was awarded his starting position back after doing so. This happened twice with the same car! It was a little disappointing to see a twenty-five lap modified feature last an hour. I personally thought the track was in good shape, but cars seemed to spin out every other lap.

On to Friday, March 20th. I woke up early to head northwest to Beatrice, Nebraska for the IMCA Spring Nationals. A lot of perennial IMCA modified competitors were listed as being pre-entered and they definitely did not disappoint! Twelve heats of modifieds followed by six heats of IMCA Sportmods provided plenty of action for the fans. Only the heat race winner advanced to the feature in the modifieds while the top three in the sportmods advanced. Six bmains were run for modifieds and they were just getting ready to start the 2nd of three bmains for the sportmods when the lights went out!! Deja vu for me, as I've witnessed this strange occurrence a few times in my life. Unfortunately, promoter Toby Kruse did not feel as though the problem could be fixed in a timely manner. So it was announced that the show on Saturday will start a little early to get the remaining bmains and features in before starting another complete show.

This is a new experience for me as I'm borrowing a friend's laptop to write this blog, late in the morning as it may be. I have been stubborn in the past in that I told people I didn't need a laptop. But after using it for this blog and a few other documents, a laptop might not be a bad idea after all. Something to ponder later on down the road...

Hopefully Saturday's show and the remaining races from Friday's show will be run in a timely manner so that I won't have to stay up this late again. However, part of this was my own fault for spending time in the pits afterwards talking to racers. Hopefully I can write another blog tomorrow night with results!

Here is the web address for results from Thursday and Friday's races: and click on the appropriate day.

- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!

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