Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mahlberg Wins Rain-Shortened Night in Harlan

A beautiful, yet hot day was in store for a couple of my buddies and I as we ventured west to the Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa. It would be the first time my friends had been to Harlan. We arrived probably an hour before hot laps, and while sitting in the stands the sun was beating down on us without mercy. Sweat pouring from our arms and foreheads.

As the hot laps and heat races got going a cloud arrived and cooled things off to a more comfortable situation. Later on that cloud turned into a few more clouds and lightning was seen off to the north as the skies darkened. I thought it appeared it would stay to the north and we'd be in good shape to get the races in. Apparently I need to go to weather school because that wasn't the case later.

The IMCA sport compacts made their way to the track with eight cars taking the green flag. Taylor Griffin would hold down the lead in the opening laps, but he would get passed on the inside by Jason Kroeger on lap three. Kroeger's time out front was short-lived as well as Caine Mahlberg got by two laps later. Mahlberg would continue on to pick up the win. He was followed across the line by Jamie Mahlberg, Jason Kroeger, Tom Summerfield, and Jesse Totten. I believe I got the Mahlberg's in correct order, but if not I apologize as even the announcer was caught off guard by the duo switching cars apparently.

During that feature my friends and I were paying more attention to the skies rather then the racing. It appeared clouds were starting from the ground and moving up before taking off in different directions. None of us had ever seen anything like it. The IMCA hobby stock feature rolled out onto the track and may have made one pace lap before the flagman yelled out "Get out of here!!" As we exited the grandstands a fireman outside the front gate mentioned the possibility of a tornado. We sprinted towards the car and headed out of town. We never heard if a tornado was indeed spotted, but a severe thunderstorm warning was in effect. Fortunately we only ran across a brief downpour until we got up towards Denison.

Despite the unfortunate weather bumming us out, my friends really enjoyed their first trip to the Shelby County Speedway. The track was lightning fast as usual and would have provided some great racing action if it could have continued. Unfortunately I don't think we'll be making the trip back next week as we have other plans, but if you're in the area be sure to get your money's worth as they'll have double features in most classes I'm sure. For more information, be sure to log on to the Shelby County Speedway website.

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

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