Racin' Around Ohio
By Bob Cundiff
May 4, 2005 - What in the name of Frosty is going on? One weekend snow
is the only winner in Ohio and the very next; the big winner is a "Snowman".
In this case however the Snowman was behind the wheel of the Burmeister
Water Hauling #16. Lee Jacobs got the name "Snowman" from his buddy AJ
Sleek, the reason being that Lee spent so much time in Jim Fords soft walls
that the styrofoam looked like snow flying. But Saturday night, with temperatures
cold enough to sustain a real snowman, Lee battled his father Kenny (finished
third), and uncle Dean (led 17 laps before blowing a motor), and then held
off a fast closing Greg Wilson to win his second career 410 feature event.
For the Burmeister family, it was their first 410 win and being from
the Fremont area, they were thrilled that it came at "the track that action
built". Another thrilling aspect of the win was that Lee didnt have to
phone his dad from victory lane like he did a couple of years ago when
he won his first 410 feature. As Lee so aptly put it, "Im so glad my dad
was here to see me win, and he had a great view, from behind me!"
Nice to see both the Jacobs and Burmeisters have some good fortune after
a rough off season and opening weekend with the All Stars at Attica.
While Lee was openly exuberant in victory lane, the 305 winner was somewhat
less animated. Bill Kraylik did manage was a quick thrust of his arms into
the air, which he seemed almost embarrassed to do. While perhaps a man
of little action in victory lane, his actions on the track spoke volumes.
In absolutely dominating fashion, the soft-spoken Kraylik owned the
bottom of the track and led throughout the 25 lap main event. He was so
good that he nearly lapped the field as only six other cars joined him
on the lead lap and the only ones close to him were those next few about
to be lapped.
This night was quite a reversal in fortune from his last time on the
track at Attica on April 16th when he clipped an inside tire marker. The
result of that faux pas broke the front end of his #71 and sent him helpless
up the track and into the path of Brad Keckler who t-boned him. The result
of that accident proved costly to both car and body. While a trip to the
emergency room found no major damage, a chipped bone and sprained wrist
would have kept him out of action last week and forced him to wear a brace
while racing this week. I doubt he would want to go through another rough
ride like that, but at least there was some payback for him this week.
Another case of good things happening to good folk.
Thinking out loud usually gets me into trouble, but.
It took a little luck and a lot of efforts to even get the races in
on Saturday night. Friday showers and a miserable week prior shut down
most everywhere else. I even went through a small shower on the way to
the track from my home in Bucyrus. But somehow they got the race in and
37 410s and 40 305s filled the pits. Sharon, KC, Limaland and Mercer did
not fare as well.
Attica tried to make a go of it on Friday night. I would have thought
it wasnt possible, but again, an obvious abundance of work got the track
ready. The surface was fast and racy and the field of cars in the pits
was outstanding. Forty-three 410s and 31 305s were on hand including such
travelers as Craig Keel, Jack Sodeman Jr, Corey Bevard, and Cameron Dodson.
A number of All Stars were on hand as well with the traveling series being
off this weekend. Rob Chaney, Brock Mayes and Kenny Jacobs proved the power
of the All Stars with heat wins and heat four was rolling along just fine
until a series of wrecks slowed down the pace in heat four. The worst of
the three was a big nasty taken by Doug Stanley who got into Ron Blair
and went a flipping down the front stretch. While they cleaned up from
the last red flag period, the rains started to fall and forced a cancellation.
Eldora managed to get their USAC event in on Saturday as well, and they
too were fortunate because a rain shower hit the area just prior to racing.
Action was good there and Jay Drake garnered a win but on the way to the
gold, he had a slide job go astray and destroyed Charlie Browns 99 car.
The driver Todd Kane apparently broke his hand as well. Another local,
Jimmy Stinson, wound up bringing out a red as well.
Hats off to the likes of Rob Chaney who won a heat at Attica on Friday
and then finished second at Eldora Saturday night after starting tenth
in the feature. A tip of the cap to Cameron Dodson as well. Dodson ran
at Attica on Friday night and then towed to Farmington, MO for their Saturday
show. That is some 575 miles from Attica.
Speaking of Farmington, they were supposed to host an All Star show
on Saturday night but Guy Webb of the All Stars postponed that show until
August 20th. I cant speak for Webb, but can only assume that in addition
to a dismal forecast, the failure to book a second show in the area for
his troops to run had to play roles in the postponement. The new date is
a better one anyhow, coming on the heels of the Thunder through the plains.
While we are on the All Star subject. A couple of changes in their schedule
find Wayne County without a date for this years Speedweek. Originally there
were to be two All Star shows at Wayne County with the first on May 28th
being a date that Webb was leasing the track I believe. Well, something
fell apart there, and now the Monday Speedweek show is at Zanesville rather
than Wayne County. Thats gonna make it tough for this old timer who is
trying to work and do all of Speedweek. Zanesville is 50 miles further
from home than the Orrville oval. Also, the Muskingum Speedway is notorious
for dragging out shows. Please, no more than one support division during
Speedweek. They typically run five divisions at Muskingum.
Craig Keel was in town for the two northern Ohio shows from his Weedsport,
NY home. He came to the area to pick up some motor work from Fremont miracle
worker, Paul Kistler.
Rodney Duncan made his season debut, driving the De Genzman owned #53.
Rodney was last seen turning wrenches for Cameron Dodson at Attica. Chad
Levingston made his season debut as well.
Does anyone else remember what Dean Jacobs had to say when he won the
dash during Speedweek at Fremont? Remember how he talked about not liking
Fremont because he likes the fast tracks and Fremont is not fast, according
to Dean. He was soundly booed that night and got the same treatment this
past weekend. Fremont fans are rabid about their track and when the announcers
were going through the "who do you think is gonna win" routine, when Deans
name was spoken, the crowd jeered! Then for 17 laps Dean led at Fremont
Saturday night. While I was happy to see Lee win, wouldnt it have been
interesting to hear what Dean would have had to say, and how the fans would
have reacted to a Dean win? Just a thought.
The weekend upcoming should be awesome for racing with comfortable temperatures
for a change. Attica, Sharon and KC will be running their regular shows.
Limaland will be paying out a little bonus for their 360s with the "Run
for the Rabbitt", a $2,000 to win NRA event. The All Stars are back in
action, as they will be heading to Fremont on Saturday night. The SODbusters
will open their season at high speed Hartford and then off to Crown Point
for a first ever appearance. The World of Outlaws are at Lake of the Ozarks
and then at Granite City, Illinois. USAC meanwhile, will be in Wisconsin.
Ill be doing Attica and Fremont myself, hope to see you at a track somewhere,
say hello, and if youre from the Toledo area, tape the replay of the Fremont
races on BCSN for me. Ill make it right by you.