Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway Opens 2012-2013 Winter Blast Season
BY DAVE GRAYSON.
The Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway officially kicked off it 2012-2013 Winter Blast Racing Series on the quarter mile paved oval located at the Colorado River Fairgrounds in Blythe-California. The September 29th season opener treated the fans to racing action from the street stock and factory stock divisions along with a very exciting 100 lap feature from the visiting Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series, presented by 1 800 Loan Mart. This evening of motorized fun was a special gift that was presented to the fans by the Dennys Restaurant in Blythe.
In the street stock 25 lap feature, Blythe driver Kirk Almquist passed Rick Boone on lap three in what would turn out to be his race winning move. But it was not an easy win. At the very same time reigning division champion Chris Vindhurst moved into second. By lap seven, it was a high speed duel between the two drivers who staged a one-two bumper to bumper duel. Unfortunately the tandem broke up on lap 22 when the Vindhurst Chevrolet suddenly snapped around, in the bottom of turn three, and slid backwards into the retaining wall. The driver was uninjured from the hard hit despite the damage to the rear of the car.
Under green flag racing again, Almquist made very fast work of running out the final three laps to score a win on opening night. Keeping it all in the family his Dad, Steve Almquist, followed him under the checkers to take second. Rick Boone followed them across the line to claim third.
In the division's preliminary events, Steve Almquist won the trophy dash and Rick Boone won the eight lap heat race. Kirk Almquist set the fast time in qualifying turning a lap of 16.654 seconds.
In the factory stock main event, reigning champion Tom Nordell served notice that he was looking for a repeat title. At the initial green flag, Nordell came from the outside of the front row, jumped into lead and won the feature race flag to flag. Joe Van Dyke, Ethan Miller, Michael White and Robby Brown completed the top five.
In the division's preliminary events, Tom Nordell won the trophy dash, Michael White won the eight lap heat race and also set the fast time in qualifying with a lap of 17.886 seconds.
The fans that packed the grandstand on this night really loved the 1 800 Loan Mart Topless 100 from the Lucas Oil Modified Racing Series. This fan favorite open wheel regional touring series removed the roofs from their cars which allowed the fans to watch the drivers manhandle these powerful race cars as they passed before the grandstands.
Escondido-California's Austin Barnes put on a dominant performance and led all 100 laps of this race to claim his fourth win of the season. He also reclaimed the lead in the series' points standings and appears to be in very good position to claim that coveted first series' championship.
Jim Mardis, Larry Gerchman, Doug Hamm and Roger Brown completed the top five in a race that was loaded with wheel to wheel, bumper to bumper, excitement during the entire 100 laps.
During the intermission portion of the evening, the speedway honored the top three drivers, from their regular racing divisions, from the 2011-2-12 Winter Blast season. Those drivers receiving trophies and bonus checks included:
Street Stocks: Chris Vindhurst, Rick Boone and Danny Dill.
Factory Stocks: Tom Nordell, Ethan Miller and Dustin Hightower.
Budweiser Modifieds: Jim Mardis, Roger Brown and Randy Ussery.
The top three in the speedway's Legend and Bandolero divisions will be honored on the evening of their next scheduled race, November 24th.
The top three from the Gene Price Motorsports Late Model Series, a dual track title program with the Havasu 95 Speedway, were honored at a September 15th banquet featuring drivers Mike Sutterfield, Rob Munoz and Greg Leith.
Racing returns to the Lucas Oil I 10 Speedway on October 27th featuring the Gene Price Motorsports Late Model Series, the ASA Speed Trucks, Street Stocks and Factory Stocks. For more information regarding the 2012-2013 Winter Blast Racing Series, dial up www.i10speedway.com .