SAN BERNARDINO, California — Say “money.” That’s all that’s necessary to get the undivided attention of short-track stock car racers. And that’s why the Orange Show Speedway competitors are so excited about Saturday’s (August 6) Crazy 8 Night.
"There is a good deal of money to be won courtesy of 1-800LoanMart, the generous sponsor of the most exciting program in years at the ASA-sanctioned oval, and one driver in both the Super Late Model and Late Model class could take home $1,800 of it"
There is a good deal of money to be won courtesy of 1-800LoanMart, the generous sponsor of the most exciting program in years at the ASA-sanctioned oval, and one driver in both the Super Late Model and Late Model class could take home $1,800 of it.
That $1,800 is the bonus 1-800LoanMart is offering to any driver in those classes who can win the pole in qualifying, capture the Trophy Dash and win the main event, provided at least 10 cars start the race. It’s a rarely seen trifecta, and it’s sure to have the drivers and their crews searching for ways to get every bit of speed possible out of their cars.
The schedule for the night is packed, with the Super Late Models, Late Models, Super Stocks, Pony Stocks, Factory Fours and Stock Cars USA competing on the paved quarter-mile, the USA cars and a combined Pony Stock/Factory Four field running separate 15-lap Figure 8 races, a DJ exhibition with six local radio personalities in a 10-lap race in USA cars, and a Drifiting exhibition to round out the evening.
All the excitement won’t be on the track, either. The first 500 fans through the entry gate will receive a gift from 1-800LoanMart, the fan holding a ticket with the DJ race winner’s name will collect $800, and during intermission one person chosen at random will be guaranteed $800 and have a chance to win $25,000.
There will be other activities throughout the evening and radio stations KCXX 103.9 and KFRG 95.1 will add to the excitement by doing live remotes from the speedway.
Entry gates will open at 5 p.m. and the first Trophy Dash is scheduled for 7 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $12 for seniors (65 and over), students (13 to 18) with identification and active military personnel with identification. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Parking is $5 with entry through Gate 4 off Mill Street.
The favorites for the $1,800 bonuses, if there are any, would seem to be Matt Hicks and Brandon Loverock.
Hicks, a 24-year-old sheet metal worker from Lakeside, has dominated Super Late Model qualifying, winning five of the six poles, and has two main event victories. He’ll have plenty of competition, though. Points leader Mark Shackleford, an insurance appraiser from Riverside, won the most recent race, on July 16. Landscape/hardscape contractor John Manke, from Ramona, has captured two Trophy Dashes and two main events. And Travis Stockman made his first appearance of the year July 16 and ended Hicks’ stranglehold on qualifying.
Loverock, a 34-year-old from Highland whose Rock Solid Design makes race car decals, has taken a comfortable lead in the Late Model standings by winning five of the six main events and has been the qualifying pace-setter three times in six tries. He won’t lack for competition, either. Class rookie Jesse James Lawson, a auto repair and tire shop co-owner from Big Bear City, has won a main event and a Trophy Dash and made himself a factor in the division. Matt Goodwin, a fabricator from Wildomar, has two poles and is a consistent front-runner. Two-time class champion Jim Conklin, a hot rod and collision repair shop owner from Big Bear City, has a Trophy Dash win and is another consistent threat. And rookie Jeremy Perez, a mechanic from Chino, has won two Trophy Dashes and shown speed each race.
Brothers Tim and Kenny Smith are making the trip from Bakersfield to join the fray, Tim in a Late Model and Kenny in a Super Late, and both were winners here last season. There probably will be others following the lure of the money, too, since there is a second bonus possibility if the trifecta proves unreachable. In that case 1-800LoanMart will pay $800 to anyone winning the Trophy Dash and main event.
The winner of the Super Stock main event will also be in line for an $800 bonus, if there at least 10 starters, and every driver who starts one of the Figure 8 races and completes at least 5 laps will take home $100.
The Pony Stock and Factory Four drivers got together July 16 for a 12-lap Figure 8 race that Pony driver Darrell Kelsoe won over Factory Four drivers Dan French and Dwayne Blay. All three have indicated they’ll race again Saturday in a field that could number 20 cars or more.
There’s also a possibility that the night could produce a four-time winner. It wouldn’t be a driver, though, it would be his car. Dave Foster, a Riverside auto repair shop owner, was one of the founders of the Stock Cars USA class, which originally featured cars painted like memorable NASCAR Sprint Cup entries, and drove his Budweiser/KFC Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the USA Figure 8 championship in 2009. Saturday night, that Darrell Waltrip-tribute car could be in the winner’s circle after the USA Trophy Dash, oval track main event, Figure 8 race and DJ exhibition.
Maybe Foster would like to do a little Drifting, too, just for fun.