Clovis, California’s A J Russell won a 40 lap feature, flag to flag, at the Orange Show Speedway October 1st in San Bernardino. The event was a special appearance by Davey Hamilton’s SRL Wild West Shootout Super Modified Racing League. It was the series’ first, and only, appearance of the 2004 racing season on the Orange Show’s quarter mile oval.
Three caution flags disrupted the winner’s race rhythm. The first came on the second lap of the race when a piece of metal flew off one of the cars and landed in the middle of turn four. The second flag came on lap 18 when Harry Stone spun in turn four. The final yellow flew in the air on lap 24 and turned out to be a huge break for two of the drivers in the top five. Mike Ford spun on the backstretch and, a fraction of a second later, Jim Birges and series points leader Troy Regier touched wheels and spun in turn one. It was determined by series officials that the yellow actually came out for Ford’s spin and there was no caution thrown because of the turn one incident that followed. Because of that Birges and Regier were reinstated to their original fourth and fifth positions.
Ken Hamilton, the father of the series’s creator, chased the leader for the entire 40 laps and followed Russell across the line for a very close second. San Martin’s Bobby Dalton was third while Birges and Regier rounded out the top five following their lucky dog pass coming off the final caution flag.
Despite the flawless performance of a well turned race car, Russell confessed that he had some major concerns during the final ten laps. “We had a bad vibration in the car during the final ten laps and it felt like the drive line was going out,” he said adding “everything was so fast about this race tonight. Usually lapped traffic becomes a factor in our races but everyone was really quick tonight and it was a great race.”
18 year old Bobby Dalton’s third place finish was especially noteworthy because of the unusual circumstances that brought him to this racing series to begin with. Dalton won his sleek super modified racer in a raffle. At the time he was only 16 and didn’t even have a driver’s license. When asked what he planned to do with his grand prize Dalton insisted that he was going to drive the car himself. The young man displayed a great deal of maturity during the Orange Show event and held his own in a field of seasoned open wheel veterans.
The ground shaking, thunder making, power of the super modifieds completely wiped out the stillness of a early fall evening in San Bernardino. The grandstand literally shook, around the quarter mile oval, when he field came down the front stretch. The hot rubber marbles flew off of the Hoosier Tires and went high into the air. A large piece of plexyglass was installed on the flagman’s stand to provide him a little extra protection.
Prior to qualifying it was announced that the fastest any driver had ever toured the Orange Show Speedway, since the tracks remodeling approximately two years ago, was 13.5 seconds. That record was shattered by literally every driver in the Super Modified Racing Series field. The new record was set by Regier who toured the Orange Show at 11.359 seconds. The fast qualifying, and race, speeds were largely due to the small and/or big block, fuel injected, power plants that measured anywhere from 454 to 488 cubic inches. It’s no wonder that the cars in this series are referred to as land rockets.
The performance of the series drew high praise from “Statman” the host of “Speed Freaks” which is seen nationally each week on the Speed Channel as well as heard on a national radio network. “Statman” was in the San Bernardino area on his latest racing trip and did a guest appearance in the Orange Show announcer’s booth.
Most of all the series got a huge roar of approval from the large Orange Show crowd who spent the majority of the 40 lap main event refusing to sit in the seats they paid for. Don’t be too surprised if Davey Hamilton’s Super Modified Racing Series makes more appearances at the Orange Show Speedway in 2005.
KARR CLAIMS LATE MODEL PRO STOCK FEATURE AT THE ORANGE SHOW
BY DAVE GRAYSON
Redlands, California’s Barry Karr was the big winner in the October 1st 40 lap feature at the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino. Karr led all 40 laps in the ASA Pro Stock Late Model feature held on a special Friday evening of racing on the Orange Show’s quarter mile oval.
Karr presented the fans with a dominating performance that was only interrupted by two yellow caution flags. The first came on lap four when Jimmy Rouse spun in turn four after being tapped in the rear bumper by Richard Hooper. On the restart Karr quickly opened up a lead that he stretched to a half lap over the entire field only to see it disappear on lap 28 when John Kelley spun in turn two. However, it was Karr’s night to shine and he again established his dominance and ran away from the field again during the final 12 laps.
Highland’s John Mattee was second followed by San Bernardino’s Steve Smith who had an impressive debut in his brand new late model ride. Dan Digiammarino and Richard Hooper finished third and fourth while Kelley recovered from the late race spin to round out the top five.
In victory lane Karr made some interesting comments that indicated he wanted to sell his winning race car when he said “we were still a little slow tonight and it could be better. Maybe someone will come out and buy it tonight but I don’t think it’s fast enough yet.”
The ASA Pure Stocks, always a fan favorite at the Orange Show, was also in action during this special Friday show. John Mattee, who was doing double driving duty in both the Pure Stocks and Late Models, appeared to have the 35 lap feature well in hand. However, on lap 27, Mattee’s car began to slow and the often terminal blue smoke began to appear from the back of the car.
With Mattee’s dominating performance terminated, the lead was handed over to Grand Terrace’s Brian Malone who ran out the final eight laps to claim his sixth win of the year. Paul Vitale, Justin Goode, Johnny “Big Dawg” Betzer and “Shakin” Blake Uliston completed the top five.