With the entire Midwest under an Excessive Heat Warning
Friday, the ARCA Allgiant Air Gold Cup went on as scheduled at Toledo
on Friday. Harold Fair Jr. won the race.
It was the temperature and high heat indices
that was the story prior to the race. At qualifying it was 96 degrees and a
heat index of 105 according to the National Weather Service. The race was
scheduled to start just after 7:30 with a temperature of 95 degrees and an heat
index of 103 but it was put on hold about a half hour while several heat
induced medical emergencies occurred on pit road and were taken care of by the
When the cars took to the frontstretch about
8:15, the temperature had dropped to 90 degrees but the heat index was still
103. Luckily for drivers and the sparse crowd that braved the heat, a light
cloud cover appeared in time for the start of the race. At the halfway point
the drivers all came down pit road and ARCA officials provided them with water
(no work was allowed) by this time the temperature had dropped to 87 degrees
and a heat index of 98. At race end it was 84 with a heat index of 93, because
of the high oppressive humidity.
Now for the race ...
Harold Fair Jr., won his second consecutive Gold Cup race
and the win put him alone at the top of career Gold Cup wins with 12. Although
Dakota Carlson could keep up with Fair Jr. for several laps after a caution,
Harold quickly built his lead. At the end he beat Carlson by over a
straightaway. “It was pretty good. The car never went away, on rails all night.
I pretty much was only driving it at 50-60 percent ... why drive harder if I
could stay in the lead. I have a lot people to thank, Carl (Baumgardner) from Royal
Truck and Trailer, Jim from Performance Engine, Terry with Senneker
Performance, my Dad (Harold Sr.), ARS Shocks, my wife and kids, Katelyn, Max
and Luke, Port City Keyser, think that’s everyone. It was a fun one for me, but
a rather warm one,” said Fair Jr.
Dakota Carleson, finished a career second place
(tied). “The car was loose the first 50 laps ... and went the other direction
the second half and got very tight. Then the brake bias got stuck and my brakes
were pretty much gone by the end. If we could ever keep our stagger I think
we’d have something. I could half stay with Harold (Fair Jr.) for a few laps
after the caution. I’m looking forward to Flat Rock’s 150 in a few weeks,” said
the driver of the Performance Engineering, Tony LeClair Racing #8.
Chad Guinn posted his second consecutive third
place finish. “We were just riding around, taking our time. Thought the car
would come in a little better ... we started out too low with the tire
pressures and it didn’t come in,” said the driver of the PB Fabrication,
M&M Heating and Cooling, M&M Recycling, CGS Imaging #0.
Finished fourth was Nick Grode, who returned to
the series after missing the last couple of races. “We’ve been running the Main
Event series and were not able to make the last couple shows. “We were doing
pretty good out there until towards the end the car got too tight. I want to
thank my sponsors, Dick Crown Racing, Offshore
Trailer Wiz, The Delp Co., Productive Tools
and Equipment, Warpaint Decals and Posters, Interstate Batteries.
Dennis Strickland finished fifth and at the end
of the race felt lucky to be there. “The oil pressure gauge was showing 100
pounds and it should only be about 60 (pounds). I wasn’t sure if it was the
gauge or the engine, so we had to pedal it down to make sure we got to the end.
Also the car wasn’t handling the best. Even with the car off, the gauge is
still showing 40 (pounds),” said Strickland.
Going into the race, Claude
Plante Jr. was leading the points. He led the first 25 laps
but then he began dropping back with a sick engine. He was planning on coming
in on lap 37 to check it out but never got there. In turn three of lap 36 he
and Jack Varney Jr. (his cousin) tangled. Claude got the worse of it with his
Precisionwerx, DTS, High Performance Motorsports, RJS, Newby Race Engines, Vans
Tire #16 receiving extensive front-end damage. “It was a valve spring and I was
on my way in when we crashed. I’m done for the rest of the year, I don’t have
the money to fix all that’s damaged,” said the very dejected driver. It was the
second race in a row that the driver leading the points before the race wrecked
and didn’t finish the race (thus losing the points lead).
It’s not said very often that thankfully that
part broke on the race car. For Lori Bunge-Hall, it was just that. She broke
the oil pressure switch, and the car stopped on the track. The lucky part to
the whole thing is the bolt on her panard bar was coming loose and that
could’ve caused a lot bigger problem for Lori and the rest of the drivers. Lori
becomes only the second female driver to race in the Gold Cup, Heather Williams
was the other driver.
On Saturday night, Lori finally put all her bad
luck behind her and was able to finish her first feature of the year.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
And Saturday at Flat Rock, where the
temperatures come race time was more or less back down to an average July day.
Paul Pelletier won his third Super Late Model
feature at Flat Rock this year. ”It’s been a struggle for the us the last
couple week, but hopefully it’s been a good show for the fans. There’s a lot of
great guys out here. It’s all about the timing on the restarts with the double
file restarts and the cone over in turn three-four now. I want to thank my
sponsors Fraza Forklifts, Dusty's Collision, Exotic Automation, First
Impressions Cement, ABC Plumbing, Berringer Law, Duane's Roadrunner's.”
Eric Lee had a tire going down but hung on to
finish second. And I still owe a correction for his sponsors from the Spartan
race... Eric’s sponsors are: Action Drywall Service, Arrow Uniform Rental,
D&E Landscaping, Lee Motorsports Auto Sales, Whitney's Collision, Powertran
Transformers, Applied Roofing, Z Corporation.
Dennis Strickland finished third said his car
was good but not good enough to get to Paul…it was tight, he changed something
on the car just before the race and it was not the right move. But the
points difference did not change and the #90 is still 35 in the lead,” said the
driver of the Canton Tree & Cement, Strategy One Computers, Victory
Christian Fellowship, Trenton Forging, Giles Auto Body #90 in an email.
Derrick Sheppard won his second career Super
Late Model race, his first of the season.
Scott Pemberton won his heat race, his first
career checkered flat at Flat Rock. He would like to thank A1 Auto Parts and
Kyle Worley led most of the Street Stock A
division. “These races get tougher and tougher out here. We got the car about
an hour before we had to leave. Frank (Jiovani) raced me clean,” said the
“It’s been a rough start to the
year but I am glad to be racing again. I couldn’t do it without the help of
some really great people, The Bolt On Speed Shop, Dr. Richard Strong DDS,
Thompson Automotive,Budget Tire, Lou's Wolverine Transmissions ... also the
help from Danny Dow for tuning the motor all night long. The biggest help is
from mom and dad too,” Thanks for the message Kyle.
Grant Hedges finished third. “"Great night
of racing tonight! It takes more then some crazy heat to scare off the Flat
Rock fans! Had a lot of fun tonight, and it meant a lot to have a good run in
front of my grandma, who is here all the way from Arizona! Hope all of the fans enjoyed the
race, and lap after lap of side by side action! Looking forward to the
100-lapper next weekend!" Thanks for the email Grant!
Fourth place went to Landon
Schuster. “It took it a while for the car to come in. We’ve
had a rather rough year and I have high hopes for next week. Our car runs much
better on the longer races.”
Fifth went to Scott Selmi. “It was a handful,
this whole year the car’s been a handful. We’re getting closer, but wrestling
the car wears me out.”
Selmi has the best average finish (in the top
ten) of the Street Stock drivers with 3.6. He has five third place finishes and
two fifths. Jiovani and Clyde McKee are tied for next in line with 3.8.
Mel Worley made his first start in 10-years
“Kyle’s borrowed Ray Coop’s car the last couple week and we brought it in case
is #15 problems. I figured I’d go out and have fun and then if he needed it, he
could drive it.”
Welcome back to Lonnie York who returned to
racing after skipping last year. His sponsor is All Good Contracting.
Robbie Loving won the Figure 8 feature. “It was
a good battle with all the guys out there. I’m just happy to win. After the
last red I had a tire going down or something was broke in the rear end. I want
to thank my sponsors, The Motivational Cowboy, RJS, Leppen Chiropractor,
Flo-Air, Blossom Florist, my family, crew and car owner, Robby Martel. I
just jerked the wheel when the 21 (Scott Apperson) spun as we came down to the
checkered and hoped I missed him,” said Loving.
If anyone has anything they want to send me for
the the column send it by Wednesday after the race and I'll add it to my
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