Daily Archive: August 17, 2014

Aug 17

Swindell hops into seat, drives to win in SuperChevyStores.com 100

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Kevin Swindell is surrounded by folks from Friendly Chevrolet of Springfield. Swindell won the SuperChevyStores.com 100.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Kevin Swindell wasn’t sure what he was doing this weekend, but he didn’t plan on racing.

That changed when Venturini Motorsports’ Billy Venturini called and offered him a chance to drive the No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota on the one-mile dirt track in Springfield, Illinois. Swindell accepted the offer early Wednesday morning and took the team to victory lane Sunday afternoon.

“This is awesome,” Swindell said. “They gave me a great car and did a lot of work on it. I’m so thankful for the chance to take this car to victory lane.”

It wasn’t easy – and Swindell’s beat-up race car after the race was proof. He hit a wall during practice, and had a few hits on the track during the race. But, the Venturini team fixed it at every chance.

“They kept beating and banging on the car during the pit stops and the car was good,” Swindell said. “Luckily, the hits weren’t too hard and didn’t do a lot of damage. It didn’t really affect the car.”

Swindell led 21 laps, taking the lead for good on lap 89 of the 100-mile, 100-lap Central Illinois SuperChevyStores.com 100. He held off ARCA Racing Series point leader Mason Mitchell, who got stronger at the end of the race, zipping from seventh to second over the final dozen laps. In doing so, he maintained his series point lead over Grant Enfinger, who led the most laps and finished third.

“I knew we were going to be there at the end,” Mitchell said.  “I was digging real hard, trying to get everything I could get. We had a little something there at the end, but not enough for the 15.”

Enfinger was running his first dirt track race since 2011 and was pleased with his finish. He led 33 laps, compared to 31 for Mitchell.

“I knew Pickle (crew chief Ryan London) would give me a good car,” Enfinger said. “In practice I didn’t offer him much feedback, I just was content to let him set up the car. I’ll take third place for sure. This GMS Racing Team just keeps working hard every race. I’m excited now, going to DuQuoin in a couple weeks.”

The race took 1 hour and 17 minutes to complete and was delayed by nearly an hour as crews from the fairgrounds and Track Enterprises – the race promoter – worked on prepping the track after heavy rains hit the Springfield area Saturday.

When qualifying was rained out, it forced the fastest car in practice – the No. 16 of Kelly Kovski – to start 27th. Within four laps the Springfield, Ill. native was in the top 10 and he took the lead momentarily in fact.

“I’m comfortable driving like that, driving on a dirt track,” Kovski said. “I knew I had to go early to make up all of the track position that was lost from not qualifying. I got caught up in one of those restarts and lost several spots. I didn’t come here to finish second or sixth, though, I came to win, so that’s a little disappointing.”

Shane Cockrum was another of the fast cars that started near the back. He came from 29th to ninth.

“That was a lot of fun out there,” said Cockrum, who lives in nearby Benton, Ill. “I got banged up a little bit. I think I was a sandwich for several cars out there. But, I’ll get my body guy working on the car and we’ll be ready for DuQuoin.”

The No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota of Frank Kimmel finished fourth with his nephew Will Kimmel fifth in the No. 69 Messina’s Ford. Kovski was sixth in the Billingsley Towing-Fire & Ale-Schluckbier Chevrolet, Justin Boston seventh in the ZLOOP Toyota, Kenny Schrader eighth in the Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet and SCOTT Rookie Austin Wayne Self in the AM Technical Solutions Dodge was 10th and the highest finishing rookie of the race.

James Swanson finished a career best-14th in the No. 0 Wayne Peterson Racing Dodge, despite pitting only once for fuel only. He led four laps, the first four laps he’s led of his career.

“Pit strategy worked out for us for once,” Swanson said. “Plus, Hoosier gave us a great racing tire – good enough that we could go all 100 laps on it. It was a good race.”

The race had six cautions for 32 laps.

The ARCA Racing Series goes next to Madison (Wisc.) International Speedway for the Herr’s Live Life With Flavor 200. The race will be live on CBS Sports Network at 2 p.m. CT, Sunday, August 24.

Central Illinois SuperChevyStores.com 100

Springfield

Sunday

  1. Kevin Swindell (Germantown, TN) Toyota, 2. Mason Mitchell (West Des Moines, Iowa) Ford, 3. Grant Enfinger (Fairhope, AL) Chevrolet, 4. Frank Kimmel (Clarksville, IN) Toyota, 5. Will Kimmel (Sellersburg, IN) Ford, 6. Kelly Kovski (Springfield) Chevrolet, 7. Justin Boston (Baltimore) Toyota, 8. Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO) Chevrolet, 9. Shane Cockrum (Benton) Ford, 10. Austin Wayne Self (Austin, TX) Dodge, 11. Tom Hessert (Cherry Hill, NJ) Dodge, 12. Ryan Unzicker (El Paso) Chevrolet, 13. AJ Fike (Galesburg) Ford, 14. James Swanson (Clarksboro, NJ) Dodge, 15. Thomas Praytor (Mobile AL) Ford, 16. Roger Carter (Sunfield MI) Dodge, 17. Mark Littleton (Arenzville) Chevrolet, 18. Dale Shearer (Alhambra) Ford, 19. Ron Cox (Soddy Daisy TN) Chevrolet, 20. Brad Smith (Shelby Twn. MI) 21. Brian Finney (Merritt Island FL) Chevrolet, 22. Ray Ciccarelli (Elliott City MD) Dodge), 23. Brennan Poole (The Woodlands TX) Toyota, 24. Brad Dubil (Bettendorf IA) Dodge, 25. Wayne Paterson (Pulaski TN) Ford, 26. Chris Bailey (South Park PA) Ford, 27. Brent Cross (Cortland NY) Chevrolet, 28. Bob Strait (Manteno) Chevrolet, 29. Karl Weber (Ambia IN) Chevrolet, 30. Dale Matchett (Cherry Hill NJ) Chevrolet.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.maconracing.com/?p=3183

Aug 17

Nichols takes Sportsman National title for the second consecutive season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Jeremy Nichols likes the big tracks. He also likes victory lane.

The Shelbyville driver won the Sportsman Nationals at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Sunday, taking the title in the 20-lapper for the second straight season. It’s been a big summer for Nichols, who also produced a thrilling victory in the Triple 25’s at Christian County Fair in July.

Nichols took home $1,500 for the victory. He held off Timmy Dick of Monticello for the win as a prelude for the SuperChevyStores.com 100 on the final day of the Illinois State Fair.

Ethan Schnapp of Springfield was third, followed by Nick Macklin of Argenta and Myles Moos Hartsburg.

After running heat races on Saturday, the Sportsman Nationals held the feature race on Sunday in a field that drew 20 cars to the world’s fastest mile dirt track.

Sportsman Nationals

Sunday

Illinois State Fairgrounds/Springfield

  1. Jeremy Nichols (Springfield), 2. Timmy Dick (Monticello), 3. Ethan Schnapp (Springfield), 4. Nick Macklin (Argenta), 5. Myles Moos (Hartsburg), 6. Phil Moreland (Assumption), 7. Wes Odell (Springfield), 8. Tim Bedinger (Taylorville), 9. Steve Ewing (Decatur), 10. Steve Adams, 11. Rick Weitekamp (Springfield), 12. Jim Farley III (Sprigfield), 13. Danny Smith (Argenta), 14. Michael Maestas (Lincoln), 15. Gary Miller (Athens), 16. Shane Garrison, 17. Dennis Vandermeersch (Springfield), 18. Curt Rhodes (Taylorville), 19. Darrel Dick (Monticello), 20. Jim Farley Jr. (Springfield).

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.maconracing.com/?p=3180

Aug 17

ARCA SuperChevyStores.com 100 preparing to drop green flag at Illinois State Fair Sunday

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – It’s race day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds Sunday morning. ARCA officials, the state fairgrounds’ crew and Track Enterprises are preparing the track and the grounds for the SuperChevyStores.com 100 that takes the green flag at 1:35 p.m. today.

The race is still ready to go as scheduled, and ARCA teams have already unloaded and have sent their cars through technical inspection. So it’s time to get to the state fairgrounds to watch ARCA’s pavement stars go against some serious dirt track specialists in a turf battle.

It’s the first time this season the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has hit the dirt. The field will likely include more than 30 cars today.

The Sportsman Nationals will also race a feature at noon. Come see your local short track heroes take to the Springfield Mile.

Tickets are available at the Illinois State Fair box office.

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.maconracing.com/?p=3175