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Red Clay Report - Interesting Start to 2013 (Read 2802 times)
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Red Clay Report - Interesting Start to 2013
03/28/13 at 8:10pm
 




Interesting Start to 2013 

Late Model Mark
Pinson, Alabama (March 28, 2013)
 
Time to get rolling on the keyboards for 2013, this has been a wild, interesting, surprising start for the racing season down here in the South. Some things have gone down that we would not expect or imagine, so here we go for this round of the Red Clay Report up here in the hills of central Alabama.
 
The season started as usual very early with yet another running of the annual Ice Bowl at Lynn Phillips Talladega Short Track. When this race rolls around ya never know about the weather, this years edition did have some rain that halted the races late in the day Saturday but it was not absurdly cold as in some past events. Sunday dawned nice but a little chilly. For a day race, the action most of the day was single file, come Super Late Model feature time the track was fairly good, Ross Martin took his biggest win at TST in years for a very popular victory with a daring late race pass and some slick driving thru traffic, it was a well run show as well. Next on the calendar was the Cabin Fever at Boyds Speedway in Ringgold, Georgia. Twice postponed due to weather it was finally ran, it was the same story whenever you go to Boyds except the racing, same ol same ol. Why was it the same? When you go to Boyds you get the same thing, a great facility, excellent staff, well run show, clean grounds, good crowd, and a large car count. The track, due to daytime conditions was about what you can expect, not much passing, Michael Page took the win over a large 49 car field. You always leave Boyds smiling, it's just a dang good track.
 
Next on the list was the very high-dollar Bama Bash at Dennis Harkers Green Valley Speedway in Glencoe, Alabama. This race featured a near $59,000 dollar purse for the Super Lates alone with $16,016 going to the 75 lap winner. All week leading up to the race the forecast was calling for very low temps and snow flurries, the weather guessers were right, it was cold, dang cold. Friday was split into two sessions with the various stock car classes running during the day, then a track prep break followed by the Late Model divisions hot lapping, qualifying and the heat races. Hot laps started at 6:08pm and the checkered flew over the last heat race at 9:18 pm. Only one caution for the whole night. Steve Casebolt running with a new team timed quick over the premium 39 car field. Then Saturday dawned cold, grey, and ugly. It was in the low 30s' during the day and multiple times a few snow flakes came down. The day races for the stock cars had wild action, flips, punts, breakage and multiple yellows and some hurt feelings. Just before 3:00pm the track took a break and reworked the track. Right at 6:00pm. the action resumed, it was in the high 20s'. Consolation races were run then it was Super Late Model time. The track was nice but the flurries increased, Steve Casebolt led the whole thing when first the yellow came out, and then the red for snow, as the snow hit the track it melted and the track got wet. Cars pulled in under the red, at that point Casebolts right rear tire went flat! If it stayes red and they call it, he wins, if it goes back green he hits the pits and there goes the win. The yellow comes out and the cars start to circle the track, Casebolt stays out with that same flat and the snow comes down even heavier and the track is lost, the race called at that point and he won the $$$. I have never been to  a race that got snowed out. Snowed out in Alabama? Really?
 
The interesting and unexpected. Some dead track openings, Tennessee National Raceway in Hohenhald has come back to life after some time off with new owners who have invested heavily in improvements, a full schedule for 13 is underway. After some time, Fort Payne Motor Speedway up in the hills of Fyffe, Alabama, will bring a sanctioned show, the SRRS in June. A track I worked in 2010, River Valley Speedway in Arkadelphia, Alabama, will come back to life in late April or early May. After only 1 race in 2012 and a dead future so it seemed, North Alabama Speedway near Florence, Alabama, will hold a couple of Mississippi State shows this year with the first one in May.
 
The last one is the bigun' however. On Sunday, March 18, Moulton Speedway in Alabama was sold by the Crumb family to a partnership between Jarrada Sparks and Brian Mitchell. Did not see that one coming. The Crumbs have been involved with the operation of the track since 2001. For a few years the track was for sale but the Crumbs kept operating this cool track as usual. What made this sale something was the plans for the future of the track started the day after purchase it appeared. A super stout weekly purse of $20,000 dollars was announced with fat weekly payouts for Supers that will run weekly, a states weekly best payout for the Late Models Stocks as well as a states best purse for the Street Stocks and Mini Stocks. Just days into the ownership, over a 100 loads of new clay was laid down, and the track widened. Plans in the coming weeks include racecievers, modern computer scoring with transponders, and hot dang, a scoreboard will be installed in the near future!! Also coming will be modern grandstands and many other improvements. Talking with Brian Mitchell earlier this week gave me chill bumps and what direction this track will take. Plans are being discussed and a change to the length and size of the track for 2014 with a eye towards Lucas and World of Outlaw Late Model national events. This deal will have a major, major, impact for the region. As I close this round of the RCR, I would like to say thank you to the Crumb family for all you have done for racing, a class hard working group of folks, also, thank you for your kindeness that you gave me everytime I came to your track. You folks did it right, til next time, adios.
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