Finally, we got some dirt in our beer this weekend and it tasted great! The weekend that was elsewhere saw some great action in and around the country as Bobby Pierce and Ryan Godown both “doubled down” at their respective events, and Logan Jarrett surprised at Lawrenceburg in USAC action.
If you’re pressed for time, or find reading boring, simply click here for weekend results.
Now where were we…oh yeah, Attica.
The All Star Sprints kicked off the season in grand style at the legendary Ohio bullring. Some of us at TDN had been there before. I hadn’t. We were originally slated to start our coverage from the track at Mercer for the ULMS sanctioned Chiller Thriller, but it fell victim to mother nature. One door closes……one door opens.
There’s never a feeling that’s quite like the anticipation of going to a track for the first time. Even if the racing isn’t great, you still get to knock one off the list and check out the new scenery, take in the food, and find out what makes the place unique. I have to say, the night lived up to the anticipation, and for the right reason too. The racing was very good, the show was efficiently run for the most part (opening night can be a nightmare sometimes, but not on this night), and the track widened out to multiple grooves fairly quickly.
I’m glad I went. To see Christopher Bell, Gary Taylor (from Washington state!), Steve Kinser, Parker Price-Miller and TJ Michael all in the same place at the same time was a treat. It was great to see these guys battling the normal tour regulars. And also…that Ryan Smith guy!
Smith was in the sights of Andrew Palker from the early moments, and as lapped traffic came into play, Palker appeared to have Smith dead to rights as he flew around the top side. While Smith seemed completely married to the bottom, to the point that it was going to cost him a win. But a few timely cautions kept Palker at bay. Then in the middle of the race, Smith played just enough defense to cause Palker to lose momentum out of turn 2 , rendering a charge on the backstretch a very difficult proposition. The two drivers battled for the better part of 40 laps, until Smith was able to get around a back marker and earn some breathing room. That coupled with a late race caution helped make the difference. I could have used about 10 more laps of that battle.
So on this night, a budding Central Pa star went on the road and earned a victory in the ASCoC back yard so to speak. We’re not sure if the win will give Mr. Smith the amount of confidence necessary to extend his month long trial of the ASCoC to a full season, but quite frankly, we’d love to see it! Palker will have a chance at revenge at Wayne County Speedway this coming weekend, and if it weren’t for prior commitments, I’d love to be there to see round two. Well done Attica…and ASCoC!
All Star Sprints at Attica Raceway Park (OH) ($5,000)
1. Ryan Smith 2. Andrew Palker 3. Greg Wilson 4. Dale Blaney 5. Cap Henry 6. Cody Darrah
7. Danny Holtgraver 8. Tim Shaffer 9. DJ Foos 10. Byron Reed 11. Danny Smith
12. Christopher Bell 13. Parker Price-Miller 14. Chad Kemenah 15. Randy Hannagan
16. Sheldon Haudenschild 17. TJ Michael 18. Caleb Helms 19. Paige Polyak 20. Lee Jacobs
21. Steve Kinser 22. Stuart Brubaker 23. Jac Haudenschield 24. Gary Taylor 25. Kyle Patrick
26. Travis Philo
Notes from Attica
- I happened to love the 20 mile dragstrip known as OH route 4 that lead from the turnpike to the speedway. Farmland for as far as the eyes can see, and it had just been turned up, leaving the scent of fresh dirt the whole way.
- A train managed to halt my progress to the track on both the way in and way out. If you were there and happened to see the guy in the dark jacket and white hat standing near the tracks on the way out, waiting on a train….it was me
- If you don’t like the tractor tire placement at the apron of the turns, simply move them out of the way as Doug Drown did in the late model feature.
- There was a fuel stop with less than a lap completed in the Sprint Amain, I don’t think I’d ever seen that one before.
- Normally you have to get far away from any town to get to your track. In Attica, it’s reversed. To find the track, find the town. It might be the closest proximity to anything resembling blocks of city streets I’ve ever seen. There was a useful sidewalk leading up to the main entrance. More speedway’s need sidewalks
- Needed a hotel room on the way back to Pittsburgh. I used to be young…