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This Week In Dirt: The Attica Files

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…

Overall, I’d say the place is wonderful, and I’ll make it a point to get back!

Pierce Finds Broom

Up until recently, people had begun to wonder what young late model star Bobby Pierce had done to anger the racing gods. Pierce had one top five finish in nine starts coming into the weekend’s festivities at La Salle Speedway (IL).  

But most people who’d been paying attention knew he was due for a breakout. It came during the annual ‘Thaw Brawl” this past Friday and Saturday as Pierce took both the $5,000 to win feature on Friday and the $15,000 to win Saturday portion.  Pierce took the lead on lap 22 and never looked back to collect the win on Saturday, holding off an extremely stout field that included the likes of Bloomquist, Moyer, McCreadie and many other Lucas Oil and regional superstars.  The 18 year old pilot looks primed for another great season and (you heard it here) WILL be in the hunt to win at least one crown jewel this year, (Dream100).   

Great run from Canadian Ricky Weiss this weekend too as he garnered a 6th on Friday and a podium spot on Saturday, we wish there were a way to see more of him, without him having to gaining weight. (WoO/Lucas in 2016)

Gowdown Takes Two

Ryan Gowdown defeated nemesis Billy Pauch Saturday night in the New Egypt Speedway Opener, and then bested 26 at Bridgeport on Sunday in the RoC Opener. Godown’s success this early in the season is not so unfamiliar to us as he regularly starts hot.  But many fringe modified fans might not have even heard of him. He’s a true talent, and can get it done in a 358 or a big block, with sail panels or without. If there ever a way he could, financially speaking or time wise, find a way to run a complete SDS tour schedule, we’d be thrilled. 

But since that’s probably not going to be the case anytime soon, be sure to look for our TDN Northeast Modified Rankings coming out later on this month, or in early May, we take the best drivers from SDS, RoC, 358 and Big Block segments of modified nation, compare fields, results, and then come up with a top 10 ranking list, be on the lookout. 

And that’s it for this edition, have a great week everyone! 



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