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PROMOTERS POINT AUGUST 30!
Well this past week was quite the week for racing in our area!
Friday I went to the Plymouth Speedway.
Very impressive car count with 47 cars! 15 Outlaw Late Models, 15 Sportsmen Late Models, 10 Street Stocks and 7 FWD.
Josh Sommers and Charlie Cotton, New Paris drivers, were among those present and also some M40 Cars with M40 not running a regular show.
The OLM feature was probably the best one I have seen this season!
Rich Boal had an early lead and a big lead but a caution with 6 laps to go changed everything as Adam Terry was on the move!
Coming in for the checkered flag Terry is on the outside and just beat Boal by inches!
Quite the comeback for Boal who was involved in bad crash just the week before at Plymouth!
Saturday was Season Championships at the South Bend Motor Speedway and what a way to end the season!
66 cars on hand!
13 OLM, 22 Sportsmen! 13 SS, 11 Mini Stocks and 9 FWD.
They had an autograph night and then ran features only.
Pretty good crowd with about 3/4 of the spectators in the backstretch bleachers which have proved very popular this season!
I know the Browns, who have certainly had far more than their share of troubles this season, had to be greatly encouraged for 2012!
I know I have sure enjoyed the racing at South Bend this season and missed the last 4 nights due to schedule conflicts with church but was glad to get there for the final!
Then Sunday it was the Larry Birk Memorial at the Mottville Speedway!
We had been expecting a larger than normal car count and crowd but on Saturday when I saw Stock Car Extreme post at the top of the page that they were coming I knew it was really going to be big!
Well, here was the schedule for Judy and myself Sunday.
First church at St. Mark Lutheran in Saint Joe, Indiana where I am the Pastor.
We had hoped to get away early but both Judy and myself found ourselves tied up in one thing or another and we were late getting out of there.
Now, it just so happened, that my mother's family-the Deams-had their annual reunion this Sunday!
It was in Ashley, Indiana and was supposed to start at 1pm but since Judy and I were bringing sloppy joes and chicken wings and since I am the president of the reunion, we did not get started until about 1:20!
To top that off we had a bigger crowd then normal at the reunion and so it was 3:40 before we got to Mottville and we had hoped to be there no later than 3:15!
But Vickie and Tom Person knew we had the reunion and they arrived early and Kayla Pierson and Kathleen Reeves were already at work getting the concession stand ready to open!
When we arrived there was already a decent line in the parking lot but it soon expanded big time!
By the time the smoke cleared we had 3 times our normal crowd and almost double our normal car count!
To top that off I had calls from drivers who were running late and they accounted for a total of 5 cars.
So, not wanting anyone to miss out on the Larry Birk Memorial, we waited on them.
Glad to do it but for the balance of the season we simply are going to start no later than 5:15 and late comers can take the tail of their heat if they get there in time, otherwise start tail of the feature.
So at 5:45 we finally started with opening ceremonies.
After prayer one of Larry's family scattered his ashes across the start-finish line followed by the National Anthem with 3 pace cars, the track truck and the SS dash cars.
Pretty impressive and pretty emotional!
We had 3 dashes and 6 heats and by intermission it was clear to me that the lights would have to come on to finish the program!
Meanwhile people were flocking to the concession stand, taking advantage of our reasonable prices and quality food!
Even though we had an extra person working they were swamped!
So Vickie Pearson moved from her turn 3 duties to the concession stand during intermission and Zach Hiser took over turn 3 duties for several races.
Tommie Weeks has always been one of my favorite people and now I like her even more because she saw how swamped we were at the concession stand and without being asked just went in and started working!
You just don't find many people like Tommie anymore as most people are too concerned about themselves!
But it was sure a big day for concessions! I will have to check the records but I know it has been many, many years since we did the business we did Sunday!
For the past 2 seasons improving our concession stand has been a big project of mine and we have added equipment and products!
We had plently of product and the only thing we ran out of was Mountain Dew!
Anyway, back to the races!
Because of the SS car count-a season high 12-I ran them last.
Famous last words here-but, if I could have done it over I would have ran them first!
Anyway an emotional high light of the heats was Danny Filson driving the last car Larry Birk ever drove, winning the MTC heat in a close one over David Terry!
Hollywood could not have scripted this one any better!
Season long points leader Jack Hurford hit the front stretch wall and was the first car out in the MTC feature!
As a result Dave Logan took over the points lead by one point with 12 nights left!
Nick Weeks really was awesome fast in winning the MTC feature!
Todd Roberts won the big $600 to win FWD feature at M40 Fruiday and I figured he was a heavy favorite to win Sunday but he had heating problems!
Then the Mini Stock feature! Josh Dunnuck had a good lead but Pat Knight kept gaining and finally got around on lap 23 and had his first feature win ever!
What a night to do it!
Now it was time for the SS and the lights had to be turned on!
The big question in my mind was would they even work?
It had been several years since they had been turned on!
So you can imagine what I was thinking as I walked out of the tower and down to the boxes to turn them on!
First Tom Pearson turned on the pit lights and they worked!
Then I got to the boxes and, of course, the locks were old locks that had not been changed!
But I found the correct key and opened the box for the center lights and pulled the switch!
Oh my what relief I felt when they came on!
The the 2nd box for the lights around the outside! They also worked!
You can bet I said a prayer of thanks then!
Meanwhile the flagstand lights!
First of all, the traffic lights on our biggest day in years had decided not to work!
Tom Person found out Monday we had a bad switch and so they are working again! Only the red light worked Sunday!
So I tell Jasyme Reeves, our flag person, to plug in the lights above her. They came on but later went out and I found out all 3 bulbs had burned out!
But Tom remembered the spot light on a switch and it worked!
Now I will be the first to admit the lighting was not great but it was good enough to get by!
Nick Pressler came to Mottville for the first time this season. He told me at Plymouth Friday he would be there.
I know how fast he is and I figured he would dominate and sure enough he raced to an early lead but Al Maurer gave him a tremendous battle!
Nick had to earn that win!
Meanwhile Judy was super busy getting the photos processed for the top 5 in the features and when I got back to the pits for pay-off I had a find new route to get to the tower it was so full!
Most people-fans and drivers-I would say 90 per cent were really considerate and happy but you always have that 10 per cent!
In comparing notes afterwards Judy and I both had complaints from our staff on some rude people but it turned out we both said the same thing-you get his with bigger crowds and car counts and you just have to handle it as best you can and move on!
By the time we got back to Nappanee it was 11:30 pm!
Already the compliments were folowing on Facebook!
The one I appreciated most was from Steve Brown, South Bend owner and promoter!
He knows the struggles we have all had this year!
At this point I am going to preach!
This 2011 season has been a real struggle for most tracks!
Weather and economy being the big problems and as promoters wee can't do much about either!
But these people who keep posting negative comments on Facebook are not helping any.
We have some who regularly post negatives about our car count and crowds yet, as Steve pointed out, our car counts and crowds have been up quite a bit this season despite everything!
Yes, I know, we have a long ways to go, but we have sure been heading in the right direction and we are really grateful to all those drivers and fans who support us!
We have managed to survive over 21 years despite some really tough times and my feeling is you have to survive to live to fight another day!
End of preaching!
By the way, we had some people at Mottville Sunday, who have not been there in years like Ed and Kathy Eldridge and several others who told me they had not been there is many years!
Interesting little side story here-Judy told some neighbors of the track came by because the lights were on! No, they were not upset about the lights, just wondered what was going on and they were actually thrilled that we had such a good crowd an car count!
Monday Tom got the traffic lights fixed, I painted over scuff marks on the walls and got supplies and started working on the flagstand lights.
Should have the flag stand lights fixed Wednesday, installing new ones! Picked up the new ones today!
Also got some good news today on the track lights!
Made a diagram of the lights last night and we have 8 burned out. 1500 watt 240 volt.
Takes a bucket truck to get to them and I was afraid our electrician had retired but called him today and he agreed to put in new bulbs on a Saturday with the help of his son in law as he still has his bucket truck!
Probably we will not need the lights the anymore this season but if we do I want them all working!
So more work at the track and then Friday its off to Plymouth for their Season Championships!
We race at Mottville both Sunday and Monday!
I think we may be the only track in the area racing Monday and Goshen Collison Center and Walkerton Auto Parts are sponsoring the MTC for $200 to win!
All 3 classes run both days and Monday we open at 3 and race at 4, an hour earlier.
Free camping at the track overnight Sunday!
Monday Dave Logan is giving out free checkered flags to the first 50 youth 12 and under!