Racers hope rain holds off

Rain washed out all the activities at Elkins Raceway last week. We had the John 3:16 Mud Bus all ready to race and hauled it up to the Mountain School so the students could see it before it gets all banged up. We will have the car in the Strawberry Festival’s Junior Royalty Parade on Thursday evening in Buckhannon. Hope to see each of you along the parade route.

I love a parade! The children yelling “Race car!” just helps make all the effort worthwhile and it gives some exposure for our wonderful sponsors, the Inter-Mountain, Herradura Mexican Restaurant, TJ’S Tire and Miller’s Used Cars, plus all the other special people who help keep us out here racing and most of all spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

Area racing did happen at both Tyler County Speedway and Ohio Valley Speedway on Saturday night. At Tyler County it was Michael Lake winning in the Super Late Model division. Kyle Lukon won in the FasTracks and Travis Dickson picked up the win in the AMRA Modifieds.

Ohio Valley hosted the Gene Johnson Memorial event and Fast Freddie Carpenter won in the Super Lates. Jacob Hawkins grabbed the victory in the AMRA Modified portion of the event.

NASCAR action took to the track in Kansas at the Kansas Motor Speedway. Friday night the Camping World Truck series teams ran the Toyota Tundra 250. Christopher Bell captured the pole position.

His team owner, Kyle Busch, captured both stages and it appeared that Ben Rhodes would steal the victory from Kyle. Ben drove away from the field in the last stage. However, with only eight laps remaining the engine blew in his truck.

Kyle won his 47th truck series win over Johnny Sauter in second. John Hunter Nemechek came home third. Christopher Bell and Chase Brisco rounded out the top five.

Saturday evening, the Monster Energy Cup series did battle under the lights. Ryan Blaney captured his first pole position in his Wood Brothers-prepared Ford. He also captured the stage one victory and appeared to be the car to beat.

During stage two Kyle Busch moved to the front and proved that he could take his Camry to the stage two win. At the beginning of the third and final stage, there was a grinding crash! Joey Logano had a mechanical failure as he moved down into turn one. He veered left into the right rear corner of Danica Patrick’s car. This sent her into the outside wall at over 200 mph! Then as those cars careened along the wall on fire, Aric Almorola slid in the fluids from their cars and slammed into them, causing the rear of his car to go about six feet in the air. Aric suffered a compression fracture of the T5 vertebrae in his back and will undoubtedly miss several races due to this injury.

Late race cautions set the field for the final run to the finish. Ryan Blaney’s crew got him out in the lead. When the race restarted it appeared that Ryan’s car just didn’t have the corner speeds he had shown earlier. Martin Truex Jr. pulled away to the win over a hard-charging Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick was coming on strong at the end also and finished third. Ryan Blaney fought his ill-handling car and hung on for fourth ahead of Kyle Busch.

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This weekend is Monster Energy All-Star race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. Qualifying takes place on Friday night under the lights and the pit crews get to shine on this night. The qualifying procedure for this event consists of three laps and during one of these laps teams must do a four-tire pit stop with no pit road speed limit. The team with the fastest pit stop earns the title of World’s Fastest Pit Crew for the year.

On Saturday afternoon/evening, the All-Star Open event takes place for cars not yet eligible for the All-Star race. The race will be in three stages and winners of each of those stages advance to the All-Star Race.

This race currently has a 21-car entry list and includes drivers such as Danica Patrick, Austin and Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Aric Almorola. Aric’s car will be driven by a relief driver that still had not been announced as of presstime.

Michael Waltrip actually transferred by winning this race and then drove to victory in the All-Star event for the Wood Brothers back in the 90s. Ryan Blaney could repeat this because the Wood Brothers Ford has been really strong this season.

Then in prime time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup All-Star event takes place with the winner getting a cool million dollars. Twenty cars will make up the starting field and there will be four stages of 20/20/20 and a final 10-lap run to the million with only 10 cars transferring to that final stage. Those 10 will be determined by being a stage winner and finishing on the lead lap in stage three. Then the rest of the 10 will be made up of the highest-finishing average of the other competitors.

On a special note, Goodyear will supply teams with a choice of two compounds of tires to select from. This will consist of a normal race tire or a soft and sticky tire for higher speeds. The down side of this is that they won’t last very long at race speeds.

Teams will be given the option to pit before those final 10 laps and the way they leave pit road will determine how they start. Once again, crew chiefs and pit crews are spotlighted.

The starting field will include Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. due to recent Cup victories.

Jamie McMurray and Dale Earnhardt Jr.also make it in due to being past All-Star race winners.

The Open Stage winners fill the next three spots and the final starter gets in because of a fan vote. It should be “One Hot Night” once again as the race was named in 1992 with the same 70-lap distance and a million dollars on the line.

I know I’ll sure be watching because at the end of the straight there’s Another Left Turn

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