Red Frederick Memorial set for tonight
Rain played havoc with the local racing and the threat of storms caused track officials to cancel last Friday night’s events at Elkins Raceway.
Tonight brings one of the biggest events of the year — the first annual Red Frederick Memorial.
The Jenkins Ford Super Late Models will be racing 52 laps for $5,200 to win, plus lap leader bonuses of $100 per lap. The Budweiser Fastrak Crate Late Models will be racing for $1,552 to win. The Performance Chevrolet AMRA Modifieds will run for $1,052 to win, along with the WV Pools Street Stocks for the same amount. Plus, a fan favorite, one of the largest fireworks displays in the state, will be on tap.
Gates open at 6 p.m. and Hot Laps should be underway by 7:30 p.m. Since the car count has been what it has been for regular shows, this should be one hot night of dirt track racing. The “52” theme is because that was the car number that Mr. Frederick had the most success with during his storied career. Great food, a family atmosphere and great racing will make this a night to remember, I’m sure.
NASCAR racing this past weekend was at the unique 7/8th-mile Iowa Speedway oval, and the twists and turns of the road course at Sonoma Raceway in the beautiful wine country of Sonoma, California.
The Camping World Truck series and the Xfinity series offered a doubleheader weekend at Iowa. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series went road racing in California.
The truck series was up first Friday evening, with the M&Ms 200 presented by Casey’s General Store. Iowa Raceway was designed by former Cup series xhampion Rusty Wallace and it is the only track like it on the schedule. It has great speeds and competitive multi-groove racing in the turns. Fans can see all the action, similar to the short tracks like Martinsville, Virginia.
The race rolled off without the typical group of Cup drivers in the field and allowed the regular truck drivers to showcase their talents. Christopher Bell took the early lead and captured stage one. Veteran driver Johnny Sauter flexed his trucks muscles and took the second stage.
In the end it was John Hunter Nemechek who won the event, making it two in a row after winning the race last week. Johnny Sauter held on for a strong second-place finish. Brandon Jones and Grant Enfinger finished third and fourth, respectively. Cristopher Bell struggled with an ill-handling truck in the closing laps and finished fifth.
Sixth through 10th were Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Jesse Little and Justin Haley. I wanted to recognize the efforts of these lesser-funded teams and drivers because this is the future of our sport. The truck teams have a week off and will be back in competition at Kentucky Speedway July 6.
On Saturday, the Xfinity race teams got their chance to shine without the Cup stars, too. This was truly some of the best racing all year in both these divisions. The American Ethanol 250 rolled off into the Iowa night and Christopher Bell showed that he can drive Xfinity cars as well as his truck, winning stage one. A late caution in stage two mixed things up and Brendan Gaughan gambled, staying out on the caution, and was able to hold off those on fresher tires to grab stage two.
As the race wound down, William Byron worked his way to the lead in his Liberty University sponsored car to take the win. Young Ryan Sieg had his best finish, coming home second.
Tyler Reddick finished third. Ross Chastain and Dakota Armstrong rounded out the top five. These drivers and the Cup interlopers will race tonight under the lights at Daytona International Speedway.
On Sunday afternoon, the thunder of stockcars echoed through the Sonoma Valley. Martin Truex Jr. showed that he could turn right and left and grabbed the first stage win. Jimmie Johnson won stage two.
There were numerous spins and cautions throughout the event.
Kevin Harvick won for the first time at Sonoma. His teammate, Clint Bowyer, made a strong challenge but ran out of laps to catch Kevin and finished second. Brad Keselowski finished third. Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.
It’s worth mentioning that sixth through 10th were Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney,and Jamie McMurray.
The Cup series will take to the high banks of Daytona, also. The Firecracker 400 will roll off under the lights on Saturday evening.
We have lots of choices this weekend for racing action, but whether it’s the dirt at our local track or the high banks of Daytona, at the end of the straightaway there’s Another Left Turn.