Saturday, August 20 - During the day it was hazy and humid but since the sun is going down a little earlier the temperatures seem to cool down at night. By the time the first heat took the green at 7:35 the weather was perfect at Lincoln Speedway, 70’s and with a breeze. Tonight’s show was a bit altered. The thundercars were not on the agenda but there was an Old Timers Exibition. Starting out it seemed like a normal evening but it turned out to be way too long for a normal type of show. The red flags started early when Jay Galloway flipped his 358 sprint coming off turn four after the checkered fell. Not only did he wreck his car, he was in a qualifying position at the time. They ran 4 heats for the 358 sprints which numbered 37 strong and three heats for the 410 sprints which saw 28 cars in the pits. These heats are usually run off in no time but tonight it took over an hour to run off the seven 10 lap events and there were three red flags thrown during the events for flipping sprints.
As mentioned earlier the Old Timers were there and they ran two exibitions. It was during this time that things started to go wrong. The lights strung accross the track that signal when either the caution or red is thrown went out. The consolations were to run after the Old Timers but the schedule was changed and the kids big wheel races were brought out while the track electrician tried to fix the light problem. It was decided that they would place extra flaggers around the track and use the one way radio transmitters to alert the drivers if the caution or red was being displayed. The two consolations were spun off with little to do and the caution lights came back on. They then decided to take the time to fix the red lights also and before you know it, it was 10:30. This is usually the time we are leaving the track at Lincoln Speedway but tonight the features were first getting underway.
The weather was perfect, the track surface condition was awesome and they were lucky all the lights were fixed. During the first four laps of the 410 sprint feature they had 3 cautions and one red flag. After this the red would be thrown one more time for Derek Sell who flipped over his number 20 when Aaron Ott did a 360 in traffic and clipped Sell. Brian Leppo who took the lead on a lap 5 restart lead the final 20 circuits to win. Adam Wilt was second with Kevin Nouse, Brad McClellan and Jim Siegel rounding out the top 5. The event was over at 11:07 and a long victory lane interview ensued. The 358 feature did not start until 11:30.
The 358 sprints started out just as bad as the 410s. The caution came out on lap 1 when Chad Trout stopped in turn two. On the restart of lap 1 the red flag was thrown when a 9 car pile-up had the track blocked in turn four. Again when the green came out two cars tangled in turn two. We were 20 minutes into the race and still did not have 1 lap in the books. The caution would wave three more times during the event and the final one came out with one lap to go. Mike Bittinger won the event and became the first driver in recent history to win in both the 410 sprints and 358 sprints in the same season. Keith Prutzman was second with Austin Hogue third. Kevin Nagy ran a strong race coming from 12th and was running second on the last restart when he dropped into the infield as the race went green. A tough break for the New Jersey driver on this evening.
Racing was complete at 12:05 making this a two day show. The surface was awesome all night long but somehow the racing tonight just did not seem as good as usual. But then usual is over prior to 11:00.