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Saturday, July 30 - Did you ever leave a track talking about how good you thought the race was, how surprised you were that you did not get dirty and how you were not going to go back to the event when they ran it next year. Well that was exactly what I was saying on the ride back from New Egypt Speedway. I personally had not been to the New Egypt Speedway in a couple of years. Bruce was there earlier this season. We decided to attend the Friends of Mike race at the track and ask my dad to go along because some of the Grandview hot shots would be in attendance. My dad had never been to New Egypt and he was looking forward to the event. We left home at 2:00 in the afternoon, stopped to get something to eat and pulled onto the parking lot at New Egypt Speedway around 4:40. It was in the 90’s but there was a light breeze going and after the 105 degree temperatures the week before it was almost comfortable. We parked our butts down in the grandstand at 5:00 in anticipation of the event and racing started promptly on time at 6:00.
They were running three divisions on this special night and all were paying good money. The 35 sportsman ran three qualifying heats and the winner of the heat took home $250. The outlaw stocks numbered 27 and each of the three heat winners took home $200. This is really good money for these divisions. The modified pits were 49 strong with top driver from not only New Egypt but also from Pennsylvania and New York. Sorry we cannot forget Canada since Stewart Friesen was in the house. They ran five heats and each winner garnered $1,000 for their efforts. The outlaw stocks did not require a consolation but the sportsman had one and the modifeds had three. The track took on a lot of water the previous day as several severe thunderstorms soaked the area. This left the track in not ideal condition and there were some major dips in turns one and two and the low side of four. They worked on the track but this condition does not have a quick fix.
The outlaw stock feature was first and was spun off in under 20 minutes. Then it was time for the modifieds to run the Rogie Rumble. This was a match race where the winner would have his choice of his next competitor and in total 12 cars were invited to participate in the event. It started off with Gary Butler and ended with a match race between Grandview invader, Duane Howard, and regular Willie Osmum. The winner of the $1,000 prize was Duane Howard to the delight of my dad and I. This was followed by the sportman 20 lap feature and there were 7 cautions. I cannot say this was a good race. Pat Wall won the event after Kyle Borror who crossed the finish line first came up 15 pounds light on the scale. Now an announcement was made that you just knew was not going to be true. We were told they were going to work on the track fo just 5 or 10 minutes prior to the modified 100 lap event taking the green. Forty five minutes later the main event was underway.
Lots of times a 100 lap event has boring spots when it seems the cars are just actually driving around in circles. Not this race. I can honestly say all 100 laps were good, competitive and enjoyable to watch. Although Billy Pauch had them covered and looked well on his way to his 100th career win at the track, the number 1 slowed on lap 92 and exited into the pits. A fast approaching Tim McCreadie inherited the lead and hung on after a bobble on a lap 96 restart. McCreadie, who started 14th, took the top prize of $20,000. Duane Howard finished second. He started 19th and moved quickly through the pack and at one point was running second behind Pauch. Third was Stewart Friesen and he almost picked up the win when McCreadie bobbled on the restart holding up both himself and Howard. Fourth was Matt Shepard and fifth was Jeff Strunk. Nine cars finished on the lead lap. There was always something to watch.
So if I really enjoyed the race why did I say I am not going back to this event next year. Well if you recall I said we sat in our seats at 5:00. I do not like the bleachers here. There is no knee room at all and on a night when there are fans sitting right behind you and in front of you it is vey uncomfortable. It is also not easy to navigate the bleachers when it is crowded and you are not on the end of an aisle. Therefore from 5:00 to the checkered at 12:25 I was sitting in my uncomfortable seat. That is 7 and 1/2 hours and that is way too much show for me. The main event started at 11:26, which is 26 minutes after the curfew. They need to either drop one of the support division or drop the match racing. We managed to get out of the parking lot and out on the road in 20 minutes but did not pull into the driveway at home until 2:45. It was 4:00 until my dad got home. There was a great crowd on hand and I am sure the vast majority will be back next year but this person, even though the modified portion of the show was really good, will not be.
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