Sound Speedway August 23, 2008

Posted by | Posted in General | Posted on 01-09-2008

2008 VMRA points race heats up at SS Speedway
By Mike Clother

After a scorching weekend at State Line Speedway last week, that saw Jim Jones increase his season points lead by setting yet another fast time and winning his fourth main event in a row, the 80 degree weather at South Sound Speedway seemed cool to the Vintage Modified racers. The championship race is still hot and getting hotter. All drivers came ready to grab every point available in search of bragging rights and honors that come with the Vintage Modified season championship.

New to the field this week was Tom Smitham, owner of NuTread Tire, in a car that he recently purchased from Ray Wagner. Tom spent the entire week preparing the “race ready” car to make its return to competition. Some gremlins caused Tom to miss time trials but he was able to run his heat and start the main before brake problems sent him to the pits.

The surprise of the night came during time trials when Jones and Bob Fulmer were unable to better Mike Clother’s fast time of 15:46 seconds.

The B heat was lead off by Robert Rux who never relinquished the lead in the 8-lap race. Ike Hoskinson was second, followed by Charlie West Jr. and Jim Milligan.

The A heat started with Kiel Hobbs on the pole with Chuck Peterson to his right. Those two pulled out to an early lead with Bob Fulmer and Dave Trapp in tow. Darrel Berg was driving for points leader Jim Jones and worked his way forward followed by Mike Clother. They worked their way forward past Trapp and Fulmer. Berg faltered only once but that was enough to allowed Clother to pass in turn four. Clother was able to get by Peterson but was not able to catch Hobbs in the remaining laps. Hobbs won from the pole with Clother second, followed by Peterson, Berg, Fulmer and Trapp.

The 30-lap main event was lead off by Robert Rux and Charlie West Jr. in the front row, followed by Ike Hoskinson and John Mustered. Rux jumped to an early lead with Hoskinson and Milligan on his tail. West got hung out in the upper groove and was doing all he could to stay with the leaders as the lower groove cars passed him one at a time. The caution flag flew on lap six for the spinning cars of rookies Josh Petersen and Tom Smitham. Turns out they both spun in the oil bath laid down by the exploding engine of John Mustered. The entire front straight and turns one and two were oiled down and track officials stopped the race for an extensive clean-up. On the restart those trying the high side in turns one and two found that area to be extremely slick. Undaunted by that fact, Jim Jones began passing cars on the outside and by the 14th lap was in 5th place beating on the bumper of West and just ahead of Clother. On the 17th lap, Hobbs and Fulmer made contact in turn four spinning Hobbs to the inside and bringing out the 2nd caution flag of the race. As the race was about to resume West’s car began overheating, spewing water into the air, and he wisely took it to the pits. Jones got by Trapp and Milligan heading for the front. While Jones was taking the lead from Rux, Clother began working the high side trying to follow the path Jones had laid out. Clother and Trapp ran side-by-side until the 25th lap when the two made contact in the first turn sending Clother spinning to the wall. The caution flew and Clother was shown the mechanical flag for a tire rub that put up a smoke show rivaling any Nextel cup victory celebration. In the pits, Dan Watkins from Peterson’s crew and Henry Weichel from Fulmer’s crew were waiting, and took “the hammer” to Clother’s car to get him back out before the field returned to green. The spirit of unselfish, helpfulness between competitors, is always present off the racetrack for the Vintage Modified club. Trapp was able to continue with only minor frontal damage. In the remaining 5-laps Clother was able to work his was back up to 6th place. On the final lap Jim Milligan surprisingly single handedly spun himself out of 4th place. Jones pulled away to win his 5th main in a row. He has been dominant the second half of this year. Rux was 2nd, followed by Ike Hoskinson, Chuck Peterson, and Bob Fulmer.

Although Jones is leading the season points chase, that lead could be erased at the last race of 2008, September 13th, at Port Angeles Speedway. All the top 5-positions will be decided on that night. You can bet there will be some exiting racing at that event.

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