NASCAR may be the 600 pound gorilla of American Motorsports, but there's somebody bigger and badder.
I refer to Mother Nature, who trashed Atlanta Motor Speedway with a tornado in July, and who has hammered Miami-Homestead with Hurricane Wilma, a mere four weeks before NASCAR's season ender at the Florida track. Although the facility suffered what the Miami Herald termed "significant damage," track president Curtis Gray said the track will "definitely" be ready for the November 20 Nextel Cup finale.
"The track itself is fine," stated Gray, although serious damage was done to the garage suites, lighting system, and catch fencing. Some of the repairs will be of a temporary nature, such as importing seats from Nazareth Speedway, which recently closed, to replace damaged spectator seating areas.
Meanwhile, back on the West Coast, it's not just the Outlaw Karters from the area who are traveling to California to race. A contingent of local Legends drivers made the trek to Shasta Speedway in Anderson, Calif., to take part in that track's season-ender.
Our drivers started off well, with Mackena Bell finishing third in the trophy dash just ahead of Dallas Colodny. Bob Humphries won the B Heat race with Todd Thompson finishing eighth. The C Heat was an entirely different story however, as Bell tried to avoid a first-lap multi-car pileup and found herself flipping several times and flying over the turn three wall, to land upside down outside the track. Miraculously, she suffered no major injuries and even more miraculously her car was repaired in time for Sunday's B Main, thanks to the help of half a dozen friends and fellow competitors who labored until 3 a.m.
Heat C resumed with Terry Madjeski taking second place and Colodny seventh. Bell was classified 12th. On Sunday Madjeski won the B Main with Bell finishing sixth in the final transfer spot. Colodny finished 12th and failed to transfer. In the 75-lap A Main, Humphreys took the checker in 12th with Madjeski in 16th. Bell, still suffering "racer's rheumatism" from the previous night's crash, pulled off after 40 laps and was credited with 22nd in a car that will probably never see a race track.
Bell was philosophical about the incident, saying "It's part of the sport, part of what I love to do." Fortunately for Bell, the Shasta Raceway paramedics were there immediately, along with her crew . . . or at least most of it.
"Of all the concerned faces, I missed my Dads' the most. He was driving to the track with my little sister who had just run a dirt track race in Red Bluff when the accident happened. But with a family like mine and the support of so many, this was just another night at the races!"
Bell's younger sister Kellcy was one of several Carson racers at Red Bluff that night. Here's a quick recap of that action: Chris Rytting took sixth in his heat, 13th in the C Main in the Open class, while Troy Combs finished eighth in the heat and 11th in the D Main. Daniel Thorson won his heat in the Intermediate Open category, finishing 10th in the A Main.
In the Intermediate division, Blayke Olsen took 14th in the B Main (Heat race info was not available) and Cameron Millard finished 16th in the B Main after taking seventh in his heat. Zachary Heinz topped the local racers with a third in the A main after a pair of seconds in the trophy dash and heat race.
Kellcy Bell won her heat, but finished a disappointing 13th in the A Main. Tanner Thorson won the B Main and was 16th in the A Main after taking a heat race sixth. Mason Millard finished ninth in the A Main after transferring from the B Main with a fourth. His heat race finish was fifth. And Keith Combs took sixth in his heat.
Finally, Cory Combs qualified third in the Beginner Box division, took third in the A Main, second in the trophy dash, and third in his heat, while Samantha Shultz, daughter of Jerry Allec Jr. qualified 10th, finished fourth in the D Main, and took a fifth in the A Main.