Superstitions in focus for Friday the 13th races in Brownstown

By Kristopher Blankenship

The 10th week of racing at Fayette County Speedway came on a beautiful June day last Friday night, with cool weather, green grass, a prepared race track and plenty of race cars.

By all accounts, the perfect night for racing.

Except, of course, that it was Friday the 13th and everyone knew to expect a big full moon rising from over the backstretch wall.

Superstition is in the heart of all racers.

Just as there is in other sports, there are a lot of superstitions out there – from lucky horseshoes to race day routines or even the colors on the race cars.

Most racers will agree that luck can be a major factor in a night’s results.

At the beginning of the night – before the racers even pull in the gate – every driver draws a number to set his starting position for the night’s heat races.

Starting position is important, right? But it’s all up to chance.

Then, you have your race car.

These cars are all highly modified machines, stretched to the very limits of their capability to gain maximum performance.

Slinging around the track at top speed with up to 20 other cars out there, and with all drivers fighting for every inch of real estate, obviously any number of things can go wrong.

From mechanical failures to racing incidences, it’s safe to say major damage is waiting for drivers in every corner.

So with the full moon out, I decided to take my telescope down to the track to see just what may have been causing all this.

I didn’t see anything strange – just a big round crater-filled ball in the sky.

It’s there most nights – nothing out of the ordinary – but then again, I also blew my motor in the heat race.

But the smart racers will tell you for certain that you make your own luck at home in the shop with proper maintenance and preparation.

MODIFIEDS

Mike Harrison captured another feature win, as he continued piling them up in an impressive 2014 campaign.  

Chad Evans led early and appeared to be holding off Harrison, but while Evans was driving with all his effort, Harrison was just waiting for a mistake.

That’s exactly what he got, as Evans ever so slightly pushed in the center of turn four.

Harrison capitalized, made the pass and smoothly pulled away.

Heat race winners on the night included Larry Anderson and Harrison, who also won the dash.

B-MODS

There was another high car count last Friday night, with 18 drivers signed in to chase the top money.  

Tim Knebel produced his best performance to date, outrunning everybody in his heat and again in the dash.

In the feature, he drifted slightly, and again, it was the combination of Robbie Eilers, B.J. Deal and Billy Knebel Jr., with Eilers out front and Deal and Tim Knebel fighting for second.

Eilers is at his fastest at the beginning of a run, so as the laps wound down, Deal and Knebel were able to catch back up.

A caution flag waved late in the race, as Tim Knebel’s engine failed in a cloud of smoke, setting up Deal with a chance at a green, white, checkered shootout to the finish.

On the restart, Eilers pulled out a few car lengths, and again another caution came with a lap remaining.  

This gave Deal one more shot at the leader and everyone a chance to fight for a spot in a one-lap sprint to the finish.  

On the restart, Eilers again gained initially, and it was the breathing room he needed to cruise to yet another feature win.

STREET STOCKS

Friday night was going to be interesting, with Tony Walker again out of town and Steven Fohne making his debut in the B-mods. With several drivers capable of winning, only one would be able to step up.  

In Heat No. 1, out of towner Josh Heuiser earned the win, after a wild challenge by Dustin Pruett, and in Heat No. 2, Eric Harris and Jacob Tompkins raced hard for the top spot.

The feature continued the battle, with Harris holding a smooth, fast line in the center, Tompkins working the low line, and Pruett flying high on top.  

Smooth in the center is generally the best way to get it done, and that proved true, as Harris earned his first won on the year in convincing fashion.

HORNETS

Hornets rolled out with brothers taking victories in the heat races – Michael Bolyard in Heat No. 1 and David Bolyard in Heat No. 2.

They met in the feature, with David showing the way early, but Michael was on him from the beginning, pacing him every lap, but unable to get by.

It became clear that Michael was going to have drive more aggressively to make the pass.  

As the brothers distanced themselves from the rest of the field, Michael began charging harder, occasionally making contact with his younger brother, until making the pass with more contact.

Suddenly the cat became the mouse, as David returned the favor and expressed his displeasure by making contact of his own.

As they took the white flag, both drivers charged into turn one hard, with more contact ending in Michael spinning off the corner exit and collecting an unsuspecting Justin Clark in the melee.

Under caution, the black flag was waved to the David Bolyard, and he exited the track and allowing Michael to return to his spot at the front of the field.

In the second one-lap shootout of the night, Michael Bolyard took the checkered flag.  

Brotherly love – dirt track style.

The next event will be held on Friday, with regular racing, but the POWRi Midgets will be in town on Friday, June 27, and the Summer National Tour makes its annual stop on Friday, July 4.

July 4 will be the biggest night of the year for the speedway, with big-time late model stars on track, fireworks and fierce competition.

That is a race you won't want to miss.

For more information follow Fayette County Speedway on Facebook or visit www.fayettecospeedway.com.

FRIDAY, JUNE 13
UMP MODIFIED
HEAT 1
1. BUD 1 LARRY ANDERSON
2. 25C CRAIG KERN
3. 3E ROBBIE EILERS
4. 128 ZACH SCHANTZ
HEAT 2
1. 24H MIKE HARRISON
2. N59 CHAD EVANS
3. 89 NORM WOOD
4. 66 MICHAEL FOX
DASH
1. 24H MIKE HARRISON
2. N59 CHAD EVANS
3. BUD 1 LARRY ANDERSON
4. 3E ROBBIE EILERS
FEATURE
1. 24H MIKE HARRISON
2. N59 CHAD EVANS
3. 3E ROBBIE EILERS
4. 25C CRAIG KERN
5. BUD1 LARRY ANDERSON
6. 66 MICHAEL FOX
7. 89 NORM WOOD
8. 128 ZACH SCHANTZ
9. T TIMMY FOHNE
10. D17 TROY DUGGER
11. 8M CARL MCGOWIN
12. 27 LENNY GARSON
13. 55V BRAD VENHAUS
UMP SPORT MOD
HEAT 1
1. 99K TIM KNEBEL
2. 52 BILLY KNEBEL JR
3. 88 CHRIS BOLYARD
4. 4D DOUG TYE
HEAT 2
1. 101 JEFF BUSS
2. 5 JARED MORRISON
3. 19 JIMMY CUMMINS
4. 29 STEPHEN FOHNE
HEAT 3
1. 3 RYAN EILERS
2. 3W BJ DEAL
3. 88 STEVEN STEVENSON
4. 88L ROB LEE
DASH
1. 99K TIM KNEBEL
2. 52 BILLY KNEBEL JR
3. 3 RYAN EILERS
4. 5 JARED MORRISON
FEATURE
1. 3 RYAN EILERS
2. 3W BJ DEAL
3. 101 JEFF BUSS
4. 88L ROB LEE
5. 5 JARED MORRISON
6. 19 JIMMY CUMMINS
7. 99K TIM KNEBEL
8. 88 STEVEN STEVENSON
9. 42 LARRY ANDERSON
10. 8T TJ EILERS
11. 27 KEITH HARRE
12. 7M CALEB MILLER
13. 4D DOUG TYE
14. 16E TODD EYMAN
15. 52 BILLY KNEBEL JR
16. 29 STEPHEN FOHNE
17. 88 CHRIS BOLYARD
18. 7 DUSTIN ATCHISON
UMP HORNET
HEAT 1
1. 47 DAVID BOLYARD
2. WHO2 ELDON HEMKEN
3. 78 JERROD LONG
4. 73 DALE MAY
HEAT 2
1. 16J MICHAEL BOLYARD
2. 99B JUSTIN CLARK
3. 44B BRANDON BUATTE
4. 7S KATE SMITH
FEATURE
1. 16J MICHAEL BOLYARD
2. 92 JASON BOLYARD
3. 78 JERROD LONG
4. 79 RUSTY SNIDER
5. 00 JIM COLE
6. 7S KATE SMITH
7. 73 DALE MAY
8. 35 LYNN LASH
9. 6 TROY STEIN
10. 44B BRANDON BUATTE
11. 99B JUSTIN CLARK
12. 99B JAYCE ULLERY
13. 9 JAMES TRIVETT
14. WHO2 ELDON HEMKEN
DQ 47 DAVID BOLYARD

UMP PURE STOCK
HEAT 1
1. 1H JOSH HEUISER
2. 14 MIKE EVERETT
3. 7C MIKE CONLEE
4. 16 DUSTIN PRUETT
HEAT 2
1. 36 ERIC HARRIS
2. 32T JACOB TOMPKINS
3. 3B KRIS BLANKENSHIP
4. 194 BUBBA FELTNER
FEATURE
1. 36 ERIC HARRIS
2. 16 DUSTIN PRUETT
3. 32T JACOB TOMPKINS
4. 1H JOSH HEUISER
5. 14 MIKE EVERETT
6. 30 BOB GOLDMAN
7. 16J JOSH STRUBLE
8. 194 BUBBA FELTNER
9. 7C MIKE CONLEE
10. 3B KRIS BLANKENSHIP
HIGH SCHOOL HORNET
HEAT 1
1. 16J JASON STRUBLE
2. 99B DAWSON BARKER
3. 73 LANE DURBIN
4. 14 BRANDON RIEGEL
FEATURE
1. 16J JASON STRUBLE
2. 14 BRANDON RIEGEL
3. 73 LANE DURBIN
DNS 99B DAWSON BARKER

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