05/25/11 This past Friday night the weather was spectacular at the Plymouth Speedway for their season opener presented by Carnegie Towing. The night featured four classes of cars and hot racing action from the start of practice to the final checkered flag.
In qualifying the lap times were intense. In the Dragon Racing Fuel Outlaw Late Models Adam Terry set the pace for the field with a lap around the 3/8 mile in 13.288 seconds. In the Teacher’s Credit Union Late Models John Barlow was the fastest competitor with a lap of 14.200 seconds. The street stocks watched as Kevin Gunkel set fast time with a lap of 15.436 seconds. In the front wheel drives Tom Hellinga returned to dominance with a lap of 16.374 seconds.
After a short drivers meeting and the Oliver Ford Lincoln opening ceremonies it was time for racing to begin. The outlaw late models kicked off the heats with two eight lap events. Picking up heat wins were Rich Boal and Brian Ross.
The late models also ran two eight lap heat events. Grabbing the checkered flag in these events were Ron Maynard Junior and John Marshall. In the street stocks Jeff Stetler returned to victory lane along with Greg De St. Gean in the front wheel drives.
After a brief intermission it was time for the feature racing action. The outlaw late models kicked off the events once again with a thirty lap feature. Rich Boal broke out to an early advantage and forced the racing to heat up on the outside. Steve Stacy was the first driver to get around Boal to the outside with Bobby Stremme in hot pursuit of Stacy. When the checkered flag fell it Steve Stacy grabbing the top spot followed closely by Stremme in second and Ron Maynard Junior rounded out the podium in third.
The late models ran a twenty-five lap feature with Ron Maynard Junior putting on a brilliant display of talent and grabbing the checkers for his second straight podium finish of the night. He was followed across the line by Lou Stremme in second and Nick Pressler in third.
The street stocks had a great feature but Kevin Gunkel, the fast qualifier had his car hooked up and the field couldn’t do anything with him as he received his first checkered flag of the 2011 season. Jeff Stetler held on for a second place finish and D.J. Frost rounded out the podium in third.
The front wheel drives were the final event of the night with a twenty lap feature. Tom Hellinga thew defending champion of the division at the speedway returned to early dominance with the feature win. He was followed in second by Tom Taylor and Ryan Hoffman in third.
This weekend the Plymouth Speedway will feature the annual Jim Blount Memorial presented by Dragon Racing Fuels and Newton Oil for the Outlaw Late Models. The late models, street stocks, and front wheel drives will also be in competition. For more information tune in Thursday night to the Plymouth Speedway’s Thursday Night Thunder Presented by the Bear’s Den with Andrew Hayn on WTCA 1050 AM or go online at www.plymmouthspeedway.net.
Andrew D. Hayn Correspondent