This weekend at Route 66, the NHRA North Central Division 3 visits. In conjunction, Route 66 will hold the Burndown at Sundown on Saturday with two shows scheduled for 5 and 9 p.m. All the Lucas Oil action starts Friday at 9:00 a.m. with Time Trials and Qualifications and runs through Sunday with Elimination rounds. Here are some images from last year's event.
For a day that threatened heavy rain, it turned out to be a beautiful day/night at the racetrack. It appeared to be raining all around us but not a nary drop of rain fell on the track until after the event was closed. At around 6:00 p.m., staff decided with the low car count and the threat of future rain, the event would shut down at 7:30 p.m. Even with the low car count, there was a mixture of cars from street cars to Top Sportsman.
There were even some cars that I hadn't seen before.
The night went very smoothly except for the tree in the left lane that was having a hiccup with the second staging light. Again, with the small car count, staff primarily used the right lane to successfully get everyone their hits. Within 10 minutes of the event closing it started to rain. Kudos to the staff for a great call.
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Tonight at the Bartlett Library, part-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Camden (Cam) Murphy gave a presentation on the life and career of Fred Lorenzen, racing legend and NASCAR Hall of Famer. For Cam, this all started when the Itasca, Ill., native realized his Illinois connection to Elmhurst's "Fearless Freddie" Lorenzen. He reached out to the family and after a short time, a meeting was arranged. The meeting went so well that Fred's daughter, Amanda, asked Cam to represent Fred and tell his story.
Fred had a short racing career; however, it was impactful, judging by the fact that he was a 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee. He was the first driver to have winnings greater than $100,000, even though he did not run all the races. Every time he showed up in his Holman and Moody #28 Lafayette Ford, he was the man to beat. There weren't many that could do that! In NASCAR, Fred ran in 158 races, had 26 wins, 84 top 10s and 32 poles. He was dominate at Martinsville, having four consecutive 500-lap wins. His records also garnered him recognition as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Cam is passionate about Fred and gave a great presentation. To see more of Fred's story, please click here.
Cam is a 19-year-old racer who came to racing late compared to some of his fellow racers. He started in 2006 in the Central States Region (CSR) Super Cup Series. Super Cup cars are sometimes called mini-Cup cars - and as Cam says, "go-karts on steroids!" He since has driven in several Midwestern truck series races and debuted in 2014 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville. He ran again at Martinsville in 2015.
He is currently getting as much seat time as possible while working for Bobby Dotter and the SS Green Light Racing Team. The SS Green Light Racing Team fielded the trucks that Cam drove at Martinsville. He has an offer to drive a truck at the Iowa Speedway on June 18th. He only needs to find a relatively small amount of funding. His goal is to run Iowa, which will then allow him to run the 1.5-mile tracks. The track they want to race at is the Chicagoland Speedway. The plan would be to run a Fred Lorenzen tribute truck at Chicagoland on September 16th in the American Ethanol E15 225.
I can understand Cam's passion for representing Fred Lorenzen since I was able to meet Fred at the September 2014 Chicagoland Speedway Chase Weekend event. Fred is a humble, great man and was a great racer. Fred, being humble, will never say it - so it's up to Cam Murphy to tell the story. Thanks Cam!
Today was the third Race Your Ride presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts at Route 66. Race Your Ride #2 was rained out earlier this season. It was overcast and cool with the cars arriving slowly. Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic with Buddy Hull at the helm made one pass down the quarter mile for a test for tomorrow's appearance in Michigan. I was surprised to see Todd Trench back in the dragster. He has been focusing on his son's (Todd (TJ) Trench Jr.) Super Pro Camaro and recovering from an injury.
Just as the car count was building, I received a call from home with a minor emergency. I had to pack up and head home, so I didn't get the normal amount of work done. Everything was worked out at home and the situation was resolved. Here are some more images of my limited time at the track.
Mike Rozin raced hard all day and in the end he won the Super Pro Class on his Dad's birthday. This was one of many good stories from the day. I would like to say it was all good, but that would be lying. The better part of the morning was a persistent light rain. While track drying was ongoing, it was decided, due to the late start that only one timed run would be run instead of the customary two. Everything was proceeding normally until Midwest Top Sportsman Driver Tim Kirin lost control of his car and impacted the retaining wall. There were no injuries reported.
After the clean-up everything was going fairly smoothly when Pro driver Troy Bogner, upon launch, had a left rear tire go flat. He safely guided the car to a stop. Unfortunately, it took a considerable amount of time to get the car on the rollback. The good thing for Troy was the other driver red-lighted giving him the round win.
We were just catching up when there was a major hiccup with the computers. This was another of those issues that took a sizable amount of time to fix. After the computer issues were repaired, we race to the end of the event. I would like to congratulate all our winners:
High School - Derek Lyons
Pro (Eliminator) - Don Dumdie
Super Pro - Mike Rozin
Pro Bike - Bruce Damewood
Sportsman - Stephen Mroz
Midwest Top Sportsman - Troy Finner
In addition, I would like to commend the Route 66 staff for battling all day to complete this event. Mother Nature and other unforeseen issues conspired to make it an unusual day.
Another feel good story, was TJ Trench's first round win since starting in the Super Pro Class after graduating from the Juniors.
Here are some more images from today's action.
What a beautiful night for racing. With all the inclement weather lately, tonight was a welcome change. We didn't have an overabundance of cars, however what did show up was impressive. There were three Nitro Funny Cars, Tom Motry's Drastic Plastic with driver Buddy Hull, John Lawson's Quick Draw with driver Dale Creasey in place of Joe Haas and John Lawson's new Runaway with John driving. Unfortunately the new Runaway broke a fuel pump on the line and had to retire for the night.
There were numerous Midwest Top Sportsman cars testing for tomorrow's race at Route 66 to be run in conjunction with the Rockett Brand Racing Fuel ET Bracket race.
Early on in the event, there was a crash when a car lost control around the 1000 foot mark. While the driver almost regained control, at the last second the car darted across the track striking the wall and then careened back across the track striking the other retaining wall. Fortunately, the driver was uninjured. I don't have any images of the crash due to the fact I was in the media center when it happened, but did witness the crash. A short time later another car came to the water box and as it accelerated, it lost its radiator cap and water came spewing out.
There were several more minor delays for minor issues, until Fred Trombley appeared to break his rear axle and brushed the wall. Again, I was in the media center sending photos to social media when this happened. After this incident, things seemed to settle down for the rest of the night Here are some more images of the night's action. Next up is the ET Bracket race on Saturday.