Local track racing is making the move to get started with Spring on the calendar, vaccines on the roll out and events starting to draw people out of their shutters.
We’re trying. Everyone is trying to get back to doing some things that involve not being stuck at home. 2021 is offering some hope on that front but many variables are still playing out. We have some control over some of these variables. Weather… Not so much.
Motor Mile Speedway joined the fray with their season opener on April 10. The deck was stacked already with NASCAR Cup racing set for the same weekend at Martinsville. Weather forecasts did not help either facility. Martinsville had the TV schedules to adhere to, at least for getting started. The folks at Motor Mile had more flexibility and made a decision to move the Saturday schedule up by several hours.
They almost pulled it off. As if taking a dare on the schedule change, the rain came earlier than expected. Six races were scheduled and they got four completed and the fifth was interrupted by a quick shower that put the red flag out.
A mad dash to dry the track had drivers ready to roll back out just as the rain came back. It was evident that the time to get that water cleared again would only stall the inevitable. These bouts with rain were just the opening round for the larger front that was definitely coming.
Pack it in. Call it done for the “Super Street” race that was in progress and set the final Late Model as a make up later in the season.
The weather made a dent for fans, as well. The opening had fans ready but the forecast could not be ignored. Even with that and the schedule change, many diehard race fans in the New River Valley area did come out.
Drivers and teams arrived as the early morning looked promising. Practice sessions were under way by 9:00am. Fans arrived and the green flag was ready to wave for the first event at 12:30pm. Racing was underway with Mod-4 opener.
These races go by quickly. For the Mod-4 group, there were 25 laps to make it happen and that’s just what Brittany Cockram did. She started in the fifth spot and managed to drive the #16 to the front and take the checkers. Scott Foley ran second followed Tony Sarver in third.
The first of the scheduled “Twin 60” Late Models hit the track with Kres Van Dyke on the pole. Van Dyke in the #15 held the spot for the first half with Ryan Wilson in the #2 and Kyle Dudley in the #4 racing hard to catch. The #2 fell back as Dudley kept the #4 in the second slot. The last half of the 60 laps brought Mike Looney’s #87 into the fray and up to the front. At the finish, Looney took the win with Dudley keeping the second spot and Van Dyke taking third. Karl Budzevski drove from sixth to finish fourth and Bryan Reedy made his way to fifth after starting ninth.
The 20 lapper Blue Ridge Church UCar race scrambled out with Joe Vaught on the pole. Vaught’s #21 car fell off the pace and the second place starter, Peyton Howell took the lead and the win. Jamie Lafon came from the back to finish second and Cary Thomason finished were he started in third.
With clouds thickening, the Collision Plus Sportsman went out for their 40 lap run. Cory Dunn in the #75 made moves from starting third to the front and held it for most of the race to the finish. Brian Sutphin, starting first, fell back and chased Dunn but lost a bit more late in the race. Kyle Barnes in the #00 and Drew Bond in the #84 drove in to finish second and third.
The Super Street got started with rain just minutes away. They made it to lap 17 and the rain came in. Wayne Corprew led them out from the green flag. By lap 9 Matt Gusler had come up front. By the time the rain came across the track, Ray Sowers had taken the lead with Scooter Hollandsworth in second and Gusler in third.
The final 8 laps of the Super Street and the final 60 lap Late Model race could not beat the radar. The rain came in and even with a big effort to get back under way, rain came again and the day of racing was parked and put in the trailers.
April 24th marks the next event on the Motor Mile schedule. NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Late Models with four support series are on tap.
Full Photo Gallery Below from April 10 at Motor Mile Speedway