OK. This one was a bit out of “roaming range” for the average weekend. However, Winchester Speedway hosted United Racing Club Winged Sprints and we were already in the area for other business. The Sprints gave us a convenient excuse to skip out and check out the racing at Winchester. We wanted to check the contrast of the paved MSR Sprints we witnessed at South Boston with the dirt action for the URC Sprint cars. Winchester racing did not disappoint.

URC Sprints taking off at Winchester Speedway

URC Sprints were guests sharing the track with Limited Late Model, Mid Atlantic Modified and UCar with Sport Compact Dirt Racing Association events. The evening racing was sponsored by J & D Truck And Auto Repair, also located in Winchester.

We picked a pretty good night to visit. Each of the classes for racing put double digit entries on the track with multiple groups of practice and heat races to give fans a good preview for the features. The stands were filling up as teams warmed up. The larger seating held the announcer tower centered on the concrete bleachers on the flag tower and start / finish front stretch. A smaller set of bleachers were opposite on the back stretch but also gave a bit of a view of staging and team work areas.

Now… Let’s take a minute here. Racing at Winchester goes back to 1936 running almost side by side with the local airport. It has passed through several hands to the current owner, Greg Gunter, who also owns a popular honey outlet in the area. The concrete bleachers were built in the early 1970s. To be straight, the restrooms and some of the lower areas under the stands could use a makeover. However, like many local tracks, the focus on attracting drivers and cars to race to keep fans in the seats is a balancing act of available funds so some things are on a persistent “to do” list.

There is very little in the infield at Winchester. There is a basic inspection rollover and no buildings at all. The water equipment for track prep, tow / push vehicles, emergency ambulance crew and a couple of porta-johns are about it. A few of the UCars made the base inside but most, including the Late Models, Modified and Sprints were all staged in a much larger area outside of the back stretch and turn 3.

It should also be noted the local fans who populated the stands on this warm, May evening did not seem concerned about anything but the show on the track. Events and timing went fairly smoothly, for the most part. The start of the features were a bit off as the schedule was juggled and some did not get the memo but once the track went hot it went off well.

Three wide Late Model racing at Winchester Speedway

Racing is quick on these dirt tracks. Winchester is no different. Drivers had to make every effort in the heats to make a good start in the feature. Racing was close and drivers made use of multiple lines to get around. Of course there were some spins and one UCar driver went end over top but came out OK. For an evening of racing, the dirt at Winchester offers a good show. An open mind on expectations of the rest rooms may help, but the racing…? The racing is fast, close and lap to lap action keeps the eyes on the track. It’s worth a run to check out some racing at Winchester.

Results from J&D Auto-Truck Repair Night at Winchester Speedway.

URC Sprint Feature One

  • Josh Weller
  • Jason Shultz
  • Adam Carberry

URC Sprint Feature Two

  • Kevin Darling
  • Jake Karklin
  • Andy Best

SCDRA / UCAR

  • Andrew Hoffner
  • Robbie Carrol
  • Jason Jarvis
  • Shawn Payne
  • Rusty Poston

Limited Late Model

  • Wesley Bonebrake
  • Jonathan DeHaven
  • Justin Fulton
  • Bubby Tharp Jr
  • Craig Parrill
  • Levi Crowl

Mid-Atlantic Modified

  • Andy Anderson
  • Michael Altobelli Jr
  • Rick Hulson
  • TJ DeHaven
  • Justin Cullum
  • Mike Franklin

Full Photo Gallery Below

PHOTOS from Winchester Speedway – *Photos are display / showcase purposes only* Images available for sale from the evening may be purchased from official source: WRT Speedwerx

Age and resources are working a balancing act in Callaway, Virginia. The current management and operations have been digging deep to make it all work as a racing place for fans and drivers. The hurdles have been large and the results are falling into place. Franklin County Speedway is not Le Mans… It is not Martinsville… It is not South Boston… It is just Franklin County and it is being pulled as best as can into 21st century racing. That may mean unforeseen surprises (track fix during a race) but the on track show is straight up.

That was the case Sunday evening (April 10) as the SMART Modified Tour took over with racing on the back side of the hill at Franklin County Speedway. The “Kenny Minter Classic” SMART Tour event ran Sunday as there was a rather big event down the road at Martinsville for the earlier bit of the weekend. NASCAR ran the top tiers Thursday through Saturday so the decision was made to run the Franklin County races on Sunday. It was better weather on Sunday so it all went for the best.

The qualifying and autograph session drew fans in. SMART / NASCAR legend Bobby Labonte is a fan favorite on the tour and welcomed folks with signed cards and selfie shots. The regular series drivers, many with records and titles themselves, joined Bobby on the track as fans came by. Burt and Jason Myers, Jonathan Brown, Brandon Ward, Jeremy Gerstner, Gary Putnam… These and more were lined up to greet fans.

There were five races set. Mini Stocks, Stock4, 602 Mods and Stock6/Bootleg filled the bill with the SMART Mods running in the middle main.

The 110 lap Kenny Minter Classic set off with Gary Putnam on the pole. However, it wasn’t long before the front was being pulled in and challenged by Jonathan Brown and Jeremy Gerstner. Through contact cautions and a brief red flag for quick fix on the racing surface, Brown seemed to be driving the car to beat.

It turned out not to be the best call as Bobby Labonte stayed out while most others took advantage of a mid race pit stop. Labonte in the Cookout #25 did restart in front of the field but aging tires allowed the better equipped cars to quickly get by. This included Brown and Brandon Ward who battled for the front but it was Jeremy Gerstner who followed Jonathan Brown over the line.

The Top Five – SMART Modified Kenny Minter Classic

  1. 22 Jonathan Brown
  2. 79 Jeremy Gerstner
  3. 14 Bobby Measmer Jr.
  4. 1 Burt Myers
  5. 25 Bobby Labonte

Racing began with the 30 lap Mini Stock division. The Stock4 ran afterwards. The SMART Mods ran the main followed by 602 Mods with a 60 lap run. The Stock6 – Bootleggers ran a combined 25 laps to close out the evening.

The Mini Stock winner: Scott Foley
The Stock4 winner: Darrell Chrisley
The 602 Modified winner: Tanner Young
The Stock6 winner: Chad McDowell
The Bootleg winner: Brad Holt

There is more action coming to Franklin County Speedway. Weekly, or bi-weekly schedules are on with Late Models, Mini Stocks, Bootlegs and more. The CARS Tour is returning later this year. Bring a lawn chair or a cushion seat and check out some racing in Callaway!

Full Photo Gallery – April 10, 2022 – Kenny Minter Classic / SMART Modified Tour

Local track racing at Motor Mile Speedway seems to turning some heads as the crowd was noticeably larger than our last visit there. The track is not slowing down at all for August. In fact, they are turning up on several levels. The track is hot 3 of 4 weekends in August with some profile events.

  • Friday August 6 – Family Fun Night – Super Cup Stock Car Series. $25.00 per car with Bike Races for the kids, FREE Rusty Wallace Ride-Alongs for Winners during intermission plus UCAR, Sportsman and Big Rig Trucks on display in advance of August 7 FASS racing. Access to Friday Night Fury at the drag strip, too!
  • Saturday August 7 – FASS Big Rig Series with Mod-4 and Super Street
  • Saturday August 14 – Shelor Motor Mile Presents – Kenny Wallace Night – NAAPWS-CT LMSC Twin 60’s Watch The Motor Mile Stars Race Against Kenny Wallace In Two Big 60 Lap Features! Rusty Wallace Racing Experience Championship, Sportsman, Super Street, Mod-4, UCAR
  • Saturday August 28 – Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour makes their run at Motor Mile Speedway!

For CMC Supply Night on July 31st, the show brought some racing history out with the The Southern Ground Pounders and began the night with tiny but fast Mini Cup laps. NAAPWS Late Models, Limited Sportsman, Super Street, Mod-4 and U-Car filled the night for a full schedule.

Top Results for CMC Supply Night – July 31, 2021:

  • Mini Cup Winner – Tyler Warriner
  • Sportsman Race #1 Winner – Cory Dunn
  • Super Street Winner – Hank Turman
  • Late Model Race #1 Winner – Ryan Wilson
  • Mod 4 Winner – Tanner Young
  • Ground Pounder Winners – Greg Butchser / Sportman and Cowboy Dewite / Modified
  • Sportsman Race #2 Winner – Kyle Barnes
  • Late Model Race #2 Winner- Kres Vandyke
  • UCAR Winner – Peyton Howell

FULL PHOTO GALLERY from JULY 31, 2021 BELOW:

Denny Hamlin seemed to be on the verge of taking a 2021 season win at Richmond. He bagged stage 1 and stage 2 and led for most of the race. It came apart on a restart with 10 laps left.

Alex Bowman managed to get by Hamlin to put the #48 in Victory Lane. Hamlin came in the second slot and Joey Logano, who also had a good late race run, came in third. Denny and the FedEx team still top the points with rather consistent Top 5 runs into 2021. Racing takes NASCAR south to Talladega this weekend.

For local Virginia tracks, the options for race fans to catch some hot laps is still wide open. Motor Mile Speedway hosts the Southern Ground Pounders this weekend. They ran South Boston last week. Motor Mile will also run Late Models, Super Stock, Mod-4 and U-Car.

Wythe Raceway is on the dirt with Wythe Eye Pro Modifieds and several support races. Virginia Motor Speedway is also running the dirt with Late Models, Sportsman and Modifieds. Dominion Raceway hosts Late Models, Dominion Stock and other series. Natural Bridge is running their show this weekend, as well.

Local track action across Virginia continues to show green flags. Attendance may still be limited with some restrictions still in place but the vaccine pace is up with warmer weather on the way. Check your track and put some racing on your schedule!

Franklin County Speedway continues with their creative event presentation during a world pandemic. Virginia rules allow some discretion for outdoor events and the folks at Moonshine Capital / Franklin County Speedway took advantage of it. They invited the drivers and teams to come up from North Carolina and take on the little Franklin County track.

Bowman-Gray Stadium has a long history of Modified racing. However, it has been hit hard by the Covid confusion and issues over it. The organizers at Franklin County opened discussions with the racers over the border and the “Stadium Invasion” came into play.

The counts, the racing, the attendance… It was all fantastic and set inside the reality of the Virginia rules and guidelines for events in the current Covid situation. Franklin County Speedway seems to have been built for modified racing. It’s a little rough… It’s a little on the outlaw side… But it works!

Photo Gallery of Stadium Invasion 2020 at Franklin County Speedway – July 18, 2020