Summer weather is a bit unpredictable… For the most part, Saturday night at Motor Mile Speedway had a slight chance of a passing shower. That “slight” chance opened the sky for good 30 minute downpour which, of course, pushed racing back by a little more than 30 minutes. Qualifying was interrupted but track trying was under way by the time the original green flag was to fly. The schedule was juggled just a bit and the scheduled 75 laps of twin Late Model races was cut to 50 laps.

Other than that, the stories at Motor Mile were wide open. The visiting Super Cup Late Models presented a good field of cars. The Late Model “regulars” even had some visitors boosting those numbers on the track. The season has a rivalry challenge brewing as Mike Looney and Kyle Dudley are dominating this season and it seems some of those visitors were taking their shot at making a dent.

Among the visitors were two ladies challenging the Late Models… 15 year old Katie Hettinger (Michigan), who has notched some race wins and has runs in the Carolina Pro and CARS Tours, and Samantha Rohrbaugh (West Virginia), who also runs some Super Cup but was challenging the Late Models at Motor Mile for this one. It was also notable that Katie and Samantha started the first Late Model race side by side on the front row.

Another Late Model interest was Motor Mile regular Bryan Reedy as he was there running a borrowed and blue #77 with a little tape to mark it up as #17 for the evening. His regular car still had lingering damage from the week before.

One more regular season race is on the schedule for Championship points across the board. That comes up in September. The CARS Tour is on tap for the 28th of August. Racing this past Saturday, August 20, did move the standings a bit.

Mike Looney pushed just 5 points beyond Kyle Dudley with his double shot Late Model wins. Dudley drove in the second slot in both and visiting Katie Hettinger drove in third in both. (*We were pleasantly surprised to see Katie there. It was unexpected. We met her last season at Franklin County and look forward to seeing more good results and a hot future.)

Karl Budzevski added to his dominant Sportsman season with double shot wins. The Super Street division has several contenders and Joe White made the win and a move up. Kevin Cantor grabbed a Mod-4 win and also moved within top spot striking distance. Jamie Lafon extended his UCar lead and William Hale did the same in Mod-4.

Larry Berg and Jason Kitzmiller split the Super Cup Late Model wins. Berg took the first and Kitzmiller took the second.

Full Photo Gallery from A-1 Heating and Cooling Night at Motor Mile Speedway

It’s a bit warmer… The daylight lingers a bit longer… The original date was scheduled in May. Those pesky Spring showers forced a re-schedule. Maybe twice…

July 30, 2022. The weather brought a break in temperature and humidity from earlier in the week to set the stage for a good evening of racing at Motor Mile Speedway. The Pulaski County Play Outside 250 presented by Shively Electric was finally going to happen.

The crowd filtered in with gates at 4pm and an open “pit party” with cars and drivers on the front stretch at 5:30pm. A childrens’ bicycle race started the racing festivities at 6:30pm. The first green flag was set for 7:00pm. The evening set at Motor Mile generally followed the regular series on tap with the addition of the traveling Southern Ground Pounders which feature vintage style race cars.

The Total Car Care Mod-4 set off with the engine command and green flag set in motion by folks from Pulaski County. The 25 lap starter was won by Jonathan Hall.

The Collision Plus Sportsman presented a good field to race the first of the two 30 lap runs. Race one had the checkers taken by Karl Budzevski.

The Late Models, presented by Price’s Body Shop, also had a double shot on the schedule. The first of the 50 lap races was won by Mike Looney as he added another notch to his Motor Mile win list.

The Southern Ground Pounders took the track next with their 25 lap exhibition race. Chris Werner won the Modified division and Shawn Otey won the Sportsman division.

The second of the “Twin 30” Collision Plus Sportsman took the green under the full lights of the track. Once again for the evening, Karl Budveskie put his #7 in Victory Lane.

Late Models put on their second 50 lap show. Mike Looney gave a good run on Kyle Dudley but fell back later in the race as Dudley held on for the win.

The Enduros had a good showing also with a winner’s pot set at $2000.00 on the 100 lap, special “bubble race”. (What’s a “bubble race”…? It’s a race through bubbles… Duh…) OK… Two party bubble machines were set at the start/finish and cars race by stirring and pushing the bubbles. Yes… It is…

It is as odd and weird and, as it was, just as underwhelming as it sounds. The 100 lap race, however, had plenty of action and some good challenges on the lead. That lead, however, was mostly dominated by an orange #43 Infiniti wheeled by Trevor Heart.

Photo Gallery from Motor Mile Speedway / Pulaski County Play Outside 250

We don’t know. That refers to the current (July 16, 2022 to “Maybe”, “Unknown” and “What…?”) situation and drama that is Natural Bridge Speedway.

The place has been around since the 1950s. However, there are some issues that are pulling at the calendar at this 3/8 mile clay oval. There are some definite facility issues. The drag strip has been down for a while and the chances of it coming back to speed are slight. The oval, which has been hosting a weekly schedule, is on the edge of an implosion. There are stories of staffing issues, deteriorating structure and facility components, race winners not being paid, security and/or safety concerns and just plain indifference to the racers and fans.

On top of all that, water in the infield facilities (such as it is) just isn’t…

Now… This is where it gets a little… weird. A few days before race day, (Saturday 7-16) some chatter opened up on the NBS Facebook page. (The website, by the way, has been off for a while… Like the infield water…) There was an announcement that a fellow, apparently native of the area, was stepping in as promoter / director. This man immediately made a show of his plans. There was Facebook Live (since deleted) and big promises. Driver payouts, things getting fixed, big plans in the works for big events, a truck show…

To Be Fair…

Te be fair… He seemed to have a wide range of support… On paper, anyway. The FB Live presentation went wide and wild and then there was another FB Live as a kind of rebuttal clarification on the first that also strained the guard rails of staying on topic.

By race day, it seems there were many bits of the strategy as presented that were scratched. We now know, or have been presented with, an “after event” narrative. Friday practice was scrubbed as no EMT/Ambulance was available. A scoring computer was missing… Radios that were, at best, vintage to start with, were inoperative and/or broken and missing… The infield water situation has already been mentioned… There were property tax issues (?)… Track treatment water trucks and the water supply for them… Tow vehicles…

For race day, it did start with a “truck show”. A hip-hop hi-rise truck show. Oddly cool but also seemingly out of place…? Just a bit.

Qualifying was scrubbed as timing and scoring was dependent on a computer that was either missing or simply inoperative. Starting order was determined by draw. Despite numerous declarations of a definite green at 7:00pm, the actual first race start go off about 20 minutes late.

Not bad… They got in the National Anthem.

Natural Bridge Speedway is a 3/8 mile clay-dirt track. The surface has been raced on, graded, conditioned, watered, compressed and raked for 60 years or so. In short, it is dirt track racing and it gets sideways fast.

The crowd was actually really good, as far as appearances go. The car count for racing was pretty good, also. The crates ran the largest field but there were enough in the other divisions for good runs. There were some spins… One went over the edge top of turns 3 – 4 (OK, it seems… The ambulance didn’t go hot…) A purple car chased a multi-color car… A little car fought a bigger tire…

The show on the track was quite good. The fans were engaged. The racing went off, for the most part, easily enough. Staging and out for the green flag was set with little confusion despite having no real radio communications. The end result, from a fan looking in standpoint and from what was witnessed, was an evening of very good racing.

The show leading up to the show might have had elements borrowed from a train wreck. As of this writing, the fellow who ran NBS for those few days quit the gig, decided not to quit the gig and was, apparently, removed from the gig and seems to be still talking about the gig.

Who is driving this train now…? How much money was spent…? Whose money…? We think the drivers and positions were paid so there is that… Is there racing this coming weekend…?

We have no idea… but here are some photos!

July 16th, 2022 at Natural Bridge Speedway.

HyperFest… To not mince words, it is basically a “Car Party”. From NASA club racing to drifting to rally dirt to show cars and party music and light shows and RC races and fans out simply to have some fun with their own cars in the middle of it all.

There really is something for almost everyone. Maybe… Perhaps… If you were prone to be picky you could ask about drag racing and dirt sprints but you would just get those “Really…? With all we have you can’t find something…?” looks.

A drag racing segment and some hot laps in sprint cars on the rally course would be something… But in reality, there is more than enough action all through the facility at Virginia International Raceway to keep things moving.

We were there for a lot of the track action. The weather for this one started Friday and Saturday with some rain. By late morning on both days the weather was much more favorable.

For race results from NASA competition, check their website: NASA Mid Atlantic.
Hyperfest Photos from Friday and Saturday are below. *Yes, we skipped out on Saturday evening. We’re old and 14 hour days are behind us.

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