Limerock Speedway opened their gates on April 30th marking the start of their 52nd season. On a beautiful and sunny day, drivers were able to see all the hard work put into the track during the off season as they entered the pit area in preparation for the hunt for the 2016 points championship. Some of the changes seen around the track are the new track exit located in turn 4 and the relocation of the scales to behind the scoring tower. A new hot pit area was placed behind the fence between turns 1 and 2. New regulations allow for minor repairs to be conducted in this area under caution and if a driver is ready before the end of the caution, they can re-enter the track. During the off season, many hours were spent prepping the track surface and after packing was complete a beautiful racing surface was available all night.
The feature races of the night started off with the JR2 Kart class where 5 drivers took to the grid. The #04 car of Years sat on the pole and the outside pole was the #0 car of B. Macdonald. The #48 Lovejoy, #33 Colvin and #12 of Hoffman rounded out the field as they took the green flag. Years jumped out to the lead with Macdonald close behind looking for an opening to pass. Colvin passed Lovejoy to take the third position and Years remained out front of the pack and took home the first checkered flag of the racing season.
Next out on track was the newest class at Limerock, rookie karts with just one entry, #4E of E. Starr. Joining Starr on track was the #14 of Giles in the SR kart class. Giles had the pole and Starr jumped out into the lead early with Giles dropping in behind and followed Starr for two laps. Giles then made the pass on the front straight only to have Starr pass back in turn 2. Starr and Giles both take home victories for their race night.
With the Kart program complete for the night, the largest class of the night took to the track with 12 270 micros. Several drivers made the haul from Pennsylvania and Ohio and the #37 of S. Hawkins and the #19 of Haefke Jr. led the field to the green flag with two cars failing to make the start. Troubles plagued #1F Francis and #94 Conley. Hawkins jumped out front and never looked back as the drivers turned some of our quickest lap times around the little bull ring. Several cautions occured with the #07 Sigley, #16 Barnes and #22R R. Fredericks all unable to make it to the finish line. Hawkins took home the checkered flag with a fast lap time of 9.85 seconds followed by the #11 of B. Fredericks, #19 of Haefke Jr., #27 D. Hawkins, #83 Freeland, #8K Woody and #28 Stymus rounding out the finishing order.
Up next was the 600 Wingless class with 10 entries in the field. The #5 of Goetz and the #7 of Hunt led the field of 10 onto the grid and it didn’t take long for Hunt to move to the lead. Hunt led for a few laps before the #88 of J. Ames took over the lead and opened the gap. Goetz worked his way back around Hunt and some three wide racing was seen on the front straight. The caution flew and #88 Ames got collected and placed at the back of the pack. The green flag went back in the air and Ames did everything he could to claw back to the front but the checkered flag came out at lap 25 with the #5 of Goetz taking home the victory. Following him was #7 Hunt, #88 J. Ames, #6 Trautman, #28 Beverly, #8x Ames, #21 Magavero, #0 C. Macdonald, #13 Vose and #48j Jarkiewicz.
The MTD Powerwashing & Deck Staining 125/250 class entered the track next having 6 cars entered into the field. #11 Martell lead #17 Bieber and the field to the green flag. Moving to the front would be #17 Bieber, #8 Cornell and #9 Jermyn. #17 Bieber would gain the lead and hold on to it for the feature win and the battle for second was swapped a few times until a near photo finish brought the #8 of Cornell home in second and a close #9 Jermyn in third. Rounding out the finish was #21 Muhlheisen, #11 Martell and #0 K. Macdonald.
The 450 Class with 5 entries took to the smooth racing surface next with the #8K of K. White and the #3 of S. White on the front row. With plenty of bite in the track surface, the initial start was plagued with a 3 car incident that sent the #3 of White, #4C of Chiverton and the #3R Richmond to the rear. When the green flag flew for the second time, #8K White went to the lead and never looked backas her car was hooked up so tight the left front was in the air for most of the race. The #88 of Liles would come home second followed by #3R Richmond, #4C Chiverton and #3 White.
The C&C Archery 600 Sportsman Class followed on track lead by #50 of O’Grady sitting on the pole with the #24 Gregory on the outside pole. Chain issues plagued the #28 of Potter making him unable to start the race. The race was fairly uneventful with all entries finishing in the same order they took the green flag: #50 O’Grady, #24 Gregory, #3P Penders, #11 Megliore and #28 Potter.
The 600 Open class was the final race of the night. 8 cars entered the race but only 6 were able to take the initial green due to issues on the #48j of Jarkiewicz and the #41 Smith. C. Macdonald in the #0 would brought the remaining field of 6 to the green with Morrow in the #38 on the outside hoping to make a great start and get out front. Macdonald held on to the lead until Morrow made a move and later was passed for the lead by #13T Years. The #5 of Goetz made his way through the field after the caution and made the pass on Years to move to the front. Macdonald moved back into the third position and #22R Frederick finished fourth. Goetz came out of turn 4 to see his second checkered flag of the night and another trip to victory lane. Finishing behind him the #13T of Years, #0 of Macdonald, #22R of Frederick, #38 Morrow, #4B Blum, #41 Smith and #48j of Jarkiewicz.
Join us next week for our Mother’s Day Celebration when all mothers get into the grandstand for free. Joining the regular racing action is the Modified Mower Series and at intermission if time permits, a bicycle race. Check out www.LimerockSpeedway.com for other upcoming events.
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D & H Photography
Tom Sigley, Steve Haefke, BJ Antonio