Makin’ Tracks – World Finals Day Two – DTD Exclusive

By BILL FOLEY

Well, Sprint hot laps, two Modified last chance races, 70 minutes for six Late Model prelims, six WoO heats, three LM consi’s, two Sprint dashes, a C Main and B Main and it all happened in just three hours and 48 minutes.

Features….didn’t happen at all as track faced a hard Midnight curfew. If Paul Nienhiser hadn’t flipped in the B-Main for the Sprints maybe, just maybe, the Modified main might have gotten in.

Such was day two at the World Finals presented by Can Am.

Rain started early in the day and ended around 5 p.m.




The announcement went out that racing would hopefully begin at 8 p.m. and the cars hit the track exactly at that moment for 40 minutes of Sprint hot laps. So much for any hope of getting any of the features in.

It’s a monumental task putting on the show for the three elite divisions in the World Racing Group and for the second consecutive weekend weather was dictating what was going to happen.

So shortly before Midnight thousands of fans headed for the exits to come back on Saturday at 1 p.m., to watch the three features and then at 4:45 p.m., we start the whole thing all over again.

Fans found things to do throughout the day with trips to the go kart track, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, race shop visits or simply finding a good local restaurant and relaxing for a bit.

When it was off to the track most of the cars were either still in the comfortable surroundings of their hauler or covered with tarps.

Throughout the next few hours the qualified Modifieds found their way out so that eventually around 11:30 p.m. the could drive up the hill, get in line and then proceed to turn around and head back to their haulers to try again later on Saturday.

Moist or should I say saturated red clay stuck to everything. Yes, there are asphalt pits, but not everything is paved. So everyone, whether they want it or not, gets a free souvenir of clay to take to their camper, hotel or home.

Friday Night Notes

It was quickly noted that the night before was even more cruel than many thought. Quebec driver Steve Bernard, who is in both features, lost an engine and someone was driving J.F. Coriveau’s 96 down to Charlotte, but it wasn’t expected to arrive until around 4 a.m. Saturday. Fortunately, Carey Terrence and Mike Maresca had arranged for a car for the Friday night feature if needed…

Matt Sheppard apparently headed to Magic Shoes Mike McLaughlin’s shop to install another motor while Erick Rudolph along with Mat Williamson were reportedly ready to go to back ups after motor problems the night before…

Chris Hile wasn’t sure what he was going to do after losing an engine on Thursday. A member of his crew said, ”We had a few beers last night and gained some confidence.” So they changed the engine. Katelyn,Chris’s wife, said, ”We got back to the track at eight o’clock and pulled the motor. We fired is up around 11:30. We really appreciate that Chris Gennarelli came over and helped us out.” …

Keith Flach and his crew were also completing an engine change as they scuffed a piston on a motor whose only time running was on the dynamo. Keith said,”That’s racing. We have the best equipment,but things happen.” …

Had a chance to visit with Josh Hohenforst who was competing at Charlotte for the first time (story to follow)…

The last chance races proved interesting.

Winner of 2015 World Finals Tim Kerr and neophyte Big Block driver Gary Lindberg won the consi events…

Mike Maresca, Steve Feder, Tim McCreadie and Scott Hitchen (smoking engine and all) qualified.

Hitchen provided truth to desperate times lead to desperate moments. He was chasing third place Marcus Dinkins and entering the third turn he pushed Dinkins high in three. The end result put Hitchen in and Dinkins waiting to run the Saturday last chance race…

Also filling out the field with provisionals were Rich Scagliotta, Dave Rauscher, Demetrios Drellos and Roberts…

Bubble cars for the Friday modified race that will be run Saturday include Justin Haers and Rick Regalski…

Western Pennsylvania hot shoe Jeremiah Shingledecker had already gotten a spot in the Saturday main and appeared cruising to the Friday feature. He was second, but running second with two laps to go heavy smoke started coming out of the engine compartment on the front stretch. However, by the back straight he turned left and parked it. It appeared the Charlotte track had claimed yet another multi-thousand dollar powerplant…

As the final race ended fire crews rushed to the Max McLaughlin toter.

A fire had broken out in the residential area, but quick work by the fire department and Charlotte track crew doused it. (Will try to get more details today)…

Well, lots of other stuff, but it’s 2:13 a.m., on Saturday morning and it is going to be a long final day and night at the track…

Some more coming as the weekend winds down.

Any news, notes, gossip or whatever send along to foley395@hotmail.com