Race Weekend Central

Keepin’ it Short – A new season is upon us

Welcome to the 2011 short track racing season and the new version of Keepin’ it Short. For those of you who were around last year this column focused on a different track across the country every week. While we attempted to do a different state every week, we ran out of states whose race tracks had history available on the Internet after 36 so we had to double up on a few of them at the end of the season. This year we’re going to come at things from some different angles. There will still be some historical looks at race tracks from across the country, but there will also be previews and summaries of big races that take place throughout the year, some pieces about different race car drivers from across the country and some articles about different racing series and types of cars running in them from all over the United States.

Chili Bowl

The 2011 season kicked off with an extremely impressive first at the Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the biggest midget race in the world at the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway. While it wasn’t a record for entries, an outstanding field of 256 racers took to the track over the four days of competition that ended up with a slate of racing on the final Saturday starting with K-mains and scaled the alphabet through twin J’s, twin I’s etc. until the final 50 lap A-main took place on Saturday night.

When the sliding, banging and flipping was all said and done, Kevin Swindell won the Chili Bowl for the second year in a row, the first time in 25 years of the event that someone was able to win in back-to-back years. This was also the third straight year that a Swindell stood at the top of the podium as Kevin’s dad Sammy won the event in 2009. While Sammy didn’t win he did post his third-consecutive podium finish after coming home second the last two years after winning the event the year before.

Winning the Chili Bowl is certainly a huge feather in any midget racer’s cap, but just taking a checkered flag during the alphabet soup of races on that Saturday in the beginning of February deserves a shout out, so here are all of the winners from Saturday’s activity:

K-Main – Donovan Peterson
J-Mains – Troy Rutherford and Courtney Erfurth
I-Mains – Cameron Hagin and Kellen Conover
H-Mains – Austin Brown and Greg Bragg
G-Mains – Garrett Hansen and Brandon Waelti
F-Mains – Jody Rosenboom and Aaron Pierce
E-Mains – A.J. Fike and Rick Hendrix
D-Mains – Ronnie Gardner and R.J. Johnson
C-Mains – Scott Weir and Casey Shuman
B-Mains – Brad Loyet and Brad Kuhn.

Behind the Swindell’s at the front of the pack in the A-main were Michael Pickens, who finished third, following by Jonathon Beason and Bryan Clauson. Rounding out the top 10 were Brad Kuhn, Bobby East, Cole Whitt, Jon Stanbrough, and Daryn Pittman.

Volusia Speedway Park / East Bay Raceway Park

The weeks leading up to the Daytona 500 are not only filled with action from the NASCAR divisions on the big track, they’re also highlighted by all sorts of racing at Volusia Speedway Park and East Bay Raceway Park. The UMP modifieds, World of Outlaw Sprint cars and World of Outlaw Late Models will be racing for 12 days at Volusia while the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models, Mini Sprints and the 360 Sprints will be racing at East Bay for 10 out of 13 days. Check out the new Short Track section of Frontstretch.com to see the results posted the day after the racing is completed for the full 13 days of activity.

Thanks to those of you who have come back for another year of short track racing coverage and welcome to those of you who are here for the first time. We look forward to being one of your primary sources of short track racing information from the entire United States.

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