Tyler County Speedway, Topless 50 Review
May 12, 2007
By Kyle Jones
On Saturday May 12th, I traveled to my favorite racetrack, the Tyler County
Speedway, located at the Tyler County Fairgrounds in Middlebourne West
Virginia. On tap was the Late Model Topless 50 paying $4,000 to the winner.
Last year the Topless was the best race I saw with the 1x1 of Sonny Conley
taking the win.

35 Super Late Models were on hand with a few surprises in the pits. The E1
of Mike Balzano made the trip along with Pennsylvania's Robbie Blair, Dave
Hess, Keith Barbara and Matt Lux as well as Kentucky's Josh McGuire. Throw
in all the Tyler County locals and there was a very stout field of cars
ready to get it on.

The 00H of Chuck Harper set fast time by running a lap of 13.03 seconds.
Heat race winners were the T8 of Mark Banal, 12 Ricky Williams, 31 Dave
Gorrell and the B1 of Paul Wilmoth JR. The B-mains were won by the 18 of
Robbie Scott and the 41 of Josh McGuire.

The track surface was a very uncharacteristic Tyler County. Heavy winds blew
in from behind the main grandstand and were drying out the track.

Mark Banal and Ricky Williams brought the 19 car starting field to the green
flag with Banal jumping out to the early race lead. Track conditions quickly
worsened making passing difficult. One car however had no trouble passing
cars. Josh McGuire picked them off one by one. Josh started 14th and had
gained 4 positions to 10th by lap 5. By lap 12 he gained another 4 spots to
place him 6th. Lap 12 was the last time the yellow flag would fall. Josh was
able to gain 2 more spots in the last 38 laps and finish a respectable 4th.
Mark Banal led all 50 laps and win his first Topless 50. Mark is also the
first driver from outside the state of West Virginia to win the Topless as
he hails from St. Clairsville Ohio. Ricky Williams was strong in the late
stages but couldn't catch Banal. He finished second followed by Paul Wilmoth
JR, Josh McGuire, Robbie Blair, Jared Hawkins, Dave Hess, Butch McGill,
Donnie Dotson, and Robbie Scott rounding out the top 10.

Hats off to the 41 of Josh McGuire! Josh started the night with a bad
qualifying time starting him 7th of 9 cars in the second heat race. Josh
finished third but was docked two spots for jumping a late restart which
would relegate him to a 5th place finish. He started outside pole of the
B-main #2 and easily took the checkers. Come feature time, Josh was hooked
up on the slick surface as he gained 10 spots in the feature to finish 4th.

I am not used to seeing Tyler County get slick and although passing was
rare, Josh McGuire showed that it could easily be done. He really put on a
good show. It was nice to see Mark Banal pick up a big win. His interview
after winning was worth the price of admission.

I will be back to the Tyler County Speedway on June 16th for the Independent
Racing Series show. Make sure to attend "The Bullring" as Tyler County
always puts on one of the best shows. Maybe the wind will be a little nicer
to the track next time.