|| Dirty Thoughts 4/14 and 4/15 Spring 50 Weekend
Ok, do me a favor, the whole time you’re reading this have the song "The Thunder Rolls" going thru your head.
Because the thunder was rolling and the Lightning was striking and the racing was out of sight this weekend at
Florence Speedway. Now I’m not gonna lie to you folks, the dirty one was very close to heading to the house Friday
night, the storm was all around us, the sky at times looked like someone was turning on and off the lightning with a
light switch, and I’m a big ole chicken when it comes to storms, but with a little liquid courage I was able to talk
myself into staying and THANK goodness I did, to think I might have missed those races if I’d gone home. The
Spring 50 weekend continued it’s long tradition as one of the best racing weekends of the entire year, as once again
some of the TOP drivers in the country made their way to the famed Florence Speedway ½ mile for some
AWESOME racing action.
Since Friday nights LM action was better than Saturday nights, I’m gonna do my normal run down for Friday night
and just hit a few high lights for Saturday night, sorry it would just take way to long to do both...
56 Late Models took time Friday night with 6 time Champion "the quiet one" Steve Landrum setting a blistering
pace for the field to shoot for with a 16.027 fast lap on Friday night and "The Real Deal" Don O’neal bested the 55
car field on Saturday night with a 16.107. Six action packed heat races would take place on both nights, with Friday
night being the better of the two. Friday nights heat races were just awesome, with racing from top to bottom and
drivers running door to door for lap after lap. Heat race #1 was the only heat there wasn’t a challenge for the lead,
but when you put Brian Birkhofer on the outside of row 1, that’s pretty much what happens. Birky checked out and
was GONE like the Wind, he was so far out in front, he admitted to looking over his shoulder during the post race
interview. "The Real Deal" would get by fast qualifier Steve Landrum and RJ Conley and settle in for a distant 2nd
place finish, pole sitter Conley edged out "the quiet one" for the 3rd and final transfer spot, sending Landrum to
the Consi. In a bit of a suprise, heat race #2 went to "the bullet" Bob Lanter who used his pole starting position and
a rather lost looking Eric "spud" Meyers to gain a lengthy advantage. Hometown boy Darrell Lanigan, in his own
machine this week, dropped back a bit on the start but worked his way around the befuddled Meyers and the good
looking ride of Chris Combs and was gaining on Lanter when the checkers fell. At the line it was, Lanter, Lanigan
and Combs who held off Doug Dodd at the line to get into the nights feature. Heat 3 saw the "verona Vandal" Jerry
Rice jump out to a commanding lead as fellow front row starter "the silver shark" Scott James would get shuffled
back to 5th. Not to be denied James took his #83 Rocket to the top of the track and mounted an impressive drive to
the front, passing the likes of "hot Rod" Conley, "stone cold" Tim Tungate in charge to the front. Before long the
man affectionately known as "the Shark" was side by side with Rice and the two battled for the last 2 laps. James
would gain control of the race and get the heat 3 win followed closely by Rice, with Tungate rounding out the top 3.
The entire crowd was on its feet at the end of this one. Wayne Chinn started on the pole for heat race #4 and would
be flanked by Rocky Top Raceways 2005 champ Kenny Christy. Chinn looking to deliver some sweet "CHINN"
music and continue his very impressive start to 2006 took off quickly at the beginning of the race, Steve Casebolt
would follow him in and out of turns 1 and 2 right on his tail. Meanwhile back in the field Dunnville, Kentucky’s
Brad Neat set sail for the lead from his #7 starting spot. Casebolt would get around Chinn and Christy slipped back
to 3rd, but Neat was not to be denied on this night and worked his way around all 3 drivers to win this AWESOME
heat race. Casebolt held on for 2nd and "the sniper" Wayne Chinn grabbed the 3rd place finishing spot. The story
of heat race # 5 was Josh McQuire, even though "the chosen one" Timmy Yeager won the race, McGuire pulled of
the move of the night, much to the dismay of "racin" John Mason and a few others. Late in the race and stuck
behind the slower cars, McQuire made a daring move coming off of turn four, cutting between 3 cars and darn near
taking the nose off of Mason’s car, I don’t think it was anything but a great racing move and in his day Mason
would have made the same move. The move propelled McQuire into a second place finish in the heat just behind
Yeager, with local dirty favorite "rockin" Roger Williams battling back from a bad start to get the #3 spot. Heat
race #6 would see Rick Corbin jump out to an early lead, with Mike McWilliams following him closely. "The
Wisconsin Wildman" Dan Schlieper was right on their heels waiting to make his move, and about ½ thru the race he
did just that, first working around McWilliams and then Corbin to set sail for the heat 6 win. Corbin, who always
does well when the big boys come to town, was able to hold on for a strong 2nd place finish. DRC favorite "the
lawnmower man" Ted Nobbe came from deep in the pack to grab the final heat race transfer spot. The nights fast
Qualifier Steve Landrum would get the win in Consi #1 with "Hot Rod" Conley getting the other transfer spot by
holding off our longest haul award winner Garrett Durrett from Lousiana to finish 2nd. Kenny Christy and "the
windfield warrior" Mike Marlar would transfer out of the second and final Consi race leaving only BOB and track
provisionals to set the field. 2005 BOB Co-champ Mike Jewell and Whitney McQuery nabbed BOB provisionals
and "the last outlaw" Jesse James Lay took the track provisional. The dirty one would have been happy with the
names in this field for the $50,000 to win North/South let alone a $3,000 to win BOB race. The top 5 rows read as a
who’s who in Late Model racing, Birkhofer, Schlieper, Yeager, James, Neat, Lanter, O’neal, Lanigan, Rice and
Casebolt set us up for a fantastic feature, a feature that was over in less than 10 minutes, caution free and action all
over the track. Birkhofer and Schieper battled each other for several laps with neither ever able to gain a huge
advantage on the other. Behind them Don O’neal worked his way up from the 7th starting position to get into the
now 3 car battle for the lead. O’neal would easily and cleanly gain control of the race and grab the $3,000 check for
winning the Spring 50 tuneup. Brian Birkhofer edged Schlieper for the runner up spot, with "the Chosen one"
Timmy Yeager finishing 4th just ahead of "the silver shark" Scott James who rounded out the top 5, just head of
Darrell Lanigan and Jerry Rice. The entire night lightning was flashing, thunder was rolling and the BOB/Florence
officials kept the show rolling and were able to get it in, what an awesome show and job put on by the combo...
Saturday nights heats and races were good as well, just not quite as good as Fridays, the winners and top 3 from the
heats were as follows:
Heat race #1- "the Real Deal" Don O’neal, Greg Lucas, Jesse Lay.
Heat race #2- "the Wisconsin Wildman" Dan Schlieper, Kenny Christy, Tim Tungate
Heat race #3- "rockin" Roger Williams, Brad Neat, Steve Casebolt
Heat race #4- "the Scottsburg Express" Mike Jewell, Freddy Smith, Scott James
Heat race #5- "the Sniper" Wayne Chinn, Bryan Barber, Ted Nobbe
Heat race #6- "the Windfield Warrior" Mike Marlar, Audie McWilliams, Rick Corbin
Steve Landrum again grabbed a Consi win as did Brian Birkhofer, Bobby Wolter jr finished 2nd to "the Quiet one"
and "Flyin" Ryan Markham did the same to Birky....
For the dirty one the story of this race was "Rockin" Roger Williams. Everybody knows Williams is a dirty
favorite, it’s hard for anybody to not like Roger, not only is he a fine racecar driver(as he proved Saturday night)
but he’s one hell of a nice guy to boot. Williams started on the outside of the front row and quickly took the lead,
matter of fact he took a commanding lead, and for the first 20 laps it was looking like a Florence regular was gonna
bring the Spring 50 home for the first time in a long time. However unlike Friday night a caution came out, and
Williams already running on older tires, would see them glaze over and within a few laps of the double file restart
Schlieper was knocking on his back door. On lap 28 according to what I have down on paper, Don O’neal saw
Williams slip up the track a bit, and ducked underneath both Schlieper and Williams to take the lead for good.
Williams did what he could to hold off Schlieper but for the lessor funded Williams it was only a matter of time
before his old tires let him down and allowed Schlieper to get around him as well, nothing but ability kept Roger
ahead of those guys in the first place, but ability will only take you so far and you need some help from tires, engine
and chassis to beat guys like that. Williams was able to hold off Brad Neat to finish a very strong 3rd with Mike
Marlar rounding out the top 5. Jesse Lay had a great run and was actually up to 4th but slipped a bit in the final
laps finishing just ahead of the racing legend Freddy Smith. Williams stole the show Saturday night, the entire
stands were on their feet trying to cheer the local boy to the win, Roger did an awesome job in the feature and made
the dirty one proud to be a fan...Congrats to Don O’neal on his 2 wins this weekend, 90 victories since 2002 is an
The Super Dirt Stocks were also on hand for Friday nights events, the dirty one counted 23 cars on hand as the
class has rebounded from last years low car counts with more cars to come. Heat race #1 saw Paul Crowell come
from the back of the field to get the win, it was a very impressive run coming thru the field like that. "The Dude"
Dan Dehner who got the lead early in the race from Adam Dixon and Ron Landers sr. was only able to hold off
Crowell for a lap or 2 before the 25 ride took the lead. Dehner in just his 2nd weekend of racing in 2006 looked very
strong and was able to hold on to the runner up spot ahead of very strong running Ron Landers sr. Much to my
surprise "little" Timmy Proffitt, who started on the tale, had lots of trouble getting to the front, and newcomer Jim
Focht was able to hold him at bay and finish 4th just ahead of Proffitt. My hard luck driver for the past 2 seasons
Danny Palmer was finally able to avoid trouble and get the heat race #2 win. Palmer who seems to always be
involved in things that aren’t his fault or have mechanical problems looked very strong in heat #2. Veteran Jim
Shell was slinging the #77 SDS around the track and was able to get a solid second place finish just ahead of
Randall Dooley’s red and white #34. Crowell, who was looking to add to his already strong 2006 start, rolled off on
the pole for the nights feature. At the start of the race, Crowell would take the point, with Palmer right behind him
and Dehner knocking on their door. Dehner worked his way around Palmer to take over 2nd in the running order
but a Mark Robertson spin on lap 4 would put "the dude" back behind Palmer. Not to be denied Dehner once again
worked around Palmer and into the 2 hole, meanwhile Timmy Proffitt and Doug Wagner were mounting a strong run
to the front with Proffitt leading the way. Within a few laps Proffitt had worked around Dooley and Dehner and was
looking to take on Crowell and he would do just that. Proffitt powered to the lead and would hold on to get the win in
the nights feature. Randall Dooley was able to finish a very strong 2nd, and Paul Crowell battled his way back up to
a 3rd place finish just ahead of an impressive looking "dude" Dan Dehner. "Mr. Clean" Doug Wagner, who
started 9th in the feature, was able to get into the top 5 and Stan Freeman was a hard charger coming from 13th to
6th, great run for Stan. Once again the SDS puts on a good show, I know you folks are getting tired of me saying
this, but I’m glad to see this class make a comeback, it’s always been on of my favorites...
It appears the resurrection of the SDS class has been the downfall for the Pure Stock class. The dirty one counted
only 12 cars this weekend, well 13 but Tim Rice had problems in hot laps and never made it back out to the track.
Heat race #1 had the DRC labeled "Rooster" Gibson setting the pace from the pole, with Kyle Willoughby running
along side. Gibson quickly took the lead from Willoughby and knowing "the bullet" Bob Lanter was lurking behind
him "rooster" was doing his best to get away from the field. Lanter quickly reeled in Gibson and got around the
veteran to get the lead and eventually the heat race win. Gibson was able to hang on for the 2nd place finish with
Kyle Willoughby holding of Jeff Fairchild for 3rd. Heat race #2 was about as stacked as a Pure Stock heat race can
be nowadays, strong running rookie Jason Miller, "Wild Turkey" David Willoughby, Brandon Gibson and Tony
Brewer battled for the win. Miller took advantage of his pole starting position and jumped out to the lead, with
Willoughby, Gibson and Brewer quickly moving into chase mode. The cars were 2 and 3 wide for a few laps with
Willoughby coming out the leader. Looking to capitalize from last seasons momentum "wild turky" held off the field
and grabbed his first heat race win in 2006(I think). Once again, a very impressive Miller was able to hold of
Brandon Gibson and hold onto 2nd, relegating the former champ to 3rd. To be honest, the dirty one pretty much
figured out who was gonna win the feature when the cars pulled out and lined up in their starting spots. "The bullet"
Bob Lanter started on the pole for the feature and pretty much dominated the event. Lanter is VERY good in this
type of car, I can remember back in the day Lanter just dominating the Bomber class at Florence Speedway, and he’
s pretty strong again in this car. With Lanter firmly in control, the fight for second heated up, and it looked like a
replay of heat race #2, with Willoughby, Gibson and Miller doing battle again. Willoughby using the earlier heat
race momentum was able to hold off the new "Smoke Screen" Brandon Gibson(sorry Brandon just had to with Scott
Bryant not racing right now) and finish in 2nd. This time however Gibson was able to work around Miller and slip
into the show position in the running order. Continuing his strong rookie campaign Miller held onto a 4th place
finish with Tony Brewer rounding out the top 5. Even though this class has lost a few cars it continues to put on a
show at the top of the field. You cannot ask for anything more than 4-5 cars battling for the win each and every
week, good job fellas and keep up the good work...
Thanks to Ron Jerger Jr I am finally able to finish this report. The dirty one has been looking for 2 days for his
Mod notes from Saturday night and I couldn’t find them, I could remember who won the heats, just not who ran
where. Ron sent me his information so I wouldn’t get lynched by the modified fans for leaving you guys out. I think
I need a racetrack secretary, anyone interested!! LOL Heat race #1 would see "big Daddy" Shawn Tolson finally
break some of the bad luck and finally get a heat race win(thanks to my Naked Indian dance, lol), "wildman" Kevin
Hartman, looking to rebound from a rough start in 2006, passed the most cars and also caught up to Tolson but
could only get to 2nd behind "big daddy". "The Iceman" David Spille would round out the top 3. Heat race #2 saw
"the Rocketman" Joey Kramer cruise to an easy victory, followed by "the modern day Leroy" Elliott Despain who
had Ed Eschmann and "racin" Dave McWilliams knocking on his back bumper. Eschmann held off McWilliams for
another strong 3rd place finish. New daddy Matt Smallwood took the checkers in heat race #3, holding off an
always fun to watch Doug Adkins for the win. Not to many people hang it out like Adkins does each and every
week, he is fun to watch for sure. Ben Gerdes was able to hold off Tom Webster for 3rd place in the finishing order.
The feature was a good one, with the 3 heat race winners battling each other for several laps before Tolson would
get taken out and sent to the tail for stopping on the track. The dirty favorite was able to salvage an 11th place
finish, a good run for the team after starting out so poorly. Kevin Hartman definitely righted his season as he was
able to take advantage of his Pole starting position and get the win. Behind him was a log jam of good drivers trying
to get to the 2005 Champ, but no one was catching "the wildman" on this night. Kramer was able to hold off
Smallwood to finish in the #2 spot, and the #911 machine was able to stay in front of "racin" Dave McWilliams for
a very strong 3rd place finish. Doug Adkins with yet another impressive run, rounded out the top 5. Larry Moreland
sr continuing with his strong season was the nights hard charger as he came from 14th to finish 7th just behind
"iceman" David Spille. Another great run by "the professor"!!!
All in all last weekends racing was pretty darn good, to me the BOB series puts on some of, if not THE best racing
of any series going. Of course a lot of the guys you see in the top 5 of both nights aren’t full-time BOB guys, but the
BOB regulars are very strong and can win at any track at any time.
Some thoughts from last weekend: Need to thank whoever was able to slip Mother Nature some cash last week,
however much you gave her ran out at 10:30 on Friday night, but thank you anyway. Once again thank you to the
Florence and BOB officials for pushing both Friday and Saturday nights shows and running such a smooth program.
To the idiot down in turn 2 that was throwing bottles of water on the track, I hope they got your picture and sent it to
every track so NOBODY lets you ever see another race. On a good note, it was cool to see the Easter Bunny at the
track on Saturday night, too bad he didn’t wanna hop to the backstretch, there were lots of disappointed kids back
there. BTW, did anybody see the Beaver on the way to the track??
Once again, I’d like to that everyone that takes the time to respond to me via email, I really appreciate it, and hope
you continue to do so. While you’re reading my thoughts on www.dirtfans.com be sure and check out the rest of the
site, there are thousands of pictures and tons of information on there, it’s a great place to learn about the history of
That’s about it, sorry I’m so late this week, the dirty one has had a rough week.
Keep in mind, the dirty ones comments are mine and mine alone. They are in no way intended to offend or put down
your favorite driver/brother/son or father. If you have anything you’d like to add please feel free to email me at
email@example.com and I will be glad to do so. But until next time; keep your racing clean and your
The dirty one!!!!!