Wednesday night (6/26) saw the continuation of the eventful 2019 season at the Rockford Speedway with “Jack’s Tires Scout Night” featuring all you could ask for when it comes to neck and neck competition and a wide variety of race types and cars. Of the classes featured, fans got to see the Roadrunners, Bandits, Original Sixers, Winged Women on Wheels, Spectator Drags and even a Bandit figure 8 race! If variety is your thing, you had better hope you didn’t miss this event. First up, the Bandits and Road Runners participated in a 6 lap Trophy Dash which was seperate from regular heats & final featured events.
For the Bandits, the 6 lap Trophy Fast Dash was up first. #63 Cassidy Frisch (Beloit, WI) took an early lead and started to pull away in the first couple laps to lead what seemed to be the entire race and finished in 1st place. In 2nd place, #51 Kyle Rush (Antioch, IL) navigated the track well and sped past the checkered flag in a smart display of driving. Coming in 3rd place was #78 Rich Schinderling Jr (Winnebago, IL) who also battled hard and stayed close to the front of the pack.
In the Roadrunners 6 lap Trophy Fast Dash was up next. For the first couple laps it appeared that #22 and #17 were battling for first place, but #17 Ryan Ostenson (South Beloit, WI) wound up pulling ahead for the large portion of the race and finishing in 1st place. #18 Robby Robinson (Orfordville, WI) passed through the pack to pull into 2nd place where he finished the race officially with a great display of competitive and aggressive driving. Never far from the front was #22 Duane Lounsbury (Beloit, WI) who finished 3rd place, but also navigated the track and put up a fine display of driving.Next up was the ladies in the Winged Women on Wheels. #32 Chandale Swartwout (Janesville, WI) had a standout night, finishing 1st place in both Heat 1 and the Featured event. She was out to an early lead and that, along with excellent driving, helped her clinch the race. In 2nd place was local driver #66 Ashley Matts (Rockford, IL) who also showed her grit and competitive spirit as she ripped around the track. Taking 3rd place was #18 Shonna Meyers (Beloit, WI) who was never far from the action and also stayed consistent in her laps during the entire race. The skills & spirit of these ladies must be recognized and admired!
For the Original Sixers, fans were treated to 3 competitive heats, followed by their featured event of the evening. For the first heat, #20 Andrew Garkey (Loves Park, IL) came in 1st after taking an early lead which saw him stay out front and finish the same way. The second heat was won with a nail biting and exciting first place finish from local driver #55 Andrew Walling (Rockford, IL) who saw a close show-down on the last lap with #24 Zach Cichon (Poplar Grove, IL) who took 2nd place. For the third heat, #51 Sean Worman (Roscoe, IL) was off to an early lead after a restart following an early crash, where he only gained more track and finished in 1st. For their featured event of the night, #57 Jeff Watson Jr (Machesney Park, IL) and heat number two winner #20 Andrew Garkey were battling for an early lead on the first few laps. Fans didn’t have to wait long however before #24 Zach Cichon, who was battling early for 3rd place, got out ahead of both of the early leaders showing excellent skill with only 6 laps to go. After a couple spin outs during the later parts of the race toward the back of the pack, #24 Zach Cichon finished in 1st place for their featured event and put on a great performance. In 2nd place was #61 James Amundrud (Beloit, WI), and the 3rd place finish went to #5 Jerid Neal (Rockford, IL). The Original Sixers are always fun to watch, and a tip of the hat to all of the drivers for putting on an exciting showing for the Wednesday night crowd.
The Roadrunner Featured Event followed 2 also competitive heats, and saw a truly exciting race which had this writer white knuckled holding onto his chair for what seemed like the whole race. The featured event was 20 laps. #64 William Balmes (Rockford IL) was out to an early lead, battling with #18r Robby Robinson (Orfordville, WI) and #7 Joshua Cavin (Clinton, WI) dueling for second place. This order however didn’t last long, as Balmes was unfortunately spun out by Robinson on lap 10, sending them both to the back of the pack upon regaining control. From that point after a restart, #73 Justin Wagner (Beloit, WI) was in first after he had fought his way into 3rd place around lap 5 and held steady there until the front 2 driver’s spin out incident. After that, Wagner stayed out front for most of the remaining laps and finished 1st place, battling closely on the last couple laps right down to the finish with #131 Dave Lumsden Jr (Rockford, IL) who placed 2nd. In 3rd place was #64 William Balmes (Rockford, IL) who fought his way back after the tough luck restart that sent him to the back. His tenacity should absolutely be noted.
For the Bandit Feature, fans were also treated to 20 laps of ferocious competition. #26 Nick Schneider (Loves Park, IL) put on a clinic of brilliant driving and led the race for almost the entire 20 laps, even lapping a few of the cars in the back. He seemed to have a great feel for gunning it on the straightaway, and quickly yet carefully navigating and breaking on his turns and getting back to speed on the open track. He finished first place by some distance, followed by #51 Kyle Rush (Antioch, IL) who also maintained & finished in 2nd place for a good portion of the 20 lap race. Rush showed consistency and a fine display of driving without taking unneccesary risks (but still was flying at a terrific pace) to catch the runaway leader. Taking 3rd place was #25 Shawn Bowar (Roscoe, IL) who also looked solid for the entirety of the race. The Bandits also had the exciting figure 8 Race which was also won in exciting fashion by the featured event winner #26 Nick Schneider. He had a great night and saw his hard work and dedication pay off a great deal.
The night also featured a spectator drag, which is always a lot of fun and allows fans and locals to get their vehicles out on the track and race single lap sprints around the track in 1 on 1 tournament form. The fans seemed to enjoy this just as much as some of the regular classes, and the drag saw every type of vehicle from Jeep Cherokees & Ford Diesel trucks to Mazda’s & Cadillac’s. The winner had all eyes on him however, winning each round and the event in what appeared to be a stripped down open top corvette with plenty of V8 muscle. Look for more spectator drags coming soon! A special thanks goes to Jack’s Tires, all of the other event sponsors, and the Cub Scout Weeblos. Stay tuned for coming news for the rest of the season, and get your tickets now on our website or at the event you plan on attending!
(Writer, Rockford Speedway)