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JRP  SPEEDWAY - THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT


Click here for the full finishing order

MMRA made our farthest trip ever into the heartland of America when we headed for JRP Speedway and the event showed our future looks bright.  Why?  From beginning to end, our teams stepped up in the spirit of generosity and sportsmanship to contribute to a successful event.

The local group started the weekend by hosting a welcome party for all the racers on Friday night.  Thanks to Rusty Branson and crew who provided hot dogs, hamburgers, drinks and hospitality.  We all had a great time visiting, and the go-kart racing at JRP was a blast too.  We were the first ones to run on a brand new course for the karts which were fast and fun.

The next morning we were able to set up on a brand new concrete tech pad paid for by the local Herdman racing team.  They wanted to make sure that MMRA would have adequate facilities when we came to town, and it proved to be a great help.  The track was also very impressed and grateful - and more excited than ever about the minicup and Baby Grand racing program.
The #1 of Gary Whitson from Indiana gets a look from Vic Johnson on the new concrete tech pad provided by the Herdman racing team - in green shirts.

The local racers were so excited about this event that they also contacted the local media.  As a result, the day before the race the local newspaper had a big write-up about the championship tour race and the 6 o-clock news even came out to do a promo.  Guess what - so many people showed up the track had to keep running into town to get more food and drinks for the concession stand.  At the end of the night, the manager had a big smile on his face as he told the track owner "You made good money tonight".  With so many tracks failing these days, it is great to see that our business savvy local racers were able to help pack the stands and ensure their track prospers.  The future looks bright for this group.
Both groups of grandstands were packed for the MMRA Touring Series race.  Almost 200 MMRA Racing News magazines were also picked up by this crowd who loved the MMRA cars.

Unfortunately, MMRA's National Director had a job situation come up and he couldn't make it to the race.  (Yup, we all have real jobs)  That also meant our tech trailer was back in Ohio.  Again, MMRA racers stepped forward to help out.  Dale Wilson offered the use of his scales and Tony Willis offered his ramps.  In no time, we were able to get tech rolling with borrowed equipment and the tools Vic was able to pack with him.  The future looks bright when racers pull together to help make the program run smoothly.

With gas at $2.+++ a gallon and JRP many miles from most groups, it was great to see so many racers make the long tow to race.  JRP is a small bullring so even with reduced car count, the show was great for the capacity crowd.  Perhaps the best show of the night was the race for second place in the Open Division between Travis McCarty and Zach Coll.  These two traded the position back and forth the whole race, putting on a thrilling show that had the fans energized and excited.  Zach managed to beat Travis at the line and his second place run earned him a trip to post race tech.  Zach had an unsealed engine so Tech Director Vic Johnson asked him to pull the head for inspection.  Zach's father Bob explained he didn't know how to re-assemble an engine and they had planned to race the next day in Iowa.  Then Joe Meyer stepped forward and offered to put the engine back together that night so Zach could race the next day.  That was a classy move by Joe and if Zach wins in Iowa, he should thank Joe for the help.  Look at the points standings and you can see that Zach is now only 3 points behind Joseph Meyer for the championship.  When tough competitors are willing to help each other, the future looks bright for our sport.  (Update on 7/13/05 - Zach did win in Iowa!)

When the dust settled at the end of a hot day, it was interesting to see that the points leaders in all three divisions came to a new track, learned the setup, avoided the wrecks, worked their way up from an invert, and visited victory lane.  Jacob France put on a dominating performance in the Future Stars division that earned him a writeup in the local paper on Sunday morning.  (Click here to see the article in the Tulsa World newspaper)  In the Open Division, Joseph Meyer showed he wants more than a Grand National victory on his resume - he wants a championship ring and he moved 42 points closer to his goal.  Finally, Chris Wilson showed the patience of a veteran and the bravery of a 15 year old as he worked his way to the front of the pack in the PRO Division feature.
 
July in Oklahoma is hot and 50 laps on a tough bullring will wear you out - even if you're young and strong. 

In the end, the Touring Series race at JRP Speedway was a great success and events like this will build our sport.  Thanks to the local racers who put so much into the event, our road warriors who make the long hauls, and JRP Speedway for welcoming us to Oklahoma. - oh yeah, and thanks to the Sheraton for opening the hot tub back up at 1am when we got back from a long day at the track.

The next Touring Series race is July 30 at Sportsdrome Speedway in Indiana.  This is the last chance to get as many as 42 points before the Grand National races.  With the points standings as tight as they are, every point is valuable.  We'll see you there!
JRP Speedway has the best announcer we have ever heard at a racetrack.  This guy is entertainment with a capital E.  We missed his last name but here is Chris interviewing Joseph Meyer after his win.  The expression on Joseph's face is the same one that everyone in the stands had all night - Chris was a riot.