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
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
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.