The 2007 East Grand National race wrapped up a great season
in fine style. Our racers enjoyed beautiful weather, a fabulous
facility, and good close racing throughout the weekend, as we had the entire
complex to ourselves. After hours of practice on Friday, all eyes were
on the timer to see who would earn the precious bonus point for setting fast
time in each division. In three out of four divisions, the points
leader didn't set fast time, so the point standings got even closer as race
day loomed. Here are the pole times by division:
Future Stars - Joey Greening - 19.546 seconds
Open Division - Robert Kuczmarski - 18.672
Junior PRO - Kenneth Mayfield - 17.458
PRO Division - Kevin Bush - 16.542
First up on raceday was a fan appreciation event where all
cars were positioned on the frontstretch for fans to come down to meet the
drivers. The tracks announcer roamed through the crowd conducting
ad-hoc interviews and the fans got to pick their favorites for the upcoming
The first event of the evening was the Junior PRO division.
This second year division of MMRA has a bright future as new kids are
joining, and more are eyeing the chance to get behind the wheel of the Baby
Grand racecars. The 5 competitors in this race showed they are well
qualified to handle the cars, and they put on a good show. Polesitter
and early leader Kenneth Mayfield was doing all he could do to win the
championship, but his car developed a miss and he was passed by Mary Daniels
who seemed to be a fan favorite based on the cheers. Mary went on to
win both the race and the championship at the track where her sister won her
first PRO Division Touring series race a year earlier. After the race,
Kenneth had a smile remarking "I still got the guitar!" referring
trophy from the Music City Motorplex win earlier in the season.
Next up was the Future Stars Division where a super tight
points battle and the DBV Caution Free bonus seemed to be at odds.
Could the kids race hard for 50 laps, while still not bringing out a single
caution flag? The answer was a resounding YES! It was the best
race of the night as 5 cars battled all race long for the win. At the
end of 50 green flag laps, the top three were still nose to tail, with Kyle
Baugh winning the race, and Brett Robinson winning the championship.
Kyle could be proud of his race win, and Brett was already looking forward
to the future, as Baby Grands Inc. offers the Future Stars champion each
year a one year lease of a Baby Grand racecar for only $1. Look for
Brett in the Junior PRO division next year. Best of all, every car was
directed to the frontstretch where each driver received his $50 DBV Caution
Free bonus in front of the fans. It was a great moment for every
driver that they all earned with their patient and skillful racing.
The best Open Division field in years came down to the green
flag for their 50 laps and they put on a great show for the fans. All season long, Stephen Hershey and Robert Kuczmarski have battled for the championship, and they continued to run up
front at Shenandoah. Just behind these two was former Arena racer
Jason Styron and Ohio minicup racer Joe McCloud. It was great to see
racers from several minicup groups come together and run competitively.
Best of all, in victory lane Hershey and Kuczmarski showed you can race hard
and remain good friends, as both complimented the other and talked about how
much they enjoyed racing together. In the end, Hershey won the race,
but Kuczmarski won the championship after 4 years of dedicated effort.
Finally, the PRO Division took to the track for their 50
laps and the excitement picked up a notch. Local racer Kevin Bush
dominated all season at Shenandoah Speedway and set fast time, but an
inversion of six positions had him starting mid-pack. He wasted no
time in working toward the front of the field, with points leader Jacob
France close behind. After a caution for a minor spin by Adam Hirsh,
the field was coming around to take the green flag when Bush's car quit
running. He was pushed to the pits desperately trying to get his car
to refire while the field came around to resume the race. After a lap,
his car came to life and he roared back onto the track and made a terrific
charge through the field. The timing system showed he was the only car
on the track turning 16 second laps as he carved through traffic.
Midway through the race, he and France got together in turn one sending both
to the rear of the field for the restart. While all this was playing
out, Ronnie Binkley was making the most of his pole starting position as he
led every lap on his way to victory. Ronnie was jubilant in victory
lane declaring "We finally won one of these!" referring to a major MMRA PRO
Division race. That finish, combined with a last place finish for
fellow competitor Eldon Isenberg, allowed Ronnie to take the first ever
Masters Cup title as well. Across pit road, Kevin Bush could be proud
of a great drive, while wondering what could have been if the car hadn't
quit for that lap. Also, the France team was excited to finally reach
the top of MMRA racing with their PRO Division championship.
It was a fantastic end to an exciting year of MMRA racing.
Thanks to Connie and Jeff from Shenandoah Speedway for their hospitality and
for welcoming us to their beautiful track. Next up for our racers will
be the national Awards Banquet on November 3. Look for more
information to be posted about the banquet soon.
Click here for the finishing orders and purse schedule