MMRA's first trip to the state of Montana was a great experience. The
staff at Mission Valley Speedway was excited to have our cars visit their
facility, and our racers enjoyed the unique tri-oval layout. Several
drivers remarked they had a new favorite track after their first round of
practice. The weather was perfect for racing, and the stage was set
for a great finish to our 2008 season.
In qualifying fast times were as follows:
Future Stars - Brent Curran - 19.488
Jr. PRO - Cameron Hayley - 16.636
PRO - Troy Vandenbilche - 16.30
At the East Grand National race, many drivers stepped up to help out Tyler
Luttrull in his recovery from cancer. Not to be outdone, the Canadians
came up with a unique challenge. If Troy Vandenbilche would start at
the tail of the field and still win the race, they would give Tyler the $958
they gathered from their drivers. They joined several racers who also
donated their MMRA purse to Tyler. In the race, Vandenbilche drove the
wheels of the car, but came up short of a win. With a big smile, the
Canadians said - "Give Tyler the money anyway". The total raised at
the event then was $1798 - $840 in purse money, and $958 from the Canadian
Baby Grand teams.
The Future Stars feature was a long 50 laps, and with only six cars it
wasn't the most exciting - until the last lap. Brent Curran had led
from the green flag, with John Bowman slowly falling behind. With
about 5 laps to go, Brent came up behind a slower car and started following
him - not realizing that John was coming. Going down the backstretch
on the white flag lap Brent went high, and John went low with the slower car
in the middle. They battled through the last turn side by side with
John edging Brent by a nose. It was an amazing finish that proves you
should never give up. John Bowman led only about one quarter of a lap,
but it was the last quarter and that was all that mattered. Best of
all, running caution free, earned all the kids the DBV Caution Free bonus of
The Junior PRO and PRO Divisions were run together on the track and it
proved to be the best show of the night. Sixteen cars took the green
flag and it was door to door, fender banging action for 50 laps.
Although there were several minor spins, there were still 14 cars racing at
the finish. In the closing laps, the top three cars looked virtually
equal with A.J. Butler from Washington leading, Jake Gomes from California
running second, and Michael Kipp from Canada running third. It was
great to see these guys from totally different groups racing hard together
with closely matched cars. In the end, it was A.J. Butler holding on
for his first major MMRA event win.
In post race tech, one future star car did not have the correct carburetor
and was disqualified. Also, the pump gas available in Montana
contained ethanol which showed readings on our fuel tester similar to race
fuel, or fuel with additives. As such, at future MMRA events, we will
designate a specific gas station close to the track where all racers will be
expected to purchase their fuel for the weekend. Any fuel that does
not match the fuel from that specific gas station will be considered
illegal. This is simply making mandatory the suggestion that has been
in our rulebook which states: "MMRA
recommends that racers purchase fuel for each event at a local service
station near that event to minimize the chance of having fuel that does not
match samples taken by MMRA for reference."
With the points wrapped up, attention turns to the awards banquet and future
plans. The banquet is November 1 and all MMRA members are invited.
For more information about the banquet, click here.
If you have pictures from the 2008 season - both locally and at our major
events, please e-mail them to
mmra@MMRAracing.com so we can include them in a slide show which will be
presented at the banquet. Thank you for a great year and we hope to
see everyone in November!
Click here for the full finishing order and purse