3/7/2014 6:00:00 AM Late models race into town for I-10 Speedway action March 8
Special to the Times
BLYTHE, Calif. - Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway opens its gates at Colorado River Fairgrounds, this Saturday night, March 8, for the latest round of the Winter Blast Racing Series, presented by Next Era Energy Resources, and sponsored by Smart & Final Store. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with racing beginning at 7 p.m.
Speedway Promoter Ronnie Hasler and his staff organized a full evening of affordable family fun for their racing fans. The schedule features a return visit from the Gene Price Motorsports Late Models, as well as action from the Legends, Bandoleros, the Street Stocks and the NAPA Factory Stocks.
Sponsored by the ultra-successful race car fabrication and high performance parts distribution center in Parker, Ariz., the Gene Price Motorsports Late Model Series operates as a dual track championship points race on a schedule shared by the Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway and the Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. It's the ongoing support of Gene Price that has made late model racing possible at both of these tracks.
The late models will run the next-to-last race in Blythe and will bring a skin-tight points battle with them. Drivers Matt Goodwin and Scott Rhodin are tied in the standings with 164 points each based on some very consistent finishes this season. Late Model veteran Kevin James is third in the rankings only ten points out of first.
However, the really hot pair of racing shoes in this series belongs to Toni McCray. She missed the season opener and then made up for lost time by winning the next three events in-a-row. Two of those wins came with a special purse that paid $2,000. In a span of three races, McCray has earned $5,300 in prize money and 150 championship points. She has also elevated herself to fourth in the championship standings just 14 points from the top.
Never to be overlooked here is the presence of local Blythe driver, and reigning series' champion, Mike Sutterfield. He won the series' season opener but couldn't be present for the Nov. 30 event which lead him to fifth in the standings with 138 points. Sutterfield knows how to negotiate every square inch of the local track and is expected to be a major force to be reckoned with this Saturday night.
For years the Legend cars have been a fan favorite at the local speedway. Greatly resembling the 1930's and 1940's era roadsters, and powered by motorcycle engines, the Legends literally fly around the quarter-mile oval while posting lap times compatible to late model cars.
The Legends make its final appearance of the Blythe winter racing season this weekend which means it is time to crown a division champion. The question remains, "Which driver will it be?" Series veteran Darren Amidon, with a feature win this year, leads the current standings with 96 points.
However, he only holds a four-point advantage over a very consistent Peyton Saxton. Meanwhile Parker Malone, ranked third with 86 points, waits for either one of these drivers to make a mistake so he can elevate his championship status on the final night. Blake Rogers' 84 points and Tyler Hicks' 76, rounds out the top five in the series' standings.
The young drivers in their small, but very swift Bandolero cars make their final appearance of the season at Blythe and will crown their champion. Ricky Lewis, a two-time feature winner, leads the division's standings with 150 points but only holds a six point advantage over Ryan Vargas. The remainder of the top five in the division standings are Allison Gay at 134 points, Brock Rodgers with 120 and Madison Gay at 104.
The Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway's Street Stocks points profile is a family affair between Kirk and Clint Almquist with each driver claiming a feature win this year. However, the separation between Kirk and Clint is a mere two point in the series title run. Reigning division champion Chris Vindhurst, who is racing a part time schedule this year, returned to victory lane and won the last race. He's currently third in the points.
The fan favorite NAPA Factory Stocks makes their sixth appearance of the season this Saturday night. Former division champion John Lowrence has a commanding lead in the standings despite an absence from the Feb. 8 event. The local Blythe driver has three feature wins and a second place finish in four outings and has collected 118 championship points in that process. He now holds a 32 points advantage over runner-up Cody Rasmussen. Chad Winkler-71 points, Chad Lewis-61 and Steve Moore-55 holds down positions three through five in the standings.
General admission tickets are $10 and $8 for seniors age 55 and up, military personnel and the handicapped. Fans can receive a $2 discount, on one general admission ticket, by showing their AAA membership cards at the ticket gate. Teen tickets, for age 13-17, are $5 kids tickets, age six to 12, are $3 while kids five and under are admitted free. Additionally, Palo Verde High School students can receive a $1 discount by presenting their ASB cards at the ticket gate. The speedway also offers a budget friendly family package for $20 which admits two adults and two kids age 17 and under.
For out of town race teams and fans, the America's Best Value Inn is the official motel of the Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway. Located at 850 West Hobsonway, they offer beautiful and spacious rooms at very affordable rates. Mention the discount code: Lucas Oil when making a reservation.
Call 760 922 5145 for information and reservations which can also be made online.
For more information regarding the Lucas Oil I-10 Speedway's Winter Blast Racing season, dial up the official website at www.i10speedway.com.