Saturday, August 20 was a big night of racing a Lucas Oil Raceway. The Advance Racing Association was excited to get back on the track for the second time in the 2011 season. Moreover they were thrilled to be joining forces with the United States Super Truck Series for the first time with a 75 lap feature.
In qualifying, current national point leader for USST, Allen Carter of Murpheysboro, Tennessee was the fastest in one lap time trials for the USST/ARA Series Pro Trucks division. In the Cline Grain Late Models, Rick Tackman went out first in qualifying and set a mark no one else could touch. In the PXP Racewear Modified division, current point leader Rodney Cropper set quick time.
The threat of rain forced the elimination of heat races for the Cline Grain Late Models. The USST/Pro Trucks were not scheduled for heat races because they would run a 75 lap feature event. That left heat races to be run by the PXP Racewear Modified division. Damon Breedlove and Steve Blair won the modified heat races. Steve was doing double duty on the evening competing in both the Super Truck Series and the Modified Division.
In feature racing action, the USST/MC2 Home Inspection Pro Trucks were first up on the schedule, again due to the threat of rain in the area. Allen Carter paced the field to the green flag. The first caution flew just three laps into the event when the 88 of Bradley Harrington spun and hit the front stretch wall. The amount of fluid laid down on the track necessitated the red flag to be brought out so the safety crews could do their job. On the restart Steve Blair was chasing Allen Carter for the top spot. Caution flew again on lap 9, this time for an incident on the backstretch involving Jason Isabell. On the restart Jason LaDuke, who had started in the 8th position started to make his way forward. He was running second to Carter when the caution came out again on Lap 25, which would have signaled the automatic stop for competitors anyway. When the field was underway again, Camden Murphy, the 15 year old driver from Itasca, Illinois showed that he made all the right changes and battled with LaDuke for second spot in the running order. He was able to take over the spot on lap 40. The rest of the feature ran caution free with competitors behind Carter battling for position. When the checkered flags fell, Allen Carter claimed the win from the pole position. He was followed by Camden Murphy, Jason LaDuke, Eric Caudell, and Steve Blair rounding out the top five. Blair was disqualified from the event after post race inspection revealed an illegal carburetor. John Wix of Ypsilanti, Michigan, an ARA Series regular was credited with fifth place in the finishing order.
PXP Racewear Modifieds were up next with a 30 lap feature event. Joe Axsom and Jim Begley, Jr. made up the front row. The field was forced to chase Axsom for all 30 laps as he lead every lap of the feature event to take the win. He was followed by Damon Breedlove, Rodney Cropper, Jim Begley, Jr., and Scotty Tomasik. The Cline Grain Late Models took center stage for the final feature of the night. Current point leader Tim Salyers started on the pole thanks to the inversion and led each of the 20 green flag laps. Fast qualifier Rick Tackman, Jr. moved up from the 4th starting spot to finish 2nd. They were followed by strong runs from Danny Trent, Keith Lyons, and Glenn Andrew rounding out the top 5 finishers.
The next race of the 2011 season will be September 24, when the USST presented by Safety Kleen, will again join forces with the MC2 Home Inspections Pro Trucks for a national event. PXP Racewear Modifieds and Cline Grain Late Models will round out the program. For information on the Advance Racing Association and for a buy one get one free ticket voucher, visit the ARA web site at www.advanceracingassociation.com.