TGSS Race Report – 10.11.09
DATE: October 11, 2009
SERIES: Top Gun Sprint Car Series
TRACK: East Bay
NUMBER OF SPRINT CARS: 26? I can’t read what I wrote down sadly…
WHO WON: Gene Lasker (more on that in a moment…)
CROWD GRADE: B+. This was a very solid crowd and for good reason, this was shaping up to be a barn burner since it was a points night for the East Bay sprints and the Top Gun sprints.
SERIES GRADE: B. The Top Gun Series continues to show up with good car counts and good equipment. I’m very happy with how this series has come along this year.
RACE GRADE: C. Due to the botched starts and opening wreck that involved damn near half of the field, I was almost inclined to give out an F. But the late race battle between Lasker, George and Van Dusen saved the day, thus elevating this to a C grade.
FOOD ORDERED: I ordered the double steakburger with cheese for myself. I like to order things I don’t normally see on the menu and this qualified – and it was seven bucks! I also ordered a funnel cake for my Australian friends because they had never even heard of such a thing.
FOOD GRADE: A. Was my double steakburger with cheese good? Yes. Best I’ve had all year? Quite possibly. Worth seven bucks? Not so sure. I didn’t see any fresh condiments area with relish and onions and such, so that was a bummer. I also love that there was a vendor selling funnel cakes, elephant ears, cheesecake, chocolate dipped everything and so on. And she was a sweet old gal. I’ll even be so bold as to say that East Bay might have the best food midway for a weekly short track in this state. East Bay is neck and neck with New Smyrna in my book.
FOOD GRADE: B.
DRIVER OF THE RACE: As god (or Allah, Buddah, Dave Steele, whatever your religion is, pick your deity) as my witness I don’t know what to do here. When the checkered flag fell, this was a slam dunk – Jeff Van Dusen. In the closing laps, Jeff stormed from third and in bold fashion drove around Tim George and Gene Lasker and had the fans standing on their feet! Then…a few cars got tore down…and…well…Van Dusen and George got DQ’d, so Lasker is your winner. In wrestling this is known as a “Dusty Rhodes finish,” where the fans go home happy because the babyface won and the villain lost but then later due to a technicality the heel wins. And while Lasker drove hard, there were some unpleasant starts and we’ve given him this award before. So I’m going to go ahead and give this award to Mike Schroder, who drove a good clean race and chipped away oh so slightly at our own driver’s point lead.
OTHER NOTES: There was a huge wreck on the third restart that put the 3x into the fence in spectacular fashion. AJ Maddox was okay, his car not so much. Christine Auld took a nasty ride through the infield and clobbered the big white tire. Someone give some luck to Christine please. Our buddy Amanda Ferguson got banged up and has a sore ankle as she was collected late in the wreck. This was “the big one” as they say and it certainly put a damper on the evening.
Then there was another wreck on the restart! Finally calmer heads prevailed and a single file restart was in order, and then the #07 promptly spun out…and then, the #19 of Mr. Keith Butler came back out on the track. Why, we’re not sure because during a previous shamozzle one of the drivers told me Keith was leaking methanol and was told this by a track official. But Keith had a bone to pick with Mr. Lasker and pulled up along side of him. Track officials promptly DQ’d Mr. Butler and back to the pits he was sent.
We get back under way, the #8 of Rich Alexander loops it up in turns three and four, caution comes out and he gets clocked by Paulie Milum.
That left a whopping ten cars for the rest of the race.
Business picked up in the pits after the race was done. Butler was mad at Lasker, George and Lasker were jawing, Lasker wanted Van Dusen torn down (so I heard second-hand), wives and girlfriends were mad, and I for one applaud all of this. I like trash talking, especially from guys with mullets. If you don’t like guys with mullets talking trash at a short track, put on a beret and hang out at an art gallery.
Sadly our Factory Driver Flyin’ Ryan Partin had a rough go of things in the feature. We didn’t think the top side of the track would be there for the feature and Ryan was too tight and had a devil of a time on turn entry. Fortunately he still holds a very slim points lead as the series moves to Ocala.
And thanks to Jeanette Burnett for giving me a free drink cup and also a ride through the pits on her ATV.
And a special thanks to my favorite Australian teenager Zara Skene. I don’t know why, but when I was taking pictures it looked like I was shooting in a dust storm. But when Zara shot with my camera, the pictures came out crystal clear. So the pictures below are courtesy of Zara.
RACE REPORTER: Todd