The rumble of race engines, and the smell of race fuel burning; for me those are the true signs of spring and after a very long winter it was wonderful to fill my senses with spring this past weekend at Crystal Motor Speedway.
On April 19th CMS opened the gates to the 2014 racing season with a full six-and-one show that was packed with action and cars. 105 competitors battled it out in front of a full crowd of race fans.
Ron & Mary Jane Flinn along with the rest of the Crystal Motor Speedway staff, put in a lot of work during the off season. The old pit side grandstands were ripped out and new grandstands now proudly stand in turn 4, a new ticket window and entrance makes for a quicker entrance for all spectators, and Ron even changed the track surface. The high-side has been cut down and the middle of the track built up with the intent of creating a more raceable surface.
Even with crazy spring weather making it humanly impossible to plan and prepare a perfect racing surface; it was evident that the hard work put in was paying off, as each and every division had incredible racing action.
Rusty Seaver has returned to his roots for 2014, piloting a no.18 Pro-Stock and he certainly put on a clinic, picking up the first feature win of the CMS season.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Late Model A-Main was filled with passing and excitement, and in the end it was the championship tractor puller, turned Dirt Late Model competitor; Scott Phillips (no.50) that found himself holding the checkered flag in victory lane.
2013 Pro-Truck Champion Nate Jones started his 2014 season on a good note, picking up the 3rd A-Main of the night in the Engine Pro sponsored division.
The IMCA Modified division is always filled with excitement, and with a new two-three groove racing surface it was definitely intense. Myron DeYoung was hauling in his no.7 machine and worked his way up to a 3rd place finish behind Rusty Zielglers no.776, but the night belonged to 2013 Michigan State Champion, A.J. Ward as he flat out flew to the lead in his no.20w and never relinquished it on his way to his first win of 2014.
The Street Stock A-Main was intense to the end with the no.39 of Mike Vandermark Jr. and the no.73 of Jason Wiley battling back and forth lap after lap. When the checkered flag flew, it was Wiley by a car-length after a turn 4 pass by the green station wagon. Kyle Prochazka rounded out the top three in his no.06 machine despite getting pulled over mid-way through the A-Main for a fire in the engine compartment.
In the Flinn Stock division, it was no.23s Johnny Miller that got his season off to a great start by picking up the last checkered of the night in front of several die-hard fans.
Whether the temperatures are barely above freezing or it’s a beautiful summer night, there is no doubt that any Saturday night at Crystal Motor Speedway will be a great and entertaining one.
To learn more about CMS and the events on tap for 2014 check them out on the web at CrystalMotorSpeedway.com and keep looking back here at PitSideOnline.com to learn more about two of Crystal Motor Speedways up and coming talents, Kyle Prochazka and A.J. Ward.
I would like to extend a very big thank you to Crystal Motor Speedway for their amazing hospitality.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you when the next green flag flies!