2017 Racing Season: The Last Call

Chad Kemenah
Chad Kemenah wheeled his no.10H through turn 3 at Eldora during the “Last Call For Methanol”. Clinching the 2017 All-Star title

Whether visiting for a crown jewel event or one of the other amazing shows that the “Big E” hosts, Eldora Speedway is never a disappointment.

With the leaves changing colors and temperatures dipping lower and lower; my family and I simply couldn’t resist taking “The Last Call For Methanol”.

DeLayna got to visit with one of open wheels greatest drivers; Jack Hewitt and his wonderful wife Jody while at the “Big E”.

With The Arctic Cat All Stars, NRA Sprint Invaders, and 410 Non-Winged Sprinters doing battle in a single night, it was the perfect way to end the 2017 racing season.

Mother Nature even gave a helping hand with sunshine, blue skies, and temperatures in the low 80’s it was an absolutely perfect night to watch open wheel racing action.

With 92 Sprinters doing battle for the last bragging rights of the season; the on-track action was nothing short of intense.   Drivers wheeled their way up from the back of the pack with nail-biting 3-4 wide moves and crazy slide jobs, all us fans were permanently perched on the edge of their seats.

All 19 scheduled events were nothing short of great, but the most amazing part was that for 203 green-flag laps the caution flag only flew twice; the first coming for a car that couldn’t quite make it to a safe pit location after a mechanical failure in a B-Main and the other for a single car spin on lap 1 of the NRA Sprint Invaders A-Main.   92 cars, 3 classes, 203 laps, and all completed in 4-hours.  It was simply amazing.

Joey Saldana dominated the Arctic Cat All-Stars 25-lap A-Main at Eldora

The lack of cautions also meant that the feature events were way more intense than any race report would ever show.  Joey Saldana dominated the All-Star Circuit of Champions A-Main, grabbing the lead early from his outside front-row starting spot.  But it certainly wasn’t a Sunday cruise for the no.71X as he lapped all the way up to 9th place in route to his 7.2 second margin of victory over no.20N Hunter Schuerenberg.  As Saldana was picking his way through the back of the field, several other competitors were on the move as well, making the lapped traffic absolutely insane.  Lee Jacobs piloted his no.81 from 16th to 8th and Max Stambaugh drove from 20th to get 10th in the no.33X.

It was definitely a night for the veterans as Randy Hannigan put on a clinic in the NRA Sprint Invaders A-Main grabbing the lead fairly early from his 4th place starting spot in the no.22H machine.  He never looked back and was followed to the line by the no.47x of Dylan Westbrook.

In the Non-Winged Traditional Sprint A-Main it was Chris Phillips in the no.6 machine that led all 25 caution free laps to write the last page in the 2017 Eldora Speedway history book.

If you have yet to visit this crazy fast ½-mile nestled in Ohio farmland, definitely put it on your to-do list for 2018.  Although crown jewel events such as The Dream, the Kings Royal, The World 100, and 4-Crown have their own allure, don’t forget that Eldora Speedway has action on several Saturday nights throughout the summer featuring all divisions including Modifieds and Stock-Cars, none of which disappoint.

DeLayna’s Corner

Two-Year-Old DeLayna Dubie is a lifelong race fan and guest contributor for PitSide Online

“This is so exciting!”  No truer words have been spoken, Eldora is always exciting and with great sprint car action this was the perfect end to the 2017 racing season.

DeLayna Dubie captures All-Star Hot-laps from turn 4 with her Discovery Kids camera.

“A Helicopter Med-Flight like Rescue Rhonda”.  Although not quite like the talking pink helicopter from Doc McStuffins; DeLayna was very excited to see the Miami Valley Med Flight land on their pad off of turn 3.  Eldora Speedway has 4 top-notch safety crews and brings Miami Valley’s medical helicopter to sit on standby during open wheel events.  The extreme care that the Eldora staff takes to keep drivers, crews, and fans as safe as possible is appreciated by all.

“I need my camera to take pictures of this!”  DeLayna has become quite the shutterbug like her Papa (And totally unlike her Mama).  And with exciting on-track action everyone wishes they could forever capture the excitement of Eldora.

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