Drivers get ready for PIR opener
Mar 19, 2013 | 3210 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
—David Green/Tribune-Courier
Tyler Stevenson examines damage to his Ford Probe after a rollover during practice Saturday at Paducah International Raceway.
—David Green/Tribune-Courier Tyler Stevenson examines damage to his Ford Probe after a rollover during practice Saturday at Paducah International Raceway.
By David Green

Tribune-Courier Sports

PADUCAH – Tyler Stevenson of Gilbertsville looked over his white Ford Probe, considerably bent up after a rollover.

The wreck involved two cars getting upside down, Stevenson’s No. 31 and the unnumbered red Pontiac Sunbird of 14-year-old Aaron Ellegood of Arlington. The two got together in the first turn of Paducah International Raceway’s one-fifth-mile inner oval and both cars rolled over.

“Just racin’,” both agreed. Their fathers, supervising the son’ ventures into stock car racing, concurred.

Just one of those deals.

Neither was hurt, and their cars can be fixed.

Hopefully, in time for Friday night’s 2013 season opener at the track.

The tangle happened Saturday afternoon at PIR, during the first of two days of open practice that were planned ahead of the beginning of the season. Sunday’s session was called off because of rain.

Some 37 cars in different classes ran shakedown laps Saturday.

The two boys – Tyler is a sixth grader at North Marshall Middle School, and Aaron goes to Carlisle County – will compete in PIR’s High School Warriors division. It features low-powered, low-budget four-cylinder-powered subcompact sports sedans.

There’s a Warrior class for adult drivers, too. Both divisions compete on the small inner track.

On the high-banked three-eighths-mile oval, four other divisions of faster, more expensive racecars will fill Friday night’s program.

At the top are the Super Late Models, followed by Crate Late Models with less-powerful engines, the open-wheel Modified division and Street Stocks.

The fifth-mile track has been revamped for this season, track manager Leon Zeeb said.

“We’ve widened the turns out a lot more,” he said.

The intent of the revamping is to make the little track more racy for the four-cylinder cars, Zeeb said.

On the big track, drivers compete under rules of United Midwest Promoters, or UMP.

Friday night’s opener is an official event, but it will also serve as a dress rehearsal for the track for the March 29 Let’s Get Dirty 75, the debut event for the new National Dirt Racing League (NDRL), a touring series based in Pittsburg.

That race will feature Super Late Models in a feature paying $20,000 to the winner.

Also on the program will be a special Modified feature paying $2,000 first-place prize money. Among the entrants are NASCAR drivers Ken Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Justin Allgaier.

Adult admission for Friday’s program is $15. Tickets for the March 29 special are priced at $35 for general admission and $40 for reserved seats at the gate, or $30 and $35 for advance purchase.

To order tickets or for more information, call (270) 898-7469.

n Just across the road from PIR, engines were revving Saturday afternoon in different types of racecars in an open practice at Beacon Dragway.

The one-eighth-mile strip opened in the 1960s, but was later converted into a private airstrip. It is being re-opened as a drag racing facility.

Jeff Bruhn, one of the operators of the new facility, said the track will operate under NHRA sanction and the first racing events will be in May.
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