Race week is finally here.
If it seems like an eternity since we last gathered at the Bullring … well, it has been, at least in racing terms. September was a long, long time ago.
Sunday evening cannot arrive too soon, and for reasons beyond the excitement of Opening Night. Three of the four Quincy Raceways classes will begin running for points right out of the gate.
Modifieds, stock cars and hobby stocks will have no mulligans. Pursuit of the track championship in all three classes begins this week. Only the late models have a few weeks to fine tune. Their points start April 26, one week after the scheduled April 19 Deery Brothers Summer Series tour event.
WILL OPENING NIGHT PROVIDE A TITLE CLUE?
Here’s what a happened a year ago on Opening Night:
Late models: Mark Burgtorf ruled the field, the first of his series-best six feature victories. Surprisingly, track champ Jason Frankel did not reach victory lane until May 18.
Modifieds: Dave Wietholder held off Michael Long to win the feature, which only delayed Long’s domination of the series for a second straight year. Long won the next six main events en route to a second straight championship.
Stock cars: Eventual champ Jeff Mueller claimed the first of his nine checkered flags. Mueller was the lone eventual track champ to win on Opening Night.
Hobby stocks: Steve Carlin was the Opening Night winner, then he did not win again until Aug. 31. Class champ Aaron Brocksieck claimed his first feature the third week of the season.
OPENING NIGHT, PART DEUX
Only four times in the past five years has an eventual track champion won on Opening Night:
Modifieds: Michael Long, 2007
Stock cars: Jeff Mueller, 2008
“B” Modifieds: Wyatt Lantz, 2004.
Hobby stocks: Eddie Dieker, 2004.