Track draws rave reviews on first night of practice

March 30, 2011 9 Comments

Jim Powell

Jim Powell’s smile said it all.

“The track is back like it was when I started racing here in 1994, back like it was when my dad — Ol’ Snoopy — was racing in the 1970s,”  said Powell, one of the contenders to win this year’s hobby stock championship.

Powell’s words had to be music to the ears of promoters Paul Holtschlag and Tony Rhinberger. There were long, hard hours put into reshaping and restructuring the .29-mile oval starting way back in October.

Track officials took considerable grief last season for the condition of the track and the “one-groove racing”. It appears those complaints, which were well-founded, are a thing of the past.

Judging from the feedback I got Wednesday night during the first practice, the consensus was a major thumbs-up for all of the offseason work done at 8000 Broadway. I was only there for the first couple of hours of a scheduled four-hour session (I had to get home to watch American Idol), but I hope to get a feel from more drivers Thursday and Friday nights at additional practice sessions.

There are still a couple of rough spots that need to be ironed out – modified driver Vance Wilson called them “whoop-tee-dos,” pulling out a motocross reference — but it is obvious by just looking at the track it is a brand new Bullring. Or should that be a brand new-old-new Bullring?

The corners are much, much flatter and wider, and the amount of surface removed on the straightaways, especially on the front straight, is eye-popping. You can see the line on the front straight wall concerning how much dirt was removed.

“I could feel the corners again, I wasn’t (leaning),” Powell said.

Wilson called the wider, flatter, racier track “much improved.”

“It looks a lot better than last year,” he said. “There’s been a lot of improvement.”

The pits are also in much better shape. The grounds have been filled in, leveled off and cleaned up.

“(The facilities) really look nice,” said one of the veteran workers at the track.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” said another. “It really looks great.”

Gates open at 5 p.m. both Thursday and Friday nights for the final practices of the spring.

The season begins Sunday night with late models, modifieds, stock cars, modifieds and wild things. Racing starts at 6:30.

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  1. terry houston says:

    tracks great, charge a dollar more to get in at practice so they could turn on the lights in pits and fire up water truck in pits

  2. GMF says:

    Great night! Track looked really good! At the end of the night it would have probably ate your rubber but for the most part OMG such a tease!! Cant wait til Sunday night!!

    Question who was the modifed all black body and orange bars?
    Also who was the 33 modified?
    The 56 probably needs to be a lil easier on that gas or his stuff is going to get tore up, messed up quick!!

    Deering says the track looks the best it has in a long long long time!! His car looked awesome out there, smooth moves out there deering!

    Loved seeing Dave W do his 3 wheel driving even though it hurts him and 4 wheel racing makes you go fast there is just something extra hot when its on 3 wheels

    Saw a lot of drivers scoping it out…. Hope they liked what they have seen!!

    YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY LONG LIVE THE BULLRING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO RACING BOYS!!!

  3. GMF says:

    OOOoooooooooooo and I forgot *HA HA HA imagine that* it was an undescribable feeling to watch those boys race 3 wide again!!!!!! Loved seeing them work the top work the bottom and the middle… it was like a fast food joint, the possibilites are Endless! :-D

  4. just me says:

    Just found out 33 was Kindhart

  5. just a fan says:

    It was like being in adult Disneyland with the happiest cars in town. Great fun to watch, although its a lil scary they didn’t have any EMTS or an ambulance out there. Isn’t that a rule Mr. Dirt. Still in drive shaft bliss.

  6. Jansen06 says:

    I have to admit that I was surprised. The track was real good. Nice job guys. The only problem that I see is that the wall on front straight coming out of 4 is still not very tall if someone would get shoved off. Although the flat berm on top of the corners is nice to keep from dragging bottom if you get up too high. All in all it is a vast improvement. Keep it that way all year and the cars will come back.

    Has any body heard how the driver that passed out in the pits is doing? It was a scary deal for awhile.

  7. Jason Frankel says:

    I Drove Jason Perrys car one session lastnight , This is just a prediction from what I seen and felt in that racecar every feature will be won off the bottom, there is no top very flat and slow up there. No wall around the top and with it being so flat there is no way there will be a cousion up there to make a second groove.I think its going to be a race to the bottom every night.

  8. GMF says:

    I was thinking it would probably be a smart idea to have drivers meetings/suggestions every few weeks like they did to get a feel for what the drivers are saying, even if they have to come an hour early or something, I am sure most drivers would be willing. The only waythings can continue to improve is if people are willing to tell Paul and Tony what is going on and ONLY if Paul and tony are willing to listen. Communication is going to be a key factor in this relationship… Fingers crossed its a long happy one!!

  9. captain says:

    I wouldnt doubt you being right about that Jason. Ive seen some good races with people fighting for the bottom. A good middle groove could come in to play also. I think if they put a wall in one or both ends of the track a cushion could form up there and make for one hell of a show.When you can get a fast line down low and a fast line up around the cushion you know your in for a good show. They are working at getting the track better which is great. One things for certain.The racing will be way different this year. Certain drivers who might of struggled last year might dominate this year and vice versa.. It will be fun.

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