The Kool Kat has a formula for winning his first late model track championship at the Bullring. Actually, the formula is no formula if you listen closely. But the math to that “formula,” he says, will take care of itself.
Keith “The Kool Kat” Pratt won the midseason championship race Wednesday night and now takes aim on the most important goal — well, kind of … — of the season, winning the track title.
“I would rather win 100 races than a track title,” he said. “But if you win enough races, the points and a track championship will take of itself.”
We get it. That track title is important.
Pratt is four points in back of leader Lonnie Bailey, a two-time champ who knows how to play the points game and can handle the pressure of a tight race. Pratt has never been in a bona fide duel for the championship. He’s hoping this is the first year.
“The key in the second half of the season will just be to get some races in, and you have to finish those races,” he said. “The first half of the season has been crazy with all the rainouts. But there’s nothing you can do about it. You just race when you can.”
Only four of 13 scheduled Sunday races were able to be run, plus two makeups.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT MIDSEASON CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDUP
Late models: Pratt, Joey Gower and Bailey were the top three finishers, dominating the field from start to finish. Pratt led all 30 laps, only the second series driver to go flag to flag and win from the pole. Justin Reed on May 8 was the other. Pratt also turned a 72.651 mph lap during the feature, the second fastest of the season. Bailey had a 73.063 clocking back on June 12.
Pratt was the seventh different feature winner in as many late model main events. He’s also the fifth different midseason champ in as many seasons. Robby Warner, the defending champ, finished a respectable fifth.
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay’s first midseason title race win in a modified saw him lead all 25 laps and tighten the series points standings. Unofficially, Dave Wietholder (366), Shawn Deering (365), DeLonjay (360) and defending champ Jared Schlipman (340) are all bunched within 26 points of one another. Schlipman, who led the points going in, was reportedly out of state and unable to attend.
Shawn Deering finished second to DeLonjay, the fourth time the Heartbreak Kid has been runner-up in a feature this season.
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck took the lead on lap six and stormed to his fifth feature victory in seven shows. Rapidly improving Beau Taylor was runner-up and Kevin Tomlinson third.
Hobby stocks: Wes Mayfield won his first hobby stock feature of the season and his first overall since 2009, also in a hobby. Mayfield, who is on his third motor this year, said he’s “planning on a big second half of the season.” Jake Powers was runner-up and points leader Steve Carlin third.
Wild things: Robert Thompson took the lead on the final lap when William Michel sustained a flat tire coming out of turn two and held on for the win in his first appearance at the track. Kimberly Abbott was second and Austin Uppinghouse third.
WEDNESDAY IS NOW THE PERMANENT MAKEUP NIGHT
Promoter Tony Rhinberger has confirmed that Wednesday will be the new makeup night for all regular weekly Sunday night shows that get washed out. Wednesday seems to work better for the most drivers.
DEERY BROTHERS ON TAP SUNDAY
The second appearance of the season by the Deery Brothers Summer Series tour is Sunday night. In case you have forgotten, Quincy regulars have won the last eight. Matt Bailey was the most recent on April 10. This will be the 26th appearance of the Deery series at 8000 Broadway. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m.
SPORT MODS MAKE DEBUT SUNDAY WITH $500 TO WIN GUARANTEE
Local fans will get their first look at the sport mods and possibly the car that will be the newest series at the Bullring in 2012. The number of cars that show up for this event will help determine the track officials’ decision in the offseason. An educated guess says somewhere between 10-20 will be on hand.
RECENT MIDSEASON CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WINNERS
2011: Keith Pratt
2010: Robby Warner
2009: Jason Frankel
2008: Kevin Tomlinson
2007: Terry Gallaher
2006: Mark Burgtorf
2005: Mark Burgtorf
2004: Mark Burgtorf
2003: Mark Burgtorf
2002: Mark Burgtorf
2001: Terry Schlipman
2000: Thad Trump
2011: Steven DeLonjay
2010: Michael Long
2009: Vance Wilson
2008: Robbie Reed
2007: Michael Long
2006: Hank DeLonjay
2005: Hank DeLonjay
2004: Mark Burgtorf
2003: Ryan Meyer
2002: Vance Wilson
2001: Denny Woodworth
2000: Mark Burgtorf
2005: Wyatt Lantz
2004: Tony Dunker
2003: Marty Hull Sr.
2002: Joe Bliven
2001: Kelly Bartz
2000: Joe Bliven
2011: Wes Mayfield
2010: Jeremy Buss
2009: Steve Carlin
2008: Wes Mayfield
2007: Steve Carlin
2006: Steve Carlin
2005: Eddie Dieker
2004: Eddie Dieker
2003: Brent Chapman
2002: Bill Genenbacher
2001: Dave Wietholder
2000: Michael Larsen
2011: Aaron Brocksieck
2010: Abe Huls
2009: Kevin Tomlinson
2008: Dave Wietholder
2011: Robert Thompson
WEDNESDAY NIGHT MIDSEASON CHAMPIONSHIP STARS
5 Stars: Keith Pratt, who won that impressive three-way scrum with Joey Gower and Lonnie Bailey in the late model feature.”I was able to hold the low line, there was a little moisture down there,” Pratt said. “If I had (drifted) higher, Joey would have gotten me and passed me.”
4 Stars: Aaron Brocksieck, who made it five stock car feature wins in seven tries.
3 Stars: Wes Mayfield, who has endured a tough season (can you say three engines?), but was the dominant car in the hobby stock feature.
2 Stars: Steven DeLonjay, the modified feature winner who now seems poised to make that long-anticipated title run.
1 Star: Shawn Deering, who now has four second-place finishes in modified features.
Late models: Keith Pratt (1st)
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (3rd)
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck (5th)
Hobby stocks: Wes Mayfield (1st)
Wild things: Robert Thompson (1st)
FAST FEATURE LAPS
Late models: Keith Pratt, 72.561 mph (second fastest of the season)
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay, 68.779 mph
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck, 62.102 mph
Late models: Lonnie Bailey (5ht), Keith Pratt (2nd)
Modifieds: Shawn Deering (3rd), Danny “Ding Dong” Crane (1st)
Stock cars: Beau Taylor (1st)
Hobby stocks: Nathan Hayes (1st), Steve Carlin (5th)
Wild things: Casey Kendrick (1st)
Late models: 11, lowest turnout of season (season average 16.9)
Modifieds: 14 (season average 15.9)
Stock cars: 8 (season average 8.0)
Hobby stocks: 10 (season average 11.7)
Wild things: 6, lowest turnout of season (season average 9.6)
Late models: 0 (season average 2.4)
Modifieds: 8 (season average 7.0)
Stock cars: 0 (season average 1.3)
Hobby stocks: 1 (season average 2.1)
Wild things: 0 (season average 0.3)
WHERE THE FEATURE WINNERS HAVE STARTED FROM IN 2011
April 3: Jason Perry (started 3rd)
April 10: Matt Bailey (started 4th)
May 8: Justin Reed (started from pole) flag to flag
May 30: Denny Woodworth (started 3rd)
June 7: Joey Gower (started 2nd)
June 12: Lonnie Bailey (started 5th)
June 29: Keith Pratt (started from pole) flag to flag
April 3: Michael Long (started from pole) flag to flag
April 10: Jared Schlipman (started 5th)
May 8: Michael Long (started 3rd)
May 30: Steven DeLonjay (started 4th)
June 7: Jared Schlipman (started 3rd)
June 12: Steven DeLonjay (started 4th)
June 29: Steven DeLonjay (started from pole) flag to flag
April 3: Aaron Brocksieck (started 4th)
April 10: Aaron Brocksieck (started 5th)
May 8: Aaron Brocksieck (started 5th)
May 30: Kevin Tomlinson (started 8th)
June 7: Aaron Brocksieck (started from pole) flag to flag
June 12: Gabe Harrison (started from pole) flag to flag
June 29: Aaron Brocksieck (started 4th)
April 3: Bobby Anders (started 5th)
April 10: Bobby Anders (started from pole) flag to flag
May 8: Bobby Anders (started from pole) flag to flag
May 30: Bobby Anders (started 3rd) flag to flag
June 7: Bobby Anders (started 5th)
June 12: Steve Carlin (started 6th)
June 29: Wes Mayfield (started 2nd)
April 3: Chuck Fullenkamp (started 6th)
April 10: Casey Kendrick (started 2nd) flag to flag
May 8: Craig Bangert (started from pole) flag to flag
May 30: William Michel (started 5th)
June 7: Casey Kendrick (started from pole) flag to flag
June 12: Casey Kendrick (started 4th)
June 29: Robert Thompson (started 5th)