AIKEY ACES FARLEY SPEEDWAY
Defending NASCAR Weekly Racing Series track champion Jeff Aikey found his was back to victory lane in Late Model action held at the Farley Speedway on Friday May 11th.
Starting the event eleventh, Aikey made a quick charge to the front by using the bottom of the racetrack while early leader Ace Ihm led most of the rest of the pack around the top of the high-banked half mile facility. By the end of the second lap, Aikey found himself in the fifth position, his progress slowed briefly while negotiating the car of Troy Bruder, also running on bottom. Aikey then shot past Mark Merfeld and Duane Coulson on the fourth lap and overtook Ihm for the lead two laps later. Ihm was able to stay close by pounding the cushion while Aikey hugged the low side, but quickly found himself defending the second spot from Rick Wendling following Aikey’s lead on bottom. When the event’s first caution flag slowed the field on lap fourteen, Wendling switched to the topside of the racetrack following the doublewide restart, but was unable to pass Ihm before racing was once again slowed for a lap twenty caution. Ihm received a break when a miscue on the initial restart cost him several positions, but was given a reprieve when a car near the back of the pack spun out before a lap was complete. Ihm made the most of his good fortune, restarting the race back in second, holding on until the finish. Josh McGowan also used the restart to his advantage, passing Wendling and Terry Neal to finish second. Neal was also able to get around Wendling before the checkers to finish fourth.
Russ Olson inherited the Modified lead when leader Gus Hughes retired from the twenty lap race just past the halfway mark. Hughes appeared to be in complete control before his car began emitting sparks and smoke on lap seven, eventually forcing his retirement on lap eleven. Olson held off a late race challenge from Rich Smith to take his first win of the year ahead of Smith, Larry Herring, Jason Schueller and Ron Barker.
Jeff Tharp used a strong first lap to overtake leader Kevin Schroeder on the fifth lap. Tharp advanced from eighth on the start to second by the end of the first circuit, before running underneath the leader for the next four laps. Dan Shelliam joined the lead pair on lap four, allowing Tharp room on the top of the racetrack while Schroeder focused his attention on Shelliam on the bottom of the track. Shelliam was able to take the second spot as Schroeder slid back, allowing Jim Brokus to finish third ahead of Ty Kleiner and John Maher.
Jeff Reinert used a second lap charge to take the lead and eventually the win in Hobby Stock action. Reinert was forced to defend his position from Terry Merkes before securing the win ahead of Merkes and Paul Beckman. Ray Fawcett found his was around the extreme top of the track to pass Brian Strang on the fourth lap of the Fun Car feature. Strang held on to second ahead of Chad Hallahan.
Racing action continues this Friday and the Farley Speedway “Palace of Speed” in all five divisions of NASCAR stock cars. Hot laps are scheduled for 7 pm with racing to follow. For more information contact Simmons Promotions at 563-744-3620 or online at www.simmonspromotionsinc.com. For race day updates and quick results afterwards, call your local McLeod USA InTouch Directory, category 3740 and 3741.
May 11, 2001
1. 77 Jeff Aikey Cedar