StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114910041722441.jpg’, ”, ”);
StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-114910049523609.jpg’, ‘Photos by Jim Ambruoso’, ‘The before (top photo) and after (bottom photo) of Bob Shea and "The Nemesis Monster Truck" Friday, May 26, at Rockford Speedway.’);
It was a very memorable Memorial Day weekend at Rockford Speedway.
Friday night, May 26, was filled with great racing and lots of thrills. Saturday nights (May 27) racing action picked up right where Friday left off.
Bob Shea and The Nemesis Monster Truck thrilled Friday nights crowd with its high-flying, car-crushing, 1,200 horsepower donut-spinning exhibition. Billy West and The Full Throttle Monster Truck provided fans with the opportunity to go for a wild ride.
In addition to the excitement supplied by the two Monsters, there was also great racing in the Budweiser American Short Trackers and the Hornets.
Matt Berger won his first-ever Short Tracker feature, and Nick Lasher out-dueled the other 28 hornet drivers to win their feature.
Saturday night showcased the NASCAR Late Models, The Grand Nationals and The Road Runners. Five-time defending Late Model track champion Ricky Bilderback won his third-straight feature by several car lengths over runner-up Josh Nelms. Bill Hobson, George Bohn and Bob Kahler finished off the top five.
Rookie Grand National driver Chad Scott won the feature in only his third start in the division. He started on the pole in the 25-lap race, but was challenged numerous times by Dennis Bassler and Gilbert Brewer. Brewer and Scott traded the lead back and forth during the late laps of the race. Scott was finally able to pull in front of Brewer with about half a lap to go and crossed the finish line a car length ahead of him.
The elder statesman of the Rockford Speedway, 66-year-old Gene Marocco, won his first Road Runner feature of the 2006 campaign. He finished ahead of Dan Carlson and last weeks feature winner, Alex Papini.
In the two visiting divisions, Belvideres Chris Bedore won the Rascal Outlaw feature, and Neal Gillentine from Yorkville, Ill., won the Formula Indy Racing League Association feature.
Drivers from seven states are expected to show up in Rockford this Saturday night, June 3, to fill the large field of Super Cup cars. They will be joining the lineup during Parent Petroleum and Turbo Blue Racing Fuel night at the track. In addition to the Super Cups, the American Short Trackers, Late Models and Road Runners will be in action. Gates open at 5 p.m., and racing begins at 7:07 p.m.
Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the May 31-June 6, 2006, issue