George Bohn takes late model season opener

The 59th season at Rockford Speedway got off to a terrific start Saturday, April 8. On this historic night, fans were treated to a great night of racing in the four NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series divisions.

After sitting out most of last season, George Bohn returned to the high-banked, quarter-mile oval and was victorious in the 30-lap late model feature. Over the length of the race, several different drivers challenged Bohn. He held off attempts by Ryan Carlson, Jeremy Miller and five-time defending track champion Ricky Bilderback.

In the Grand National feature, last year’s champion, Fred Nason, was able to pick up right where he left off. Nason took the checkered flag in the 25-lap feature. He was able to wrestle the lead from Doug Bennett with nine laps to go, and held on for the victory.

It was a battle of the Sparkman brothers in the American Short Tracker division. Younger brother Boyce “B.J.” Sparkman was able to hold off the challenge mounted by his older brother, George Sparkman, to get the win in their 25-lap feature. With four laps to go, a caution flag came out. Following the restart, George was able to close the gap, but was never able to make the pass for the win.

The final race of the evening was a 20-lap feature for the Road Runners. Dan Carlson got his season off to a great start. He worked his way through the field to finish ahead of the other 19 drivers who took the green flag.

Saturday, April 15, O’Reilly Auto Parts presents Spring Smash-O-Rama. The evening will include a school bus steel wall crash, camper trailer jump, spectacular drags, stock car roller derby and an Easter Bunny gauntlet race. The Grand Nationals and the Hornets will also be on the schedule. Excitement begins at 7:07 p.m. Fans can get advance tickets by calling the track’s box office at 633-1500.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the April 12-18, 2006, issue

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