By Eric Huenefeld
LOVES PARK, Ill. — The weather and Doug Bennett have two things in common: they’re both getting hotter.
Bennett, who picked up his first feature win of the season in the Bargain Hunter Sportsman division one week ago, was back in victory lane Saturday night, July 6, at Rockford Speedway. The win continued the two-time champion’s recent string of consistent finishes, which has suddenly propelled him to second in the overall point standings.
Bennett did indeed have the best seat in the house for the 25-lap feature event, beginning the race from the pole position. Bennett was able to clear the field by lap two, and was never seriously challenged in the caution-free affair. Behind him, though, the action was fast and furious. Outside pole sitter Howie Ware and third-place starter Daryl Gerke tussled for several laps for the runner-up spot, before Gerke finally slipped ahead of Ware just past halfway. Points leader Matt Lundberg and fast qualifier Austin Nason soon jumped on Ware’s bumper, looking to move forward in the frantic battle. Nason muscled past both Ware and Lundberg, while Lundberg would eventually move past Ware.
Back up front, Bennett cruised to the win. Gerke held on to second, turning back a last-lap effort by Nason, who would settle for third. Lundberg was fourth, with Ware taking fifth.
Beloit’s (Wis.) Brent Lowe made a bold three-wide move on lap five of the 15-lap Crap Scrapper Hornet feature event, propelling him to the lead and eventually the win. The victory was Lowe’s first of the season. Ryan Eddy survived a battle of attrition to finish second, with Steve Putman holding off Jason Schlesner for third. Earlier in the evening, Schlesner won the Yellowbook Hornet Challenge “Double Spin to Win” race.
The open-wheel Illini Racing Series Midgets made their return to Rockford Speedway July 6. The “mighty midgets” would participate in a grueling 50-lap feature, with Elk Grove Village driver Sean Murphy taking the win. Murphy, the evening’s fast qualifier, held off the late advances of series point leader Lamont Critchett to capture the checkered flag. Joliet’s Scott Koerner finished the 50-lap race a distant third.
The INEX Legends made their first appearance of the year at the high-banked quarter mile. Malone’s (Wis.) Aaron Moyer led the 20-lap Legend main event from green to checkered, en route to the win. Moyer outran fast qualifier Cory Talaska for the victory, while 13-year-old Floridian Noah Cornman finished third.
Upcoming at the track
Wednesday night, July 10, at 7:07 p.m., it’s another “Wild Wednesday”! This week is “Car Load Night,” where Carloads of people will be admitted to the Speedway for just $30 per carload (carload pricing valid until 7 p.m.). The Wild Wednesday Racing lineup includes the Road Runner Super Summer Series, Bandits, Misfits, Winged Women on Wheels and Super Cup cars, as well as One-on-One Spectacular Drags and the Wild and Crazy Figure 8 race. Every Wild Wednesday is also Dollar Beer Night. Wednesday night racing offers midweek fun for everyone, and adult admission is $9. Spectator gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday night, July 13, at 7:07 p.m., is “Family Night.” Special “Family Night” admission includes two adult and up to fourstudent or kids’ tickets for a total of $40. The action on track Saturday night includes the NASCAR Late Models, Sportsman, American Short Trackers and Road Runners, along with the Road Runner Challenge “Forward/Backward Race.” Spectator Gates open at 5 p.m., time trials begin at 5:55 p.m. Adult general admission is $12, students 12-17 are $8, kids ages 6-11 are $5, and kids age 5 and younger are free.
Visit www.rockfordspeedway.com or contact the Speedway Box Office at (815) 633-1500. Rockford Speedway is at 9572 Forest Hills Road, Loves Park, Ill.
Posted July 10, 2013