KALWASINSKI: Chicago Chips
CHICAGO — The 2013 racing season is quickly coming to a close in and around this area so plan on making one or two more races before it all comes to an end. As my good friend, the late John McKarns once said: “Support your local short track before it’s too late.”
Speaking of late-season events, Kankakee County Speedway hosts it fourth annual Earl J. Hubert Memorial this Friday night with a full racing card on tap at the Tom Smith-promoted dirt track. Highlighting the program is the $2,000-to-win feature race for DIRTcar United Midwestern Promoters stock cars. That kind of money should pull in a number of top drivers in the UMP stock cars ranks to Kankakee.
The night’s racing honors the late Earl J. Hubert, who was one of the top drivers from the Kankakee area. A fast Ford Torino was his ride for several seasons, but an orange-colored Buick No. 43 brought him a lot of fame, including capturing Santa Fe Speedway’s annual 200-lap finale in 1973 and winning the track championship at the old Rensselaer (Ind.) Raceway in 1976. A plumber/pipefitter by trade, Hubert hailed from the small town of Aroma Park during his racing days and passed away in 2007.
Rockford Speedway is all set for its 48th annual National Short Track Championships this weekend. By last count, 36 late model competitors are entered for Sunday afternoon’s 200-lap event including last year’s NSTC winner Rich Bickle. Bickle would no doubt like to close out his racing career by winning Sunday’s battle. Local speedsters entered include Paul Shafer Jr., this year’s track champ at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind., and five-time Illiana titlist, Mike White.
Also add former NSTC winners Eddie Hoffman and Josh Nelms to the mix. It should be some exciting racing all weekend long at the tight, high-banked, quarter-mile, paved oval.
Indiana’s Plymouth Speedway, changed from pavement to dirt for the 2013 season, will see the banks of both of its dirt ovals raised up for the track’s World Series of Dirt during the weekend of Oct. 4-5. The Outlaw Winged 410 and 360 Sprints will be featured, along with UMP modifieds, super streets, thunder stocks, and the 600 non-winged sprints.
More season-end specials include the 44th annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway in West Salem, Wis., Oct. 3-6. Some 700 laps of feature racing will take place at the big five-eighths-mile paved oval with a number of season title-winning races to come about.
The 42nd running of the Winchester 400 late model stock car battle will take place Oct. 14 at Indiana’s Winchester Speedway. The ARCA/CRA Super Series powered by Jegs will again be the sanctioning body at the historic raceway.
Three-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Johnny VanDoorn has filed an entry for the 400 lapper. VanDoorn has an opportunity to claim the JEGS/CRA Super Late Model $100,000 Triple Crown Bonus if he can win the Winchester 400. VanDoorn won the first two legs in the Triple Crown which were the June 15 Berlin 251 at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway and the Redbud 300 at Anderson (Ind.) Speedway July 20, which guarantees him a minimum $10,000 bonus. VanDoorn can walk away with $100,000 if he can pull off his first career 400 victory at Winchester. VanDoorn picked up a series win at Winchester over the Labor Day weekend.