Opinion

HEDGER: Garrison Rules Amateur SuperFans

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. — SuperFans scoring is complete and rookie amateur contestant David Garrison of Bedford, Ky., who attended 152 races at 104 tracks in 24 states, joins pro and overall champion Eddie Reichert in victory lane.

After a bout with cancer in 2009, Garrison went “on the road.” He ran his motorhome some 41,766 miles, all solo, and was the only entrant to attend all 28 races of the UMP Summernationals. He says, “Wilmot did an excellent job for their first-ever special show. It’s a good facility that should be showcased more. The Macon and Belleville shows were awesome, as was the racing at Tyler County, though the stands and dust suck.

“The modifieds were excellent at Houston Raceway Park and Charlotte did a great job of running two shows in one day [World Finals], reworking the track between shows.”

He saw 90 races that paid more than $5,000 to win and his log shows 11 Lucas Oil shows, 10 WoO events, 14 USAC shows and 16 East Coast modified races.

Garrison’s “downers” included Farmer City, Ill., where “the track was bad and the show was slow” and Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway, where “they ran the support classes first on an iffy night and the Summernationals feature was rained out.”

Former champ Ed Esser, who visited 91 “new” speedways in 2010, finished second despite season-ending cancer surgery in September. He still drove more than 75,000 miles to 144 races in 24 states. His favorite remains the Chili Bowl, though he also liked the midgets at McCool Junction, Neb., Cowtown Speedway in Texas and Beaver Dam Raceway in his home state of Wisconsin.

Esser spent $1,733 on tickets priced from $3 to $57 and saw 31 races won off the pole. Tank Tucker at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway and Richie Gustin at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway won from the farthest back — 20th.

New Yorker Bill Hull claimed third with 131 races at four paved and 21 dirt tracks in four states. The best were the WoO sprints at New York’s Lebanon Valley Speedway, where Doug Esh won while subbing for Jac Haudenschild; Danny Johnson’s RoC score at Accord (N.Y.) Speedway and Wayne Anderson’s win from the 20s at Citrus County Speedway in Florida.

Richard Hicks of Connersville, Ind., caught 129 at 29 tracks in seven states to claim fourth. He enjoyed races at 21 dirt and eight paved speedways, with the Kokomo Klash sprint-car race rated No. 1, while the Chili Bowl earned best event honors.

Ohio’s Benny Trask checkered fifth with 128 shows at 62 tracks in 17 states. Favorites included the Chili Bowl, sprints and late models at Ohio’s Attica Raceway Park, a Ron Davies score at Eriez Speedway in Pennsylvania and the World 100 at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway, which he called “the best in years due to a late afternoon shower.”

Dwight Bucks of Topton, Pa., who led the second five, caught 124 shows at 34 tracks in eight states and spent $1,821 on admission. His best races included the Lucas Oil LMs at Winchester (Va.) Speedway, a Craig VonDohren win at Pennsylvania’s Grandview Speedway, Matt Hirschman’s late-race charge to victory at Chemung (N.Y.) Speedrome and the dirt modifieds on pavement at Airborne Park.

Bucks’ negatives included “the Turkey Derby at New Jersey’s Wall Stadium, where Jimmy Blewett was allowed to run roughshod over the field in the tour-type modifieds and the small car races at West End Fairgrounds (Gilbert, Pa.).”

Iowa’s Bob Litton was seventh with 120 races at 32 tracks, spending $1,498 on admission. His best race was at Florence, Ky., where Steve Casebolt and Jason Jamison swapped the lead repeatedly in the LM feature.

Eighth was another Iowan, Kevin Babcock of Des Moines, with 108 shows at 45 speedways in nine states. Babcock loved a Missouri trip in July for the Lucas Oil LMs at Tri-City and Lucas Oil Speedways.

Kevin Trittien of Eldora, Iowa, completed a three-man Iowa draft by recording 91 races, good for ninth. He drove more than 17,000 miles, hit 27 tracks in six states.

Bruce Carley rounded out the top 10 with 90 races at 49 tracks in a dozen states. The best was a Dennis Erb win at Fairbury (Ill.) Legion Speedway, followed by Rick Eckert’s impressive score from 18th at Attica.

The views expressed by NSSN columnists and readers in the opinion or community sections of this website do not necessarily reflect those of the management and staff of National Speed Sport News, Kay Publishing or Media1934 LLC.

Posted by on Feb 9 2011 Filed under Columns, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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