Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kansas City racing bonanza; Sprint Cup, Nationwide, ARCA at Kansas Speedway, Late Models at Lakeside

For car folks, this is a depressing time of year in Kansas City.  Yes, there are some really cool season-ending events, but it also reminds you that soon there will be nothing left until next spring.  And there is no better example of that than the huge racing weekend that just came to an end in Kansas City, Kan., which was punctuated by the Hollywood Casino 400 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Let’s review some of the action that took place in Wyandotte County.

If you click on the headlines, they’ll take you to the complete race results.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

Of course, Sunday’s show was the big event of the weekend, and it turned out to really be a real barn-burner.  This was the first time the Sprint Cup guys raced on the new, glass-smooth asphalt that replaced the original, 11-year-old track surface, and it caused a lot of craziness. 

Matt Kenseth managed to take the checkered flag, but that wasn’t the real story here.  This race was all about survival.  Cars were either blowing right front tires, or just spinning out and crashing throughout the day.  The race generated 14 cautions, which was not only a Kansas Speedway record, but also a record for the Sprint Cup Series when you count all of the other tracks they’ve run on this season.  Even Kenseth managed to scrape the wall during one of the incidents.

Notables included Jimmie Johnson, who spun out on his own, bashed in the rear of this car, and still rallied back to a ninth-place finish.  Tony Stewart’s pit crew left a wrench in the back window of his car, sending him to the back of the pack.  Then Stewart spun down to the apron and blew out his tires.  But he’s good, and fought back for a fifth-place finish.  And Regan Smith, subbing for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. while he recovers from a concussion, stayed out of trouble all day, kept his car in the top ten, and came out with a seventh-place finish.  Clint Bowyer from Emporia, Kan., finished sixth, and Carl Edwards from Columbia, Mo., was 14th. 

NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300

On Saturday, the NASCAR Nationwide Series was the first NASCAR-sanctioned event on the new track, and it turned out to be a pretty exciting race.  About half way through the race, Ricky Stenhouse got loose while trying to pass Joey Logano.  Stenhouse wiggled up into Logano, and both cars were damaged.  Stenhouse ended up going two laps down while his crew made repairs.

After the incident, Logano rubbed up on Stenhouse on the track.  Later, he bumped him on pit road.  Clearly, Logano was out of sorts, and he was evidently trying to intimidate Stenhouse.  It didn’t work, though, because Stenhouse managed to make up his two laps with a fast car and solid pit strategy.  On the last lap, it looked like Kyle Busch was going to win, but he ran out of fuel on the last turn, handing the checkered flag to the embattled Stenhouse.  After the race, Logano, who finished in third, knocked Stenhouse off the banking.  Sour grapes, anyone?

ARCA Racing Series Kansas Lottery 98.9

Judging by the crowd, not many people realized that there was a third race at Kansas Speedway on Friday night.  The ARCA Racing Series was actually the first race on the new progressive banking with their 100-lap event.  People really missed the boat on this one, because racing is always more fun under the lights, this was the last race of the season for the ARCA Series, and the event was full of action.

Just before the green flag dropped, my bloodthirsty eight-year-old son said, “I hope somebody flips over!”  And guess what, on the second lap, Chad Boat flipped over.  It was way on the backstretch, so it was kind of hard to see from the grandstands, but we watched the replay on SPEED when we got home, and it was pretty spectacular.

There was all kinds of action, crashes, strategy, and close racing throughout the night.  But in the end, Alex Bowman put his #22 St. Jude’s Hospital Dodge in victory lane in convincing fashion.  Oh, and the new track surface ended up being a non-issue for him, because he also won this race last year.  And with his eight-place finish, Chris Buescher became the 30th guy to take home the ARCA Series title.

Clyde Ellis Presents the Lucas Oil Late Model Challenge at Lakeside Speedway

Kansas Speedway wasn’t the only place in KCK that you could see some exciting racing.  Just a few miles up I-435, Lakeside Speedway was running their action-packed Friday and Saturday night annual Late Model and Modified extravaganza on the 3/8-mile clay oval.

Kyle Berck from Marquette, Neb., has won at Lakeside before, and he had no trouble doing it again in his Late Model on Friday night.  That’s not an easy task.  Heck, 44 cars showed up, and only 25 got to be in the race.  The Modified race wasn’t any easier, as Ryan Gustin hauled down from Iowa to show the local boys how it’s done.

We had new winners on Saturday night, as Will Vaught from Crane, Mo., took advantage of his pole starting position to hold off all comers for the day-two win.  Meanwhile, Mark Dotson from Cameron, Mo., took advantage of Kelly Shryock’s mechanical woes to bring home the Modified feature trophy.

I’ve got a big slideshow for you down there.  A lot of them are of cars getting pushed around in the pits.  If you see a nice picture, chances are it was provided by NASCAR’s media service.  There are also a few Lakeside shots provided by  But when you put them altogether, I think the entire album paints a pretty good picture of the entire racing weekend here in our humble little town.


  1. I'm surprised you don't have more comments. This slideshow is really cool.

  2. craig, caught a show last night that featured a car-tractor museum up in Washington, KS, in Linn County. maybe you've heard of this before, but if not, here are the details. looked pretty cool. you can see the story on KTWU's "Sunflower Journeys." guy put a buick flathead 8 in a tractor... - mike t.

    Herrs Memory Lane

    Must see unique collection of over 100 vintage cars, trucks, tractors and engines plus other items.

    Visit Herrs Machine Memory Lane in northwest Washington where there are over 100 vintage vehicles and items on display. This is a 45 year collection of completely restored cars, tractors, and engines. You will see the progression of ransportation; from a buggy, 1918 Buick race car, early wreckers, fire and gas trucks. Another building houses many old tractors, oil field engines and farm implements. See the 1930 Garage complete with tools. Compare the 1920's working windcharger to the latest wind turbine! A must see! Museum open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. Weekends by appointment. A must see on your visit to Washington.

    F and College St
    Washington, KS 66968
    Phone: (785) 325-2875
    Toll Free: (877) 525-2875

    Web site