Making the Rounds
Prepared by Joe Secka-JMS ProPhoto - www.jmsprophoto.com
BRISTOLVILLE, OH - May 7, 2009 The last two weeks have been a little of this and a little of that as the big-block modifieds raced at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, PA on April 24, followed by Tri-City Speedway in Franklin, PA on April 26 and lastly, the season opener at Sharon Speedway on May 2.
It looked as though Rex was going to pick up where he left off after the BRP Tour win at Mercer on March 28. He blasted the Lernerville half mile with quick time in hot laps and jumped out to lead the first six laps of his heat race. On the seventh loop, he jumped the cushion getting out of shape and fell back to finish fifth. Cooter, running in the same heat, started fifth and forged ahead to a second place finish.
In the feature Cooter, from his eighth starting position, ran between the sixth and ninth spots before cracking into the top five with two laps to go, finishing fifth. Rex started fifteenth because of the problems in the heat race. He moved into twelfth on the second lap before spinning out. He made another charge toward the front and reached eleventh by lap ten before another spin brought an end to his night.
Just two days later the modifieds would be back in action at Tri-City. Starting fourth in his heat, Rex battled handling problems which forced him into the pits on the third lap. The culprit was discovered to be a faulty shock. Running in the same heat as his dad, Cooter started on the tail and maneuvered up to an eighth place finish.
In the feature, Jr. and Sr., starting fifteenth and eighteenth respectively, were both collected when the X car spun on lap nine. The damage to Cooter’s ride sent him to the pits and ended his night. Rex suffered a cut tire and restarted at the rear. He did manage to come home in the tenth slot though. It was not a great night as the proverbial black cloud seemed to have followed them from Lernerville.
On the bright side it was an opportunity to see folks they hadn’t seen all winter. They were glad to see that long-time friend, Dean Pearson, is back and planning on another full season of modified racing.
Sharon Speedway was next on the schedule. In the first heat race, Cooter brought his #165 modified across the finish line in third place. Rex drew the third heat race and promptly led the pack for the first five laps. But the black cloud reappeared as he suffered a broken brake line resulting in some suspension damage as well.
Crew chief, Johnny Zdelar, and the rest of the crew made the repairs. Johnny said, “You just have to make the best of it when things aren’t going your way.” Cooter ran in the top ten in the feature until suspension problems ended his racing on lap nine. Rex advanced from his twenty-second starting spot to finish a respectable ninth.
Even though Sharon has made an honest effort to bring forth good track conditions the track was very unfavorable. The new surface developed ruts coming of turn four, resulting in race cars becoming airborne. Hopefully the Speedway will soon find the answer to the new clay material.
Once again it was nice to get reacquainted with friends but this night was also a sad time as old friend, Jim Davis, had recently been killed in an auto accident. The King team and fellow drivers made their way through the stands collecting for the Davis family during intermission and would like to express their condolences to the family.
The next event on the modified teams’ schedule will be Sharon Speedway on May 9. The BRP Modified Tour has added a race at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) on May 23 followed by the previously scheduled event at Tri-City Speedway on May 24.
Depending on the scheduling, you can also expect to see the King modifieds in action at Tri-City Speedway and Lernerville Speedway during the 2009 racing season.
The King Bros Racing modified teams would like to thank their 2009 marketing partners R.D. Banks Chevrolet, Jim Brown Seeds, Hunyady Auction Service, Bristol Disposal, Finished, GS Engine Services, Reese Services, The Barber Shop at Champion, Mahan Welding & Fab, Midway Door, Cedar Steel, First Place Insurance, and King Bros Ready-Mix.
Rex Jr. Turns Up The Heat In Florida
Prepared by Joe Secka-JMS ProPhoto - www.jmsprophoto.com
Bristolville, OH – March 3, 2009; When the King Bros Racing modified hauler pulled out of Bristolville on February 7, the temperature was in the single digits. Add in the wind and the chill factor dropped below zero. There were mounds of snow just about everywhere. Somehow the word “miserable” comes to mind. This was a great time to head for another climate and Volusia County in Florida sounded pretty good to Rex Sr. and Rex Jr. and crew.
In less than 24 hours, they pulled into Volusia Speedway Park for the 38th Alltel DIRTcar Winternationals hosted by the World Racing Group. Here the KBR Modified team caught up with Russell, his mom, and the Late Model team which had been racing in Georgia and Florida since the last week of January.
While Rex Sr.’s #65 was loaded into the hauler, it would serve primarily as a back-up for Rex Jr. should he need that option. Rex Sr. was doing great with his recovery from the hip replacement surgery he had done in mid December. Certainly the thought of climbing into his mod had to be tempting, but he held to the master plan and enjoyed watcing both of his sons race instead.
The racing at Voulsia is a tradition for the big block modifieds whose primary base is New York and New Jersey. The Winternationals probably run a close second to the season ending racing at Syracuse in popularity. Our corner of Western PA and Eastern Ohio might be called a satellite operation of the big-blocks, but you probably don’t want to suggest that to the competitors.
Rex Jr., aka “Cooter”, was ready for action. They pulled his #165 out of the hauler and did some final prep work on Tuesday afternoon. The mods had a brief tease of the facility when they pulled onto the track for a practice session late that night. It was hard to believe the season ended almost four months ago several hundred miles north of the current setting. Now the daytime temps were nudging into the low 70’s. Cooter mentioned it might be due to the flames on the sides of his racer. No one was sure, but they did concede he might have had a point there.
Starting on Wednesday, the big-blocks shared center stage with the late models providing an excellent show for the fans. The first night Cooter finished 6th in his heat and 16th in the feature. It was a good run for the first night, but he knew there was improvement in the works.
Rexy and car chief Mark Bates, along with some input from dad, made some adjustments the following day. Cooter qualified for the Thursday feature with another 6th place heat run. Finishing 17th and fighting a tight condition left him searching for answers the following day.
Friday‘s results saw Rex Jr. pull off a 4th in his heat and a very respectable 7th in the feature. Considering the competition was some of the best big-block racers from the northeast, the finish had the family and crew excited. Veteran driver Pat Ward did manage two wins at Volusia this year but they were his first wins ever at the Florida track. That’s just how tough things are at the Winternationals.
Looking to continue his success Saturday night, Cooter managed a top five in his heat again qualifying for the feature. Unfortunately he jumped the cushion in the feature event and clipped the wall relegating him to a 25th place finish on the final night of racing. Fortunately, the other side of the coin, there was not much damage to his #165 racer other than a bent side bar.
All in all, it was a good trip for the big-block modified team. They learned a bit about setting up the suspension and came away satisfied with the horsepower. Running well in Friday’s feature was a welcome boost to the driver’s confidence as well.
There were four straight nights of big-block racing at Volusia Raceway Park. The competition was strong and the results were good. Rex Sr. came away more anxious than ever. It’s probably a good thing there were no more races scheduled or it might have been difficult to keep him out of his #65 big-block. But the upper hand belonged to Cooter this week. When asked about how he expected to fair against his dad in 2009, he said, “Well, I’m not sure, but it looks like I turned up the heat a little. Don’t ya’ think?”
Sunday was spent completely disassembling the car, followed by a thorough power washing and reassembly. The Florida heat was hard to leave but there was work awaiting back home.
The next event on the schedule will be a BRP Modified Tour event at Mercer Raceway Park on March 28th. The father-son duo will again be racing weekly at Sharon Speedway in Hartford, OH. They will also be following the BRP Modified Tour in an effort to bring that championship back into the King camp.
Depending on the scheduling, you can also expect to see the King modifieds in action at Tri-City Speedway and Lernerville Speedway during the racing season.
The King Bros Racing modified teams would like to thank their 2009 marketing partners R.D. Banks Chevrolet, Jim Brown Seeds, Hunyady Auction Service, Bristol Disposal, Finished, GS Engine Services, Reese Services, The Barber Shop at Champion, Mahan Welding & Fab, Midway Door, Cedar Steel, and King Bros Ready Mix.