Veteran drivers Jim Dale Jr. of Shrewsbury and Steve Shaw of Merlin led every lap of their feature races to open the 2013 stock car racing season at South Buxton Raceway on Saturday night.
Dale Jr., the two-time defending series champion, led all 25 laps to win the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified feature.
Shaw took the green flag in the second row of the Windride Transportation Sport Stocks feature and took the lead before the cars completed a lap as he led all 20 circuits to take the checkered flag.
Leamington’s Justin Coulter won the UMP Late Model feature, his first career feature win in this class, as he outran Charing Cross’s Chris Ross and Eric Spengler, of Lake City, Mich., in an exciting three-car battle for final 13 laps.
Cottam’s Denis DeSerrano won all three races, including the 20-lap feature, in the Tirecraft Mini-Mod division.
DeSerrano actually crossed the finish line in second place in the feature but was declared the winner when Chatham’s Randy McKinlay, who took the lead with four laps to go, was penalized two positions for jumping the restart a lap earlier.
(Photos by James MacDonald Apex One Photo, click on photos for larger views)
Green Flag falls at 7 p.m. for Opening Night this Saturday!
No disrespect to Joel ‘Hollywood’ Dick, but there will be an original ‘Hollywood’ premier on Saturday night.
Eugene ‘Hollywood’ Hoekstra, one of the winningest and most popular drivers in track history, returns to South Buxton Racing after an almost 20-year absence.
Hollywood Hoekstra, a seven-time track champion and seven-time championship race winner, will be back in his familiar No. 36 in the Schinkels Gourmet Meats UMP Modified class.
“I’m spending the money, I might as well have a little bit of the fun,” said Hoekstra, with his trademark grin, about getting behind the wheel again.
“I don’t want to tick Joel off,” he laughed about the return of the ‘original’ Hollywood, a nickname also bestowed upon the Leamington driver with his success over the last three seasons.
“He probably doesn’t even remember when they (the fans) called me Hollywood!” Hoekstra laughed.
Our first long stretch of nice weather couldn’t have come at a better time - the week of the 2013 season opener at South Buxton Raceway!
The 42nd season of dirt stock car racing begins this Saturday night.
Opening Night, sponsored by Carrier Centres, will be the first of 23 scheduled events at South Buxton Raceway this season.
The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m.
Before the green flag, all competitors will be able to run hot laps, as a result of last Saturday’s Practice Day being cancelled because of wet grounds.
The most significant change in the classes this season will be in the Tirecraft Mini-Mods - formerly known as the Comp 4 class.
As the name suggests, the class will only feature ‘mini-mod’ style cars - the old Mustangs and other full-bodied compact cars will no longer run in this class.