by Don Martin StlRacing.com
Last Friday night Tri-City Speedway kicked off the 2017 racing season. The house and the pits were packed with spectators and competitors opening night. Passenger vehicles were nearly parked on Route 203 and the pits were filled with 100 race teams. With all the rain we had I was very impressed with how smooth the 3/8 mile was. The track was like glass as Tammy and Kevin had the place in fantastic condition as always. The event was Deuces Wild, with the MOWA Sprint Cars, UMP Modifieds, and Late Models all on hand with each division paying $2000 to win.
Ryan Buntin won the MOWA Sprint Car feature over local hot dog Brad Loyet of Sunset Hills, Missouri. Loyet won the opener last week at Jacksonville, but this week Buntin took home the checkers in the 6R from Morton, Illinois. Look for Loyet to bounce around a little bit in midgets and sprints running a nice schedule hitting some local shows while hitting most of the majors.
Mike Harrison won the Modified feature and is proving again he is the best UMP Open Wheel Modified driver in the country. He won every feature he as entered already this year being 6 for 6. The Highland Illinois driver is always tough at Tri-City Speedway and had to beat 36 other competitors. Tri-City always has a strong contingent of competitors and has probably the stiffest competition in the country on a weekly basis. Friday was no different, Kenny Wallace, Levi Kissinger, Matt Cooper, Ray Bollinger, Trent Young, Josh Harris, Dean Hoffman, and Michael Long were all on hand. Trent Young came home second and seems to get better and better each time the Kentucky driver get more familiar with the track. Josh Harris, track champion Michael Long, and Michael Lee rounded out the top five. 7 states were represented.
Bobby Pierce won the late model feature and had to hold off several challenges from Brian Shirley of Chatham, Illinois to get the job done. Shirley coming off wins at Farmer City and Peoria with Pierce just coming up short at those events got one back Friday night. We are so lucky to see this Kid Pierce race in our backyard, the kid is such a talent. Tim Manville came home third with Jim Shereck, and Michael Kloos rounding out the top five. 23 late models were on hand for the event including Brandon Sheppard who was running third when he made hard contact with a lapped car ending his night.
It was a great way to start the season and better yet seeing all the devoted race fans supporting their local track. Great job again to Tammy and Kevin for giving us such a great facility to watch some excellent side by side racing.