Touring Series: Mother Nature Claims Victory At East Carolina
Robersonville, NC – She sure enough did not qualify on the pole but was there in the end to claim the first race of the year at the high bank 3/8 mi track. After a very active off season with track officials making the change to Saturday night racing, adopting a rule book to “merge” two division in hopes to cut cost and increase car counts, and adding three new divisions to the season, those same officials were forced to pull the plug this past weekend due to weather.
Most of the day the forecast was calling for no more than a 40% chance of showers, with a chance of a thunderstorm around the five o’clock hour. We thought we were in the clear after getting all three scheduled divisions qualifying in but ran into trouble during the “opening ceremonies.” A slow drizzle worked its way over the track dropping enough water to leave a shine on the speedway.
Immediately clean-up crews hit the track dragging tires behind them in an attempt to keep heat in the racing surface. An old trick that most local short tracks use due to the lack of jet dryers or now the Air Titan. With the help of half a dozen UCARS and Shawn Balluzzo’s modified we started to see the primary groove start to dry out – by this time it was 8pm.
All of those efforts would however get washed down the drain quite literally as another band of storms moved into the area, bringing larger drops at a heavier rate. By this time we had completely lost the track and officials made the call to cancel the evenings events.
McCaskill did send a statement during qualifying though. Setting a fast time of 15.296 to claim what would have been the pole – mind you he was two tenths faster than the second place car. Shelton McNair, Thomas Burbage, Ronald Brown, and Louis White would make up the rest of your starting five. Jimmy Humblet who was lighting fast all afternoon in practice laid a lap down to the tune of a 15.493, which was fast enough to claim the top spot in a seven-car field. Shawn Balluzzo, Mike Rudy, Chris Humblet, and Scotty Lawrence were those drivers finishing out the modified starting five!
For those fans in attendance the track has announced to hold onto your ticket/wrist band as they will be honored for entry in two weeks on May 2nd. Stay tuned to our Facebook/Twitter page as I will confirm with speedway officials to see if they plan on making any changes to the schedule.