DeGRAFF – Shady Bowl Speedway has been plagued by rain and cold race nights all season. But track owner Rick Young had to feel good Saturday when only half the program was rained out, despite nearly a night-long drizzle or showers.
Action was brought to a complete halt for about an hour as track crew and racers dried the track after a heavy shower. The northern Ohio-based Wheelman Series were the headliners of the night. The series travels to pavement tracks in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan bringing some of the top-notch street stock drivers and teams in the tri-state.
Due to weather conditions, the 75-lap, $5,500 to win feature for the Wheelman drivers was shortened to 50 laps. Chris Parker of Bellefontaine has a brother named Spanky, but on Saturday, Chris changed his named to Spanky as he spanked the other 26 drivers who started the 50-lap main. Parker was behind the wheel of the Chad’s Automotive backed racer, marking the biggest win of his career. The race got off to a great start for local driver Dave Barnhart. Barnhart had not competed for several seasons but put his Dale Earnhardt lookalike Monte Carlo out front at the drop of the green, Barnhart led the first 18 circuits before losing the lead to Greg Bernard Jr. Bernard led the next five laps before Parker took over.
The rain intensified and the race was declared complete by Wheelman officials at 28 laps as over one half the race was completed. The final top five saw Barnard Jr. second, Buck Purtee third, Jeremie Wiggins fourth and Matt Wilson fifth. Josh Sage set quick time with a 14.875 lap setting a Wheelman track record. Josh Poore posted the dash win. Heat checkereds fell to Brad Blue, Barnhart and Ryan Amonett. Shady Bowl drivers had a great night, with a win, a third place, a track record and two heat wins.
The Frazier/Parsons Design got to qualify and run preliminary events as their feature was rained out. Zach Beaty-Lakins was fast qualifier, with the dash won by Curtis Noble and the heat by Bobbie Jo Parsons.
The Wooten Automotive and Towing of St. Paris Modifieds were also on hand. Chris Parker was fast qualifier with a 13.691 lap. Kyle Purvis won the dash, with Mike Pippin and Austin Eaton winning heat races. Their feature was also fell victim to the rain.