What started out as a fairly nice day turned cool and windy at Toledo Speedway Friday night, and despite a 75 minute rain delay, Angola, IN driver Scott Hantz sailed to victory in the Hollywood Casino 100 for the ARCA Glass City Gold Cup Late Model Series. Scott Altman, representing the casino, presented Hantz the Gold Cup in the Sun Drop Winner's Circle. Jim Froling and Greg Studt were also feature winners as the Glass City oval.
A total of 21 outlaw-bodied Late Models were on hand for race number 1 of the 6-race Series for the new season. A very competitive group of drivers put on a great show for the hardy fans that withstood the weather issues. Johnny VanDoorn topped the speed charts in time trials at 15:014 and drew a 10 for the inversion for the 100 lap contest.
Former track champ Don St. Denis returned to Toledo and led the first 20 laps of the contest. Steve Needles took over the top spot on lap 15, moving up from his 5th starting spot, with a fast Harold Fair Jr. in tow. VanDoorn climbed from the 10th spot to 4th by lap 17, and got to third at lap 19. Rookie Joe Corson brought out the first yellow on lap 32, putting the field into the double-file restart formation. Needles stayed in front, VanDoorn dipped low and got by Fair and then tried to squeeze under Steve in turn 3, only to spin and bring out the yellow again. VanDoorn ducked down pit lane, as did several others, including front runner Brent Jack, who timed in 2nd quick. When the race resumed, Needles started putting some distance between he and Fair, while Scott Hantz began to move up and got by Fair Jr. for second spot at lap 39. At lap 50, the top five were Needles, Hantz, Fair, Jack and Tim Felver, the 1999 Glass City 200 winner.
Jake Francis and Dakota Carlson began to move up and the duo battled with Fair Jr. for nearly 20 laps for position. On lap 62, Needles car quit in turn 3 with smoke billowing out the exhaust pipes, ending his night much the same way it did just 4 laps from the end of last year's Glass City 200 while leading the event. This gave Hantz the lead and Scott charged along, moving in and out of lapped traffic. Brent Jack really started pouring the coals to his machine, as he whittled away at Scott's lead, but ran out of laps as the checkered flag fell on Hantz, who was not planning to race as late as Wednesday morning. Jack's fine run gave him second spot, Francis recorded a great run to take third, Carlson got to fourth and Fair Jr. took fifth. Felver, Mike Root, St. Denis, Dave Stehouwer and Nick Bailey completed the top ten finishers. The Series returns to Toledo July 12.
Make it 2 for 2 for Jim Froling in the ARCA ACME Dismantling Sportsman events at Toledo so far in the young season. The 35 lap contest was cruising along with defending track champ Ron Allen in command, followed by Mike Young and Froling within striking distance. A lap 29 yellow set up a double-file restart. Allen and Young made contact coming down to the green and Ron spun in turn 1. Both cars went to the tail of the field, giving Froling the point. On that re-start, Dan Grigsby got sideways coming off of turn 4, collecting several cars including Young, who tagged the wall hard. All drivers were ok. Froling powered the #46 to the win over Norm Lewallen, 14-year old rookie JJ Haley (in his first Toledo start), Kenny McKay Jr. and Allen. Kent McCloskey, Andy Harding, David Frantz, 16 year-old rookie Amber Slagle (also her first Toledo start) and Young rounded out the top 10. Kyle DeLisle posted the fast time at 17:196, but had mechanical woes in the feature, ending his night.
Greg Studt was the winner in the 25 lap ARCA X Car feature race on the short track. Tom O'Leary IV was the early leader but received a speeding ticket, ending his run. Studt, the fast qualifier at 11:576, took control of the race and raced to the win. Archie Padgett collected second spot, Rich Frantz was third, Jeff King fourth and Rick Cousino fifth, followed by Brian Ringger, rookie Kevin Huston, Randy Padgett Jr., O'Leary IV and Matt Ringger.
There is no racing scheduled for Friday, May 17 as the speedway prepares for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Stock Car Series Saturday and Sunday, May 18-19. The superspeedway-style cars will make their one and only stop in the Glass City for this event, led by Series point leader and 9-time ARCA champ Frank Kimmel. Kimmel also captured the ARCA event at Talladega SuperSpeedway back on May 3. NASCAR driver Ken Schrader is also entered for the 200 lap contest.
The Toledo Blade Day includes practice and qualifying for the ARCA cars and the Grogans Towne 50 lap ARCA Truck race Saturday, May 18. Practice begins at 11 a.m. and racing starts at 3.
Race day is Sunday, May 19, with the on-track autograph session with all the drivers set for Noon, and the green flag to fly at 2 p.m. The ARCA Fan Fest will be held in the track parking lot both days, and the band The Truth will entertain fans in pre-race festivities.
A few reserved seats still remain for the race, and may be obtained by calling 419-727-1100. A Saturday race ticket is included with the purchase of a Sunday race ticket. This offer is only valid with tickets purchased through the track office.