Both the 2005 and 2006 Glass City 200 races will go down in history, but for different reasons. John Doering Jr. captured the rain-shortened race in 2005, the first Glass City race to ever be cut back by the elements. And, 2006, well, who could forget? Michael Simko took off running and put a flying drop-kick on the windshield of Don St. Denis during a red flag, St. Denis scrambled from his car and the duo squared off in the infield! The incident drew world-wide attention and made news for several weeks. To their credit, both drivers have moved on and have raced against each other. In fact, both drivers are expected to be at this year's race this Saturday.
With rain expected most of the day and evening, the decision was made to run the first portion of the 2005 Glass City 200 to lap 101. And what a great show it was! Steve Sauve, by the inversion, started on the pole and was looking for his 4th Glass City 200 victory. Scott Hantz was quick also, and stayed with Sauve early on until he made his move on lap 60 to grab the lead. Only 2 yellows for minor incidents slowed things. Harold Fair Jr. (#71) the fast qualifier for the 46 car field at 15:088, moved from 11th to third. Doering, at the wheel of Dean Hudson's #5, got by Hantz (#72) on lap 74 to take control and with Fair now second, the duo put on a sensational show as the weather began to move closer. Fair got up to Doering's door on the white flag but ran out of time as the lap 101 mark was completed. The rains began just as the cars made their way back onto the track and it continued for a lengthy time, bringing the race to an official ending. Doering was the winner, Fair Jr. second, Hantz third, Dave Kuhlman (#24) fourth and Freddie Campbell (#47) fifth. Tim Curry and Chuck Roumell won the last chance races. Jimmy Thiel (#6) piloted Bob Ward's car to the B main win.
In 2006, Jack Landis (#10) was somewhat of a surprise winner in the 200 lap classic. The action was wild all day and needless to say, the "Main event" of the day was the Simko-St. Denis altercation. Again, 46 cars were on hand, with Johnny Belott (#0) posting quick time at 15:045. Simko and Jay Sommers won the last chance races, while local Joe Hawes (#53) took the B Main.
2006 was also the year that the race went back to Saturday night, which allows for a Sunday raindate if needed, the same format that is still in place today. 2003 track champ Brian Keselowski sailed into the lead and several favorites, including 2005 winner Doering, were early retirees. At lap 51, Brian darted down pit roead, handing the lead to Mike Luberda Jr. (#40). Mike ran a strong pace, with Dave Kuhlman in tow as the duo brought the field to the lap 101 break in that order.
25 of the 31 car starting field took the green flag after the break. Kuhlman nosed into the lead and held it until lap 112 when the yellow flag appeared as Sauve tagged the wall. On the restart, the fireworks began as Simko tangled with St. Denis, with Simko pounding the turn 3 wall and bringing out the red flag. Simko jumped out of his car and ran to the #20 St. Denis machine and the battle began! When racing resumed, Kuhlman appeared to be headed for that elusive Glass City 200 victory, but Dave's day ended on lap 137 as he got collected in an incident on the main straight-away. Luberda took over the lead, but Belott was lurking around the front and took the point on lap 153. But misfortune struck Johnny as he coasted pit-side on lap 168. Somehow, Sauve remained in the hunt and took over from Belott, but a sour engine stopped his night. Landis, who also had been staying in the front of the pack, grabbed the lead and the big victory over Luberda Jr., Andy Ponstein (#00), Brent Jack (#41) and veteran Harold Fair Sr. (#81) completed the top 5.
Log onto www.toledospeedway.com for photos from the event and past Glass City 200 recaps and more photos!
The 25th Anniversary of the Great Lakes Helicopter Glass City 200 presented by Francis Engineering, Woodville Auto Finance, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express is set for Saturday, September 28.
As we move closer to the 2013 edition and this special anniversary of one of the top outlaw-bodied Late Model races in the area, please check the website each day for stories, updates, lap money sponsors, the entry list and historic notes and photos (courtesy of ARCA historians Brian Norton, Jim Hehl and track photographer Charlie Orns) of the Glass City 200.
Lap money sponsorship and just $10 per lap and tickets are now on sale by calling 419-727-1100 today!