KALWASINSKI: Chicago Chips


CHICAGO — Talk about parity, the Grundy County Speedway in Morris has seen eight different drivers score late model feature wins during the first eight main events held so far this season at the third-mile paved oval.

Unable to positively document it, this has to be some type of record — for the Chicago area and/or for the Midwest.

Anthony Danta won last Friday night in his Terry Laxton-owned No. 51 with Danta joining the likes of Larry Schuler, Paul Shafer Jr., Rich Bickle, Chris Cooling, Mark Sontag Jr., Billy Knippenberg and Eddie Hoffman, who had already tasted victory during the track’s weekly late model action.

“The racing has been second to none,” said Race Director, Tom White. “You would be hard pressed to find a better racing show in the Midwest as far as talent goes. All the promotional tools and gimmicks are helpful, but they don’t replace great racing. Good weather helps too, but the crowds have still been pretty good when the weather has been bad.

“Grundy (which recently became an ASA Racing Member Track), is a popular racing facility. We have had good car counts so far this season, especially in the late model division. One night there were 28 late models in the pits. We have been averaging over 20 a night so far.”

Congratulations to modified speedster Nick Allen. The 30-year old Allen topped a star-studded field of DIRTcar UMP modifieds last Friday night at Kankakee County Speedway for his first victory of the 2013 DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals tour.

With 42 entries on hand, Allen captured the $1,000 checkered flag at the Tom Smith-promoted speedway, and put an end to UMP Modified national champion Devin Gilpin’s win streak. Allen started from the pole and held off third place starter Chad Kinder, with Denny Schwartz, Jeff Leka and Brian Ruhlman rounding out the top five. Defending tour champion Kenny Wallace was 10th in the feature.

Allen, a six-time track champion at his “home track” — Shadyhill Speedway in Medaryville, has not had the best of luck at his local speedway, having won only two feature races so far this season. Allen has three wins at Kankakee in 2013 and trails fellow Indiana racer Jamie Lomax in the current modified standings.

Three-time DIRTcar Summer Nationals champion Dennis Erb Jr. kicked off Midwest dirt track racing’s 2013 Hell Tour with a big victory in the 30th Annual Hoosier Dirt Classic 40 lapper at Indiana’s Brownstown Speedway on June 12.

Erb opened the grueling six-week series in thrilling fashion, starting 18th and charging through the field to run down leader Jason Jameson with five laps to go and taking the checkered flag worth $5,000. Jameson was second with Shannon Babb, Bobby Pierce and Mike Jewell rounding out the top five.