When Tim Keithley was chosen as the new promoter of Twin Cities Raceway Park in Vernon, he knew he had a seemingly impossible job in front of him just cleaning up the grounds and working on the racetrack.
Well, come tonight, many fans and drivers are expected to be on hand to witness the rebirth of the facility where Keithley and a host of other volunteers have put a sparkling look on the track that first opened in 1964.
Keithley, 47, who promoted Brownstown Speedway for several seasons, has been away from racing for a few years now, but after a conversation with track manager Tom Wetherald of Columbus, it sparked a fire for him to get back into promoting a track that has seen countless promoters over the past several years.
Keithley is hoping his experience will pay off with car counts and fan attendance this season. While several projects already have been completed, there are more on the way to “establish a good foundation to build from and to provide a safe and fair racing facility for both drivers and fans.”
The list of improvements and additions to the facility are endless and too numerous to mention all of them here, but some are important to mention because Keithley wants the fans and drivers to know what to expect when they arrive at the track.
Keithley and crew built two new buildings, with one at the front gate and the other at the pit gate entrance. The PA system has been completely revamped with new speakers and wiring for both the grandstand and pits. The main and pit concession stands have been remodeled, with two deep fryers added.
Also, all bleacher boards that needed repair have been replaced. The fencing in Turn 3 has been replaced. Keithley also has repaired all the track lights and added over 100 triaxles loads of new dirt for the racing surface.
Racing tonight at Twin Cities will be crate late models, modifieds, super stocks, pure stocks and hornets. For more info, visit twincitiestrack.com.
New Late Model winner at Brownstown
Jared Bailey of Bedford won his first career super late model feature on April 8 at Brownstown Speedway. Bailey, a second-generation driver, is the son of the late Denny Bailey, a long-time competitor at Brownstown.
Marty O’Neal of Spencer, driving a car owned by Larry Hartwell of North Vernon, crossed the finish line in second. Devin Gilpin of Columbus was third in his Sweet-Bloomquist car, with Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, North Carolina, and Raymond Humphrey of Bloomington completing the top-five competitors.
Devin Gilpin won his second modifieds feature of the season over Bradley Sterrett of Bloomington, Matt Boknecht of Seymour, Ernie Gingerich of Bunker Hill and Bryson Clark from North Vernon.
Jacoby Hines of Nineveh won the $1,000-to-win makeup modifieds feature from March 25. Hines is the defending track champion in the class.
Defending track champion Jamey Wilson of Seymour has now won the first two feature events of the season in his division. Steve Hollars of Bloomington finished second to Wilson, who is grandson of the all-time winningest driver in Brownstown Speedway history, Jim Curry. Trailing Wilson and Hollars to the finish line were Aaron Fields of Seymour, Colton Sullivan of Columbus and David Brewer of Seymour.
Derek Clegg of Nabb won the pure stocks feature event at Brownstown. Roger Absher of Franklin was second, with Tim Rivers of Salem, Mark Smith of Morgantown and Josh Hayes of Seymour completing the top-five drivers.
Andy Bradley won the feature for the MMSA Mini-Sprints.
Tonight at Brownstown Speedway will be the Indiana Pro Late Models, super stocks, modifieds, pure stocks and hornets. Tonight is also fan appreciation night, with general admission priced at only $5 per person. For the latest info, visit brownstownspeedway.com.
New winner at Lawrenceburg
Landon Simon of Brownsburg picked up his first career win on April 8 at Lawrenceburg Speedway in the 410 non-wing sprint cars. Justin Grant of Ione, California, finished second, followed by Shawn Westerfeld of Guilford, Michael Fischesser of Cincinnati and former Columbus resident J.J. Hughes, who now lives in Terre Haute.
Kyle Herbert of Batesville held off Joey Kramer of Hanover to win his first modifieds feature of the season. Tony Anderson was third, with Kyle Schornick of Milan and Scotty Kincaid of Rising Sun rounding out the top five.
Dalton Smith captured the hornets main event. Josh Hammond, the opening-night winner, was second, with last year’s track champion, Gage Clark, finishing in third. Michael Friemuth and Josh Atkins completed the top five.
Don Grace was victorious in the pure stocks main event over Christopher Combs, Chris Combs, John Grace and Rick Vance.
Lawrenceburg Speedway will be back in action tonight with a regular program of non-wing sprints, modifieds, hornets and pure stocks. For more info, visit lawrenceburgspeedway.com.
Florence Speedway results
Kyle Hardy of Stephens City, Virginia, driving a super late model owned by Jim Beeman of North Vernon, won in his first-ever visit to Florence Speedway in Union, Kentucky, on April 8. Hardy just edged out former track champion Robby Hensley of Walton, Kentucky, at the finish line. Nick Latham of Winchester, Ohio, placed third. He was followed by John Gill of Mitchell and Trevor Landrum of Erlanger, Kentucky.
Nathon Loney of Danville, Ohio, in his first-ever appearance at Florence, won the modifieds feature event over Joh Holt Jr. of Independence, Kentucky; Ryan Morton of Morrow, Ohio; Larry Pickeleheimer Jr. and Shawn Brown of Cincinnati.
Jeff Alsip of Walton, Kentucky, won the crate late models feature over John Gill, Josh Dietz, Brad Rickels and Billy Green.
Bloomington opener cancelled
Bloomington Speedway had its season opener April 7 cancelled due to inclement weather. Coming up Friday night will be a regular race program featuring the 410 non-wing sprints, RaceSaver sprints, TQ midgets and hornets. For further info, visit bloomingtonspeedway.com.
Eldora Speedway lid-lifter tonight
Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, opens its 64th season tonight with a full race card of the Sunoco American Late Model Series, modifieds, and Eldora stocks. For more info, visit eldoraspeedway.com.
USAC at Haubstadt tonight
The AMSOIL USAC National Sprint Car Series will be in action tonight at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt.
The series was scheduled to run Friday night at Bloomington Speedway. For more info, visit usacracing.com.
Route 44 Speedway opener gets closer
Route 44 Speedway in Liberty will kick off its 2017 campaign on April 28. The facility, which has set idle for more than a year, has been completely refurbished and will host A-mods, bombers and hornets for their season opener. For further info, visit route44speedway.com.
This week in racing history
Ira Bastin of Solsberry won the late-models feature this weekend in 1977 at Brownstown Speedway. The former track champion was followed to the finish line by Junior Pace of Martinsville, Steve Trabue of Scottsburg, Dennis Boknecht of Seymour and Don Hobbs of Bloomington.
In the hobby stocks division at Brownstown, Darrell Smallwood of Columbus won the feature race over John Mull of Scottsburg, Powell Ballard of Columbus, Chuck Gilpin of Columbus and Stan Wiggam of Greensburg.
Dill Whittymore of Seymour won the season-opening race at Twin Cities Raceway in 1987. Jim Ruddick of Seymour was second, with Rick Hines, also of Seymour, placing third. John Warner of Columbus and Doug Ault of Brownstown completed the top five.
Randy Petro of Columbus won the season opener for street stocks at Twin Cities. Mark Barber of North Vernon was second, with Jeff Daugherty of Madison and Gregg Lyle of Columbus trailing.