To say that what happened at Shawano Speedway last Wednesday when the World of Outlaws Dirt Late Model Series was supposed to race there was disappointing would be an understatement.
The last two years, the weather has been perfect for this event. On the morning of this year’s event, it looked like once again weather wouldn’t pose a problem for getting the race in. That changed mid-afternoon when rain showers moved into the area. Shawano didn’t get the brunt of the rain, but it was on the southern edge of the rain area, and it did rain at the Speedway for about 20 minutes.
This caused the track’s surface to become extremely wet. After leaving the track sit for awhile after the rain concluded, track packing ensued and eventually the IMCA Northern SportMods were asked to pack the track. After they packed for awhile, a driver’s meeting took place with the World of Outlaws Late Model drivers. The IMCA Northern SportMods were then asked to partake in hot laps. Only a limited number of drivers took part in the hot lap session.
After the hot lap session, the track was still “greasy” and slippery. Track officials attempted to grade the slime off the top of the track. With it already after 8 p.m., eventually the show was postponed until Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Needless to say, there were more than a handful of fans who were upset and wanted a refund. This led to confusion after the postponement announcement was made.
I don’t know what discussions took place behind the scenes, so I’m not going to comment on if mistakes were made or what should have been done. Let’s just say it was an unfortunate situation that probably could have been handled better.
And at this point, it really doesn’t matter, all one can do is learn from this experience, and make it better in the future if this situation arises again.
The World of Outlaws Late Model count was in the upper 30s, with a nice field of IMCA Northern SportMods also on hand.
A big thank you has to go out to the IMCA Northern SportMod drivers who packed the track and took hot laps in an effort to get the track ready. Their effort needs to be recognized.
Several area Late Model drivers made the trek to Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond for the 25th annual USA Nationals, which is sanctioned by the World of Outlaws organization. A total of 53 drivers from across the country were on hand trying to qualify for that event.
Area drivers included: Nick Anvelink, Terry Casey, A.J. Diemel, Pete Parker and Brett Swedberg. Of the local drivers, Parker qualified the best in time trials, timing in 14th fastest. Diemel qualified 38th, Casey 39th and Anvelink 45th. Swedberg didn’t take any time trial laps after experiencing motor problems during hot laps.
Of the local drivers, Anvelink was the only one to qualify for the 100-lap feature, but he had to work for it. He finished fourth in his heat race, which sent him to a B-Main. He finished third in his B-Main, which sent him to the Last Chance Race, where the top three finishers would qualify for the feature. Anvelink ran fourth for most of the race, before passing Chris Simpson late in the race to finish third. This put Anvelink in the feature, where he finished 25th. He collected $2,000 for his efforts.
Anvelink also qualified and had top 10 finishes in the NASCAR Late Model feature on Friday and Saturday nights.
To top off Anvelink’s weekend, the races at Shawano Speedway were rained out on Saturday night, meaning he remains atop the WISSOTA Late Model point standings there.