The racing is done for 2013. Time to eat.
Beckley Motorsports Park will celebrate six months of competitive racing with its annual drivers banquet, 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Beckley Moose Club.
“We’ll recognize the points winners, runners-up and top rookies,” said Joe Jackson, who manages the track with his wife Billie. “It was a good season. We put on some good racing.”
The weather, driver count and fan turnout were all good at the 54-year-old track, a high-banked, 3/8th-mile dirt oval known for its fast speeds. The FASTRAK National Championships, a three-day event featuring hundreds of drivers, concluded the season.
Even the stars came out, as the track hosted NASCAR’s Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace. Both have proven as adept on dirt in small towns as they have been on concrete at the big tracks.
Just as important was the turnout of drivers from West Virginia and surrounding states.
“We had more drivers to come out than we started with,” Billie Jackson said. “We were getting fans back who hadn’t been here in 20 years. We had new fans and others who were bringing their grandkids. It was a great summer for us.”
There were only three rainouts, which was amazing compared to the number of canceled shows from 2009-11. Rain was forecast for several nights, however, and sometimes the fans stayed away.
“When Kenny Wallace came, the skies were black, but it never rained,” Billie Jackson said. “The same thing happened the night we had the Sprint Cars. A lot of people were upset (they stayed home) and missed it.”
Racing fans from all over the East, Midwest and South turned out for the FASTRAK championships, Oct. 3-5. It was a boost, not only to the track, but for many area businesses.
Beckley driver Rick Williams won one of the featured races, the World Challenge. Dennis “Rambo” Franklin of South Carolina captured the national championship.
“It went really well,” Billie Jackson said. “The crowd was great. The weather was fantastic compared to what it had been last year.”
Competition throughout the season was good, with many tight battles for the points championships in each division.
--- Keith Bills of Kincade held off Beckley’s Mike Duncan by 29 points in the Modifieds class. Teenager Michael Moore, also of Beckley, finished third, 10 points behind Duncan, his uncle.
--- Robert Richardson of Alderson won the Street Stocks title by 40 points over Matt Schoolcraft of Rainelle. Hank Stover of Beaver finished 76 points out of the lead.
--- Williams topped Beaver’s Wayne Hughes by 60 points for the Late Models title. Brock Morris of Charleston was third, 70 points behind.
--- In the Crates competition, Oak Hill’s Eddie Hambrick, finished just 72 points ahead of runner-up Tyler Cox of Beckley. Shane Greco of Midway was third, 200 points behind.
--- Robert Walker of Charleston was the most dominant racer, winning the Outlaw Streets title by 158 points over Oak Hill High School’s Hope Lusher. Rodney Cole of Amma was third, trailing by 260 points.
--- Closest of all was the beginners division, Hornets, where D.J. Critchley of Danese claimed a 10-point win over Brandon Adkins of Hinton. Jesse Raynes of Dorothy was third, 90 points behind. His brother Patrick, a rookie, was two points behind him.
“It was very close,” Joe Jackson said. “If a guy didn’t make a race, or his car broke in the middle of a race, it could change the outcome of the entire season.”
The fun will start over in the spring.
“We’ll start working on the track as soon as we can,” Joe Jackson said. “It depends on the weather and how hard the winter was on the track.
Current plans are to again bring in NASCAR racers. The same car classes will return, although the FASTRAK championship is up in the air.
— E-mail: dstillwell
Track to hold annual banquet Saturday
The racing is done for 2013. Time to eat.
- Other Sports
Year of the Ice: WV Ice wins another title
Ice has dominated the winter in southern West Virginia. On Sunday, the West Virginia Ice completed its dominance of the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament.
Turkey-hunting proving a lifetime pursuit
I started hunting turkeys when I was in high school. Back then, my passion for hunting was almost entirely consumed by bow hunting until I was introduced to the sport of turkey hunting by a friend. My friend had no clue how to hunt turkeys but he was extremely dedicated to figuring it out — and so was I.
Enjoying a late-season rabbit hunt
Late-season hunting opportunities have been few and far between with the winter we’ve been having. The last weekend of February, the temperatures finally warmed up enough to thaw things out. With a break in the weather my buddy Jason invited me along for a rabbit hunt before the season ended.
The Greenbrier Sporting Club hosts Project Healing Waters
The Greenbrier resort, world-renowned for its trout fishing, recently hosted seven veterans from all over West Virginia at its first Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) event.
Beckley native has Charleston riding high
Go into Van Meter Gymnasium today for the fifth-grade championship game of the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament and you might swear a Beckley team would be on the floor.
Annual Rocky Mountain Elk banquet moved to March
For outdoor enthusiasts who can’t seem to wait until September for the annual Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Banquet, you’re in luck.
Annual Biddy-Buddy tournament gives the chance to grow as players and friends
As good as they are, Tamar Slay and O.J. Mayo didn’t just pick up a basketball and get drafted into the NBA.
Derby Dames begin new season Saturday
The Beckley Area Derby Dames will kick off their third season Saturday against Five 40 Rollergirls from Fredericksburg, Va.
The Dames will lace up their skates at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center and the doors will open at 6 p.m.
The whistle will blow at 7 p.m. and the live roller derby action will begin.
Team Air soaring into Beckley for first time
From the C-K Wonders, Chesapeake Panthers and any of a slew of Beckley-based teams, the Wendy’s/YMCA Biddy-Buddy All-Star Tournament attracts more than its share of loyal friends each and every year.
Winter has affected Biddy-Buddy as well
High temperatures are predicted to approach 50 on Friday and Saturday.
- More Other Sports Headlines
- Year of the Ice: WV Ice wins another title