By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Last Friday was billed as Fan Appreciation Night at Beckley Motorsports Park.
“Demolition Derby Night” might have been more appropriate.
Fender-benders are nothing unusual at the venerable, 3/5th-mile dirt oval. Its high banking allows cars to go fast, and cars tend to bang into each other from time to time.
But the yellow flag flew often, as accident after accident plagued the track. Both Travis Mills of Sophia and Chuck Lilly of Coal City flipped their cars, and numerous drivers did not finish their races.
“There was a lot of wrecks. Don’t ask me why,” track co-manager Joe Jackson said. “It wasn’t the track.
“We’re going to chalk that up to a night of bad luck and hope it doesn’t happen anymore.”
But Jackson does hope the excitement continues tonight with the Down and Dirty 30, a Super Late Models race sponsored by City National Bank.
The winner will earn a cool $2,500.
The Down and Dirty 30 is one of several annual races that bring in drivers from outside the area.
“Last year Dale McDowell won. He’s a Lucas Oil Series regular,” Jackson said. “The year before that it was Josh McGuire, another Lucas Oil driver.
“I’m not sure if those guard are coming or not, but we’ve had some pretty decent names for this race in the past.”
He’s pleased to see a lot of young drivers competing. The Hornets class has become their showcase.
“We’re getting more and more young people all the time showing up, and the Hornet class really gets them ready,” Jackson said.
Famed NASCAR driver Kenny Schrader will appear Aug. 15-16. The track will sell raffle tickets, and the winner will get to take a ride with Schrader in his special, two-seater car. All proceeds will go to Toys 4 Tots.
Gates will open at 4 p.m., with racing to begin at 7 p.m. General admission is $12. Kids ages 6-10 will pay $6, while those 5 and under get in free. Pit passes are $25.