OLD DOMINION SPEEDWAY WINSTON RACING SERIES REVIEW
BY DAVE MENEFEE
Over the years, the Old Dominion Speedway has provided the area with exciting Winston Racing Series action, Saturday night style. This is where the local driver can come out, try his hand at driving a powerful stock car, and maybe, just maybe, move forward into racing as not only a hobby, but as a way to make a living. Many drivers who have competed on the 3/8 mile oval, owned by the Gore family for over 45 years, have went on to make it big in the top rank Winston Cup Circuit. Drivers like Darrell Waltrip, David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Morgan Shephard, and of course the "King" Richard Petty. By the way, 2 of Petty's official 200 wins are at the Old Dominion Speedway. The following is just a glimpse of the action over the past 19 years at Virginia's Supertrack, the Old Dominion Speedway.
1977: Reds Kagle, father of current Late Model Stock Car driver Kenny Kagle, wins the Late Model Sportsman (now Busch Grand National) title by 52 points over Bobby Ballentine. National Championship events are won by Grand National (now Winston Cup) rookie of the year Lennie Pond, and Bob Pressley. The Limited Sportsman division crown was won by Bernie Simmons, while the Street Stock title went to Danny Bennett.
1978: The Late Model Sportsman track title once again went to Reds Kagle from Lanham Md. over Bobby Ballentine. 3 Late Model Sportsman Championship events were held, and the late Butch Lindley won 2, while Bob Pressley won 1. Current Late Model Stock Car driver Danny Fair won the Limited Sportsman division, while Danny Bennett picked up his 2nd Street Stock title in a row.
1979: "They said it will never work," says track promoter Dick Gore after announcing the formation of a brand new division, the Late Model Stock Cars. It would turn out to be the fastest growing division that NASCAR would ever have. Current Late Model driver Billy Earl becomes the 1st ever Late Model track champ at ODS, beating Doug Hartley by 78 points. The Late Model Sportsman champ was Bobby Ballentine, followed by Wyman Buel. The Street Stock title was won by Tony J.Lowe over Donald Skinner.
1980: This was the last year that the Late Model Sportsman series would compete at ODS, with Morgan Shephard beating out the late Ray Hendrick and Boscoe Lowe for the track title. 3 Late Model Sportsman events were held that year, with Shephard, Hendrick, and Butch Lindley the winners. Danny Bennett takes the Late Model Stock Car crown over Al Dailey, while Wayne Loy wins his 1st Street Stock title over Sherrill Pardue by 50 points.
1981: Danny Bennett wins his 2nd straight Late Model Stock Car division title over Jim Dottellis by 54 points. Present ODS Race Director Bobby Darne finishes 12th in the final rundown. Sam Scarpelli from College Park Md. wins the Street Stock division over current Grand Stock driver Garry Shaffer.
1982: Danny Fair wins his 1st Late Model Stock car title over Billy Earl by a whopping 102 points. Bobby Darne finishes a respectable 9th. Current Late Model driver Roger Austin wins the Street Stock title over Jackie Darne. Sherrill Pardue, father of track announcer Edwin Pardue, finishes 6th in the Street Stock class.
1983: Charlie Ford from Chesterfield Va. wins his 1st Late Model Stock car track title over Curtis Markham. Ford would collect 7 wins in his title run. Jeff Young from Franconia Va. wins his only track title in the Street Stock division over Butch Owens. In his 1st year in the tough Late Model division, Roger Austin finishes 5th in standings after moving up from the Street Stock class.
1984: Curtis Markham, who now has moved on to Busch Grand National and Winston Cup rides, wins his 1st track title over the late Sonny Simmons. Greg Compton also becomes a 1st time titlist, as he takes home the Street Stock crown over Vince Jones. The newly repaved 3/8 mile oval saw the Late Model lap record broken 3 times, twice by Markham, and once by Jim Dottellis. The Street Stock lap record was broken twice, once by Wayne Loy, and once by Vince Jones.
1985: Curtis Markham captures his 2nd straight Late Model title over Ashland's Eddie Johnson by a mere 38 points. Markham was also runner-up to Chesapeake's Elton Sawyer for the Mid Atlantic regional title. Al Dailey sets the current track record for the Late Model division with 15.32 lap in his Buick. Vince Jones won the Street Stock title over Greg Compton.
1986: Veteran Danny Fair wins his 2nd Late Model championship over Curtis Markham by 79 points. Fair picked up 10 wins enroute to the crown. The newly named Grand Stock (formerly Street Stock) title is won by Ricky Viers from Darlington Md. Viers is now a full time employee of Leo Jackson's Winston Cup team fielding cars for Harry Gant. ODS hold the 1st annual "Winner Invitational" 100 lap feature, won by Norfolk's Phil Warren.
1987: ODS begins it's 37th year under the Gore ownership, and eventual track champ Eddie Johnson starts out strong with a win in the 100 lap opener. Johnson beats Roger Austin at season's end by 124 points. The 1st ODS "Busch Clash" for winners and polesitters is won by Roger Sawyer. Current Tri Track Modified driver Jeff Callihan wins the Grand Stock point title, while Doug Tuck wins the Hobby Stock division title. Garnett Atkinson wins the Mini Stock points title by a mere 4 points over Keith Riley.
1988: Eventual track champion Charlie Ford takes the win in the season opening 100 lap feature, and easily wins his 2nd track title by 78 points over the late Sonny Simmons. Jake "The Snake" Stevenson wins his only track title in the Grand Stock class. George Exline wins his 1st championship in the Hobby Stock class, while C.J.Johnson dominates the Mini Stock division for his 1st and only title.
1989: Mother Nature played havoc at ODS, as rain washed out the first 2 weeks of action. But on week 3, Al Dailey from Alexandria held nothing back as he led flag to flag in the season opener. Charlie Ford picks up his 2nd track title in a row in the Late Model Division, and 3rd overall. Gary Puckett wins his only track championship in the Grand Stock class, while George Exline edged Rick Bowman in the final lap of the final event to win his 2nd Hobby Stock title in a row. Current Late Model driver Brandon Butler easily wins the Mini Stock title.
1990: ODS opens the gates for the 40th season. Charlie Ford wins the season opener, but Danny Fair won the track title for his 3rd. Ford picked up 5 wins, and Fair had only 2. Frank Herbst wins his only Grand Stock title, while Ed Skelton beat Rusty Baltzell for the Hobby Stock crown. Mitchell Harris from Dinwiddie Va. dominated the Mini Stock division, easily winning his only track championship.
1991: Eddie Johnson easily won his 2nd Winston Racing Series title at ODS despite a carburetor rules change at mid season. Johnson racked up 10 wins in the process. Mike Drumm won his only Grand Stock title, and Rusty Baltzell also won his only track title in the Hobby Stock division. The Mini Stock division, won by Dwight Hansberger, was highlighted by the first ever win for a female driver, Melinda Rolfe from Richmond.
1992: Danny Fair wins his 4th Late Model title over Dickie Boswell. Jim Todd wins his only Late Model feature, while Steve Darne picks up 2 wins. Current Busch Series driver Hermie Sadler wins twice in 3 tries. Greg Compton dominates the Grand Stock division, winning 12 and beating Doug Dorsey by 96 points. Melinda Rolfe becomes the 1st female track champion in the Mini Stocks, while Dale DeLozier wins the Hobby Stock title.
1993: ODS announces the addition of a 5th division, the ARA Modified, competing about once a month. Bret Hamilton wins the 1st event held at ODS. Frank Deiny Jr. sets the pace early, but Brandon Butler takes his 1st Late Model championship, beating Dickie Boswell by 28 points. Wayne Loy edges Garry Shaffer by only 6 points for the Grand Stock title. Earl Case racks up 12 wins in the newly named Speedway Sportsman (formerly Hobby Stock) division, beating Rusty Baltzell by 58 points. Bob Able from Stafford wins the Mini Stock title.
1994: Danny Fair led from about the midway point in the Winston Series Late Model Stock Car division, and clinched his 5th track championship with 2 events remaining on the schedule. Brandon Butler had the most wins in 1994, (6), but came up 72 points shy at seasons end. Wayne Loy wins the Grand Stock title for the 3rd time in his career, beating Garry Shaffer by 24 points. Bob Able wins the Mini Stock crown for the 2nd year in a row, while Phil Sloan takes the Speedway Sportsman title after taking the lead in the points race with just 2 races remaining.
1995: Charlie Ford from Richmond Va. wins his 4th track title in the Winston Series Late Model Stock Car division. After winning the opening event, (4 wins overall) no other driver leads the division, despite drivers such as Danny Fair, Wes Troup, and Mike Colabucci staying close behind. Troup picked up the most wins (7), while he and Fair win the the most poles (5). Colabucci and Kenny Kagle win their first ever Late Model features, while veteran Dickie Boswell cracks the win column twice. Steve Darne also picked up a feature win. Veteran Driver Garry Shaffer from Sterling Va. wins the Motorworld Grand Stock title for his first track title. Shaffer trails leader Earl Case with 2 races remaining, and Case blows 2 engines while leading the final 2 events. Case had the most feature wins (8) and the most poles (11), but falls behind James Penny for the second spot. The brothers Mickey (8) and Dave (4) Odham win the most features, but both fall short of the Woodbridge Volvo Specialist Mini Stock track title, won by Fred Augustin in only his first full season of competition. Augustin (1 win) takes victory honors in the first ever 75 lap feature in the division. The divsion boasts 9 different winners in 20 events. Roland Mann battles Jimmy Todd Jr. to the final race of the season, and wins the Professional Auto Parts Speedway Sportsman division title. Mann takes home 4 wins, and finishes in the top 10 in 19 of 20 events. Todd wins 8 features and 2 poles, including a win in the first ever 75 lap event for the division.
1996: Wes Troup from Riverdale Md. picks up an incredible 13 wins on the way to his first track championship. Troup also becomes the first ever NASCAR Winston Racing Series Regional champion. Danny Fair wins the Hooters Cup Challenge, while Rick Schmidt and Mark McFarland take home honors in the Woodbridge Volvo Specialists Challenge. Earl Case takes home the track championship in the Snap-On Tools / Motorworld Grand Stock division, beating Charles Downs by 52 points. Dave Odham wins his first ever track championship in the Kay Jennings Springfield Toyota Mini Stock division. Chris Donnelly from Stafford Va. wins the Redman Fleet Service Speedway Sportsman crown.
1997: Wes Troup wins his second track title in a row in the Winston Series Late Model Stock Car division, edging 18 year old Mark McFarland from Winchester Va. by a mere 28 points. Troup also winds up 3rd in the NASCAR Regional point standings. Andreas Kestermann from Woodbridge Va. wins the track title in the Snap-On Tools / Motorworld Grand stock class, beating Tom Dyson by 20 points. Kestermann picks up 8 wins in a row and 14 poles. Local driver Junior Amburgey, a former ODS track truck driver, picks up the track championship in the Kay Jennings Springfield Toyota Mini Stock class by a whopping 58 points over rookie driver Jason Lineweaver. Amburgey wins the title without the benefit of having not won a feature race in his career. Barry Gaston of Manassas Va. wins the Redman Fleet Service Speedway Sportsman title on the final night of racing, edging Dave Gibbs of Summerduck Va. by a scant 4 points.
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