Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Race Night Notes #2, Heartland Park Topeka Dirt Track Full Steam Ahead!

BIG TIME BAIL BONDS SHOWDOWN LOGO(222222)Topeka, KS – It was just a week ago that the staff at Heartland Park Topeka finally opened the doors, for real, on the 2016 dirt track season. The night was met with mixed reviews.

“We were happy, in a sense, that we had 82 cars on opening night,” said co-promoter John Lowrey, “It was the first time since 2006 that Jr & I had been in this capacity. We will have some hiccups along the way and we did have some on opening night.

What we did find out after opening night is that we have a great staff in place and the racers were very accommodating. As we go along we will fix things where they need to be fixed and we will keep working at making HPT the best dirt track in the Midwest.”

This Sunday night, May 1, the team at Heartland Park Topeka will have a chance to do it all over again as race number 2 will get underway at 6 p.m.

The Big Time Bail Bonds Sunday Showdown will once again feature the BillsBuilt Race Cars IMCA Modifieds, Cars 4 Less IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Northern Sport Mods and the IMCA Hobby Stocks.

A new Victory Bonus Announcement: Heartland Park Topeka & Thunder Hill Speedway came together for an announcement this week that gives racers who win at Thunder Hill Speedway and Heartland Park on the same weekend a bonus of $50.00! That’s $50.00 for any class! It’s just one way that area tracks are working with each other to make the racing in the area that much better!

AllYouNeedRibbonFrtParker Loves Life Take 2
“Due to a scheduling error, last week we weren’t able to get the 50/50 drawing or the #ParkerLovesLife T Shirts up and running last week,” said Larry Lowrey, “This week we will have everyone in place and we will be selling the shirts just as you come into the track and the girls will be out and about with tickets right at 4:30 p.m. when the gates open. So far we raised $15,000.00 for Parker and we want to keep going!”

Parker Monhollon is an 8 year old girl from Silver Lake, KS. She was diagnosed with DIPG (a rare form of brain cancer in children) and she and her parents are currently in Germany receiving a radical treatment. Currently there isn’t a lot of medical options for DIPG in the United States so many parents and children make the decision to leave the country to see if they can beat this horrible disease. Since it’s not in the U.S., regular insurance doesn’t cover this treatment and any money we can raise will greatly help.


billstimulusBillsBuilt Race Cars IMCA Modified – Week number 1 saw a stout field of competition show up and battle it out. Mike Striegel jumped out to the early lead in the main, but there were some heavy hitters still lurking. Former IMCA Modified National Champ, Jordan Grabouski, worked his way to the front and eventually got past Striegel for the lead and held on for the opening night win.

By The Numbers…
Number of Cars Entered = 24
Where Did The Winner Start At = 2nd Row Out (4th)
Top 10 Average Positions Gained = +3.4 (On average the drivers in the top 10 moved up 3.4 spots on the grid by race end)
Hard Charger Award = Darron Fuqua (+10) & Richard Layne (+10)
Top 10 In Points As Of 4/24/16:
Pos Driver Wins Points Gap
1 Jordan Grabouski 1 40.00
2 Clay Money 39.00 -1
3 Steven Bowers, Jr. 38.00 -2
4 Darron Fuqua 37.00 -3
5 Mike Striegel 36.00 -4
6 Jeremy Chambers 35.00 -5
7 Tom Charles 34.00 -6
8 Derek Brown 33.00 -7
9 Mat Stallbaumer 32.00 -8
10 Richard Layne 31.00 -9

Steven Bowers Jr. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Steven Bowers Jr. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Driver to Watch This Week: Steven Bowers Jr. #77 Topeka, KS

Bowers is coming off a great 2015 campaign that saw him win several races and a track championship at Thunder Hill Speedway. This season he is returning to HPT where he has won a track championship also. Last Sunday night showed that Bowers still is a force to be reckoned with. Bowers finished 3rd in the feature. Not bad with the competition level so high in the class. Look for more from Bowers this week.

1509699_553533871450234_1536265212581288930_nCars 4 Less IMCA Stock Car – Whoa Nelly! 24 Stock Cars checked in to race for the top prize last Sunday night. The 24 drivers that checked in put on one whale of a show by the night’s end. Bryan Rigsby got the drop on the competition from the pole position. He would stay at the front until mechanical problems put him aside. Matt Haid, Dominic Thyfault, Jim Powell Jr., Casey Woken and a host of others put on an exhibition of severe competition on the track. In the end Haid made all the right moves and went on to the win.

By The Numbers…
Number of Cars Entered = 24
Where Did The Winner Start At = 2nd Row In (3rd)
Top 10 Average Positions Gained = +2.7
Hard Charger Award = Brandon Conkwright (+11)
Top 10 in Points As of 4/24/16:
Pos Driver Wins Points Gap
1 Matt Haid 1 40.00
2 Jim Powell Jr 39.00 -1
3 Dominic Thyfault 38.00 -2
4 Daniel King 37.00 -3
5 Brandon Conkwright 36.00 -4
6 Travis Neeley 35.00 -5
7 James King 34.00 -6
8 Eric Weyer 33.00 -7
9 Terry Blessing 32.00 -8
10 Christine Brown 31.00 -9

Jim Powell Jr. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Jim Powell Jr. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Driver to Watch This Week: Jim Powell Jr. #20P Lecompton, KS

Jim Powell Jr. is a Stock Car driver, plain and simple. He runs up front just about everywhere he goes and he wins his fair share of races. Last week the laps ran out and he found himself in 2nd place. Don’t think he is real happy about that, he wants more. It’s the competitive nature that almost every racers has. Every time they want to do better than the did in the previous race. Watch for Powell this week. After last week’s run Powell could end up in the Big Time Bail Bonds Victory Lane.

IMCA Northern Sport Mods – As were all the races this was another good one. Longtime IMCA pilot, Tim Echevarria, jumped out front early in this one, but it wouldn’t be long before Curtis Dreasher would get by for the top spot. Dreasher, from his outside 2nd row starting spot held the lead till the checkered getting the win. Good battles for position were going on all over the track. Bryan Rigsby and Billy Davidson had a strong battle, as did Brian Murphy and Austin Charles. This week’s race should shape up to be another strong one.

By The Numbers…
Number of Cars Entered = 20
Where Did The Winner Start At = 2nd Row Out (4th)
Top 10 Average Positions Gained = +2.4
Hard Charger Award = Gary Holthaus (+7)
Top 10 in Points As of 4/24/16:
Pos Driver Wins Points Gap
1 Curtis Dreasher 1 40.00
2 Tim Echevarria 39.00 -1
3 Bryan Rigsby 38.00 -2
4 Billy Davidson 37.00 -3
5 Austin Charles 36.00 -4
6 Brian Murphy 35.00 -5
7 Tony Filbert 34.00 -6
8 Derek Huffman 33.00 -7
9 Billy Carreno 32.00 -8
10 Jaylen Wettengel 31.00 -9

Tim Echevarria. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Tim Echevarria. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Driver To Watch This Week: Tim Echevarria #35M Junction City, KS

Not many drivers in the IMCA Northern Sport Mod division have the experience that Echevarria has. It seems like he has been racing for 50 years, but we know that can’t be right. Let’s just say that he is one of the elder statesmen in the division. Last week he showed signs that he has what it takes to get the job done. Dreasher was just a bit faster. Echevarria went on to his all of his marks and brought home a respectable runner-up finish. More seat time = better finishes. Look for Echevarria to better his finish from a week ago.

IMCA Hobby Stock – A new face emerged into the Big Time Bail Bonds Victory Lane last Sunday night, Cody Williams. Williams, in his 1st trip to HPT, started 6th in the feature and wasted no time getting to the front. At the front he put a strangle hold on the competition and went on to the win. Williams told one track official that HPT was now his favorite track! None the less it was another great feature. Where in the top 7 everyone, except 1 driver, had moved forward during the feature.

By The Numbers…
Number of Cars Entered = 14
Where Did The Winner Start At = 3rd Row Out (6th)
Top 7 Average Positions Gained = +3.4
Hard Charger Award = Jalen Wettengel (+6)
Top 10 in Points As of 4/24/16:
Pos Driver Wins Points Gap
1 Cody Williams 1 40.00
2 Dalton Ronnebaum 39.00 -1
3 Alex Boyden 38.00 -2
4 Byron Glotzbach 37.00 -3
5 Levi Henery 36.00 -4
6 Jaylen Wettengel 35.00 -5
7 Tyler Garst 34.00 -6
8 Nicholas Ronnebaum 33.00 -7
9 Lafe Garst 32.00 -8
10 Larry Hunter 31.00 -9

Dalton Ronnebaum. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Dalton Ronnebaum. Reed Bros. Racing Photos

Driver To Watch This Week: Dalton Ronnebaum #96R Onaga, KS

Dalton Ronnebaum made the trip to HPT last Sunday night and did an excellent job. No, he didn’t come away with a win. He did, however, had a very respectable finish 2nd. Last season Ronnebaum had some strong runs at other local tracks and he is showing that he can run up front anywhere he goes. It also helps when you have a sibling that you can bounce ideas off of, his brother Nicholas Ronnebaum also was in the top 10 last week in 8th. Ronnebaum isn’t real familiar with HPT yet, watch out when he does get it figured out he might be dangerous.

NOTES TO THE RACERS: During the 2016 season all payouts will be made at the end of the evenings races in the Coke Trailer in the pit area. As bad weather loomed last week, a lot of drivers left without collecting their pay. When you return to race this week when you check in at the Coke Trailer you will receive last week’s payout.

Important Information…

Pit Gate Opens at 3:00 p.m.
Spectator Gate Opens at 4:30 p.m.
Draw Ends at 5:00 p.m.
Drivers Meeting at 5:15 p.m.
Hot Laps at 5:30 p.m.
1st Race Goes Green at 6:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices:
Adult $8.00
Kids 6 to 12 $2.00
Children 5 and Under are FREE!
Sr. (62+) & Military (with ID) $6.00

Order of Events:
Hobby Heats
Sport Mod Heats
Cars 4 Less Stock Car Heats
BillsBuilt Race Cars Modified Heats
Hobby B (If needed)
Sport B (If needed)
Intermission 15 minutes
Cars 4 Less Stock B (If needed)
BillsBuilt Race Cars Modified B (If needed)
Sport Mod
Cars 4 Less Stock Car
BillsBuilt Race Cars Modified

To follow all the action fans can keep up with Heartland Park Topeka’s Dirt Track by logging on to their website at or follow them on Facebook at Heartland Park Topeka!

Heartland Park Topeka’s Dirt Track is located at 7530 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS.

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