Lots Of Excitement At Salem Speedway's Season Opener

Jerry Curry, Staff Writer

Carter Cook's #59 car won the 50-lap Crown Vic Feature on the high banks.

Jacob Robertson won the Hoosier Lottery 50.

Brian Rose with Kimmel Racing  won the 25-lap Salem Super Cars race.

The Salem Speedway had great opening weather for their seasonal opener on Sunday, Apr. 14, but controversy would not escape the day.

First out on the inner ¼ mile track were the Legends series. These are 5/8 scale bodies of early model coups similar to 1930 or 1940 era cars. The are equipped with a Yamaha engine.

Xavier King ruled the day in this series, with either Clayton Bohanon and Johnny Weaver in close pursue. Bohanon was second and Weaver third.

After that 25-lapper it was time for the Ford Crown Vics on the inner track. The Hoosier Lottery 50 started with 28 cars and ended with 16 cars.

The early leader was Jeremy Lairson. Working his way patiently through the pack was Jacob Robertson, leading at the half-way point. He continued for the win. Second was John Lister and third Jake Wells. Fourth was Joe Wilhoite, who was later disqualified for not having a plastic tie around the OBO2 port (computer port). Nine cars were on the lead lap.

Finishing out the inner track events was the Scrapper. As the announcer said, these are car from the junk yard or after the race cars going to the junk yard. Battle they did, as parts were casted around the track. Five cars stayed on the lead lap. Surviving the 25 laps were Curtis Gress, first, and George Helton, second. Third place was Doug Curts. Gress drove a Ford Taurus.

The high bank action started with Salem Super Cars. These are high-powered retired ARCA cars. Brian Roses from the Kimmel Racing car stables drove side by side in a duel from second place Shayne Slider for the win. Slider led for 14 laps. Third was Joe Cookey after 25 exciting fast action laps.

Next billed as the Crown Vic Feature, 28 cars challenged the high banks for fifty thrilling laps.

Lap eight brought out the first yellow caution flag was Artie Ware clipped Chase Adams into the turn one wall, ending Adams’ day.

Leading at the half way point was Ronnie Basham. On lap 30, second place Jeremy Lairson and third place Noah Allison tangled, knocking both cars out of contention.

Basham lost the lead for a few laps, but picked back up. Battling the whole day, it looked like Ronnie Basham had sealed the deal. Carter Cook was second, and Jerry Payne was third.

At a post-race inspection, it was discovered that Basham did not have a plastic tie over the computer port. This disqualified him. The purpose of the tie is to keep the driver from plugging in an illegal boosting device to change stock computer settings. Car owner Jeff Roberts said “Stupidest thing I’ve ever heard--maybe they need get Tech man.”

Basham said he had one on the last race he won but tech man cut it off. He also said he missed drivers meeting, where it was supposedly announced.

The thousand-dollar prize money goes to Carter Cook, moving Jerry Payne to second and Dillion Kaelin to third. All had the plastic ties over the ports.

The next race will be the “Derby Hangover Duel 75’s.” This event includes the GAS series, Salem Super Cars, Crown Vics Big Track, Crown Vic Short Track and the Legends. This race will be Sunday afternoon, May 5.



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