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MAY 8, 2003

The first part of the Mid-Am season comes in a big rush -- the first 10 races in 2½ months. Then we take twice as long to do the other half of the season!

Whooh! Some of us haven’t even got the winter car-prep chores done yet and already this season is a third done. But all that means is that some who will become Mid-Am champions in November may still be sitting on zero points right now -- or not even signed up yet!

Then again, there are these other early birds who have been out racin’ their wheels off and already have run up fat scores.

Right there, at the top of the chart, E Production, couple Kansas Region drivers, Dale Smith and Ron Davis, beatin’ on each other. Davis has won all four of his races but Smith has done five races winning two, and so leads 49-48. Cliff Koehler (KC) won the only race those two didn’t and lurks in third.

Step down a couple more to G Production and Duane Rost (DMV) is trying to put the thing away before anyone else checks to see if the snow has melted yet. Four wins in five starts. Chuck Leighton (OzMt) has run two, won two.

Bob Eichelberger (StL)leads FP with two wins, not for any lack of trying by Larry Graham (KC) who has run up a string of DNFs with one win to show for four starts. Mike McGinley (StL) got the first score by an HP car at Gateway.

Dan Guterman (NeOk) already has a hat trick of wins in GT1, to take the early lead over multi-champ Mary Daly (StL), who has scored twice so far. Rick Carr (OzMt) has a pair of GT2 wins, but Ward Herst (StL) just made his first appearance with a 12-pointer at Gateway. Denny Hayes (Neb) leads GT5 after one outing.

Down in SRF, they are bangin’ away like the SeRFs usually do. Frank Stone (KC) hasn’t won any yet, but with four 2nds in six starts he leads Ken Tripkos (Kan) by 11 with Ron Lentz (KC) and O.L.. Kinney (KC) also threatening. In CSR, Mike McGinley (KC) and Mike Stephens (NeOk) each have won one. Ditto Ed Smith (StL) in S2000.

In the Formula ranks, Patrick Donnelly (Kan) won his fifth Club Ford race in as many starts at Gateway, racking up 60 points and a listing among the Driver of the Year hopefuls. Formula Continental champ Shane Bennoch has three wins so far, but came 2nd in a meeting with Willard King (KC) at Gateway. King also has a Formula Atlantic, and he and Phil Gumpert (StL) each have 12 points there. Mark Blythe (StL) leads FF with two wins, while Neil Cox (NeOk) tops FV with one.

Spec Miata is shaping up as the donnybrooke it was predicted to be, with 22 drivers registered so far. Dick Faxon (OzMt) is the expected frontrunner, with three wins in five starts, but it is way early yet in the biggest class in Mid-Am. Already with more than 20 points on the board are Jarrod Igou (DMV), Tom Kraft (DMV), and Steve Eberman (KC). Expect things to be jumbled as more of them get in more than two races. These bulletproof little cars just keep wingin’ from checker to green and it seems half the field in the IT races lately are Miatas.

Two drivers from opposite ends of the Division -- Monica Rollins (KC) and Skip Brunson (Miss) met at Gateway. Rollins got her second ITS win and came away with a 33-27 lead. Four points covers four drivers in ITA -- Greg Matthews (KC) at 25, Timothy Finley (StL) at 24, Scott Peterson (KC) and Nathan Wozniak (OzMt) both at 21. They’ve all been winners.

Chris Albin (SIll) has the ITB winner’s points from all seven races in ITB, so of course tops the Driver of the Year list. Nick Chinopulos (MidS) has a pair of ITC wins to lead that class. Charles Guenther (KC) and Larry Orr (MidS) are tied three points behind. John Waldbaum (Neb) has two wins in four ITE starts to lead Buddy Cisar (Neb), who has been 2nd three times. Jan Gerber (Neb) has the only SSC points so far.

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Much of what is reported in the Mid-Am is repeated in the Tour so far. The same drivers lead ITB, ITC, ITE and SM, but not necessarily with the same challengers.

Dick Faxon’s (OzMt) closest SM pursuer is David Harber (MidS), who is three points behind. John Waldbaum (Neb) has one more ITE race in than Bud Brazelton (MidS) and that is the margin between them. Nick Chinopulos (MidS) and Lawrence Orr (MidS) have finished 1-2 twice in ITC. Chris Albin (SIll) has won all four ITB races.

It is different in ITS and ITA. The ITS leader is Jim Bishop (Miss), who is eight points up on Doug Ford (MidS). ITA has Paul Brown (KC) with two wins for an eight-point lead over Nathan Wozniak (OzMt).

Rocky Entriken


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