---- — Dirt track fans of all shapes and sizes are in for a treat this weekend with the seventh running of the Kokomo Klash, an event that brings to an end yet another action-packed season of racing at the Kokomo Speedway.
Tonight, the Sprints, Midgets, UMRA TQ Midgets, 600 Micro Sprints and Thunder Cars will take to the ¼-mile bullring, to the delight of open-wheel fans.
Saturday, the fendered crowd will be in for a treat when the Late Models, UMP Modifieds, Sportsman and Street Stocks will be on hand.
Thomas Meseraul is the defending Sprint Car champion and Tracy Hines is a two-time defending champion in the Midgets. Justin Peck picked up the 600 Micro Sprint win a year ago and Nick Spiedel garnered the UMRA TQ Midget win. In the Thunder Car portion of last year’s event, the always-tough Ervin Turner took the checkered flag.
All of the above-mentioned drivers are expected to be on hand to defend their titles in the event that is rapidly becoming one of the most anticipated in the Midwest each fall.
A year ago, the fendered portion of the event was arguably the most entertaining as Alan Vochaska earned the hard-fought win in the Late Model A-main. Brian Ruhlman captured the UMP Modified race but was ejected from competition later in the night while competing in the Late Model feature for rough driving. Randy Petro (Sportsman) and Lee Hobbs (Street Stock) were the other winners in last year’s event.
Since the event’s inception seven years ago, only Hines and Hobbs have managed to score multiple wins. While the competition is as stiff as any event anywhere, the car counts continue to grow steadily as well and this year should be no exception.
“Every year this event has grown and grown,” said Rob Goodman, the brain-child behind the event. “The thing that makes it so special is that there are drivers from every corner of Indiana and surrounding states showing up to compete because it’s the last chance to race until the next season.”
A year ago, nearly 350 race cars were on the grounds over the two nights and Goodman expects the same this year.
“I remember when this really took off and there was no space left in the pits and we had to have the teams pitting in the parking lot out front and even in the backstretch. From what I’ve been hearing from a lot of folks and some of the pre-entries, I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t a record car count this year. That’s what makes this event so big — there is something for everyone. A lot of people like to see the Late Models and this is the only chance each year. There are so many different divisions that we don’t usually see through the season [at Kokomo], so it’s a lot of fun seeing different drivers and divisions running [at Kokomo].”
Those planning on attending should plan to get there early enough to at least secure a good parking place.
“I was looking at the extended weather forecast and as far as the weather for the Klash each year, it looks like the weather is going to be great,” Goodman continued. “I was looking at the forecast for next weekend and that doesn’t look very good so it’s a good thing we’re running this weekend.”
General admission tickets are $20 and $30 for pit passes. Kids ages 10 and under get in free with a paying adults. Hot laps are slated to begin around 6 p.m. with racing to follow all the hot lap sessions. The pit gates open at 3 p.m. while the grandstands will open at 4.
JARRETT SCORES FIRST FEATURE VICTORY
Former National Sprint Car Hall of Fame non-wing Rookie of the Year Logan Jarrett scored his first career feature win over the weekend at the Plymouth Motor Speedway.
Ironically for Jarrett, who is known for wrestling a non-wing car at bullrings around the Midwest, his breakthrough to Victory Lane came in the winged sprint car feature on Saturday night on the semi-banked ½-mile track.
After bringing out a caution early in the feature event that forced Jarrett and his J&J Trucking/Bud’s Auto Sales of Kokomo No. 29J to the tail of the field on the restart, the third-year driver worked his way back to the front, winning convincingly.
Chasing him to the checkered flag was Pennsylvania driver Jimmy Light. Brad Lamberson, Chris Jones and Zane DeVault rounded out the top five.
For more racing results from last week, see a story on our website.
Brett Bowman may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.