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Driver Frank Cassagrande wins his heat making a turn with Coors Light sponsored car.Coming off a successful 50th Season Opener, Fort Wayne’s Baer Field Speedway heads into the Memorial Day holiday weekend, looking to fill the stands with “$20 CAR LOAD/FAMILY NIGHT” this Saturday, May 26. Be it a car, truck, bus, train, plane, boat or bike, any vehicle that can make it onto the property, will see ALL the passengers admitted into the track for just one $20 bill!

On-track action will feature a full five-division “Super Show” of Late Models, Fantastic Sams Modifieds, Street Stocks, Afdent Mini Stocks, and Front Wheel Drives on the 3/8th mile short-track. For added entertainment, kids are invited to bring their bikes from home to compete in BICYCLE RACES and there will be an on-track, pre-race AUTOGRAPH session!

Following pre-race “racecar rides” for the kids, it was finally time to kick off the long-awaited 50th season of racing. First up were the Late Models. Returning to the 3/8th mile short-track for the first time in many years, fans and drivers were unsure of how the racing would unfold. When the green flag dropped, nervousness turned to excitement as a talented field went side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper for the first several laps with Alex Vonderau in the lead. An early caution set up the first-ever side-by-side restart and lining up on the outside, Oliver Fitzwater was able to power by Vonderau and take over the lead. Once in front, Fitzwater did a masterful job of holding off John Gatton Jr. for his first win in over six years. Neal Richardson crossed the line in third followed by the trio of Al Jr, Tommy and Dean Cook. Defending champion Derek Hoffman, Chad Richardson, Steven Dourin, and Vonderau rounded out the top-10. Tommy Cook was fast time at 16.490 seconds; Gatton won the $50 Economy Auto Parts dash; and Neal Richardson was the heat race winner.

The Fantastic Sams Modifieds saw a dominating performance by Scott Coe. Starting last in the fully-inverted field, Coe sliced has way through traffic to score his third won of 2013, on three different tracks. Brent Martin took second over Jeremy Wallen, Mike Mayes, and Don Skaggs. Sixth through tenth were Zack Loe, Jerry Hammond, Pete Wormcastle, Matt Dimit, and Jan Long. Coe set fast time at 16.172 with Martin winning the dash and Wormcastle taking the heat race.

The Street Stock 20-lap feature was won by Alex Vonderau over Shawn Bonar, Jan long, Zack Vandall, Ryan McIntyre, Frank Casagrande, Josh Perkins, Marcus Method, Eric Manning, and Andrew Estep. Vonderau also set quick time at 17.439 seconds. Bonar scored a win in the dash while Casagrande won the heat.

A good field of Afdent Mini Stocks saw 2011 Champion Jake Hinton hold off rookie Keith Barker Jr. for the win, followed by Zac Sipe, Kevin Dibble, Alan Puff, Tim Howard, Rob Nave, Eric Woods, Lee Gillingham and Dave Fisher. Barker set quick time at 18.555 seconds. Hinton also won the dahs with Tim Howard winning the heat.

A record Front Wheel Drive field saw Brian Janes scoring the win over “Smiling Bob” Masters, Brian Martin, R.J. Weick, Shawn Poffenberger, Mike Quintanilla, Chris Jackson, Caesar Guzman Jr., Derrick Poppe and Jimmy Hendrix. Brian Janes was fastest in qualifying with a lap of 19.333 seconds and heat wins went to Kenny Spillers, Derrick Poppe and Bob Masters.

Saturday, gates will open at 2pm; with qualifying at 5pm; on-track autographs at 7; and RACING at 7:30! For those not coming by the “car load”, single adult admission is $12 for adults and kids 12-and-under are always FREE along with FREE PARKING!

Monday, May 27, the Speedway will be hosting the first-annual “STREET DRAGS”! Side-by-side drag racing on a 300′ of the Speedway front stretch. Monday Gates will open at 2:30pm, with practice at 3:30, and RACING at 5. Admission is $5 and there will be a $5 entry fee to participate in each class and/or the “Burnout Contest.”

Baer Field Speedway is located just south of Fort Wayne. Take Bluffton Road just south of Fort Wayne International Airport to Winters Road and follow the signs. Race Day phone is 260-478-7223. www.FWRACE.com.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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