Racers chase critical points

Nick Truesdale - [email protected]

LIMA — Everybody is heading into crunch time. With only two more races left in the season, drivers are looking to earn more points in order to move on up in the standings. The chase continues tonight during the 19th annual Limaland/NRA Season Point Championships at Limaland Motorsports Park. The pit gate opens at 4:30 and racing starts at 7:30.

One driver looking to improve his standing is Butch Schroeder. Even though Schroeder has not won a feature this season, he is still currently in eighth place in the K&L Ready Mix Sprints standings.

“We haven’t won any races yet but we have had some good races,” Schroeder said. We had a chance to win several. Sometimes you have to be both lucky and good. We’ve been plugging away. We hope to manage to find a way (to win tonight).”

Like most drivers, Schroeder has been around racing for most of his life.

“Growing up my dad owned the No. 55 sprint car back in the day,” Schroeder said. “He had some pretty good drivers in the early ’70s like Fred Linder. So I was always going to sprint car races.”

After going to sprint car races for so long as a young kid, Schroeder decided to make the leap from spectator to driver.

“In high school I wanted to get involved in stock car racing but my dad didn’t like stocks since he was a sprint car owner,” Schroeder said. “I actually built myself a stock car. We started off very well winning 23 out of my first 36 features at Lima, Findlay, Mansfield and Eldora. We were just young, stupid and having fun.”

After major success with stock car racing, another opportunity came knocking at Schroeder’s door.

“I built a 305 sprint car and started doing well, in my second race we got third place,” Schroeder said. “Then Leland Gottschalk asked if I would be interested in racing a 410 sprint car. He didn’t think I would show up at his house that night but I did. We then settled back into owning a 360 sprint that we race every Friday night.”

Schroeder has been very fortunate to have people support him in his racing career.

“I have to give people like him (Gottschalk) a thank you for giving me a shot,” Schroeder said. “I also have to thank my car owners, my parents, for giving me this opportunity. My crew guys Tyson Schroeder and Doug Niese also deserve a lot of credit. My sponsors also deserve recognition: Dale’s Concrete, George’s Garage, Kistler Racing Engines, Flag City Water Systems, Banshee Graphics, K&L Ready Mix, and Ohio Logistics.”

In order to get into next week’s King of the Quarter-Mile Races, Schroeder has to pick up a win this week.

“We need a win to get into the King of the Quarter-Mile and this season would be complete for me with a win,” Schroeder said. “There are a lot of fans (at Limaland). It’s a wonderful track that is nice and smooth. The facility is top notch. We hope to pick it back up for this week.”

For complete results of the 19th annual Limaland/NRA Season Point Championships, pick up a Sunday edition of The Lima News.

Waynesfield Raceway

WAYNESFIELD — The eighth running of the Jack Hewitt Classic on Saturday night at Waynesfield Raceway Park honors National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Jack Hewitt who made his name running with USAC, the All Stars, and in the 1998 Indianapolis 500. The Satellite Connections Non Wing Sprints will headline the event paying $3,000 to the winner of the 30 lap A-main. Tire rules for the Non Wings will be dismissed, allowing any tire to be run on the 1/3rd mile. The Quest Federal Credit Union UMP Modifieds are also on the program, running for a $1,000 payday. The night comes to an end with a head-to-head showdown between the returning USAC Midwest Thunder Midgets and the weekly Non Wing Performance Powder Coating AMSA Mini Sprints.

Adult general admission is $18. Those ages 11-15 are $9 with everyone under the age of 10 admitted for free. Pit passes are available for $30. Pit gate opens at 4 p.m. Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps and group qualifying for the Modifieds gets underway at 6 p.m. with the first green flag flying at 7 p.m.

Nick Truesdale

[email protected]

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