Speedfest 2008 heats up on Thursday, January 24th
by Jane Smith
Lakeland, Fla. (January 24, 2008) The day started out sunny but by mid-afternoon the clouds came rolling in. the wind picked up, and the air got much cooler. Practice had to be called around 6:15 due to the constant mist in the air. Fine tuning had to be put off until Friday but there was still plenty of excitement in the pits.
Only one Super Late that pre-entered was not in the field, Travis Towell. Five Crate Late Models also had not made it to Lakeland but are expected on Friday. After an afternoon of tech, the cars were ready to go on the track at 3:30 p.m. A few fans sat in the grandstands, which were free for practice.
The first Super Late Model practice saw Tim Russell top the field with a 21.022 followed by Wayne Anderson with a 21.112, Justin Larson with a 21.129, Kyle Busch with a 21.142 and Jeff Choquette with a 21.142. After some fine tuning in the pits, Travis Cope topped the second practice with a 20.857 followed by Jay Middleton with a 20.945, Kyle Busch with a 20.949, Wayne Anderson with a 20.962 and Ben Rowe with a 21.043.
As the wind picked up, so did the times. The third and final practice saw Travis Cope top his second practice speed with a 20.766, Kyle Busch with a 20.922, Aaron Pierce with a 20.964, Tim Russell with a 21.020 and Ryan Lawler with a 21.034.
The Crate Late Models proved they were not far behind as Jimmy Lang topped the first practice with a 21.573 followed by Beau Slocumb with a 21.602. Kris Stump had a 21.603 followed by Travis Cope with a 21.643 and Eddie Hoffman with a 21.673. Both Cope and Hoffman have both Super Lates and Crate Late Models.
The second Crate Late Model practice saw Drew Brannon top the field with a 21.413 followed by Kris Stump with a 21.497, Jimmy Lang with a 21.560, Beau Slocumb with a 21.576 and Eddie Hoffman with a 21.664.
Action beings again on Friday as the pit gates open at 9 a.m. Practice begins at 1 p.m. and concludes at 4 p.m. Qualifying for the Super Lates begins at 5 p.m. with the Southern cars first followed by the Northern cars. Qualifying for the Crate Late Models begins at 6:15 p.m. with the Southern cars first followed by the Northern cars.
Starting at 8 p.m.., it is the South Crate Late Models who kick off the show with a 25 lap feature followed by the Northern Crate Late Models with a 25 lap feature. Then it is 100 laps for the Southern Super Lates followed by 100 laps with the Northern Super Lates.
Grandstands are $30.00 on the frontstretch and $20.00 on the backstretch with children 10 and under $10.00. Pit admission is $35.00. For more information on Speedfest 2008, go to www.usaspeedway.com.
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