By DUSTY WIEGERT
Special to The Hays Daily News
SALINA, Kan. -- The biggest weekend of the year for auto racing is upon us and the best chance to kick it off exists tonight, Friday May 25, at the Salina Speedway.
The night's focus will be on the North Central Kansas Down Syndrome Society which presents the Racing for Down Syndrome Awareness Night. Free admission is available for individuals with Down Syndrome and their caregivers. Over $1,500 in prizes will be given to kids in attendance tonight!
In racing action Jerry Phillips picked up a big win last week in the Belleville Motorsports IMCA Modified division which also moved him into fifth in the point standings. Corey Lagroon, winless thus far, has pieced together enough great finishes to hold down the points lead, but only by one point over two-time winner Joe Cleveland. Danny Morrison Jr. holds down third after a runner-up finish last week with week two winner Troy Johnson in fourth. Last week twenty-seven cars were in action in the division, the highest count so far in 2012.
Austin Carter continues to strengthen his lead in the Coors Light IMCA Stock Car standings as he holds a six point advantage now over Scot Granzella, who had problems in last week's feature. Justin Murdock holds on to a tie for second with Granzella while Bob Arnold and Shelby Steenson a distant fourth and fifth. Colby's Nick Tubbs picked up a pair of wins last week with the make-up feature along with the regularly scheduled feature.
The Xtreme Motorsports IMCA Northern SportMods return this week with two drivers tied atop the standings. Tyler Frye and Matthew Crowell both share the lead with Jesse Levin in third, Seth Schroer fourth, and Eric Ingram and Bryan Lariviere tied for fifth. Only ten points separate the top seven drivers in the standings after three races.
Last year's rookie of the year in the Auto House Mod Lite division, Chris Unruh, holds the early season lead in the class by seven. Brian Davidson and Nick Watts share the second position with Corbin Pickerill in fourth and Trace Ayers in fifth. Bud Lee was last week's feature winner.
Also returning this week is the T&R Dirt Construction Mini Stocks, where Brendon Thiessen has a three point lead despite winning a race. Paco Montague sits second, Rooster Rice third, and a tie exists for fourth between three drivers, Eric Unruh, Dallas Dunn, and Doug Champion Jr.
The Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks and Friesen Chevrolet Late Models presented by M&H Motors and Cave Diver's Liquor have the night off and will return next week.
Pit gates open at 4:30 with grandstands opening at 5:30, hot laps at 7:00, and racing at 8:00PM.
Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 13-18 with school ID, and kids 12 & under FREE. A $2 discount is available for those with military ID's and senior citizens over the age of 55. Pit passes are $25.
For more information on the Salina Speedway please visit www.racesalinaspeedway.com.