By T.J. Buffenbarger
Charlotte, MI — (04/18/2000) — As always there was some information I couldn’t quite squeeze into my notes column, so I saved a little bit of info on the weekend action at Attica.
Spending the past weekend in Northern Ohio provided to be one of the most entertaining weekends of racing the Slideways crew has had in a very long time. For me going to this part of Ohio brings back a ton of childhood memories of past Ohio Speedweek’s and other Ohio racing adventures of my youth. Add to the face we made Findlay, Ohio Slideways Moble Central for the weekend, and passing through Fremont, Ohio on the way to the track, and of course being in Attica, Ohio for the racing action.
I had to save a large space in this edition to talk about Rodney Duncan’s great start to the 2000 season. Duncan really hasn’t had an All Star caliber ride since driving for Connie Strophaul out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. After bouncing around in other rides, Duncan ended up in the Harrison Trucking entry. This team has built themselves up over the past three years to become a serious contender for the All Star title this year.
Duncan is very quick to point out how with a little time and the right people, he is still a threat to win on any given night.
“Two things: A car owner that has given us everything we need, and the crew chief we hired towards the end of the year, Andy Potter. He has made all the difference in the world”.
Duncan first hit the All Star trail in 1986 with Connie Strophaul’s entry. That team lasted until 1989, which left Duncan without a full time All Star ride.
“I like to think I’m wiser than I was 10 years ago, and this second go around with about eight years in between them. This is the most complete race team as far as a crew chief and a car owner that can and will do whatever it takes. This is the best package I’ve ever been involved with.
Duncan is now 36 years of age, the resident of Lockbourne, Ohio will be one of the favorites everywhere he goes with the Harrison Trucking entry. I’ll go out on a limb and will say Rodney will have a chance to up his All Star win total from two at some point this season.
Other Notes from Elsewhere
-One thing I forgot to mention in my feature story about South Africa was Jim Hanks and driver Curt Schumaker parting ways during the trip! Schumaker is currently putting together his own deal for the 2000 season to run with the Auto Value Super Sprints, while Hanks has hired “the Purple One”, Kevin Feeney, to drive for his very well funded team. No word on Hanks purchased purple paint and orange wheels to make Feeney feel at home.
-Make sure to check out TJ’s tidbits as a new part of our news section. Tidbits will hold all the little pieces of information I get during the week that do not warrant a full press release, but I feel need to be posted on the site. Look for quite a bit of testing news to be posted there, as well as driver changes and other neat information.
-Had a slight mistake in the Attica notes about Butch Schroeder. Denny is the last crewmember mentioned on Schroeder’s crew, not Benny. Had to get that one corrected since he’s Butch’s bother in law! Some good news was also sent to me as some of the members of the team left this afternoon to get the new hauler from Featherlite. They should be home with it Wednesday night or early Thursday morning. The goal is to have it finished up by Eldora this weekend!
Schroeder will be appearing as our Monday night grill guest on May 15th to take readers questions.
-It’s amazing sometimes how racing is such a small world. I stopped by a local sign shop early this weekend to check on some banners I’m thinking about having made for the site, and found out they are lettering Larry Bible’s sprint car Van Gurley, Jr. will be wheeling for the 2000 season. Bible’s have also purchased Marvin Carman’s Dowker built pavement sprint car to play around with this season. Larry Bible also wanted me to mention that they have the team’s Maxim Chassis with or without the Gaerte Engine that was driven by now retired driver and Penske shock guru Drew “the Shoe” Bible.
-I am hearing through the grapevine the Forbrook/Vasser team is shopping around for a super sub for at least this weekend at Eldora. Hodnett’s injury is one of the most disappointing stories I’ve had to report this season because he is a Slideways page favorite, being on one of the most intelligent and well spoken drivers on the Outlaw tour.
-Look for Derek Scheffel to be aboard the Doug Daughtery #20 at Haubstaudt on Sunday nights this year. Scheffel should have a good handle on the racecar, because multi time Tri-State Speedway track champion Gary Hayhurst, Jr. will be turning wrenches on the car. Look for this team to be an early favorite for that track title.
Look for my Gas City season preview later on this week. I’m expecting well over 50 cars to be on hand for the opener. It will be a great night of racing. Then after seeing that tremendous show, we’re heading over to Eldora to see the Pennzoil World of Outlaws. So I hope to see everyone at one or both shows this weekend.