LaSalle Speedway - LaSalle
Aug. 28: With 25 laps ahead, no one could have
foreseen Lake Knutti flipping his ride before a lap could be scored. Luckily the driver exited the car on his
Once the green flag was hanging, Mike Provenzano was in charge with Bret
Sievert in second over current champion Lil’ John Provenzano. After a restart of lap 4, a three wide battle for the
lead between the three ended when Bell took the low line and started challenging Lil’ John, who was in
Rich Bell took over the point during lap nine with Lil’ John now in second. Mike Provenzano fell back to
third. Bell’s high run was fast and furious until he moved down in front of Lil’ John, who was still charging hard
on the bottom on lap 14. The front runners tangled, with Lil’ John ending the powerful run in a spin. After the
restart, Bell moved his machine back to the high line on the point with Mike Provenzano second, Sievert third and
Mike Glynn running fourth as high on the track as he could run.
Early in the evening, Scott Schmitt took on the exhausting task of changing his engine in the pit area.
Completing the job just as the feature cars were rolling around to take the green. His efforts paid off as he
charged his power plant up the pack for a top six run.
Just after the flagman signaled one lap to go, Mike Provenzano hit the gas even harder in his lower line run. As
he and Bell headed off the turn four corner, it was Bell ahead but by the time the duo crossed the finish line Mike
Provenzano beat him by a nose.
Bell took home the runner up finish over Sievert, Glynn, and Jamie McHugh. ~ Betty
14: Saturday night at La Salle Speedway, the temps were sizzling and the racing was even hotter before
John Provenzano raced to the win in the Late Model final. The UMP Late Model division championship was up for grabs
between three very talented drivers – it was obvious early that it would be a hard fought battle to the finish
The story could have been ripped from a Hollywood script as the heated action was so well played it seemed more
created than reality. Prior to the evening's first event, Provenzano and his son Mike were tied for the points
championship, with both holding two season victories to earn 446 points. Rich Bell, who scored three wins,
was 11 points behind the pair.
Bell showed up with his program ready for action. He kicked off the night by closing the gap a little with the
second fastest lap to collect two points and than won the fast heat for an additional ten points.
Just after qualifying, "Lil’" John was already sweating the events and their outcome. “I qualified so bad I
think it’s over,” he said before the heat contest.
Something changed after strapping on his helmet, however. If the 40-year veteran seemed out of sorts prior to
the race, he was not quite ready to go down without a fight. The soon-to-be retiree quickly filed in behind his
son, while Bell and Bret Sievert held the lead from the front row. During the final lap, the Provenzano pair made
contact with the father holding on tight to grab third behind winner Bell and Sievert. Keith Piano was
With both heat races in, the stage was set. John was now a mere five points ahead of Bell, who was posted at the
top of the main event grid next to Sievert. The points leader was on the inside of row two with Piano as his
partner. Mike Provenzano took his spot on the third row with Jason Jaggers.
During several attempts of scoring more than one lap, John charged his way into second around Sievert, but
without a lap scored he was working hard and getting nowhere.
“The third time I passed him (Bret Sievert) was the hardest,” he explained later. Sievert went higher on the
track in second while Lil’ John chose a lower groove. By the third circuit, Sievert was off his pace, falling back
a few spots.
Bell started to pull away and distance himself using lapped traffic, but by lap 14, John had showed his veteran
skills and positioned himself on the tail of the leader. On the the next two laps, the two were side by
“I knew I needed to run within two spots of Bell,” John said. “I had no idea I would win this race, because
earlier my car was terrible. I put the three wheel brakes on and actually had to slow to go faster. I decided I was
either going to be a hero or a zero at the end.”
With three laps remaining, there was one amazing battle underway at the front. John was on the point, with his
son on his back bumper running in nearly the same groove, while Bell moved to the high side. On the last turn of
the last circuit, Bell was flying high in an attempt to steal John’s thunder away on the outside. Bell rammed hard
into the outside of the leader just before the finish line and never let off the gas. As the pair crossed the
finish line smoke was flying and sheet metal bending as they flew under the flag stand. Bell stayed heavy on the
gas and the duo finally came to a stop joined together after the turn one corner.
Nothing could change the fact that the old man schooled the kids on Saturday en route to his final La Salle
Speedway track title. Bell’s ride crossed the line as the runner up ahead of Mike, Piano, amd Jason Jaggers,
~ Betty Glynn
Finish: 1) John Provenzano,2) Rich Bell, 3) Mike Provenzano, 4) Keith Piano, 5) Jason Jaggers, 6) Mike
Glynn, 7) Jon Small, 8) Jeff Small, 9) Mark Larson, 10) Gary Hunt, 11) Bobby Morgan, Jr., 12) Randy Manos, 13) Todd
Alexander, 14) Terry Knutti.
7: 1) Bret Sievert, 2) Ryan Dauber, 3) Mike Provenzano, 4) John Provenzano, 5) Rich
31: 1) Rich Bell, 2) Bret Sievert, 3) Ryan Dauber, 4) Mike Provenzano, 5) Scott
July 31st LaSalle Speedway Late Model winner Rich Bell.
17: 1) Rich Bell, 2) Mike Provenzano, 3) John Provenzano, 4) Jason Jaggers, 5) Keith
July 10: Sprint car special - No Late
July 3: 1) John Provenzano, 2) Mike Provenzano,
3) Rich Bell, 4) Scott Schmitt, 5) Keith Piano
June 26: 1. Rich Bell, 2. Bret Sievert, 3. Mike
Provenzano, 4. John Provenzano, 5. Mike Glynn.
Rich Bell and #5 Brett Sievert finished one-two at LaSalle Speedway ojn the June