Drown looks under #25 Josh Richards while Richards works on Zach Dohm during a heat race for the "Mark Balzano
Memorial". Richards shared heat race honors with Steve Francis and Steve Shaver. (Cory Stivason)
Richards, Francis, Shaver Top Prelims Before Weather Claims "Mark
MINERAL WELLS, W.V. - May 16. The grand reopening of the West Virginia Motor Speedway
saw competitors from eight states and one Canadian province fill the pit area,
but persistent rain showers halted the action at 8:45 with the O'Reilly All-Star Late Models forming
in the staging area for the $5000 to win 'Mark Balzano Memorial' race.
Drivers from as far away as Mississippi, California and Canada made for a stout field
of Late Models, and superb track preparation saw Davey Johnson's long time track record fall.
The Mountain State's Kenny Compton averaged over 115 miles per hour
in blistering the well groomed 5/8 mile facility with a 19.085 second lap that now goes into the track's
official record books.
Kenny Compton, Jr. puts in his fast
qualifying effort for the "Mark Balzano Memorial" at West Virginia Motor Speedway last weekend. The weather claimed
the event after all preliminary events. (Cory
Qualifying heat races were taken by Steve Francis, Steve Shaver and Josh Richards,
with Tyler Reddick scoring the B-main event win. Additionally, the FASTRAK
Late Model, TSMA Modifieds and TSMA Hot Mod prelims were completed, as all feature fields were set for the
With the O'Reilly All-Star Late Model feature competitors staging, the rains
came to stay and track officials had no choice but to cancel the remainder of the evenings events.
The fast paced program came to a screeching halt as a light but steady rain began to
"We were right on schedule" said MSM's Brian Ferrell. "We had set 9
pm as the time to have the Late Model feature on the track, and actually, I believe they were going to be under
green before that time. Mother Nature literally rained on our parade tonight".
Due to working with multiple sanctions, a make up date for the race was unavailable
at press time. As soon as the dates can be coordinated with all involved sanctions, information on the make
up date will be released.
Steve Shaver races to his heat win for
the "Mark Balzano Memorial", but #1 Davey Johnson makes him work for every inch at W.V.M.S..