Fan Appreciation HUGE Success, Reigning Modified Track Champion Ed Roley Misses Qualifying and Picks Up Feature Win, Young Rockett Bennet Wins First C

Fan Appreciation HUGE Success, Reigning Modified Track Champion Ed Roley Misses Qualifying and Picks Up Feature Win, Young Rockett Bennet Wins First C
Fan Appreciation HUGE Success, Reigning Modified Track Champion Ed Roley Misses Qualifying and Picks Up Feature Win, Young Rockett Bennet Wins First C
Fan Appreciation HUGE Success, Reigning Modified Track Champion Ed Roley Misses Qualifying and Picks Up Feature Win, Young Rockett Bennet Wins First C
Fan Appreciation HUGE Success, Reigning Modified Track Champion Ed Roley Misses Qualifying and Picks Up Feature Win, Young Rockett Bennet Wins First C


Fan Appreciation night is a highly anticipated event at The Charleston Speedway for both fans, drivers, and teams alike. The ability for fans to directly interact with all the drivers and teams puts smiles on EVERYONE’S faces! The memories made, memories shared, and memories reminisced will never be forgotten. For those not fortunate enough to be in attendance, Fan Appreciation Night is where fans pay $5 bucks at the front gate and during intermission are allowed on the front stretch where all the cars and drivers are there to interact with their fans. For over 30 minutes, fans were able to get autographs, pictures taken, meet and greet their drivers; while drivers and teams were allowed to pass out hero cards, candy and flags…a few had shirts for sale, and EVERYONE WINS on this very special night. Scott Leeman from SRL Designs is the Official photog guy of The Charleston Speedway, he is on site every night, capturing awesome images that become memories! His photos from the event can be viewed and purchased here:

Rain filled skies in Central Illinois caused several area cancellations, leaving The Charleston Speedway one of the only choices to race on Saturday. 121 cars & teams checked in to compete. 28 DIRTcar Modifieds signed in, with some new names, faces and teams in that list. 2022 Charleston Speedway Track Champion Ed Roley started his event in less-than-ideal conditions. Having issues with their primary car during the week, the team decided to drag a back-up piece out of the garage and enter it. Falling victim to additional issues at the track, the team was unable to get their car to staging in time for Roley to attempt a qualifying effort, giving him last place qualifying effort and set his night off on the wrong foot. #81 Alan Stipp from Chatsworth would set fast time with a 14.453 and giving him pole position in the first heat race. Roley would find himself starting 10th in the same heat race. 8 laps later Stipp would win heat 1 and Roley made his way to finish 2nd. Modifieds had a B-main right before intermission that would be won by Kenny Carmichael Sr from Terre Haute. With a stout field set, Stipp on the pole, Schrock front row outside, Lutrell 3rd, Roley would have to settle for a 4th place starting position. The green flag fell and Stipp looked to have the field covered. As track conditions changed and setups started to shine, Roley started working his way to the front. After 20 laps of GREAT side by side, multi groove racing, the checkered flag would fall on the Roley machine 1st. Ryan Hamilton who started 5th made his way to finish 2nd, while Kasey Schrock held onto 3rd and thus the Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Modified Points Lead!! The DIRTcar Modified Feature can be watched here:

The DIRTcar Factory Stock division was a crowd pleaser to say the least. Current Charleston Speedway DIRTcar Factory Stock Points Leader Steve Nolen would set fast time in qualifying with a time of 16.577 sec. Nolen would start P1 of Heat 1 and prove that his car still had speed while claiming the win. Josh Bonewitz would claim 2nd quick time with a time of 16.930 sec. and would show he had plenty of speed while claiming victory in Heat 2. The driver of the X car, Randy Smyser, would succumb to mechanical failure that would not only cause him to miss qualifying, but he completely missed his heat race as well. The team would not give up. They made repairs and Smyser rolled out in the 14th starting position for the 15-lap feature. Smyser would slowly make his way through the field only to look to have to settle for 2nd. Nolen had a substantial lead that Smyser looked to not be able to overcome, however, with 3 laps to go a late race caution proved to be exactly what Smyser needed. Smyser was able to get under Nolen on the restart lap and lead the last 3 laps. Nolen settled for 2nd but left the speedway with his head held high as he retains the points lead in the Factory Stock Division by 1 point over Smyser. With the speed these two have shown all season, we fully expect this points battle to be decided at the very end, so stay tuned. The DIRTcar Factory Stock Feature Event can be watched here:

The largest field of DIRTcar Street Stocks we’ve had this season was in full force. 21 cars signed in with some big names and fast cars. Reigning DIRTcar National Champ Zane Reitz did his best to put on a show for the fans, but Jerrad Krick was more than he could conquer. Krick would start 4th in the Feature, make his way up through the field, passing Reitz and picking up his 4th Feature win of the season at The Charleston Speedway. After winning his heat race and starting on the pole, an ill handling race car would relegate reigning Champ Jesse Simmons to a 4th place finish; but that was enough for him to maintain the season points lead. The DIRTcar Street Stock Feature can be watched here:

Switching to our DIRTcar Pro Late Model division. 17 cars checked in. Heat 1 winner was Josh Boller and Heat 2 winner was the youngster out of Argenta, IL., Rockett Bennett. Rockett was scheduled to race at Macon Speedway, but due to an early morning storm, Macon was forced to cancel. Rockett asked his dad if they could run Charleston instead and a reluctant dad said “I guess so”; even though he was really looking forward to the night off he would later admit. When the checkered flag fell, dad was more than happy he agreed. The feature would start with Boller in P1 and Bennett in P2. The pole sitter, Boller in this case, is the person that starts the race, but he must do so INSIDE of the start zone. As drivers approach that green flag flying, not only are the fans excited, but drivers are as well. Every driver wants to get every ounce or inch of advantage they can on their competition, but Boller took too much. It is estimated that Boller accelerated 5-10’ BEFORE the start zone causing him to be penalized 2 positions at the next opportunity, per the General Rules of The Charleston Speedway. The green flag flew, and the race was on. A 3-way battle between Josh Boller, Rockett Bennett and Devin McLean would fill the first half of the race, Bennett found enough speed to pass Boller at the line to take the lead as the mid race caution was displayed. Going back to the last completed lap, Boller was the leader, and now he would have to serve his 2-position penalty and be moved from the lead, to 3rd. The green flew on the new leader Bennett with McLean and Boller in tow. Bennett showed the same speed he had when he took the lead from Boller and never looked back while he captured his first career victory in a DIRTcar Pro Late Model. Boller would rally back to second, forcing McLean to settle for 3rd. The newly sanctioned DIRTcar Pro Late Models always put on a great show and Saturday night was no exception! The DIRTcar Pro Late Model Feature can be watched here:

We would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge the great racing surface that Brad and his staff provided, especially given the unknown weather situation. They were trying to ensure there was ample water for multiple lanes, all while trying to hold off in case we did get rain; they wanted to be ready to absorb that. Needless to say, it was a very stressful track prep situation that proved to be another amazing surface.

Here are your fast time qualifiers;
DIRTcar Modified, #88S Alan Stipp; 14.453
DIRTcar Pro Modified, #40J Johnny Nethery; 15.038
DIRTcar Factory Stock, #66JR Steve Nolen; 16.577

Your run down of Heat Race winners for August 5, 2023
DIRTcar Modified: #88S Alan Stipp & #83 Kasey Schrock
DIRTcar Pro Modified: #121 Deece Schwartz & #95 Bryce Farr
DIRTcar Street Stock: #42 Jesse Simmons & #55 Zane Reitz
DIRTcar Factory Stock: #66JR Steve Nolen & #J52 Josh Bonewitz
DIRTcar Pro Late Model: #05B Josh Boller & #55 Rockett Bennett
DIRTcar Hornet: #19 Dee Friar & #28 Jimmy Dutlinger
DIRTcar Kid Modz: #3X Keatin Lyons

Here are the Feature Winners from the Summer Shootout:
DIRTcar Modified #95 Ed Roley
DIRTcar Pro Modified #121 Deece Schwartz
DIRTcar Street Stock #99K Jerrad Krick
DIRTcar Pro Late Model #55 Rockett Bennett
DIRTcar Factory Stock #X Randy Smyser
DIRTcar Hornets #28 Jimmy Dutlinger
DIRTcar Kid Modz #4 Brenden Heizer

DIRTcar Pro Modified Feature can be watched here:
DIRTcar Hornet Feature can be watched here:
DIRTcar KIDMODZ Featue can be watched here:
ALL Photo credit to SRL Designs.
ALL Video credit to Zack Carter.


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