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Weekend shows feature sprints, monster trucks

DESTRUCTION:School buses will compete in heat races and a feature event and provide some big behemoth “rubbin’ and racin’” moments during Gas City/I-69 Speedway's "Night of Destruction" on Saturday. Also included in the show will be Monster trucks, a demolition derby along with other unique events. The Speedway will also have its weekly Friday night card with a Beach Bash theme.

By CHUCK LANDIS - clandis@chronicle-tribune.com

Gas City Speedway offers motorsports fans a unique Friday-Saturday doubleheader that includes everything from an Indiana vs. Ohio sprint car race to a "Night of Destruction" with monster trucks and school buses.

Top drivers from the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series (BOSS) clash with Gas City's best in a 25-lap non-winged sprint feature to highlight Friday's "Beach Night Bash". Racing also includes the United Midget Racing Association (UMRA) three-quarter (TQ) midgets, United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) modifieds, street stocks and hornets.

Pit gates open at 3 p.m. Friday and grandstands at 5 p.m. Hot laps begin at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. An adult general admission ticket costs $20 and kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes cost $30.

Saturday's “Night of Destruction, Chills and Thrills” features the popular monster trucks and wild school bus racing. In addition, a mini-van demolition derby, a rollover competition, a trailer race and a 75-lap hornet/compact car enduro complete the competition side of the evening. Other fun events include a soccer mom race and racing backwards.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Saturday. Seating is general admission and tickets will be available at the speedway’s ticket office, which opens at 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for kids 7-15, and children 6 and under are admitted free with a paid adult.

The top five drivers in the current BOSS point standings are expected at Gas City led by Matt Westfall, Pleasant Hill, Ohio, who has a feature win at Gas City in 2013. Westfall leads the BOSS point standings after eight events followed by Cody Gardner, Milford, Ohio; Dustin Ingle, Lima, Ohio; Kory Crabtree, West Jefferson, Ohio, and Dustin Webber, Bethel, Ohio.

Gas City star Thomas Meseraull, Waveland, is having a historic season at the quarter-mile clay dirt track and just earned his sixth non-wing feature victory of the year last Friday night. Defending track champion Clinton Boyles, Brownsburg is second in the current point standings followed by Marion divers Tyler Hewitt and Scotty Weir and Cole Ketcham, Muncie.

BOSS and Gas City drivers got together last year with Geo Scelzi, Fresno, California, beating Caleb Armstrong, New Castle, out of Turn 4 on the last lap to win the feature. Scelzi will not be back and instead is entered in the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals for winged sprint cars.

UMRA TQ midgets make their second and final appearance at Gas City this year. Joey Paxson, Connersville, led all 15 laps and won the May 17 feature. Matthew Hedrick, Rushville, is the series’ defending champion while Tate Martz, Rushville, was the runner-up and Paxson finished third.

Scott Orr, Columbia City, continues to lead the track’s UMP modified point standings over Bill Griffith, Van Buren, Ohio, and Andy Bishop, Gas City. Bishop leads the street stock point standings, and James Headley Jr., Wabash, leads the hornet point standings.

Gas City promoter Jerry Gappens Jr. bills Saturday's show as one of the most entertaining events in the track's three decade history. The monster trucks are known for crushing cars and a popular freestyle program.

Fans also can get a first-hand experience in a specially equipped, passenger-friendly monster truck that will be available for rides at $10 per rider. The rides start at 4 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

School buses will compete in heat races and a feature event, and mini-van drivers from throughout the Midwest mix it up for a $500 first place payday in a traditional demo-derby format.

In what promises to be a crowd pleaser, various types of vehicles will navigate a special ramp in attempting to roll over as many times as possible to win $400 and bragging rights.

A wild and whacky trailer race will feature vehicles pulling a boat or camper trailer or other types of trailers. The object is to separate the trailer from the tow vehicle of the other competitors. The winner will be whoever still has their trailer after a specified number of laps. 

Compact race cars, also known as hornets at Gas City and other tracks, compete in a 75-lap enduro with $500 going to the winner. The class features four cylinder front-wheel or rear-wheel drive cars.