Stock Cars Return to Barber Motorsports Park
The V8 StockCar Series disturbed the peace July 8 at Barber Motorsports Park for the first time since 2004. Running with the Alabama Region SCCA at their Double S.A.R.R.C. spectator event, V8 thunder reverberated through the trees that surround the course.
Barber Motorsports Park bills itself as "not your average race track," and you won't get a debate about that from the stock car guys. Situated on over 700 acres outside Birmingham, Alabama, the world class facility features a 2.38 mile road course with sixteen turns and 80 feet of elevation change to challenge drivers. As one V8 StockCar racer opined, "you got to be up on the wheel on this course."
All day showers on Saturday had the days race cancelled, and the decision was made to make Sunday's race a double points event.
While it was still cloudy and threatening on Sunday, the rain held off, giving the big nasty's a chance to stretch their legs.
Sunday's qualifying session brought three new class track records with "Wild Bill" Smith setting the new standard in V8 SPO at 1.36.071, and Texan Gregg Rodgers in V8 GTA at 1.39.106. Bob Mayer put his beautiful Speed GT type Corvette to good use with a 1.39.655 record run in V8 GT1.
Shortly after his record run Mayer discovered that his Vette was leaking oil like the EXXON VALDEZ and decided to call it a weekend.
With Mayer's Vette on the sidelines, the V8 SPO cars of Bill Smith, Lee Arnold and Rich Koehler checked out immediately at the sight of the green. Running nose to tail this group put on a show. It was a fight to the finish, with Arnold taking first place.
Over in V8 GTA, Randy Gay was having the best race of his short career, leading over Butch Kummer and B.J. Holley. Randy stated that this was the first time this season that the car was performing flawlessly and that he had the right tires on the car at the same time.
Randy's fun was short lived though as he ran over some debris and punctured a front tire. Kummer took the point and led the class to the checker, with Holley coming home second.
In V8 GT-1 John Holt was running several seconds faster than his qualifying pace and took the win over Jerry Onks and Bob Leonard.
The V8 StockCar series thanks the Alabama Region and its workers for staging an outstanding event.
The V8 StockCar series will next move to Sebring International Raceway, running with the Central Florida Region SCCA at the labor day weekend.