Baranek: Plenty of hard knocks in this Challenge
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org June 26, 2014 7:16PM
Logan Love (88) slams hard into the wall a few seconds after being contacted in Turn 1 by Billy Rud (5) during Friday night's street stock feature at Grundy County Speedway. | Kim Kemperman/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 28, 2014 1:02PM
Wow. Talk about coming out of the woodwork.
Round 2 of the Towing Express & I-Gogs Grundy/Illiana Street Stock Challenge on Friday drew 24 cars — twice the amount on a usual night at Grundy this season and three times the amount they’ve been getting at Illiana.
Calling it Round 2 couldn’t be more accurate. Boxing gloves should have been optional.
It took something like five or six tries to get through the first nine laps. In virtually every turn there was — if I may, Taylor Swift — trouble, trouble, trouble ...
And the rhetoric was priceless. Let’s explore the three main events.
1. Rob Scamen vs. Renee Farren
This was the classic “They ran out of room” deal, where Scamen tried to pass Farren on the bottom and wound up climbing up on her No. 44.
She went to the pits without her driver’s door. He finished the race seventh.
Whose fault? Heck, I don’t know. They’re both pretty sure they do, though.
“I was underneath her going into three and I was alongside of her and she kept turning left and turning left,” Scamen said. “I kept turning to the left and I got as far down as I could. The next thing you know I was up on two left wheels. Then it slammed back down again and away it went. I don’t know what she was trying to accomplish, but it wasn’t good for her or me.”
Farren, who fortunately was not hurt, painted a different picture.
“I was driving my race,” she said. “I didn’t see anybody on my inside. I was down low, then all of a sudden Scamen just came up over my car. I thought, ‘What is going on right now?’ I’m pretty sure he (came from) the infield because I was on the bottom groove.”
2. Billy Rud vs. Logan Love
This was scary. In a pack of cars running tightly up front, Rud clearly got into Love as they roared into Turn 1 and sent him careening into the wall. The No. 88 crashed hard and got airborne before coming down on all fours. Love was able to limp off the track, extremely unhappy, but fortunately not hurt.
“I just went into the corner chasing (Jacob) McKown and all of a sudden I went for a ride,” Love said. “We were running super good in that race, just waiting (for a break). I think Billy Rud has a history of driving over his head.”
In this case, Rud took the blame. Well, sort of.
“It was an accidental racing incident, we’ll call it,” Rud said. “(Love) got a little loose coming out of 4 and I couldn’t get on the throttle coming off. I knew I had to get him going into the (No. 1) corner. I went in, got underneath him, he came down and we touched. I backed off and the rest just kind of happened. I apologized to him about it. Hopefully, they’ll take my apology into consideration.”
3. Kenny Benson Jr. vs. Rita Fields
This was just wacky. It started when Benson’s No. 11 got the bad end of a scramble and wound up punching the wall. Benson went to the pits for quick repairs during the yellow and pulled back out on the track. He made a beeline for Fields, dug his car into her back bumper, and proceeded to do burnouts before being shown the pit exit by track officials.
A defiant Benson said he was more than willing to take the DQ.
“She rear-ended me and walled me,” he said of his motivation. “When you’re going down the straightaway and somebody rear ends you like that, it’s not necessary.”
Fields’ reaction when Benson basically went bananas behind her? She kept her foot on the brake.
“He thinks I right-reared him, but I was on the outside of him,” Fields said. “He kept coming up, so what am I supposed to do, just totally lift?
“I didn’t know he came back on the track until I got pelted in the rear end, and then I was like, ‘OK, you want to burn your motor up? Go ahead, burn it up. I’ll let you. Blow it, buddy.’
“I wasn’t intimated at all. I’ve got enough money. I’ll build another car and come out and junk (his).”
Good thing they wait a week in between races.