Kevin Oicle has been racing on and off at Laird since the track opened in 1999. He began in the factory stock division and raced that for a couple years. Kevin said, “I bought a car from Rob Sartini. I had Nick Kozak lend me a motor. We struggled and finally got the car together. We decided to come out, and made it to the track half way through the night. We came out, started at the back of the pack, then won the feature. It was the first time I was at this track racing and I won the feature. We had a good car.”
Kevin’s stepson, Taylor McBride, piped in and said, “He says it’s a good car, but it’s also a good driver driver behind it”.
Kevin continued, “I raced Sportsman too. I ran a couple years in the sportsman division. As soon as they added the modified, I moved into that class. I’ve taken a couple years off here and there.”
Thursday July 9, 2015 marked our fourth racenight of the season. We had a nice warm day, with sunny skies to start the program, gradually turning slightly overcast and cooling as the evening progressed. The weather couldn’t have been better.
It was a kids night at the track, with a school bus ride at intermission, plus free face painting, then a school bus race at the end of the evening program.
The Prouse Motors Super Late Models had the evening off so we held an Australian pursuit, two heats, and a feature in each of the other three divisions.
For those that don’t know how an Australian pursuit works, here it is: The Australian Pursuit is an elimination race. Cars line up single file and begin. Any car getting passed during the race is eliminated and leaves the track. At the end only the car in the lead gets a point. At Laird these races are usually just 8 laps and run quick.
Fans may have noticed a decrease in the number of cars in the Factory Four division this year. A few years ago we had nights were about 25 cars were running in the division. This year there are about 10 regulars running. A meeting was held today between track management and the division's drivers to see what can be done to bring some of these cars back to the track.
One problem identified was the cost of racing these cars. Like in other divisions, the cost has increased and the payouts in the division haven't kept up. To improve things, track promoter Donnie Varcoe has increased the payouts in the division to $75 for every car that starts the feature, and $80 for the winner. Many tracks that have a four cylinder division have no payouts for the cars. For this week coming up, we will also be having a Factory Four special, and instead of offering just the winner a larger payout, the money will be spread amongst drivers, by giving them all and additional $25 to start the feature. That makes for $100 in payout for each car that takes the green.
Eric Brown has been one of those “fixtures” at Laird for many years. He began racing at Laird in 2004 and up until this year has run in the Factory Four division only. The kids will recognize Eric as “Spiderman”. His normal number is #23. His best finish of a season was in 2012 when he came in 4th in the points standings.
Eric hasn’t had his own car out for a couple seasons. Eric said, “All last season I waited for some bearings, they never came in. Dave King and his wife Jennifer allowed me to use their car for the season last year. It’s nice to have friends like that out here, willing to lend me some seat time.” Last season Eric was running in the green and white #31 previously driven by Jenn King. He said, “It was actually #23 last year, I duct taped the number over the 31.”