The rain went away just in time for the racers to play.
The Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions had a big night Friday, with both the Circle Track Division and the Motocross Division holding events at Twin Cities Raceway.
Both events drew a healthy chunk of spectators, and the spectators were enjoying racing when a smattering of showers began at 7:30 p.m. 30 minutes after each event started.
While the motocross track can take a lot of water before racing must be called off, the circle track folks quickly found themselves in a precarious position.
"We were this close to losing that track and having to cancel the rest of the night," said Late Model racer Mike Young, holding his fingers less than an inch apart. "The track was getting slick real fast.
"We just kept packing it down, and the rain stopped just in time."
Ricky Bailey soars over a jump at the Twin Cities Raceway Friday night. Bailey came in first in his race.
Photo by McNair Rivers
As it turned out, the rain ended up transforming the three-eighths-of-a-mile dirt track into a perfect racing oval.
On hot, sunny and dry summer evenings, the oval at Twin Cities Raceway has gained a reputation over the years for putting an annoying cloud of dust in the air. The Friday rain not only firmed up the track for the drivers, but it cut down all the dust for the spectators.
The track was in such good condition that some in the pit reported seeing smoke coming off of Sprint Car racer Cameron McGahan's tires in the corners.
"This race track likes water a lot," said Sprint Car racer Randy Barnes.
The clear air gave fans a clear view of the first Sprint Car action of the summer. Kenai's Jackie McGahan and his Tesoro car were the big winners, taking Heat I and the Main Event.
The evening started out with Jackie's son, Cameron, taking advantage of Elton McGahan's spinout to win the five-lap Trophy Dash. It was impressive win for Cameron and his NAPA Auto Parts car because his car has less power than the other three he was racing.
Justin McGee makes a quick turn after crossing the finish line at the race Friday night.
Photo by McNair Rivers
Jackie then came back for a victory in Heat I, leading all of the race's 10 laps.
"I hit a setup just right and just took off in that race," Jackie said.
In Heat II, Randy Barnes retired his Pollard Wireline car for the night and drove Elton McGahan's South Central Enterprises vehicle.
Elton will not be at the Sprint Car Invitational on June 13 at Twin Cities Raceway. Barnes will drive Elton's car that night, and he wanted to get a feel for the car Friday.
It took Barnes no time at all to get a feel for the vehicle. He led all 10 laps of Heat II, holding off a charging Jackie McGahan.
"I was able to do it due to experience and the good equipment I had under me," Barnes said. "I've been doing this in this kind of a car since 1981."
Barnes again took the lead in the 15-lap Main Event, leading for 11 laps before Jackie finally figured out a way to pass him.
"I got tired, and he WENT ON THE INFIELD," Barnes said, jokingly raising his voice so Jackie, about 20 feet away, could hear him.
In the B-Stock Division, Richard McGahan's sons continued to do a stellar job filling in for their father. Richard missed last week and this week due to injury.
Last week, Richard's son Terry drove Richard's car to a sweep in the B-Stock Division. Friday, Richard's son Rich drove Richard's car to another sweep.
"It's running great," Rich said of his dad's car. "Last weekend, it didn't have any brakes, but we got all of the brakes changed over and you can really race it now."
The Late Model Division featured another sweep, with Young taking all four races. Young was able to pull off the sweep despite getting a flat right, front tire during one of the races.
"I could feel it was low, but I didn't know it was as low as it was," Young said. "I was carving up the dirt with my passenger's side door."
Over at the motocross event, worries were not nearly as high over the showers.
"It's pretty hard for us to get too much rain," said Katie Crane, the treasurer of the Motocross Division. "We put 20,000 gallons of water on the track Friday night, so the rain Saturday just helped us even more."
Crane said there were many positive signs at the event Friday, including over 100 spectators and a large number of racers in the 125 cc Novice class.
Ricky Bailey continued to be the track's top rider, sweeping the 125 cc Expert class.
Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions-Circle Track Division
at Twin Cities Raceway
Trophy Dash (5 laps): 1. Josh Fell.
Heat I (10 laps): 1. Josh Fell.
Heat II (10 laps): 1. Josh Fell.
Main Event (10 laps): 1. Josh Fell.
Trophy Dash (5 laps): 1. Rich McGahan; 2. William Broussard; 3. Jim Gladish.
Heat I (10 laps): 1. Rich McGahan; 2. Jim Gladish; 3. William Broussard.
Heat II (10 laps): 1. Rich McGahan; 2. William Broussard; 3. Jim Gladish.
Main Event (10 laps): 1. Rich McGahan; 2. William Broussard.
Trophy Dash (5 laps): 1. Mike Young; 2. Frank Soares; 3. Billy Soares.
Heat I (10 laps): 1. Mike Young; 2. Frank Soares; 3. Billy Soares.
Heat II (10 laps): 1. Mike Young; 2. Frank Soares; 3. Billy Soares.
Main Event (10 laps): 1. Mike Young; 2. Billy Soares; 3. Frank Soares.
Trophy Dash (5 laps): 1. Cameron McGahan; 2. Jackie McGahan; 3. Elton McGahan; 4. Randy Barnes.
Heat I (10 laps): 1. Jackie McGahan; 2. Elton McGahan; 3. Randy Barnes; 4. Cameron McGahan.
Heat II (10 laps): 1. Randy Barnes; 2. Jackie McGahan; 3. Cameron McGahan.
Main Event (15 laps): 1. Jackie McGahan; 2. Randy Barnes; 3. Cameron McGahan.
Kenai Peninsula Racing Lions-Motocross Division
at Twin Cities Raceway
50 cc 1. Raymond Wonders; 2. Bruce Hudson; 3. Mackenzie Wonders; 4. Austin Gaswint; 5. Harley Hill.
60 cc 1. Dylan Hendricks; 2. Karl Bucholz; 3. Craig Hilleary.
80 cc Novice 1. Justin McGhee; 2. Jeff Vincent; 3. Jed Ashley; 4. Daniel Stafford; 5. Justin Covey.
80 cc Intermediate 1. Marvin Tate; 2. Kyle Schulz.
80 cc Expert 1. Joel Brewer.
125 cc Novice 1. Wayne Weaver; 2. Shawn Cross; 3. Cory Easterling; 4. Shane Ashley; 5. Tom Bucholz; 6. Les Crane; 7. Cortni Brown; 8. Robert Carlson; 9. Justin Krigbaum.
125 cc Intermediate 1. Zack Aragon; 2. Robert Graeber; 3. Corbin Arno; 4. Sarah Herrin.
125 cc Expert 1. Ricky Bailey; 2. Cory Davis; 3. Jesse Kelly.
250 cc Veterans 1. Mike Kelly; 2. Mike Arno; 3. Jim Culp.
Quad 1. Derek Newton; 2. Isaac Giver; 3. Robert Meacham; 4. William Hankins.
Mini Quad 1. Carly Meacham.
Mini Quad (Under 5) 1. Candace Britton.
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