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Groveland, FL 34736
Date of the Event: 07.01.20092008-2009 Checkered Flag, Best of the Midwest Series
Race reporter: Rod Rippee
The second annual Best of the Midwest Series was a huge success. Drivers from three states competed weekly in a 12-week series that included over 180 participants. This year was even larger than the first. Before the season began, the track had been moved to a larger building with ample pit space and better parking. The dirt track went from 40x60 to 50x100.
The regular season consisted of 11 weeks of racing with 3 throw-out weeks. With nearly 50 people running in two wheel modified every week, several drivers had a shot at the series championship. JConcepts drivers Rod Rippee and Chris Baumgartner were definite favorites after going 1-2 in last year's series. Local hot shots Justin Driemeier and Wayne Snider also had come of age and were on pace.
The modified 4 wheel drive class was bigger than ever. Over 40 drivers involved in this series that came down to the final race. Rippee, Baumgartner, Snider and Driemeier all had a shot with track-owner Scott McDonald being the crowd favorite.
Modified truck had nearly 30 drivers but came down to just two with a shot at the championship. Rippee and Driemeier had held off a late-season charge by Ron Roy to make it a two horse race at the finals.
The final race was a two day event with double points. That kept a lot of guys in for the championship. Have a real good day and you could jump up several places.
In 2 wheel drive, Rod Rippee TQ'ed every round with his Associated B4. Baumgartner was able to qualify second on the grid. Driemeier and Snider was 3rd and 4th. The main saw several mistakes but in the end, Baumgartner won with Rippee coming in second. That was all Rippee needed though as the series championship was his.
In 4 wheel, Baumgartner was on a mission. No one was close. He TQ'ed every round by over two seconds. In the main, Baumgartner and Rippee both had mechanical failures so this left it wide open to Snider, Driemeier and McDonald. In the end, it was crowd-favorite, Scott McDonald with the win. The series however, belonged to Rippee. He lasted one lap longer than Baumgartner and that was the difference.
In Truck, it was all but decided before the finals began. Rippee went on to set TQ and win a close main with Driemeier.
The Points Championship:
With all three modified titles coming down to the final week or two, Rippee secured the championship in each and won the triple crown for the second season in a row. Rippee used JConcepts tires for every race the whole season. Worn Bar Codes were the tire to beat as over 90% of the drivers were using JConcepts tires with AND1 inserts.