Local racing: Robbie Dean Memorial returns to Kil-Kare

Beavercreek’s Brandon Oakley (No. 51) won the Robbie Dean Memorial late model race at Kil-Kare Speedway on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
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Beavercreek’s Brandon Oakley (No. 51) won the Robbie Dean Memorial late model race at Kil-Kare Speedway on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Robbie Dean memorial returns to Kil-Kare

Welcome back, Big Bird.

After a two-year hiatus the Robbie Dean Memorial race returns to action at Kil-Kare Raceway on Sunday. When Kil-Kare’s 3/8th-mile, modified-D track reopened this season, this was the one friend and Gem City Auto Racing official Donnie Renner was waiting for.

Grove City’s Dean, a popular driver known as Big Bird who stood 6-foot-4 and weight 250 pounds, drove a yellow and black No. 94 at Kil-Kare, Shady Bowl Speedway and Columbus Speedway. Dean died in 2008 after a battle with cancer. He was 55.

“It’s had me fired up,” Renner said of the 94-lap race for late models. “Hopefully this is the starting point to getting Kil-Kare back to where it needs to be. We’ve had three shows this year and we’ve improved each week. But it’s still not where we want it to be. If we get the car count up we’ll get the head count up in the stands.”

Renner will have a better feel for the field Friday evening, but on Thursday he said Gem City officials were anticipating about 30 late models showing up Sunday. Among those expected to race are Travis Braden, Brandon Oakley, Chad Pendleton and Greg Stapleton.

“A bunch of the local hotshoes who have been running the CRA (Champion Racing Association) should be coming,” Renner said. “It’s been two years since we’ve had a Robbie Dean race and I’m sure Kil-Kare is going to love to see the local hotshoes because there’s a lot of talent in the area.”

Renner said he received a call Thursday letting him know a few cars, including modifieds, are coming from Ona, W.Va. He’s hoping the event draws regional racers looking to get some track time for the Lee Raymond Dayton 100 on Aug. 27.

“Guys like that who race throughout the region, they’ve got enough talent to adapt to whatever track they go to,” Renner said. “They’ve got these top-notch crews and give them a few hot laps and they’re running right with the top guys from the track. … I’m looking forward to seeing guys from the Northern Ohio and Indiana area pop in for this race and the Dayton 100.”

Hot laps start at 11:30 a.m. with qualifying at 1:30 p.m. and racing around 2:15.

Spectators can get $2 off their tickets at the gate by presenting a coupon from Fricker’s Wings Sports Bar, Roosters or Hot Head Burritos. If no coupons are available present a current restaurant receipt for the discount. The discount can also be obtained by showing a Shady Bowl ticket stub from last weekend’s racing.

Shady Bowl Speedway: The Vores Compact Touring Series headlines the Saturday night action on Relay for Life Night. The late models, modifieds, street stocks, pure stocks and spectator drag races will also be on the card. Shirts will be on sale to benefit the American Cancer Society. Racing starts at 7 p.m.

Waynesfield Raceway Park: The Non-Wing Summer Kicker features the sprints in a $1,500-to-win feature Saturday. The UMP modifieds, AMSA mini sprints, trucks and compacts are also in action. Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps are at 6 and racing at 7.

Kil-Kare Dragway: The strip hosts the Friday Night Super Pro Double Up with gates opening at 5 p.m. On Saturday its NHRA-sanctioned bracket racing and Xtreme Outlaw Series. Gates open at 11 a.m., timed runs at noon and 2 p.m. and Xtreme Outlaw Series qualifying at 2 and 4 p.m.

Edgewater Sports Park: The 4-speed United Manual Transmission Racers highlight the Saturday show that also features the super pro, pro, sportsman, motorcycles and junior dragsters. Gates open at 2 p.m. and racing at 6:30. On Sunday, it's the Spring Muscle Car Day with quarter-mile racing, a car show and swap meet. Gates open at 9 a.m. with racing at 1 p.m.

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