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2001 Race Reports

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Trickle Returns To ASA. . .

2001 Minnesota State Fair Race

. . .For Minnesota State Fair Race

Pendlton, Ind. (August 28, 2001)

Once again, as it has nearly ever year since 1978, the American Speed Association will invade the Minnesota State Fair Speedway for its annual Labor Day event, the Miller Lite 300. It continues to be the only race run th roughout the year on the tough, moderately banked, half-mile oval. It has seen its share of legendary finishes and legendary winners. And in 2001, it will see the return of one of the legendary drivers in ASAs 34-year history.
2001 Minnesota State Fair Race
Miller Lite 300
Minnesota State Fair Speedway
September 3, 2001
Race Results:
    Name   (Start)   [Car#]
  1. Kevin Cywinski (4) [#21]
  2. Mike Garvey (6) [#1]
  3. Gary St. Amant (2) [#7]
  4. Butch Miller (3) [#52]
  5. Joey Clanton (5) [#83]
  6. Dick Trickle (21) [#43]
It was a day for the veterans, as defending ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant finished third, while 2000 Rookie of the Year Joey Clanton finished fourth and three-time ASA National Champion Butch Miller in fifth. Former ASA National Champion Dick Trickle returned to the series in fine fashion, coming home sixth after running in the top-10 most of the day.

Two-time ASA National Champion Dick Trickle will return to ASA action, driving the number 43 for Minnesotas Kevin Lang. Trickle won the ASA National Championship is 1984 and then again in 1985. He has 32 career ASA victories, fourth on the all-time list, and 45 career pole positions, second all-time, behind Bob Senneker. His last ASA start came in 1997 at the same track, where he finished 32nd after starting eighth.

Trickle is the all-time ASA event winner at Minnesota, collecting four wins in his 20 races at the speedway. Scott Hansen, Mike Eddy, Butch Miller, Mike Miller and Bob Senneker are the only other multi-time winners in ASA competition at the State Fair.

The 2000 Miller Lite 300 crowned a first-time winner in ASA competition, as then second-year driver Tristan Dupuis captured his first and, to this date, only ASA National Event victory. Dupuis led pole-sitter Gary St. Amant and Tim Sauter to the checkered flag. Surprisingly, the track has been the site of four first-time winners, Dupuis in 2000, Bobby Gill in 1995 and both Butch Lindley and Mike Miller in 1981.

Its a worn out surface and I think that brings out some of the drivers talents, said Kevin Cywinski, driver of the number 21 Texas Roadhouse Chevrolet. Its ability to wear out tires gives you more of a drivers racetrack.

Senneker Wins ASA at Minnesota State Fair
Dick Trickle (left) Mark Martin (center) and a couple of rodents join race winner Bob Senneker on the stage to help ring the bell on July 1, 1984.

The track, originally a one-mile dirt track used for horse racing, was built in 1854 much to the delight of the area people. With their fascination behind horse racing and speed, 1907 saw the first automobile take to the one-mile dirt track, the first auto mobile race of any kind during any State Fair. From that point forward, the people of Minnesota have enjoyed the sights and sounds of car racing without interruption until today, with the exception of a stop due to World War II.

Horses and cars shared the track until 1949, when the final horse race was held. In 1950, the Fair week consisted of all auto racing, including sprints and stock cars. The track was paved and shortened in 1964 and the number of races eventually dwindled to one per year, the ASA race on Labor Day.

The starting field for the Miller Lite 300 will consist of 34 cars, with positions 1 through 20 filled with the top-20 cars in the 2001 car owners points standings after Event 16 at Jennerstown (PA) Speedway on August 26. Trickle will start 21st, with positions 22 through 31 being determined through two-lap qualifications by the remaining entered cars eligible for competition. Positions 32 through 34 will come from the current 2001 car owners points standings.

Crew members help Dick Trickle get into his safty harness.

Trickle Still Racing At Age 60

Monday, November 5, 2001; By Hermann Wendorff; Staff writer; Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer

Dick Trickle looked exhausted following the conclusion of the Pop Secret 400 on Sunday at North Carolina Speedway.

Sweat dripped off his forehead, and Trickle's 5-foot-8 frame was hunched over after a tough afternoon of racing. He lit up a cigarette and grabbed a sports drink.

It's been a while.

The next time this scene plays out at a NASCAR Winston Cup race, and Trickle isn't sure when that will be, it will mark the driver's 300th start.

At 60 years old, Trickle is one of the most recognizable names in the sport, more because of wisecracking ESPN anchors than his success on the track. Trickle has never won a Winston Cup race, but he is still trying after 31 years. In his first start in 19 months, Trickle finished 33rd while filling in for Dave Marcis.

Trickle said of the crew for the No. 71 Realtree Chevrolet:

That's a good bunch of boys and they worked real hard on the car. We ran all day, and we didn't wreck. I feel proud that we finished the race and there's not a scratch on the car.

Trickle probably should feel even prouder than he does. Marcis has qualified for only five of 35 races this year in the same car. One of those, the Old Dominion 500 in Martinsville, Va., a month ago, was thanks to Trickle's qualifying run.

As a gesture of thanks to Trickle for getting him in the Martinsville race, Marcis let him drive his car on Sunday.

Trickle, who has done little more than test IROC cars and compete in "four or five" short-track races this year, has more than 1,000 victories in his career, but he was hardly in shape for a 400-mile run.

When you are racing full-time, then you self-condition. Testing and short tracks sure ain't the same as running every week.

Ricky Rudd tells veteran IROC set-up guru Dick Trickle what the car was doing in the corners at Michigan.

When Trickle ran his first Winston Cup race in 1970, Sunday's winner Joe Nemechek was 6 years old and top rookie finisher Casey Atwood was 10 years short of being born. Over the next 19 years, Trickle made 16 starts for eight different teams, including five starts for car owner Billy Matthews of Fayetteville between 1984 and '86.

In 1989, Trickle finally caught on with the Stavola Brothers team after regular driver Mike Alexander went down with a head injury early in the season. At 47 years old, he had nine top-10 finishes, which is still the most in his Winston Cup career.

Trickle hasn't been on the circuit full-time since 1998 and hasn't finished in the top 10 in a race since 1997. He had a full-time Busch ride last year.

Trickle's experience gives him somewhat of an advantage over his younger counterparts, but he understands that the responsibility for success lies with the entire team.

It takes the whole nine yards, not just driving. The top teams can really make a driver superior.

But teams come and go, and a driver is solely responsible for his own longevity. Trickle was back on Sunday after a brief time away from Winston Cup, and he'll keep coming back as long as they'll let him.

I don't know when I'll run again. We did a good job today.

2001 Race Reports

NASCAR Busch Series

Jun 16 - Outback Steakhouse 300, Kentucky Speedway
Start: 35th
Finish: 39th
Dick Trickle made his return to the NASCAR Busch Series this weekend in the #49 Rent-A-Wreck Ford, but engine problems struck the team early in the race to end what might have been a strong run for the Rent-A-Wreck crew at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday.
Team Rent-A-Wreck worked hard to make the #49 quicker on the track as the team stood 42nd fastest after the first practice of the weekend. The team was able to improve nearly one and a half seconds between their initial practice time and qualifying, putting the #49 Rent-A-Wreck Ford in 35th for the start of Saturday's Outback Steakhouse 300.
Trickle quickly moved the Rent-A-Wreck Ford into the 32nd position while running times quick enough to help the #49 Ford move through the field. He noticed a slight tightening in the engine, causing the car to run considerably slower than it was at first. Crew Chief and Owner Jay Robinson asked Trickle to bring the #49 Rent-A-Wreck Ford down pit road on lap 51, and confirmed the engine was beginning to let go. He sent Trickle back onto the track before Trickle brought the #49 Rent-A-Wreck Ford behind the wall for good on lap 58.
We really made some progress this weekend. We started out on Thursday with a lap-time over 33 seconds, and we ended up qualifying with a time just over 32 seconds. The engine just started to give up on us in the end there, so we parked it before it got even worse. Everyone here works very hard to make this team work, but it is just really tough right now. I would have liked to finish a lot stronger, but it was great to be back in the garage again. I enjoyed seeing everyone and being back in the racecar especially.

Dick flew up to Kentucky on Thursday morning. They had a five-hour practice session, but Dick and the #49 team spent most of their time working on the car in the garage. This was a new track for them and for Dick, they were listed as 42nd fastest, but Dick said they didn't really make a bonzi lap for time. Friday they had another practice then were suppose to have qualifying which rained out. They would have made the race with a provisional start, the #49 team was 36th in points. NASCAR decided to reschedule qualifying for Saturday afternoon, before the race. Dick qualified 35th, making it the second time this season the #49 team made the field on time. Dick said early in the race there was a car that spun in front of him, he had to check up and go through the grass, but no caution flew so he lost a lot of ground on the rest of the field that didn't have to slow down for the spin. When the caution did come out at lap 17 they opted to stay out to gain some track time and positions. He said the car ran pretty good and felt when they did make a pit stop they could adjust it to run even better. On lap 53 the motor let go, ending the day for the #49 Rent-A-Wreck team. Before their motor problems, their lap times were consistent with the cars running 15th - 20th. They felt if they'd had a good clean day they could have had a top twenty finish.
This was a one-race deal for Dick and the Jay Robinson Racing team. They've shown interest in him driving more races, but hope to be able to put an even more competitive package together before asking Dick to commit to another race. Dick said the entire Jay Robinson racing team were a good bunch of hard-working people. They're an new, struggling team in this series, but plan to attempt every race this year building their points for the 2002 race season. - Dick Trickle Fan Club

NASCAR Winston Cup

Oct 14 - Old Dominion 500, Martinsville Speedway
Start: 25th
Dick qualified the #71 Real Tree Chevrolet (Marcis 32nd)
His first lap got them in the top twenty-five, the 2nd lap which would have been their fastest, the car got away from Dick a little bit coming out of turn four into the straight-away so it he lost some time. They felt they may have had a top-15 start if the car had stuck. Dave Marcis had a previous engagement for Friday, but flew back and was at the track on Saturday for practice and for the race on Sunday.

Trickle & Marcis in 1998
Nov 4 - Pop Secret 400, North Carolina Speedway
Start: 7th
Finish: 33rd
Dick spent a couple days up at the race shop with the Marcis crew, they all put forth their best efforts for Dick. Their work paid off, on qualifying day the team had their best qualifying start of the year 7th! (23.849-153.5159)
We just made minor adjustments from practice because we don't want to be loose. If you're a little tight, you just won't be quite as fast. The car stuck the best it has since we got here. I realize the clouds are coming in, and the track is going to get faster. But, hopefully, this will get us in the top 36 because we sure don't want to use a provisional if we don't have to.

They had some mechanical problems during happy hour so they didn't get as many practice laps as they'd have liked for the race set-up. At the start of the race they held their own in the top fifteen. Not customary for Rockingham, there were very few caution flags, which lead to several green flag pit stops. The #71 car lost a little time each time in the pits, but a 'little' time adds up to a lot of time on the track during green flag racing. After each stop it seemed to take about 15 laps for the car to hook-up but they ran really well on the long runs. Their lap times were as good as the cars running in the top-fifteen. It seemed even when the caution did finally fall it wasn't to DT's advantage. He raced hard all day and finished the race 33rd. He knew they had a better car then 33rd, but Dick and the team were happy with the entire weekend. Dick said Bobby Marcis (crewchief) and the entire team were great to work with. Dave & Helen Marcis have been friends of Dick and Darlene's for years. It was fun for the senior team to beat some of the juniors.

Slinger, ASA, etc.

Who said Dick Trickle isn't a road course driver? Dick competed in two events during the race weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.

On Friday, Dick practiced the #67 Chevrolet RE/MAX car owned by Jerry Gunderman and later qualified 9th for the RE/MAX race on Saturday. The #67 car dropped a valve in practice so they had to go to their back-up motor for the race on Saturday. Dick said the car ran good, but felt they would have been a little stronger with their first motor. They were able to finish 3rd in the main event. The top three drivers were taken to the podium after the race, so Dick made it into the victory celebrations.
Mid/AM Race
Dick's first Super Truck race was to be in the Mid/AM event at Road America. They had a good practice session on Friday. Saturday, following the RE/MAX race was the qualifying practice for the Super Trucks. Because Dick was in the top-three in the RE/MAX race, he was delayed in getting over to the Super Truck team. Also, the practice/qualifying session had been cut down because of time. Dick had approximately fifteen minutes to get the #99 Super Truck into the race. He not only got them into the race, but the set a new track record and put the #99 on the pole! In the Mid/AM series they roll a dice to see where you invert plus eight positions. They rolled a six, which put them into the 14th starting position for the race. Team owner Gary Sevanans (Gary's Speed Shop - Council Grove, KS) was happy with their record-setting pole position, and hoped for a good finish in the race with their 14th place start. Dick said his Super Truck ran great, Gary and the team had put a lot of time into this truck, and it was evident. Dick had passed the 3rd place truck for second in a straight-away, when they entered the corner the truck spun Dick out. He said he maybe lost 12 seconds during the spin and getting back on track, but he took off to race them down again. That's just what he did, he made it back to 2nd and was catching the leader on the final lap, one more lap and they may have had the victory! - Dick Trickle Fan Club

NASCAR Re/Max Challenge Series Price Chopper 150
July 14, 2001
Dick returned to I-70 Speedway... near Kansas City, MO where he'd raced for many years during his short track days. He was entered into the RE/MAX race in the #67 car owned by Jerry Gunderman. Saturday, Dick was one of the fastest cars in practice. In the RE/MAX series whatever set of tires you qualify on you must start the race with. They got a bad set of tires to qualify on, they qualified 13th. Dick had to start the race with those tires and held on to the car until the first caution that allowed them to change tires. After that caution, he said the car felt good, he was just working his way back up through the pack, but just a few laps later the engine quit. It may have been something in the distributor, but it ended their day much too soon. - Dick Trickle Fan Club

2001 Miller Lite Nationals Championship
Slinger Super Speedway... July 17, 2001
Qualified 33; Cindy Peterson jumped to the lead from the pole position at the start of the race as Lowell Bennett, Rich Loch, Al Schill and Ken Schrader raced side by side for positions behind the leader. NASCAR Craftsmen Truck Series point leader Scott Riggs momentarily nudged Rich Bickle on lap six causing the cars behind them to bunch up and the ensuing accordian effect collected Eric Fransen, Tony Strupp, Butch Miller, and Dick Trickle to bring out the first caution flag. Fransen, Strupp, and Trickle all received significant damage in the incident and were forced to leave the racetrack.

ASA Miller Lite 300
Minnesota State Fair Speedway Sep 3 2001
Kevin Cywinski took the checkered flag and Mike Garvey finished second at the ASA Miller Lite 300 on Monday. But it was easy to spot the most excited person at the Minnesota State Fair Speedway, and it was not a driver.
Scott LaFavre, owner of the Lakeville-based LaFavre Racing Team which employs Cywinski and Garvey, could not have been happier as he rang the victory bell to cap a dream day in front of more than 16,000 fans.
"This is about as good as it gets," LaFavre said. "We've been waiting for a 1-2 finish for two years now. We're so blessed to have it happen at home."
It was a day for the veterans, as defending ASA National Champion Gary St. Amant finished third, while 2000 Rookie of the Year Joey Clanton finished fourth and three-time ASA National Champion Butch Miller in fifth. Former ASA National Champion Dick Trickle, who started 21st, finished sixth in his first ASA race since 1997 returned to the series in fine fashion, after running in the top-10 most of the day. Scott Hansen, Sauter, Mike Miller and Wayne Anderson rounded out the top-10 finishers.

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