Notes: Benelovent fund to aid Cooke's recovery
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is working with the Chris Francis Memorial Benevolent Fund in an effort to raise money toward the recovery of injured driver Jeff Cooke.
Cooke, 31, of Spartanburg, S.C., suffered facial injuries in an incident during the first heat race Nov. 4 at the Dirt Track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He received treatment at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., and was released on Tuesday to continue his recovery at home.
The Chris Francis Memorial Benevolent Fund was set up in memory of 2007 WoO champion Steve Francis’s younger brother and long-time crew chief, who died unexpectedly in August 2001. Donations to the fund, which is administered by Bill and Debbie Reed, have been used to assist racers in need for nearly a decade and Cooke will be the latest to benefit.
“The racing community always comes together to help their own in a time of need,” said WoO director Tim Christman. “We look at all participants in a World of Outlaws Late Model Series event as being a part of our World of Outlaws family, and utilizing a benevolent fund that exists in the memory of our former champion’s brother is a great way to help the Cooke family and rejuvenate the foundation.”
All contributions to Jeff Cooke can be sent to 4920 Raccoon Valley Road, Knoxville, TN, 37920. Checks should be made out to the Chris Francis Memorial Benevolent Fund and earmarked for Jeff Cooke; all proceeds collected in Cooke’s name will go directly to the Cooke family.
The 2005 O’Reilly Southern Nationals tour champion and a two-time runner-up in the O’Reilly Southern All Star points, Cooke faces an arduous recovery process. Christman spoke with Cooke’s wife, Sandy, on Tuesday and she said that Jeff thanks everyone in the racing community for their thoughts, prayers and support during this difficult time but he also requests no visitors or calls until he feels up to receiving them.
Cards can be sent to Jeff Cooke in c/o Clements Automotive, 6011 Melvin Drive, Spartanburg, SC, 29303. — Kevin Kovac
SECOND ANNUAL SLOCUM 50 PLANNED: Plans are being made for the second annual Slocum 50, tentatively scheduled for April 10 at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The event honors late racer Brenton Slocum and raises money for a scholarship fund for area high school seniors. Those interested in sponsoring the event should call Bradley Stevens (319) 759-9558. The season-opening event on the Deery Brothers Summer Series features one of the richest purses of the year with at least $500 going to each starter. Sponsorships for last year's event helped boost the purse and, along with portions of ticket sales and the 50-50 raffle, provided a pair of $2,000 scholarships. — From staff reports
AFTER REVIEW, DANIELS WINS WDRA TITLE: After a review of point, Curt Daniels of Paonia, Colo., was named the 2009 champion on the Western Dirt Racing Association. Initially it appeared multitime series champion Dean Moore of Grand Junction, Colo., would again be the champ on the Colorado-based series. But Moore noted that he used a backup car in an event co-sanctioned with the Colorado Late Model Association. While CLMA rules allowed the backup car, WDRA didn't, and Moore gave voluntarily forfeited points gained in the June 20 event at I-76 Speedway in Fort Morgan, Colo. — From series reports
TURKEY RUMBLE MOVES: Promoter Monty Morrow has moved the Nov. 14 Turkey Rumble to Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway. The $5,000-to-win Super Late Model event was originally scheduled to be at North Georgia Speedway in Chatsworth, Ga. — Steve Hixson
GOBBLER GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR NOV. 20: The Gobbler Golf Tournament, held each autumn in conjunction with the Joe Lee Johnson Memorial weekend at Cleveland (Tenn.) Speedway, will tee off Friday, Nov. 20 at Chatata Valley Golf Club in Cleveland. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Will Kinzer Foundation for Autism Research. The scramble tournament pays $500 to the winning team, $300 for second and $200 for third. There is $50 for the longest drive and another $50 for closest to the pin. The entry fee is $30 and that includes lunch with beverages from Tarver Distributing. To sponsor a hole, register or learn more about the tournament, call Jimmy "Pup" Thomas at (865) 806-4459 or Brad Pickens (423) 240-0687. — Bob Appleget
BAMA BAMA SERIES KEEPS ON TICKING: The Long Lewis Ford Bama Super Series announced a makeup date for an Oct. 10 rainout that will wrap up the series season Nov. 21 at North Alabama Speedway in Tuscumbia, Ala. Chris Ragan of Ramer, Tenn., will try to maintain his 60-point lead over Anthony Burroughs of Muscle Shoals, Ala., at the $2,500-to-win event. — Ben Shelton
CRATE LATE MODEL NOTES: The Fastrak Racing Series is switching tires for 2010, using Hoosier instead of Goodyears, which has been with the organization since its inception. Specific Hoosier compounds will be announced. ... North Alabama Speedway in Tuscumbia, Ala., has signed on with the NeSmith Chevrolet Weekly Racing Series for 2010. ... New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway plans to run a weekly Crate Late Model division in 2010 sanctioned by Fastrak. “We think there is a place in this area for the Crate Late Models," said track manager Danny Serrano. "We have a five-year plan in place. We know the number of cars that start the 2010 season will be slim." — From series reports
ODDS AND ENDS: Court Street Ford in Bourbonnais, Ill., will serve as title sponsored for the UMP DIRTcar Late Model division in 2010 at Kankakee County (Ill.) Motor Speedway. ... Central Missouri Speedway in Warrensburg, Mo., has increase its Late Model purse for 2010, paying $600 to the winner (up from $500). The 26-year-old track drew a record average of 20 ULMA-sanctioned Late Models a week in 2009. ... The Conkwright family of Manhattan, Kan., will operate Thunder Hill Speedway in Mayetta, Kan., in 2010. The track, operated 11 years by Mike Henry, closed on Aug. 13 after struggling in 2009 while running head-to-head on Saturdays with the dirt track at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.