The number (5) stock car photographed at North Central Motor Speedway Saturday night included in this column and the number 88 in the Vintage Racers photo on 3B belong to a son and his father, John and Jim Thompson.
John races in the Wissota Midwest Modified class, one of the fastest classes at NCMS. Jim raced stock cars at St. Cloud, the Gull Lake-Heywood Airport Speedway and a track near the Deerwood shortcut from 1948 until 1953 and from 1955 until 1956. He also raced Formula cars at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway from 1968 until 1970.
Jim said an interesting fact in his racing career was that the cars were never trailered to the tracks.
"And you hoped you could drive them home," he said.
He said that he won several races but it was too long ago to remember exactly how many.
Paul stops racing
Dusty Paul of Crosby ended his racing career Saturday night. Veteran racer Wayne "Woody" Wooden of Merrifield bought his Wissota Street Stock racer on Monday.
Paul, who has won best appearing racer in an annual North Central Motor Speedway car show the last five years in two different classes, was 16th in season points.
"I retired him," Wooden said with a laugh in a phone conversation on Tuesday.
Wooden said Paul told him the reason he stopped racing was he couldn't afford it.
"He was sad but he was happy I was getting it," Wooden said. "Kind of a sad deal to see somebody drop out."
Wooden said as far as his future, it all depends on how long it takes to sale his racer.
"I kind of hate to wait until next year," he said.
He noted that he will probably paint Paul's car white like his present racer.
Bostrom wins 6th round
Kawasaki's Ben Bostrom won the sixth round of the Chevy Trucks AMA Superbike Series final at LaGuna Seca Speedway in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday.
Miguel Duhamel, last year's champion at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway, was second on his Honda and current points leader Mat Mladin on his Suzuki was third. Duhamel was 2.161 seconds behind Bostrom.
The 11-round series has one more stop, the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course at Lexington, Ohio from July 20-22, before returning to CBIR from July 27-29. Mladin, who won the points title last year, will be defending his title.
The racers also will compete in a practice session at CBIR on July 26.
Look for possible feature stories in the Dispatch on a racer who is a duck hunter and bow hunter and a Minnesota Superbike racer.
Stewart sets bad example
One thing NASCAR Winston Cup racers had over professional athletes (yes the racers are just as much athletes as the Vikings Randy Moss) was that they respected the media, fans and other people.
That was until Saturday night and Tony Stewart.
Stewart, who in two earlier races this season ignored reporters, not only knocked a newspaper reporter's tape recorder out of his hands but he also kicked it under a nearby hauler.
Stewart was upset after being blackflagged for making a pass underneath the yellow line in the later stages of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona in which all the drivers were warned not to do before the race. In fact he was so upset that after his incident with the reporter, he went to NASCAR officials to argue directly with them. He had to be forcibly pulled away from NASCAR director Gary Nelson.
Actions like this do not belong in NASCAR. What kind of example is this for the younger fans? As we all know, if a pro football or baseball player did something like this it would be a common occurrence. Heck, a minor league baseball player even karate kicked an umpire last week (which by the way made all the local news highlights sometimes being replayed).
Can losing a race or being penalized be that bad? After all, it's not a life or death situation.
Maybe Stewart should take a step back and think how lucky he is. He is paid a hefty salary to do what he loves and he is living every racer's dream.
By the way, because he ignored the black flag and did not bring his car into the pits within the mandated three-lap window he was dropped from sixth to 26th, a difference of 65 points.
As Team Winston Top Fuel racer Gary Scelzi said to me after losing his first round at the NHRA Nationals at the Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway last August, "It's only a race."
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