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For the third race in a row for the Victory NSS Points Series, Mother Nature played a large role in the race. The Victory racers rolled into beautiful Eddyville Raceway on the July 4th weekend to continue their battle for the Championship. Points leader and two-race winner Wally Krueger had a huge target on his back, but he arrived ready to continue his winning ways.
Friday evening had great weather and the combatants made two qualifying runs on the newly renovated Eddyville track. Saturday morning everyone awoke to the sound of rain pouring down. By 10:30 a.m. more than two inches had fallen and the prestigious Night of Fire event’s chances of completion looked bleak. At 11 the sun started to come out, giving track operators Gerald and Kyle Kramer along with their great crew the opportunity they needed. After a few hours, they did the impossible. What once was a swamp became a tight hooking track with dry staging lanes and return roads. Kudos to the entire Eddyville crew for a job well done!
Although behind schedule, the Night of Fire went off without a hitch in front of a full house of excited fans. The spectators were treated to Nitro Funny Cars, Fuel Altereds, a wheelstander, and two jets, along with the popular Nostalgia Super Stocks. The Victory cars made two more qualifying runs and were able to complete Round One of Eliminations before the hour got late and it was decided to finish on Sunday.
|Steve Stahlschmidt got his first-ever #1 qualifying start.|
After four rounds of qualifying, series veteran Steve Stahlschmidt gained his first #1 Qualifying position with a nice 6.76 on his 1965 Plymouth’s 6.75 index. A close second was fellow Missouri racer Mike Volkart and his bright yellow big block Chevelle with a 6.53 on his 6.50 index. With the ladder set, the excited Stahlschmidt proclaimed that not only was this his first series #1 Qualifier, but after more than 40 years of racing, this was his first ever! For his efforts, Steve was rewarded with the $100 bonus courtesy of Muscle Motors.
In front of a packed house of cheering fans, the classic Detroit muscle cars rolled to the line for round one of eliminations. Stahlschmidt continued his good day with a win over a tardy Jim Hagenhoff and his popular high flying Hemi Belvedere. Volkart defeated a too quick Dick Monaco driving a Ford.
The 2011 Series Champion, Dan Beale, arrived at Eddyville for his first race of the 2014 season with a fresh motor and updated rear suspension in his deadly consistent Pontiac. Beale was upset by Iowa’s Dennis Eudaley and his 409 El Camino. Mike Kurz also made his first attempt at a Victory NSS win this year only to be shut down by the beautiful 1965 Plymouth of “Buck” Schooler.