C. J. Rayburn and Sonny Thompson Memorial at Indianapolis Speedrome 7/22/06
On July 21st I wrote about the special program coming up on July 22nd at the Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome. The evening turned out to be everything anticipated and then some. A large crowd assembled with much anticipation for the racing and the special events. Neither disappointed!
C. J. Rayburn made two attempts at the stock car 1/5th mile pavement world record of 11.621 seconds. He came within two-tenths of a second of the record. Track officials reported that he would make another attempt on August 5th. C. J. held the record at one time and said he needs to do some tweaking on the winged car’s set-up for his next attempt. The current record, set in 1982, is obviously a challenging mark or it wouldn’t have survived twenty-four years.
Prior to C. J.’s world record attempt, he was inducted into the Blossom Chevrolet Indianapolis Speedrome Hall of Fame. His friend and former racer Art Stilley, representing the Indianapolis Star, emceed the ceremony. A large contingent of family and friends accompanied C. J. They included his son Christian who races late models.
The evening’s feature race was the Sonny Thompson Memorial, a 100-lap Figure 8 for Late Models. Track announcer Don Walker recognized Sonny’s family in an on-track interview and photo session prior to the race. The usual large, very competitive field created a lot of excitement in this race before R.J. Norton, Jr. took the checkered flag.
The Hornet and Roadrunner classes race two sessions each year. Winners of the April, May, June session were recognized. The winners are David Lee Byrd in Roadrunner and Larry Hatfield in Hornet.
View my photos by going to www.LuvRacin.com , click the “Writers” button and “Ron’s Racin Report.” (Even though blurred, I left in photos of C.J.’s record-setting attempt. Hopefully I can master the action shots soon!)
Ron Singleton, firstname.lastname@example.org, IN & KY manager for LuvRacin.com