Hoffman ready for postponed Musgrave race at Illiana
BY RYAN HASKELL Post-Tribune correspondent June 21, 2012 11:26PM
“Fast” Eddie Hoffman couldn’t remember the last time he won a Musgrave Memorial race at Illiana Motor Speedway so he was itching to get things going last weekend after a strong qualifying race.
“It’s been a while since I’ve won one of these,” said Hoffman, who won three straight events from 2003-05. “I’ve been slacking.”
But the rain came in and postponed the race to this Saturday.
It didn’t, however, change his approach to the Main Event, which will feature two 56-lap races this weekend.
“We got qualifying in (before the rains came) so we are a fast qualifier for the event,” Hoffman said. “The car was better than it was the prior Saturday night. I was thinking we were going to race the crate engine car but we went with the big motor car. The concern with the big motor car is always the tires but the care handled really well out there (last Saturday).”
The field is set with Wisconsin’s Matt “The King” Kocourek and John Nutley occupying the front row for the first of two 56-lap events.
The event, which is held in the memory and honor of the late Elmer Musgrave, who died in 2000, will begin at 7 p.m. The gates open at 4 p.m. Adult tickets are $15; children ages 8 thru 12 are $5; and children 7-and-under are free.
Hoffman digs the new format for the Musgrave Memorial; it used to be a straight 100-lap race.
“We’ve got a pretty cool format,” he said. “That shakes things up. Those 100-lappers can be a little on the boring side.
“The JEGS/CRA All-stars tour had a halfway break and it changed things up and made for a good race. Give (Illiana Speedway) some credit for looking at it.”
Now Mother Nature needs to hold up her end of the deal so the race can be completed.
Hoffman is hoping to end his streak and be there in front when the checkered flag comes down.
“We’re sort of expected to run up front,” he said. “If we don’t win, we’re disappointed. We’re a traveling team. Our goal is to win; second is not good enough. But we’ve been beat before.”
Three Division feature races will highlight the program. Time trials start at 5 p.m.