Local auto racing: Eddie Hoffman has enough to win Musgrave Memorial
By Tony Baranek Post-Tribune correspondent June 24, 2012 11:08PM
Updated: July 26, 2012 6:28AM
SCHERERVILLE — One feature was a breeze. The other, not so much.
Both saw Eddie Hoffman at his best in capturing the Twin-56 11th annual Elmer Musgrave Memorial Saturday night at the ASA-sanctioned Illiana Speedway.
Hoffman needed a lot of patience and a lap 41 pass of Jeff Cannon to seize the first leg by 1.072 seconds.
Race two was a power show as Hoffman took the high side past Boris Jurkovic on lap 15, and go on to prevail by a whopping 5.262 seconds over Cannon.
“Yeah, the guys surprised me. They made it better on the second run,” Hoffman said afterward. “Boy, I don’t know. The car just drove and drove and drove.
“We lost the radio and I couldn’t talk the whole second race. I think the team enjoyed that a little bit.”
There was really nothing to say, anyway. Hoffman was that dominant. But the night didn’t start out that way.
John Nutley was a force during much of Race 1, taking the top spot from Matt Kocourek only a couple of laps in. Hoffman, who started eighth, wasn’t really a factor until the last half.
On lap 38 he swiped third place from Anthony Danta. One lap later, he followed Cannon past Nutley. Two laps later a yellow flag created a side-by-side restart, with Hoffman on the outside.
By Turn 2, the deal was well on its way to being done.
“The boss kept telling me, ‘Take care of it, take care of it,’” Hoffman said of his early strategy to hang back. “But we’ve got to move up. We can’t stay in fifth. So we slowly moved up and when it presented itself we took a spot.
“I got up at the end a little quicker than I thought. The yellow helped up, and we had the outside on the restart.”
Cannon maintained the second spot, ahead of Danta, Nutley, Paul Shafer Jr., and Mark Sontag Jr.
In the second race, Jurkovic used pole position to jump out by a good margin over Sontag and Nutley. But a yellow on lap 14 bunched up the field, and after one side-by-side lap with Hoffman, it was a battle no longer.
Hoffman breezed by on the outside and ran away. Cannon was able to secure second and stay there comfortably, but behind a good battle for third through sixth ended with Blake Brown finishing ahead of Jurkovic, Kocourek and D.J. Weltmeyer.
In the turbo stox main, four-time track champion Bill Serviss prevailed over Jacob McKown. Third-place Bobbie Jean Wall had an impressive run, leading much of the early going before Serviss made the pass on lap 10.
Serviss only won by 0.369 seconds, as McKown was glued to his bumper as they roared out of Turn 4 on the final lap.
“The last eight laps the car was getting really loose,” Serviss said. “I saw Jake coming, and I’ll tell you what. I helped Jake get where he’s at, but I think I helped him too much. He’s all over me right now.
“He’s the young gun. I’m the old gun. I’m trying to show that us people over 50 can still do what it takes to get around the race track. One for the old guy.”
Two-time Legends titlist Chris King flashed some championship form Saturday night, running down and passing Matt O’Leary just four laps from the finish. Third went to Paul Shafer Sr., ahead of Jacob Melvin and Ben Fidone.
Ryan Lagestee captured the pure stocks feature event.