After the dust settled from an exciting DIRTcar Challenge Sprint Series feature won by Defending Track Champion Rod George, Kevin Bolland, Chub Frank and Bob Egley each visited Sheetz Victory Lane during the second Fast Friday of Fab Four Racing.
The Diehl Auto Group DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds feature rolled off with Steve Feder and Kevin Bolland on the front row. Bolland entered the event as the co-points leader along with Opening Night feature winner Brian Swartzlander. When the green flag waved, Bolland jumped out to a quick lead, while leadfooted Del Rougeux Jr. gave chase.
Despite Rougeux’s best efforts and a few laps of three wide racing when Brian Swartzlander joined the leaders, Bolland led every lap to secure his 48th career feature win at Lernerville Speedway. In the process, Bolland took sole possession of the Budweiser Points lead.
The battles behind Bolland for positions two through five were extremely competitive. Rougeux spent most of the race in second place, save for a few laps mid-race when Brian Swartzlander challenged for the lead. However on lap 14, Swartzlander entered turn one a little too hot and jumped the cushion, allowing Bolland and Rougeux to pull away. Rougeux finished second ahead of Dave Murdick (third) and Defending Track Champion Jeremiah Shingledecker (fourth). Swartzlander recovered to score another top five finish and sits second in points, trailing Bolland by nine points. The ever-improving Mike Turner had a great run and scored a solid sixth place finish ahead of veterans Dean Pearson (seventh), Jim Weller (eighth) and Carl Murdick (ninth), while Mark Frankhouser rounded out the Diehl Top Ten. Heat races were checkered Bolland and Dave Murdick.
Weedsport, NY – April 9, 2010 – DIRTcar Big-Block Modified standout Kevin Bolland has been chosen for induction into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame and will be honored Sunday, April 18, at the annual dinner to be held at The Fez, 2312 Brodhead Road, Hopewell Township, Aliquippa, Pa. with festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
As the Hall’s first-ever motorsports inductee, Bolland's recent selection unites him with 346 other honored men and women who have excelled in their chosen sport or sports-related activity. Among the elite list of athletes already enshrined are National Football League legends Mike Ditka ’77 (coach of 1986 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears), Joe Namath ’82 (quarterback of 1969 Super Bowl Champion New York Jets) and Tony Dorsett ’94 (running back for 1978 Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys; 1976 Heisman Trophy winner), major league baseball notables Terry Francona ’95 (manager for 2-time World Series Champion Boston Red Sox) and Joe Beggs ’79 (relief pitcher for World Series Champions New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds), plus National Basketball Association sharpshooter ‘Pistol’ Pete Maravich ’90 (5-time All-Star game selection). On April 18, Bolland, 50, from New Brighton, Pa., will be joined with nine more honored athletes and sports personalities that comprise the Class of 2010. This newest group of outstanding individuals includes Keystone State stalwarts Bob Babich, Sig Brauch, Ellis Cannon, Joe DAlessandris, Mike Emrick, Scott Ensworth, Ginsburg Hyman, Jerald Ingram and Myron Walker. A veteran of 27 years in racing, Bolland has captured hundreds of victories along with eight Big-Block Modified point championships at homestate ovals Tri-City Speedway (5) in Franklin, Lernerville Speedway (2) in Sarver, and Mercer Raceway in 1982 --- the same season he was named Western Pennsylvania Rookie of the Year. On the DIRTcar Racing Northeast circuit, he has taken 60 checkered all in the new millennium, with the biggest win scored in Super DIRTcar Series competition at The Dirt Track at Charlotte in 2003. The Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring those who have brought fame and recognition to Beaver County through their contributions to the world of sports. Founded on Sept 18, 1975, the Sports Hall is housed in the Golden Dome of the Community College of Beaver County in Center Township, Pa. and the museum is open during regular college hours and dome events. For further information, please contact Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame representative Jack Fullen at 724/846-6600x242. DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event ---Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging intowww.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime. The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New Yorkwww.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Headswww.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shockswww.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks,www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizerwww.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.
The mass e-mailing was as blunt as it was surprising. In November, Kevin Bolland and his team sent out a notice that read that they were having a garage sale to empty the team's racing garage, a garage that has helped him win more than 100 V-8 Modified features — 47 at Lernerville Speedway — and eight track championships.
"We did have a big garage sale, and sold off a bunch of extra stuff we have accumulated over the years," Bolland said. "We had thoughts of getting a Late Model ride and after, I guess, 27 years running the Modified, we had a lot of stuff that was sitting around that was still good equipment."
Bolland's success on the track has not gone unnoticed. Later this month, he will become the first person associated with auto racing inducted into the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony will be held April 18 at Fez in Hopewell Township.
"We had some inquiries from people about running their Late Model, but I don't want to just drive a Late Model," Bolland said. "I want to be in a car that is capable of being a top contender. I know it will take a little time, but I feel we bring enough to the table and have had enough success in the Modified that we could do it."
The bad economy that's still plaguing the country did not spare the local racing community. No matter what division, track or traveling series in which a driver wants to take part, economics dictate what a team can do each season. And the fact that Bolland has spent his entire auto racing career in a Modified makes it tougher.
"Things didn't pan out the way we had hoped to have happen," Bolland said. "When you look at it, it's really silly to be sitting here in Pennsylvania and not in New York, which is the home of Big Block Modified racing. It really is too expensive to run a Modified for what we get paid in this part of the country.
"As it stands right now, we are planning on running the Modified, but we will not be running for points anywhere. To do that, you have to commit to being there every night, and I just don't think right now that it is worth it for us. At Tri-City and Lernerville, we were second in points and I think we took home $1,000 for second from Lernerville and $1,100 from Tri-City. That was the check we got from the point funds.
"When you look at costs right now, there is a lot more than that," Bolland added. "I said to my guys that I could just take a night off and save myself $1,000 in wear and tear on the car. To run at one of these big shows, you have to run fast and run hard. When I do go to one of those big shows, I have to have equal or better equipment than the rest of the field."
That is one of the reasons Bolland and his team began to consider the Late Models, that and the amount of success the team has had makes this another challenge.
"The motor program in Late Models is a big-buck deal, but I feel our team brings a lot to the table. We have run both the Big Block and the smaller blocks in the Modified, so we can do it. In our Modified racing, we have primarily run the Big Block. I've never set foot in a Late Model, though, but we'd go for the Super Late Models."
Lernerville is the only track in the United State that runs the big three — Sprint Cars, Super Late Models and Big Block Modifieds — on a weekly basis and even though the track has a terrific Modified history, the Late Models have been the hot division for the past several seasons.
"I am not really sure what is the future of the local racing scene for the Modifieds," Bolland said. "I know that people can see me as a villain if that is what helps drive people to the stands, but they can't actually make me be a villain. We are certainly not getting out of racing, and we will be in the Big Block Modifieds this season, and not until someone wants to bring along a good Late Model package that we think can work."
There is another issue that has been subject to much misinformation since last season's running of Super DIRT Week at Syracuse. The issue is still not resolved but one aspect of the fallout is certain, according to a representative of Modified Tour Inc., Bolland has been given a lifetime ban from serving as the tour's representative at Super DIRT Week.
That does not mean Bolland is banned from Syracuse, just that he can't represent Modified Tour Inc. with its spot in the show. Bolland did not run for the Modified Tour championship last season, so he might again pick and choose which series races he wants to attend. The same is true in picking and choosing what local races he wants to attend.
"You know if we want to go up to New York and race in a couple of big shows and then not have to run back home and worry about points at a track, we will do that," Bolland said. "But we like to run locally, too, because our fans are always looking for us. Probably as many love me as hate me."