Charlie Clark didn’t live in Nebraska, but his memory and influence certainly impacted many area racers.
As a builder of race cars and supplier of race car parts, Clark spent a lot of time in the area and became friends with many racers.
One of those racers was Papillion’s Steve Kosiski, who drove the Charlie Clark No. 22 Modified to a huge $30,000 payday at the Longhorn Roundup in Texas in 1999.
Born in Spencer, Iowa, Clark spent almost his entire life involved in automobiles in one form or another. He helped build and manage Arnold Motor Supply in LeMars, Iowa. Later, his love of fabrication and engineering led him to form Bruns Clark in Sioux City and Clark Engineering in LeMars.
Clark ran Harris Racing in LeMars and then created Razor Chassis. He built high-end race cars and exclusive racing products. He also drove his No. 22 to many wins in addition to having others drive his cars.
Clark took great pride in traveling to tracks throughout the Midwest to be with his customers. He died unexpectedly at a race in Beatrice on May 22, 2009.
To honor his memory, I-80 Speedway created the Charlie Clark Memorial Race.
The race has a unique format. The A feature for Modifieds is 44 laps, but after 22 laps, a red flag allows drivers and crews to work on their cars. Then the remaining 22 laps are run with the winner receiving $2,022. Other feature events typically pay the winner an amount ending in 22 to honor Clark with the date he passed away.
This year, I-80 Speedway is taking the Charlie Clark Memorial to a new level.
The event has been moved to Sunday, and while the 44-lap format has been retained with a red flag stop at the end of 22 laps, now each 22-lap segment will be considered a feature in itself with each paying $2,022 to win.
In addition, the top 22 cars from the first feature will be inverted for the second 22-lap feature.
“We think it will be one of our best races of the year,” said Joe Kosiski, I-80 promoter. “We have a lot of fans that say they like the race because of the short pit stop we have in between segments of the feature.”
In addition to a much bigger purse for the Modifieds, the SLMR Dirt Touring Series will be part of the Charlie Clark Memorial for the first time. To continue the 22 theme, they will be paying $2,022 to win and $2,222 for second place in the 35-lap feature.
B Mods will be racing for $1,022 to win and Hobby Stocks $722 to win.
Big weekend at Junction Motor Speedway
It will be a big weekend of racing at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.
On Friday, it’s the Speedway Motors ASCS Midwest Sprint Cars and the Nebraska 360 Sprint Cars kicking off the weekend with the Good Old Time Racing Association, Outlaw Vintage Lites and Cruisers.
Then on Saturday, the National Championship Racing Association, or NCRA, will kick off its 2013 Super Late Model Racing Season.
“We are excited to be starting our season out with Delmar (Friesen) and the people at the Junction Motor Speedway,” said Chris Smith of the NCRA. “We have a fine group of young rookies running with the NCRA this year, so it should be a promising season for us.”
Also racing will be NASCAR Late Models, A Mods, B Mods and Hobby Stocks.
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