Storm halts Micro Mayhem before feature races start

6/17/2013

By BRETT MARSHALL

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

Watching the different drivers and race cars at Saturday night's Micro Mayhem at the Airport Raceway is something akin to watching a chess match.

What will work best on this specific race track?

Do we move the wings up, or back?

Will we have enough gas to complete the race, especially if there are numerous stoppages for removal of cars who have been involved in a collision?

All of those variables are wrapped up into the thought process during a long evening of multiple races.

Nobody understands that better than 24-year-old Tyson Hall, a veteran dirt track race car driver from Longview, Texas.

"This is just something that I like doing, it's my hobby," said Hall after winning one of the early preliminary races on Saturday. "When you come to a race like this, you're just looking for a good set-up, try to stay clean with your car, stay out of the crash areas and pay attention to the other drivers."

Hall, who is in the auto detailing business, said he has been racing midget cars since he was six years old.

"My dad got me started and it's just kinda been the thing I like to do," said Hall. "You're not in it for the money, for sure. But the money here ($55,000 in total prize money distributed) was one of the reasons we came up here."

The drive from Longview, Texas, to Garden City was about 10 to 11 hours and Hall and his entourage that included his father, another driver and pit crew were always busy changing things out on his No. 33 car for the various races in which he competed. Changing the wings out from one size to another; moving the wings forward or backward to make sure there is better stability; changing tires for better traction.

All those go into the strategy for Hall, who won that early race and was eagerly looking forward to the $8,000 first-place prize money in the featured Outlaw Multi Open race.

Mother Nature, though, decided to throw what was being regarded as one of the highest purses for a curve.

Hall said he likes the A Class races the best because all the cars have to be set up equal and then it becomes a race where the best driver usually does well.

"It seems like even though I like the A Class, I have won more events in the Multi division," Hall said.

The 20-something driver said he will compete in approximately 90 shows during the year, including events in southern Illinois and Nebraska.

"It's a lot of road time, but when you enjoy something like this, it doesn't seem so bad," Hall said.

Just about 11 p.m. on Saturday, lightning, high wind and rain pelted the Airport Raceway and Garden City area. The storm dropped nearly one inch of much-needed moisture to the area, but it certainly put a damper on the much-publicized and well-attended event.

More than 300 drivers were competing in the three-day event and the crowd in attendance was estimated at about 750 to 1,000.

"When you're on the track, you just have to make sure you know what everybody else is doing," Hall said in between his races.

The storm prevented race officials from being able to complete the program Saturday night and instead went back through the earlier races to come up with a prize money distribution plan. The winners and prize money was not available to presstime on Sunday.

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