Racers from over 200 miles away were
drawn to the quarter-mile muddy oval at the Logan County
Fairgrounds. Last year there were 448 different drivers in the first
year of Lincoln Speedway. Even though the noise that is created
cannot be appreciated by the downwind residents, the races are
bringing classic racing entertainment for many families of central
One local favorite
driver is 62-year-old Elmer Well of Lincoln. Elmer is back for his
second season and is more optimistic about this year. The class of
car he races is called "Wild Thing." That perhaps would also best
describe Elmer's style. He has no obvious fear as he acts half his
age circling the dirt track. If he were acting his age, he would be
home in his rocker.
Well has changed his thinking about
transmissions. This year he is going with a three-speed. The
automatic transmission did not give him the down-shifting advantage
he saw in many of the winning cars last year. Although he had a
pretty good season last year, he plans to win more often this year.
Well didn't win top honors Sunday,
but he will not forget the night either. He did make the evening
entertaining. In the second heat of Wild Things, on the
next-to-the-last lap, his steering wheel came off. Yes, he had it
firmly in his hands, but it was not attached to the Wild Thing he
was trying to steer. He was hit by the speeding car behind him and
pushed off the track.
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But the best part of the story is
that his car finished rolling with the No. 9 purple and white race
car on its top. The No. 9 had changed to a No. 6! Elmer was firmly
and properly strapped in his seat, head down and feet up. Nice
position for any racer, especially if you're 60-something.
The track emergency crew kindly
rolled the car over before popping Well’s harness straps off, but
his night was not nearly over. His pit crew of half a dozen friends
and mechanics beat out a few of the roof dents, checked the fluid
levels, drilled a 1/4 hole in the steering wheel collar, drove an
Allen wrench to connect the steering column and started the motor
just in time for the Wild Thing consolations. Good old Elmer was
first in the consolation race, and right side up.
Well had a wonderful time on Sunday
night, as did all those who took in the Sunday night races. If you
have a free Sunday night this summer, maybe you can go out and enjoy
the races at Lincoln Speedway. It's good family fun. There is no
alcohol allowed on the grounds. You don't even notice the noise
after the first few minutes. You might even get to see Elmer roll
his car again.