The “Ring of Fire” at Madison International Speedway lived up to its name on Saturday afternoon as nine drivers took the challenge to see who would be the first to complete 250 laps of racing action. Not only is the track a challenging one to drive but for most of the competitors it was their first time on it. Add in the fact that temperatures inside the cars were close to 120 degrees and it became a true test of endurance.
When it was all said and done after over 140 minutes of racing only one man would take home the trophy in the Bema Inc. 250 and that was Ryan Nuti of Edgerton, Wisconsin.
Tom Ruh took the early lead in the Midwest Stock Car Association promoted event that earlier this season had raced on the half-mile. Ruh led for many laps early on with Mike Hennessy also looking strong. But before long it was Nuti and Tom Barnharst putting some distance between themselves and their fellow competitors trading off positions at the top.
As the race progressed and following three mandatory breaks, it appeared that the Nuti-Barnhart battle would go down to the final lap. But unfortunately for Barnharst who won at Madison last year, his car slowed with four laps to go and Nuti would race on to pick up the victory.
Barnhart finished in second followed by Miles Bradley, Tom Ruh / Eric Mack, Don Wilson, Shaun Johnson, Mike Hennessy and Gerry Galloway. Ruh had the fastest lap of the day early in the race with a time of 15.270. All of the cars that started the race were running at the completion.
It may have been a small field, but it says a lot for those who stepped up to take on the challenge of the Ring of Fire on this hot and humid day. It’s true grass roots racing where fun is number one and having the opportunity to compete the mark of a successful day. They may have been tired, lost some water weight, and experienced sore shoulders from the constant turning, but in the end they were all winners.
The Midwest Stock Car Association would like to thank the McKarns family for providing them with this racing opportunity and they look forward to a return in 2018.