LIMA — It’s hard to believe that the 2019 racing season has reached its culmination at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Even though this season was limited to only seven races due to weather, racing fans got their money’s worth every Friday night. The 2019 Awards Celebration Night Presented by Lock Sixteen/K&L Ready Mix happens tonight. The pit gates open at 4:30 and racing begins at 7:30.
Two familiar faces will accept their crowns tonight. Todd Sherman won the Northwest Physical Therapy UMP Modified track championship and Tony Anderson won the Bud Thunderstocks track championship. This marks Sherman’s seventh championship at Limaland. This is Anderson’s 24th career title with 12 of those coming at Limaland, 11 in the Thunderstocks and one in the Modifieds.
Sherman was happy to be back on top after a long offseason making improvements.
“Over the winter we designed a new car,” Sherman said. “We put a CT525 crate motor in our car. It’s directly out of a street car. They (Limaland) started allowing it last year and it’s a really good combination. We run it on pump gas.”
Even though Sherman is from Indiana, he takes pride in making it to Limaland every Friday night.
“The good deal about Lima is that a lot of stuff goes with winning the championship,” Sherman said. “It really helps to get more sponsors. I’ve been racing at Limaland since 2003 and haven’t missed a race since. A lot of effort went into winning this championship. Running the same track week after week gives us a huge advantage.”
Being consistent and having a lot of support is something that Sherman was also thankful for this season.
“Sixth place was our worst finish this year and anytime you can consistently end up in the top five is really good,” Sherman said. “My crew chief, Rick Zoch, has been awesome. This is his fifth or sixth championship. I also want to thank Ferris Commercial Motors. I was able to pick them up as a sponsor two years ago. They support racing and I like to support businesses who support racing.”
Anderson’s season did not start out how he would have liked. He was Daniel Sanchez in the standings heading into last week.
“We had a lot of problems at the beginning of the year,” Anderson said. “We had a flat tire in the first race of the year and finished last in the feature. Daniel had some problems in the feature last week with a flat tire. After the rough start, we set the car up around the motor and got extremely competitive. We had some slick tracks, and I think I drive better on slick tracks. The track slows you down and you have to keep the car underneath you. It’s a whole different approach.”
Anderson also prides himself on being consistent.
“I like to think I’m one of the most consistent drivers out there,” Anderson said. “I finish a lot of races, and I don’t wreck the car.”
Battling back from open heart surgery was also something that Anderson had to overcome.
“I had open heart surgery last fall, and we had to do some rebuilding,” Anderson said. “Things started a little slow for me. It took me around six to eight weeks to get my bearings. The main factor was getting my head straight. You have to race on reaction, and I wasn’t doing that. I was thinking too much and it slowed me down. My thought process came back to me.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.