Rochester Half-Mile Postponed by Rain

Henny Ray Abrams | June 13, 2003
Rain just prior to the semis forced the postponement of the 11th Annual Ben Campanale Laconia Half-Mile at Rochester Fairgrounds, in Rochester, N.H., the second round of the K&N Filters Formula USA National Dirt Track Series.

The program will be run in its entirety on Saturday night, June 14, but without a number of riders. J.R. Schnable and Kenny Coolbeth are two of the riders who had to leave New Hampshire for Illinois to take part in the Tri-City Speedway Half-Mile in Granite City, Illinois, the sixth round of the AMA’s Progressive Insurance U.S. Flat Track Championship. Schnable, last year’s winner at Rochester, had secured a ride on a factory Harley-Davidson after his machinery failed to materialize.

Practice begins at 4:00 p.m. with the first heat race scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The rain held off until after both qualifying and the heat races were completed. TCR Racing’s Nick Cummings, seen in photo above, was the fast qualifier, in only his second Expert race, with a lap of 26.952 seconds. Cummings went on to win the first heat.

Second fastest was Logan Myers, the Michiganite making his professional debut. He ran away to win the second heat.

Bryan Smith made it an all-Michigan sweep of the heat races by taking the third heat. He’d qualified fourth fastest.

Just as the riders were called for the semis, the skies opened up. Track maintenance workers tried grooming the track in the rain, but it proved futile as the rain picked up in intensity. The decision was made to start new on Saturday night.

One rider who may benefit is’s Matt Wait. Wait was riding his Yamaha YZF-450 for the first time in Rochester and had trouble with gearing. The defending Grand National Champion finished well back in the third heat and was on the second row of the second semi. With a fresh start, a full night’s practice, and different gearing, Wait has a better chance of being competitive.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.