Today is the final day of the Mid-Atlantic Nationals at the Mount Airy fairgrounds. The car show is a realization of a lifelong dream of Dwight Boteler of Westminster, organizer of the event.
For years, Boteler has dreamed of staging an event that would appeal to motor enthusiasts of all ages. He knew if he was going to do a show right, it would take time.
He gradually began putting his thoughts together, visiting other shows for ideas.
"I always liked cars and being around other car enthusiasts," said Boteler. "I always wanted to put on a show, a localized show that would be for everyone."
Last year, after much consideration, Boteler and his wife, Betty, formed Auto-Motion Promotions, Inc. of Hampstead. He reserved the fairgrounds at Mount Airy and began putting his show together. He obtained local sponsorship from Petry's Auto Parts of Westminster and Westminster Speed and Sound.
It has taken more than a year of hard work to bring everything together, but Boteler says the show has the right combination of events to appeal to everyone.
Today's show is the climax of the three-day show for car enthusiasts.
Starting at 9 a.m. today, the show will feature a car and truck display. Trucks will be classified in stock, modified and radical divisions.
"I expect trucks of all heights, too," said Boteler. "We will award prizes to the highest truck and the one that sits the closest to the ground."
Also today will be the Classic Car Show with classes for Ford Thunderbirds and Chevrolet Camaros. Judging will take place around 1 p.m.
Americans always have been in love with the automobile, especially the muscle cars of the '50s and '60s, and Boteler expected a large display of those classic cars.
A parts market and car corral will be part of today's activities. Also on display will be Bill Elliott's Budweiser NASCAR Winston Cup race car.
Boteler's schedule for the past year has been a busy one. He works in computers for the Municipal Services Group and then burned the midnight oil working on his show.
He didn't go into this show without any experience. He has helped Bill Wilcom promote the Fall Ford Spectacular at 75-80 each year. He will be helping Wilcom again this fall at the annual event on Oct. 9-10.
A regular competitor in Class I competition at 75-80 Dragway last year, Boteler has not done any racing this year. His 1978 Mercury Zepher has been idle while its owner has been busy working on the show.
"I have been racing since I was 16," said Boteler. "I have always been interested in cars. I raced the first car I owned, a 1966 Ford Mustang at the Cecil County Dragway. I hope to get back to it next year."
Boteler still has the car and plans to retore it someday.
Second-generation driver Jeff Davis of Westminster won the annual Flow Master Muscle Car Race at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., last Sunday. Driving a 1970 Dodge Dart, Davis won seven rounds against drivers from all over the East Coast with near-perfect reaction times of 5.03, 5.06 and 5.09 seconds. The muscle cars were street-legal cars.
In other drag racing action, Chris Grimm of Reisterstown won Class I competition last Friday at 75-80 Dragway. Larry and Joe Mayne of Mount Airy and Rodney Kuhns of Hampstead went five rounds. George Hoff of Westminster went five rounds last Saturday.
In Class II competition, Roger Jorss of Sykesville went three rounds last Friday, Corey Hess of Taneytown was runner-up last Saturday. Hess continues to hold first place in points. Jamie Talbert of Taneytown went five rounds.
In motorcycle competition, Tim Lippy of New Windsor was runner-up and Marvin Ford of Westminster was a semifinalist.
At Mason-Dixon Dragway, Larry Mayne of Mount Airy went to the third round in Class I competition and Earl Bitzel of Finksburg went to the second round.
In super-sprint car action, Cris Eash of Woodbine had another good weekend. He finished second in the 25-lap feature at Williams Grove Speedway last Friday, then captured his 10th win of the year at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway last Saturday. Last Sunday, he placed sixth at the Lincoln Speedway.
In other action at Lincoln, Westminster drivers John Moser was sixth and Kenny Angell was eighth in the semi-late main event. Kenny Murfin of Union Mills was 10th in the thundercar feature.
In late-model action at Winchester (Va.) Speedway, Ernie Jones of Westminster won his heat and placed sixth in the 25-lap feature. His brother Rick was 10th. With one point race remaining, Hampstead's Charlie Schaffer has a 39-point lead.
Hagerstown Speedway had three 20-lap features last Saturday. After finishing second and third in the first two features, Gary Stuhler of Westminster worked his way through the field to take the lead with two laps remaining to win the nightcap. The win was Stuhler's ninth at Hagerstown and 22nd of the year. Mike Harrison of Mount Airy finished ninth in the first 20-lapper.
At Potomac Speedway, Brad Green of Westminster finished eighth last Saturday in the four-cylinder division following a runner-up finish last Friday.
Steve Owings of Westminster won the micro-sprint feature at Trail-Way Speedway. Brad McClelland was fourth. In the thundercar division, Corky Stull of Westminster was third, Greg Messersmith of Hampstead was seventh followed by John McDonogh of Finksburg. Matt Barnes of Westminster was fifth in the four-cylinder division, Westminster's Jeff Young was seventh and Mike Walls of Mount Airy was eighth.
Brad McClelland made the four-hour tow to Challenger Speedway near Indiana, Pa., worthwhile. He started ninth in the 20-lap micro-sprint feature and worked his way to the lead on the 14th circuit. McClelland led the rest of the way for the win.