The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 22, 1991 · Page 42
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 42

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 22, 1991
Page 42
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MO Sunday, September 22, 1991 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER AutO racingC-15 Allen aiming for the big leagues in stock car racin; BY RANDY OPPENHEIMER Enquirer Contributor Glenn Allen Jr. doesn't have a father or big brother who made it to the top level of NASCAR racing, unlike current Winston Cup drivers Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty, Larry Pearson, Davey Allison, Michael Wal-trip and Brett Bodine. But there is another way to the land of million-dollar salaries for the best drivers. Winston Cup stars Rusty Wallace, Alan Kulwicki and Mark Martin all gained prominence on the Midwest-based American Speed Association tour. That's the path Allen, from Arlington Heights, is three-sport star in high school, he used to qualify his race car Friday nights, then race home to play football for Lockland High. He turned down college baseball scholarships to become a pro driver. Now he's a seven- good looks that television wants. "When I started in ASA there were guys out there who laughed at me," says Allen. "Now when I lap the same guys, if they don't move over, I might tap 'em a little. 'Here I am, move over.' " Last month at Jennerstown (Pa.) he broke the track record by two-tenths of a second, a huge margin in a sport that measures progress by the thousandths. "Those officials," laughs his dad, "they were checking the clocks." He's fast, but has had trouble finishing. Midway through the season he was 14th in points, but fourth in laps led. "I think he can race Winston Cup," said ASA racer Bob Senneker, who has done it. "He just needs a little more patience on the track, in the longer races, and that's coming every race." Allen's car is owned by Nick and Amy Vitt of Painesville, Ohio. The crew is headed by Allen's uncle, John Bosken, and his father, Glenn Sr. "Me and his Uncle John, we spent every nickel we had to get him going," his dad said. "But we wouldn't have done it if we hadn't seen he had something special." Area racing fans have their best chance to see Allen when the ASA tour stops Oct. 6 in Winchester, Ind. taking. He could be the first driver from Cincinnati to race in NASCAR's top division since Rodney Combs. "By 1995," Allen says, "I hope to be running down south, either in Winston Cup or the Busch Grand National series (one level below the Winston Cup circuit)." His father, Glenn Sr., was a winning local driver for 25 years. But this season Allen Jr., 20, became the youngest driver since Mark Martin to win an ASA race. Most impressive: his five pole positions. He started driving race cars at 13. A year veteran who's Glenn Allen Jr. still not old enough to buy a beer at most tracks. It'll be 15 years before he's at the age where drivers are held to be in their prime. He has talent, confidence, and the XrJ At 51, Harry Gant on a NASCAR roll no ma ENQUIRER NEWS SERVICES DOVER, Del. Whether Harry Gant is in the September of his career is hard to say. But he is having the September of his career. m mm 11 MI The 51-year-old Gant make that 51 years, 255 days won his third straight NASCAR Winston Cup race last Sunday. He has won five straight NASCAR races since Sept. 1, including two on the Busch Grand National circuit. He goes for six today in the Goodv's 500 NASCAR circuits. "You just never talk about the one you won before," Gant said. "I try to avoid it and downplay it because I like to lay low." He'd like to, but can't. Not at his level of competition. Last Sunday, he took the checkered flag a full lap ahead of the field, the first Winston Cup driver to do that since 1987. "I'm thinking about finding some extra money and sending Harry Gant over to Atlantic City for me, or let him get me some lottery tickets," said Geoff Bodine, who finished second Sunday, more than a mile behind Gant. "He's really on a roll. I'm telling you, that boy has got it." Gant is the pride of the small town of Taylorsville, N.C. population 1,656. "If the truth be told, some of us pull for other drivers in this county," said Shawn Hammer, who runs a sports card shop. "But when it comes down to it, we follow Harry. He's a tough driver. Some of 'em use racing gioves. He don't. Races bare-handed." Jerry Harrington, a barber, remembers Gant as a mischievous teen-ager who lured troopers on 100-mph chases that ripped through hairpin turns from Paul Payne Road to Dog Crossing, a rural intersection whose name no one can explain. "He had a white '59 Chevrolet that'd outrun the grace of God," said Harrington. These days, Gant is a model citizen. "He's always building something," says Debbie Pollard, one of Gant's daughters. Gant's father was a contractor, and Gant was a successful carpenter before he switched to racing full time in 1979 at the age of 39. Gant helped build his other daughter's house, built an addition on his own home, and is finishing a five-port garage to hold his collection of classic cars: a '58 Chevrolet convertible, a red '63 Corvette convertible, a '76 Cadillac with 10 miles on it, and a '76 Corvette. Most Mondays after a race, Gant is at his restaurant the Harry Gant Family Steak House by 8 a.m. checking on whatever needs fixing. Then it's a project: fixing a car, mowing the grass or pouring concrete. He speaks at high school career days, serves as grand marshal of the Taylorsville Christmas parade, and signs autographs over supper at the restaurant until his steak gets cold. Gant's streak has been lucrative. In September alone, his five wins were worth $343,000. The three straight Winston Cup wins have raised him from 10th to seventh in points. PRICES STARTING AT: Winston Cup race at Mar- Harry Gant tinsville, Va. Speedway. He qualified 12th Saturday. More than a year ago, Gant became the oldest man to win a Winston Cup race, and he just keeps extending the record. "I've raced a long time, and I've won a lot of races, and I try to play down winning a race," Gant said after his latest triumph, in the Peak Antifreeze 500 at Dover Downs International Speedway. He learned modesty about winning on lower 95 $359 UC Pearce 20 pass from Harp (Rowe kick) BG Landman 19 pass from White (Leaver kick) BG-Redd 10 pass from White (pass failed) UC-FG Rowe 22 UC-Harp 2 run (kick failed) BG-Smith I run (Leaver kick) A 15,172. Patented Recycler mower cuts grass into fine clippings and injects them into your lawn. Ask your dealer for details. mm Cin 25 49-156 219 BG 19 40-122 162 13 38 First downs Rushes-yards Passing yards Return yards Passes Punts Fumbles-lost Penalties-yards Time ot Possession 21-43-2 14-27-2 3-35 5-37 1-0 2-1 we've been through, they could have folded. It really hurts for our kids, because they deserved to win." Dixon, the big defensive tackle, was like several teammates: Hurt and angry. He said the Bearcats will take it out on Miami University next week at newly renovated Nippert Stadium. "We were just like a chain today," Dixon said. "If one link breaks, the whole chain goes down. We had this game won, but then something breaks down. "In my heart, we won." Cincinnati 7 0 0 W Bowling Ortn 1 7-20 CINCINNATI WEST CHESTER west unester Lawn tare 6950 Cincinnati-Dayton Road 5-37 33:37 7-48 26:23 Northwest Mower 6086 Cheviot Road Paniio s Hardware 936 North Bend Road CRESCENT SPRINGS, KY INDIVIDUAL LEADERS AAA Mower Service 4278 Ml. Carmel-Tobasco Road Bramble Mower Service 5823 Bramble Avenue Bearcats CONTINUED FROM PAGE C-l it," said quarterback Lance Harp. Harp, who had another strong game in replacing injured Paul Anderson, kept UC in it all the way. He staked his claim to a starter's job by hitting 21 of 43 passes for 219 yards, one TD, and two interceptions. He also rushed for 42 yards. Murphy said he will wait until next week, when Anderson returns, to make his decision on the starter. Harp would seem a strong bet to start. Harp led UC on several strong drives. He put UC ahead, 16-13, on a 2-yard TD run late in the third quarter. UC carried that lead into the fourth period. BG, however, answered with a RUSHING-Cincirmati, Harp 14-53, Powell 22-60, Bior- Crescent Springs Hardware long drive and 1-yard TD run by tailback Leroy Smith. It was 20-16, and there was no more scoring. UC had its chances. The defense, ripped apart in the first two games, came up with three turnovers and acquitted itself well. But the offense too often failed on clutch plays, including: Stopped on downs three times inside the BG 40, all sans punts. Fumble killed early fourth-quarter drive near midfield. Missed field goal of 36 yards. Final drive stalled at BG 47-yard line with one minute left. "This was one we needed to win," said Harp, who slightly sprained an ankle. "We're down." 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Kemper Road Oewar Equipment 4915 Glenway Avenue George Meyer Company 10821 Montgomery Road 7725 Laurel Avenue Dasons RECEIVING-Cincinnati, Powell 1-2, Pearce 7-87, Bior-son 5-56, Bryant 6-57, Hoog 1-8, Jackson 1-9. Bowling Green, Siljchcic 7-71, Redd 2-27, Landman 1-18, Jackson 2-24, Miooietown bnopping oemer Neitner s Inc. MILFORD 19th t Monmouth Streel DR Mills Lawnmower LAWRENCEBURG, IN Smith 1-11, Hankins 1-11. Fairfield Hardware 684 Nilles Mall's Mower 6735 Cambridge Avenue 5490 Pleasant Hill Road River City Hardware For qualified buyers when you buy before Dec. 31, '91. tBased on a selling price of $(KK). See dealer for details. Prices may vary 1 1991 The Toro Company fir LnJi Get your sports news first in the Cincinnati Enquirer w J ft 4hi TEAM USA Of Trie '92 Olympics -vs- BUFFALO SABRES Of The NHL Hockey League til -J-r1; Jilt hi J J ml mlmmmd W- tm BALD SPOT GONE. OUR DOCTORS OFFER YOU: SEPTEMBER 24 7:30 P.M. 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