Since 2017, the same driver has won the super late model portion of the Ice Bowl — Michael Page. The Talladega Short Track, which hosts the Ice Bowl, will provide an extra incentive to the racer that ends Page’s winning streak at five — an extra $1,500. Page said the bounty doesn’t faze him.
“It’s no big deal to me,” said Page, of Douglasville, Georgia. “I’m going to try to win the race, just like I always have.”
There’s one caveat to claiming the bounty. Page must finish the feature on the lead lap.
“We work hard to be as good as we can,” Page said. “Things went our way the last five years. We had a little luck with us to make that happen.”
David Brannon, of Elora, Tennessee, was the last driver other than Page to win the Ice Bowl. The winner’s list over the course of the event’s 30 years reads as a who’s who of late model racing in the region. Names such as Shane Clanton, Ray Cook, Ronnie Johnson, Dale McDowell grace the record books as Ice Bowl victors. Page said he won’t adjust his strategy with the added incentive for others to beat him.
“Every driver wants to win at any time, any place,” said Page. “It doesn’t matter if there is $100 or $10,000 to win, it’s the same to me. I race to win.”
Talladega Short Track officials informed Michael Page of their bounty ahead of their announcement. He said his initial reaction was that he thought it was “weird.”
“I told them I have no problem with it,” Page said. “I understand the goal is to put on a show. That’s what racing is all about.”
Practice and qualifying for the 31st annual Ice Bowl occurs on Friday, January 7. B-mains and the $6,000-to-win, 50-lap main event follows the next day on Saturday, January 8. Officials from the Valvoline Iron-Man Late Model Series will officiate the event.
(For more on Page’s 2021 Ice Bowl win, read “Michael Page: Wins Ice Bowl with 2016 Stinger Chassis”.)
This year marks the Outside Groove Director of Photography’s 51st year of covering auto racing. Adaskaveg got his start working for track photographer Lloyd Burnham at Connecticut’s Stafford Motor Speedway in 1970. Since then, he’s been a columnist, writer, and photographer, in racing and in mainstream media, for several outlets, including the Journal Inquirer, Boston Herald, Stock Car Racing, and Speedway Illustrated. Among Adaskaveg’s many awards are the 1992 Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) Ace Lane Photographer of the Year and the 2019 National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) George Cunningham Writer of the Year.