Local Auto Racing: Drivers Wall, Hryn making mark in street stocks
May 15, 2012 8:04PM
Cheryl Hryn (left) and Bobbie Jean Wall. | Tony Baranek~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 17, 2012 8:14AM
The last time we had two women drivers finish in the top five in a division at one our area tracks, gas was 62 cents a gallon, stamps were 13 cents and Jimmy Carter was president.
That was 1978. At Raceway Park in Blue Island there was quite a battle in the hobby stock division between Barb Bosak and Nancy Prince.
All season long the two ranked at the top of the division standings, leaving a field of 25 to 30 male drivers in their rear-view mirrors. It went down to the final race on the final day, with Prince winning the feature but Bosak claiming the title by a scant few points.
Since then we’ve had several women do well at our tracks, from Stacy Kelley at Grundy County Speedway to Lori Miller at Kankakee Speedway to Cher Bryant, Rita Fields and Helen Nester at Illiana Speedway. Nester, in fact, won the 2010 pure stocks championship at Illiana.
But you’ve got to go back to Barb and Nancy to come up with a 1-2 street stock punch like we’ve got now in Bobbie Jean Wall and Cheryl Hryn.
Wall is third in the standings at Illiana. The 22-year-old from Blue Island already has won a fast heat and posted a third and fifth in the two feature races. She trails division leader Jacob McKown by just 12 points.
Hryn, of Posen, who finished fifth in the standings last year at Illiana, ranks fifth at Grundy County Speedway. She’s posted two sixths and a fifth in the three feature races.
Unfortunately, they won’t be battling together very often in 2012.
Hryn decided against competing full-time at Illiana this season, quite honestly, to avoid racing against her significant other, four-time track champion Bill Serviss.
“Bill and I typically don’t see eye to eye when it comes to racing stuff,” Hryn said. “So instead of taking our racing anger home with us, I thought it would be a whole lot better to go somewhere else and increase the peace.
“It’s just a matter of learning a different track. And at Grundy they have something a little more than we do, motor-wise. I just have to figure out what it is.”
Wall hasn’t raced full-time since 2008, when as a 17-year-old she finished fifth in the turbo stox standings at Illiana.
This year she’s looking strong in her No. 77 Monte Carlo. In a fast heat May 5, she was bumped out of the lead by Michael Moore in Turn 1 on the final lap, but outmuscled him from the outside and reclaimed her spot on the backstretch.
“It was a hard race,” Wall said. “We were both going for it, and when he hit me the shield on my helmet got loose. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ Then I just gave it all I had.”
Wall, who races competitively every year in the Bahama Brackets at Rockford Speedway, is the real deal. A championship contender, it says here.
“I need a little more time behind the wheel again, but I think so, definitely,” she said. “It’s always been a goal, especially since my dad has two championships. I’ve got to get at least one of them one of these years.”