Monday, July 25, 2016

First Time Winners Beat the Heat at Quincy

 Three of the five weekly classes at Quincy Raceways saw new winners in victory lane, while the other two had drivers there for the second time in 2016. Once again the program was moved back one hour to try and deal with what was still hot and humid conditions.
  The fans at Quincy have been a hearty and loyal bunch, but both car counts and fan count were down a bit this week. Of course, with the World of Outlaw late models and MOWA 410 sprint cars rolling in to town on Thursday, some folks may have decided to save their pennies for the big mid week show.
  Justin Reed paced UMP late model qualifying at 13.371 seconds, and Michael Long once again topped the UMP modifieds with a lap of 14.626 ticks of the clock.
  Following heat race action, the IMCA stock cars started off the feature action. After a pair of false starts, the front row was moved back one row, but Chester Peek headed for the pits. Brian Hoener then grabbed the lap one lead with Beau Taylor in hot pursuit ahead of Abe Huls. When lap two was scored, it was Huls out front, and the point leader hugged the low line with second running Hoener in the middle groove and Taylor also on the bottom. The sixth time around, Hoener bobbled and fell to third, but two laps later things changed in a big way. Huls hooked the inside tire between turns three and four,getting sideways and rolling his # 30C two times, ending his night. Taylor assumed the lead on the restart, but Hoener muscled to the front on lap eleven, holding on for his first ever IMCA stock car win. Taylor held on for second ahead of Jake Powers, Rodolfo Zaragoza, and Michael Larsen.
  The UMP late models were moved to second on the card. Heat winner Dustin Griffin had pulled a zero draw, giving us a straight up start. Griffin jumped to the early lead, followed closely by Reed, Denny Woodworth, Mark Burgtorf, and Jason Perry. As Terry Wilson retired early, Perry and Burgto9rf swapped positions back and forth, and Woodworth pushed Reed for second. With everyone running a low line, Griffin began lapping slower cars by lap 13. Reed was able to get a lapped car between himself and Woodworth, but by lap 21, the late model lawyer was again glued to Reeds back bumper. As the 25 laps went caution free, Griffin cruised to his first win of 2016. Reed stretched his points lead with a runner up finish ahead of Woodworth, Burgtorf, Perry, and Cliff Powell.
  The IMCA sport compacts ran next. Allyssa Steele held the pole after winning her first ever heat race earlier in the evening, and she tucked into second in the 15 lap finale behind Craig Bangert. Defending champion Kimberly Abbott advanced to9 fourth on lap two, but Bangert opened a nice lead as Steele and Darin Weisinger Jr. dueled for second. Weisinger took the spot on lap four, and Bangert continued to stretch his lead as Abbott entered the top three on lap six. On the ninth circuit, Kimberly was shadowing Weisinger, and she used a high side pass to grab second three lap later. With no cautions, Bangert stayed in control for all 15 laps to score win number two. Abbott, Weisinger, and Steele followed in that order.
  Michael Long had captured the first UMP mod heat, and pulled a second row start for the 25 lap feature. That put Darin Weisinger and visiting Kelly Kovski in row one ahead of Dave Weitholder and Long. Kovski, in only his second ever visit to QR, took the early lead with Weitholder in tow. The caution waved on lap two for a spinning Kevin Tomlinson, and on the restart, Long moved to second using the middle line. The second a nd final yellow came out for a spinning Ronnie Yelton on lap five. Back to action, Kovski, from Springfield,Il., hugged the inside line along with third running Weitholder while Long tried a higher line. Michael changed his angle of pursuit several times, and the leaders hit slower traffic about lap 14. Long got close on the 19th lap, but Kovski, a former late model pilot, held his line, and picked up his first ever checkers at Quincy, becoming only the second driver to beat Long in 2016. Weitholder took third, with Weisinger and another visitor, Kenny Shaw from Brighton,Il. completing the top five.
  The IMCA sport compacts would round out the card. Nathan Anders was set to start on the pole, but elected to tag the tail of the 18 lapper. One false start for a spinout and we were under way. Mike Goodwin paced the opening lap ahead of Austen Becerra, Tanner Klingele, and Joey Gower. On lap four, Becerra mounted a challenge for the lead, taking over one lap later, taking Gower along in second. Following a lap six caution, Goodwin was shuffled back, and Justin Ebbing powered to third and point leader Nathan Bringer entered the top five. With lightning flashing in the east, Bringer took fourth at the half way mark. On the 15th circuit, a lapped car spun in front of second and third running Gower and Ebbing. Both cars were headed to the tail, and Gower had to visit the hot pit with a flat tire. Becerra led the restart, now trailed by Bringer, Klingele, and Brandon Lennox. Lennox was behind the wheel of the Wesley Mayfield # 21M after blowing an engine the night before at Moberly,Mo., aqnd he fell off the pace on the restart, rolling to a stop on the backstretch. One more restart saw Klingele and Bringer hook bumpers in turns one and two setting up a green, white, checkers finish. Becerra was unfazed, picking up his second win of 2016. Goodwin recovered for second, Ebbing charged back to third, and Spencer Coats stayed out of trouble to record a solid fourth.
  With the big special on Thursday, QR will be idle next Sunday. Even with some reserved seats presold, there will be plenty of good spots on Thursday, and Quincy fans will get one more chance to see Billy Moyer in action in what is supposed to be his final season. Hoping the weatherman cooperates for this big show!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lucky Sevens at Quincy

 The decision to move the race program back one hour through the month of July to combat the heat worked out well for one long distance traveler to Quincy Raceways, at least for a while. With rain and storms creating havoc across the I-80 corridor, IMCA sport mod driver Andrew Burk decided to head south. The Quad City Speedway regular made a late afternoon call to Quincy for info and then headed out for the three hour drive to Quincy. For several weeks the sport mods have run fourth on the QR card followed by the IMCA sport compacts, but this week the mods ran first, UMP late models second, the compacts, UMP modifieds and IMCA stock cars went from first to last. But the later start gave Burk plenty of time, although a group of his followers rolled in as his heat race came to the track.
 First though, came qualifying for the UMP classes. Dustin Griffin toured the rebuilt racing surface in 13.694 seconds, while Michael Long went for another sweep with a lap of 15.131 seconds. Although the program started about 20 minutes late, the heat races clicked off in good time. Besides Burk, who advanced to third in his heat from the tail before finishing sixth, former track regular Matt Bailey who now lives in the St Louis metro area made his first visit to the track with his # 52 late model. The long distance award - sort of - though went to Roger Martin from Monticello, Arkansas with his
# 60M modified. Martin races in a B-mod type class at home, but is not sport mod legal, so he joined the UMP mods. He is currently in the area working on the pipeline, and brought his hot rod along for some racing! Martin was obviously underpowered, but hopefully had some fun, anyway!
 Following intermission, it was sport mod feature time. The 17 car field had an awful time getting started with three cautions before one lap was scored. On the third attempt, a multi car pile up in turn one saw Burk get the worst of things, as his # 20KB was on the hook before a lap was completed.
Finally under green with 14 cars left, Austin Howes and Tanner Klingele were now on the front and they stayed that way for a lap or two before Howes pulled away slightly. Brandon Lennox then powered to the front to challenge Klingele for second running the until now ignored high line. With Lennox now in second, the top three gained some separation from the pack as Howes hugged the low line and Lennox worked the top groove. On about lap nine, Lennox grabbed the lead, pulling away in traffic. Howes made contact with a lapped car, falling to third before coming back to challenge Klingele. Amazingly, we stayed green for all 18 laps after the initial troubles. Lennox picked up another win, followed by Klingele and Howes. Kevin Tomlinson climbed in the Glen Wiley # 26 and ran fourth, but failed to report the driver change, resulting in a DQ. Fourth then went to Joey Gower and Justin Ebbing rounded out the top five.
  As the race ended, the lights in corner three went off making  turns three and four too dark for safe racing. After a delay to diagnose the problem, no fix was imminent, so former racer Joe Hooper headed out to retrieve some portable lighting so the show could go on.
  Finally ten UMP late models lined up next for 25 laps. Jason Perry and Denny Woodworth started in row one, with Justin Reed and Griffin lining up behind them. Perry quickly grab the lead and went to the high side with Reed in second. When Reed bobbled slightly, Woodworth climbed to second. Somewhere around lap ten - the scoreboard was also not in use on this night - Woodworth shot to the lead. The first caution came with twelve laps in the books as Vance Wilson, subbing for Cliff Powell, came to stop on the backstretch. Back to racing, Denny took the low line while Perry again went high. On the 16th circuit, Perry reclaimed the point. With three laps remaining, the second and final yellow waved as Clint Kirkham jumped the bank in turns three and four. At the same time, a smoking Bailey exited the track. One more wave of the green saw Reed slip around Woodworth using the high line to take second. Griffin overtook Mark Burgtorf for fourth at the checkers. Trent Grotz made his late model debut doing a nice job in sixth in the car formerly driven by Terry Gallaher.
  IMCA sport compacts were up next, with an added twist. Part time racer and full time track supporter Pat Dunker offered up a $50.00 bill for a back row challenge to any compact driver, and Kimberly Abbott took the challenge. Alyssa Steele led lap one, with Darrin Weisinger Jr scoring the top spot on lap two. Abbott was up to fourth when she was involved in an early caution, again going to the tail of the seven car field. Heat winner Craig Bangert was up to second before exiting the track, and now Abbott had the runner up spot. Just past the halfway mark of the 15 lapper, Kimberly found a line around Weisinger to take the lead which she would not give up. Weisinger crossed the line second followed by Steele and Adam Scott.
 There were still two features to go, but 9:45 was past my self imposed work night curfew, so I reluctantly headed to the car. Michael Long did indeed pick up the sweep, time trials, heat race and feature ahead of Dave Weitholder, and Kevin Blackburn in the Mike Begley # B4. And Abe Huls returned from his Canadian fishing expedition to best Jake Powers and Michael Larsen in the IMCA stock car finale.
 Racing in the Midwest is in high gear, so grab a friend and head to a track this weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Quincy Waits out the Rain

  Sunday started out as the type of day race fans like myself barely glance at a weather forecast. But when friends and family to the north began calling and texting wanting to know if it was raining, things changed in a hurry. I always like to get to the track early when the travelers come to town, and with the UMP late model and modifieds on the card at Quincy Raceways along with IMCA sport mods, I was trolling the pits early. And watching the clouds build up and answering those calls and texts about heavy rains as close as my home, less than 20 miles away as the crow flies. Sure enough, as race time approached, here came the rain, and back in the trailer went the cars. As the rain came down a bit harder, the haulers headed for solid ground, and I went to the car to wait for the inevitable cancellation call. But QR promoter Ken Dobson is one stubborn dude, and as the showers subsided, the UMP contingent came down the hill with the word -" we are racing!" The track crew had purposely not watered the reconfigured oval - this would be the first race since the banks were cut down and dirt was added - so the rain completed the watering process. Of course, it still took some time to get the track again race ready, and the green flags would definitely come later than hoped. While the weather no doubt hurt the car count, including one mod driver who headed home to Arkansas, the fans turned out in amazing numbers.
 Modified qualifying was paced by Kenny Wallace, while series point leader Bobby Pierce topped the 19 late models with a lap of 12.883 seconds.
  While all cars would start the features, the heat winners redrew to determine to top three slots.
  Following the nine heat races, there was  ales than welcome intermission, the only negative in the program. But it was soon feature time, with the 18 UMP mods lining up for 258 laps and a $1,000 top prize. Kelly Bartz could not get his ride going. so 17 cars took the green flag. Ray Bollinger and Wallace sat on row one, and Bollinger paced lap one. Soon it was a two car duel, with track point leader Michael Long Moving to fourth on lap four. As the race stayed green, Long slipped past the " showstopper" Ray Walsh for third on lap ten. With slower traffic coming in to play on lap 12, Wallace took over the lead. As Long closed in on Bollinger, Wallace tangled with a lapped car on the 15th circuit, ending his run behind the wrecker, the first and only caution of the race. The field restarted single file, and with the low line the preferred way around, Bollinger and Long hugged the low groove, putting distance over the pack. While Long dogged the leader, Bollinger made no mistakes, and it was a very happy driver who took the checkers. Long settled for second followed by Walsh, Shaun Deering and Donovan Lodge.
  It would be 40 trips around the oval to decide who would take home the $5,000 top prize for the late models. Heat one winner Tyler Erb, the Texas teenager, and heat three winner Pierce sat on row one, while heat two victor Ryan Unzicker was joined by Michael Kloos in row tow. Pierce used a dandy crossover move to lead lap one, quickly moving to the low side of the track, while Erb was hanging his # 91 out on the high side, retaking the second spot from Unzicker on lap two. Eight laps in, Kloos found his way past Unzicker for third. The leaders were into heavy traffic by lap 13 when the caution waved for a spinning Bo Brockway. Both Pierce and Erb took evasive action, going over the top of the track, but neither made contact, and both were allowed to restart at the front. Again the restart was single file, and by now 16th starting Jason Feger was in the top ten, and he charged to his familiar high line on the speedway. Two circuits later he was up to eighth, but Pierce was opening a lead as Kloos moved up to challenge Erb. Lap 17 saw Kloos take second, on lap 19 Feger moved to seventh. The second and final caution came for a stopped Gordy Gundaker on lap 20, and he was the first to drop from the action. On the restart, Kloos mounted a challenge of Pierce, and while they battled, Unzicker slipped around Erb and Feger moved to sixth on lap 23. Two circuits later, it was Erb again powering around the high side, gaining two spots back to the runner up slot. But the 19 year old Pierce was a master in traffic, and he completed the flag to flag win, his tenth on the Summernationals tour. Victory lane at QR is a familiar place for Bobby, who was something of a semi regular at the Bullring for a couple of seasons. Erb earned plenty of style points for his second place run. Kloos was steady in third, followed by Unzicker and Dustin Griffin. Feger advance ten spots to finish sixth ahead of Bob Gardner in brother John back up # 38c. Bob had his # 4G out of the hauler, reloaded when the rains came, the could not get the door open on the hauler! Track regulars Jason Perry, Mark Burgtorf, Denny Woodworth, and Justin Reed were next on the final grid.
 With the clock now heading to the 10:00 hour, grandson Peyton and I headed to the car before the sport mod finale. Congratulations to rookie Justin Ebbing on his feature win over Austen Beccera and " racer X," Brandon Lennox.
  The Summernational tour wraps up this coming week in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, while Quincy Raceways gets back to weekly racing next Sunday. See you at the races!

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Show Must Go On

  If we are finally seeing some rain, it must be fair time, and the Lee County Fairgrounds in Donnellson got their share and then some on Thursday morning. But we are talking about a top notch crew and a superior racing surface, and by the time I made my way to the track after work, it was obvious we would have a good night of racing. I decided to take the bus ride around the track and through the pits to check things out, and while the track was still a bit greasy, the pits showed how much rain had fallen.
 Still the races started less than ten minutes after the advertised start time, and before the 13 heat races were complete, their was an excellent crowd of regulars and fairgoers in the grandstands.
  The IMCA sport mod feature ran first, 15 cars for 18 laps. Of all the tracks we attend, no place do the sport mods put on a better show than at Donnellson, and tonight did not disappoint. Tony Dunker took the lead from the outside pole, with Jim Gillenwater coming from row two to second position. When the caution waved on lap four for a Tanner Klingele spin, Dunker had fashioned a nice lead, and Brett Lowry was now in second. The yellow waved again one lap later, with Gillenwater again in the runnerup spot. On this restart, Jim shot to the lead using a low line, and Dunker powered off the turn one cushion to regain the spot the next circuit. Again the two veterans swapped the lead before Dunker began to pull away. Meanwhile, a solid three car battle was going on behind them. In the closing laps, Gillenwater began to work his magic on the bottom of the 3/8 mile, and on the final lap in turn two, where Dunker had been so dominate, Gillenwater found a bite on the low side and took the lead. Dunker tried to fight back, but had to settle for second. Joey Gower came home third ahead of Lowry.
 The 16 305 sprint cars were up next for 20 laps. Dave Getchell took the early lead, but Ben Wagner, who had dominated in his heat race, took over when Getchell bobbled slightly on lap seven. One lap later, lapped traffic came into play, but Wagner was up to the task. By the 15th circuit, the # 84 had a straightaway lead, but the caution waved, erasing his margin. One lap later, the final caution of the race came out, but Wagner was in control, taking the win ahead of Getchell, Dustin Clark, and Harold Pohren.
  The IMCA sport compacts were next, with 18 starters. Brandon Reu paced the opening trip past the flagstand, but Josh Barnes took over on lap two. Barry Taft in his sharp red #57 was running as well as I have seen him, and he moved to third on lap three. Following a caution on lap six, Taft was shuffled back, with Kimberly Abbott charging to second. Five laps later, Taft had recovered to regain the runner up position, but Barnes stayed in control to take the win. Taft, Abbott, and Reu completed the top four.
  Scott Dickey made a rare appearance at LCS on his ninth wedding anniversary, drawing a front row slot for the 20 lap finale for the IMCA modifieds. Bill Roberts Jr began to apply pressure, as Dennis Laveine charged to third following a duel with Jeff Waterman. Dickey began to pull away before a pair of yellows on laps 12 and 13. On lap 18, Waterman retook third from Laveine, with the top four crossing the checkers in that order.
  Night number three of the IMCA stock car shootout became night two after a rain out in Oskaloosa and all but two of the 21 entrants took the green flag in the $1,000 to win event. New Papa Brandon Savage and West Liberty regular David Brandies sat on row one, with Savage leading the first lap. Modified ace Kyle Brown was wheeling a Damon Murty # 99 machine, and he took the lead on the second go around, followed by Brandies, Murty, and Savage. During a lap four caution, Savage retired to the pits, and two laps later, Brown pulled to the infield following a puff of smoke. It was now Brandies in charge followed by Murty, and an attention grabbing battle for third between Jeremy Pundt, John Oliver Jr, six time feature winner Jeff Mueller, and visiting Johnny Spaw. 14 laps in, Oliver took third from Pundt, with  a final caution one circuit later. On the restart, Brandies began to stretch his lead, while the battle behind now included second through seventh. Two laps from the end of the 20 lapper, Murty bobbled, falling out of the top five, and there was Mueller, now in second. But this night belonged to Brandies, with Mueller, Pundt, Oliver, and Spaw in tow.
  The Lee County late model 25 lap finale also paid $1,000 to the winner, and 14 cars signed in to take the challenge, including first time 2016 visitor Jay Johnson. Only Russ Schoonover failed to make the feature call. Jay grabbed the heat one win by a good margin, then drew the pole start for the feature with three time winner Sam Halstead alongside. Johnson paced lap one ahead of Halstead and third starting Tommy Elston. The second trip around saw Elston move to second, and on lap four, he slipped past Johnson for the lead. Lap six saw sixth starting Jeff Guengerich advance to third.. The first caution came with six laps down as Brandon Potts stopped in turn two. Back under green, Guengerich took the runner up slot, but it was Elston with a straightaway lead by lap 13. Gunner Frank looped his ride to bring out a caution on a lap15, and back to racing, Guengerich slipped to fifth, as Johnson regained second and Colby Springsteen climbed to third. Colby claimed second on lap 18, and with Elston again in command, the final yellow came with four to go. Although Springsteen had this final chance, he could not overtake Elston, who amazingly said he won his first ever Lee County fair race. Springsteen took second ahead of Guengerich, Johnson, and Derek Liles, who made a late move to enter the top five. Halstead finished sixth, with Tom Darbyshire and the father son duo of Charles and Laine Vanzandt the only other cars taking the checkers.
  The Thursday night race replaced the usual Friday night fare this week, and there will also be no races next Friday at Donnellson, with the show moving to the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis,Mo. during the fair there.
  My next show will likely be the annual visit by the UMP Summernational late models and UMP Summit modifieds this Sunday at Quincy Raceways. Finally, the forecast sounds promising for Quincy.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Droste Wins Again

  After a short vacation at Lake of the Ozarks to start the holiday weekend, I was ready for some racing action. And despite the fact that the rainfall totals in my area were far from robust, it was still enough to put a stop to any dirt track activities. So I joined up with son Brent, wife Lyne and grandson Payton, and we headed north to the Dubuque, Iowa Speedway for an IMCA late model Tri Track Challenge event. While I made my first ever visit to Dubuque earlier this season, Brent had never been to the 3/8 mile fairgrounds facility, so it was a track he could add to his list of venues.
 The car count on this Sunday evening was considerably less than for the same program over Memorial Day weekend, but my reading tells me that dwindling car counts seems to be a problem in many places. Still 17 IMCA late models signed in, along with 19 IMCA modifieds, 16 IMCA sport mods and five IMCA stock cars.
  Eight heat races to set the feature lineups clicked off in about 45 minutes and following a short intermission, it was main event time.
   The IMCA sport mods ran first, with all 16 making the call for 15 laps of racing. A first lap yellow slowed the action, and on the restart, Nick Coats paced the first circuit but looped his ride in turn one on the second lap. Back under green, it was Jake Murphy going around in the same spot. One more restart saw Mark Maas take the lead, but on the third trip around, point leader Tyler Soppe, who started in row five on the original start, took over the top spot. Maas stayed in the runner up spot until Troy Bauer powered his way to second on lap nine. With no more cautions, the top three ran the final six laps in that order, with Austin Schrage and KC Ansel completing the top five at the checkers. Soppe in victory lane said it was his 14th win of the season, and that he planned to run a whopping 70 races in 2016!
 The IMCA stock car 15 lap finale was next. Tim Schneider grabbed the lead on the opening lap. with point leader Jerry Miles soon on his tail. Schneider hugged the inside line while Miles tried every grove he could to try and overtake the leader. But with no yellows, Schneider made no mistakes in taking the flag to flag win.
 The 20 lap 19 car IMCA modified feature was up next. Steve Johnson, driving a # 22 machine instead of his familiar # 77, grabbed the early lead, holding on until a lap six caution. On the Delaware restart, Jed Frieburger an Austin Moyer lined up behind Johnson, and Moyer shot to the lead from the low line. One lap later, Johnson was back on top, again leading until a yellow on lap 14. Again Moyer was fastest on the start, grabbing a lead he would not this time give up. Frieburger followed Moyer around Johnson, and the final six circuits clicked off in this order. Tyler Madigan took fourth while Mark Schulte made a mid race charge, but settled for fifth.
  It was now late model time, with 50 laps of racing set to pay $2,000 to the winner. Ray Guss Jr. had qualified for the ten car redraw, but he was the only car in the four classes not on track for his feature.
 Dan Shelliam drew the pole position, with Curt Martin in the # 31 normally driver by Steve Hunter to his outside. Heat winners Andy Nezworski and Tyler Droste made up row two. Shelliam jumped to the lead with Nezworski on his heels. Soon, however, Shelliam was riding the extreme high line and had opened a sizable advantage. The man on the move early was Jason Rauen, who entered the top five on lap five. Behind Rauen, Joel Callahan and Luke Goedert ran side by side until the first caution waved for a three car mixup on the backstretch with eight laps scored. Two laps later, Droste had slipped past Martin for third, and the caution came out again. Back under green, Droste moved around Nezworski for second. On lap 13, Callahan was in the top five, and one lap later Callahan, the track point leader advanced to fourth while Nezworski found his way back around Droste. Those two battled for the second spot, and by lap 18, Droste had secured second and hooked up on the low line to challenge the rim riding Shelliam. On lap 21, Shelliam bobbled slightly in turn four, and that was all the opening Droste needed to grab the lead, while Callahan moved to a third place battle with Nezworski. In the meantime, row six starter Jeremiah Hurst has slipped into the top five. A lap one collision in his heat race with Eric Pollard had ruined both drivers chances at a redraw finish.  As Droste stretched his lead, Callahan made contact with the wall and began to fade, eventually pitting to change a flat tire after bringing out a caution on lap 43. Hurst was now in third and looking like he may have something for the leaders. Restarting for the final seven laps, Nezworski faded, and it was now a surging Martin picking off cars. But no one could seriously challenge Droste, as he cruised to the win as he had when I was in the stands in May. Shelliam had a strong run in second, while Hurst held off Martin for third. Callahan made it back to fifth after the tire change. Goedert scored sixth ahead of Darrell Defrance, Nezworski, and Rauen. Jerry King was tenth, and Becky Roth was the only other car running at the checkers.
 The final flag waved about 8:50, and we were able to knock down part of the 200 plus mile journey home before dark.
 Plans for this week include the Thursday night special at the Lee County Fair in Donnellson, Iowa, and UMP Summernational late models at Quincy Raceways on Sunday as we begin the second half of race season 2016!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rain Wins Again at Quincy

For the fourth time this year, Quincy Raceways officials were forced to cancel Sunday night racing as the pits and grandstands were beginning to fill. Light rain at around 3:00 followed by a light but persistent drizzle past the 6:00 hour left the racing surface too wet for racing.
 During the week, some area folks joined in to basically reconfigure the track. Both ends of the .29 mile facility had become highbanked and those turns were beginning to "cup." So the turns were cut down by a considerable amount and some "new " dirt was added.
 With the UMP Summernational series coming to town in two weeks on July 10, officials are anxious to get some laps down on the new surface, so a couple of practice periods are being scheduled. With the Summernationals just a couple hours away this Sunday at Lincoln,IL., the UMP late models will not be in action at Quincy this Sunday. UMP modifieds will lead the Sunday card with a $1,000 to win feature. 305 sprint cards will replace the late models on the program.
 At this time, my race plans are up in the air for the weekend with some family time scheduled, but hopefully there will be time for some racing sometime, somewhere!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Guengerich Gets First win At Donnellson

 It was a beautiful night for racing at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa on Friday night. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from B&B Propane, there was a large crowd on hand and the LCS crew put their best foot forward. 63 race teams in five classes checked in, and the program started right on time, with nine heat races setting the feature lines ups in only 40 minutes. About a ten minutes intermission for a bit of track prep and we were feature racing.
  The IMCA sport compacts ran first, with all nine cars taking the green. In fact, all 63 cars were able to start their feature races. Josh Barnes shot to the lap one lead in the sport compact finale, but he soon had Ron Kibbe challenging for the lead. Lap after lap the two cars ran side by side, Barnes was a bit quicker off turn two, but Kibbe had the edge in three and four. Kibbe hugged the inside groove, while Barnes ran a higher line. Even as the white flag wave, the two drivers were neck and neck, but when the checkers waved it was Kibbe picking up the win. Darin Weisinger Jr. Brandon Reu and Kimberly Abbott completed the top five.
  The 16 car IMCA sport mod main event ran next. Brandon Dale shot to the lead on lap one, and again took the top spot after a first lap caution. By the third circuit, Dale had opened up a big lead, while Tony Dunker had come from row five to third, and one lap later he took over the runnerup spot. Another caution came on lap five when Jim Gillenwater and Bobby Anders in the Wes Mayfield # 21M hooked bumpers. Back under green, Tanner Klingele who had pulled out of his heat race, grabbed the third spot. But this quickly became a two car race between Dale and Dunker. On lap ten, Brandon Lennox charged to the third position, but Dale on the cushion and Dunker in the middle were still well in front. As the laps wound down, Dale opened a small advantage, and it was a good thing, as he got high on the track in turn four coming to the checkers. But he was able to recover to nip Dunker at the line. Lennox held third, Gillenwater recovered to finish fourth, and Kyle Hill ran fifth.
  IMCA modifieds ran 20 laps for the third feature. Bill Roberts Jr looped his ride on the first lap, but to his credit, he kept going, now a 1/2 lap behind. Dean McGee took the early lead, and when the caution waved on lap three, Roberts was back in contention. On the fifth circuit, point leader Jeff Waterman had moved from row five to battle Brandon Rothzen for second. Two laps later, Waterman took over the lead. With five to go, third running Jared Fuller pulled to the infield under green, but the caution came just as the white flag was displayed, setting up a green, white checkers shootout. On the Delaware restart, Rothzen shot from the inside line behind Waterman to the lead, holding on to the checkers, stealing what looked like a sure win for Waterman. Jeef settled for second ahead of McGee, Roberts, and Blake Woodruff.
  Jeremy Pundt led the 14 car IMCA stock car field across the stripe ahead of a multi car scrum in turn one. It seemed a lap should have been scored. but the field was reset to an original restart, minus John Oliver Jr, who suffered heavy damage. Abe Huls, Greg Gill and Ray Raker went to the work area and rejoined the field, but it looked like the previous weeks winner Corey Strothman may have also suffered damage. Back under green, Pundt again built a lead, with Visitor David Brandies moving to second on lap two, trailed by point leader Jeff Mueller in third. It became a three car battle with Mueller taking the lead about lap seven - boy do I miss that scoreboard when it is not working! Brandies moved to second soon after, and for the final five laps he was glued to the back bumper of the # 77M, both drivers on the bottom of the track. On the final trip around, Huls powered around Pundt for third, but it was Mueller in victory lane for the seventh time this season. Brandies, Huls, Pundt, and Gill completed the top five.
  The final race on the card was the Lee County late model feature. All 13 cars lined up to take the green for what was alternately  announced as 25, then 20, then 25 laps - I "think" they ran 20! Polesitter Todd Frank led the first five circuits, with inside row two starter Jeff Guengerich in the Lynn Richard # 15R in tow. By lap six, Guengerich was turning up the heat, and he took over the top spot on the ninth trip past the flag stand. Three laps later, outside row one starter and four time winner Sam Halstead moved to second. The first caution came about lap 14, and another two laps later, but each time Guengerich held on to the lead. On the final restart, Tyler Cale started fourth, but encountered problems, ending his night. Halstead and Frank ran side by side, with Halstead prevailing, and on lap 17 Tommy Elston moved to third. But there was no catching Guengerich, who picked up his first win at LCS this season. Previously he had picked up the win when the LCS late models competed at 34 Raceway in West Burlington Memorial Day weekend. Halstead, Elston, Frank, and Colby Springsteen turned in top five finishes. Derek Liles led the second five over fast improving Laine Vanzandt, his father Charles Vanzandt, Gunner Frank, and Cale. Tegan Evans was credited with eleventh, and the final two spots went to former weekly racer Chris Richard who was " shaking out " Halsteads IMCA car and Colchester,Il first time visitor Russ Schoonover in his # 59.
  The final checkers waved just before 9:45, capping an efficient, well run show.
  Next up for me is weekly Sunday night action at Quincy Raceways, where the track has been torn up and reworked this week. With high heat projected, check the track facebook page or call the hotline to confirm start times.