Monday, August 21, 2017

Woodworth Doubles Up, Sale in the Works

Denny Woodworth picked up the the feature win in both UMP late model classes Sunday night at Quincy Raceways, but that was not the biggest story of the evening. Jason and Robert Goble were introduced at intermission as possible - perhaps likely - buyers of the .29 mile facility. Just days ago, it was looking as though the 43 year old speedway might be seeing its last days as a race track, but the pair from Burlington,Iowa have stepped up to show serious interest in purchasing the facility. Hopefully more information will be released in the near future. At this time, the Ciltrak group led by promoter Kenny Dobson will finish the 2017 season. Six classes were in action on Sunday, with the IMCA stock cars running the first feature. Jerry Jansen and Briab Hoener crossed the line side by side as lap one was scored, with point leader Hoener taking over on lap two. Hoener built a big lead before the only caution of the event for a Jesse Weggs spin. When racing resumed, Hoener again built a commanding lead, taking the win ahead of Jake Powers, Jansen, and Weggs. The UMP Pro Crate lates models were up next for 15 laps. Woodworth shot to the lead at the drop of the green, with fifth starting Brandon Savage moving to second. Woodworth opened a lead that stretched to a full straightaway, while Savage built a 1/2 lap margin over third running Laine Vanzandt. The race went all the way with no yellows on the smooth, fast, tacky surface. Woodworth pick up the win, with Savage in second. Charles Vanzandt overtook son Laine late in the race for third, with Bill Scott credited with fifth. The UMP modified feature was run with fast qualifier and heat one winner Michael Long already on the trailer. Michael blew his engine as he took the checkers in his heat. It was a particularly tough blow, as it was the first night on the power plant. Steve Grotz and Frankie Wellman started in row one for the 20 lapper, but it was row two starter Ray Bollinger grabbing the first lap lead. As the leaders crossed the stripe, the yellow waved for a spinning Charles Baker in turn four. On the Delaware restart, point leader Dave Weitholder charged to second. Much likie the crate feature, Bollinger soon built a lead that eventually stretched to a 1/2 lap, with Weitholder gaining a comfortable advantage in the runner up spot. At the same time, Grotz was cruising in third. With the final 19 circuits run non stop, it was an easy win for Bollinger, his 20th UMP win of the season,as he sits second in national UMP points. Wetholder scored the runner up finish, with Grotz taking a solid third. Joey Gower and Wellman completed the top five. Jeffrey Delonjay jumped out to an early lead in the IMCA sport compact feature, while four cars battled behind him for second. Point leader Craig Bangert had his hands full coming from the fifth spot, eventually staging an entertaining duel with Darin Weisinger Jr. before finally grabbing the second spot. He tried ti narrow the gap on the leader, but another caution free event saw Delonjay take the flag to flag win. Bangert was followed by Weisinger Jr, David Primm, and Kimberly Abbott. The UMP super late models found Woodworth agaijn on the pole for the 20 lapper. The late model lawyer led Jamie Wilson as the first lap was scored, with Woodworth running the low line and Wilson pounding the cushion. Jason Perry took over second on lap seven, and one circuit later, quick timer and heat winner Ricky Frankel moved to third. By lap 13, Perry had erased Woodworths lead, and Perry challenged hard the final five laps. He made a valiant try out of turn four coming to the checkers, but another non stop race saw Woodworth win his second main event of the night, firming up his points lead in both late model divisions. Frankel outlasted Wilson for third, with Joey Gower scored in fifth. The final race of the evening was the 16 car, 18 lapper for the IMCA sport mods. Kevin Tomlonson put his #49 out front at the drop of the green, with the first of several cautions coming on lap one. Vance Wilson was behind the wheel of the AJ Tournear number 1, and he claimed second on the restart. Lap three saw Brandon Lennox move to thirdafter a row three start. Lennox slipped past Wilson on lap seven, but a yellow returned the spot to Vance. For the Delaware restart, Wilson chose the inside line, and when the green waved, Lennox took second, with yet another caution before the lap was scored. On the next retart, Wilson chose the outside. Still, Lennox powered to second, while fifth running Austin Becerra charged to third. With one more lap in the books, the yellow waved again, seven laps in the books. Back to racing, Becerra took second, and a three car battle ensued. Becerra grabbed the lead on lap 13, wthe yellow out again on lap 14. With five circuits left, the restart was now single file, and Tomlinson looped his ride in turn four to bring out the final caution. On the final restart, Becerra took the top line while Lennox worked down low. The final pair of laps saw them pretty much side by side, and Lennox won the drag race out of turn four to the checkers. Tanner Klingele recoverd from early troubles to record a third ahead of Ray Goodwin and Wilson. Wilson was piloting the #1 because former hot shoe Adam Birck purchased the #28 car formerly driven by Wilson. Birck turned in a solid sixth place finish on his first night behind the wheel in 2017. Quincy Raceways will take off the night of August 27 before returning to action for all four Sundays in September. We will offer updates on the future of the track for 2018 and beyond as information becomes available, so stay tuned!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Rollover,DQ, at Quincy Raceways

Things sratred out tame enough, but the action picked up late in the action Sunday night at Quincy Raceways. Michael Long started off the action setting quick time for the UMP modifieds on a smooth and fast racing surface. Michael picked up the heat one win, then rolled a three for the feature invert. It was the IMCA sport mods running the first feature of the night, with all but one og the 16 cars taking the green flag. Rick Barlow,Jr paced the opening three circuits, with Austin Howes taking over on lap four. As Howes opened a lead, Mike Goodwin and Brandon Lennox locked in a battle for second. The caution waved on lap six, and when racing resumed, Lennox took command of second, with Tanner Klingele easing past Goodwin for third. Howes stayed glued to the bottom of the track while Lennox ran the high line until the caution waved again on lap ten. Justin Ebbing moved to fourth on the restart, but the front three had pulled away. Three laps from the end of the 18 lapper, Lennox jumped the turn two cushion, falling to third, and the yellow waved a final time on the same lap. The field was now set single file, and Klingele tried unsucessfully to squeeze under Howes coming to the white flag. He lost a bit of momentum with the move, and Lennox retook the spot on the final circuit. At the checkers, it was Howes, Lennox, Klingele, Vance Wilson, and Ebbing. The UMP Pro Crate late models were up next for 20 laps. Heat two winner Tommy Elston drew the pole position, with the caution waving at the end of lap one for a spinning Brandon Savage. Back under green It was Denny Woodworth in command, but the yellow came out on lap four as Bill Scott lost a drive shaft in turns one and two. This is the same Bill Scott who was a regular at QR some 40 years ago! Elston grabbed the lead as racing resumed, and the leaders pulled away. Meanwhile there was a great three car battle for third between Tommy Sheppard Jr., Clint Kirkjam, and Savage. On the ninth circuit, Woodworth took the lead and began to put some distance between himself and Elston. As the race for third raged on, Tegan Evans, the 14 year old young lady from Clinton, Iowa making her first visit to Quincy, brought out the caution with a lap 17 spin. The field was reset with three laps remaining, and one lap later Elston and Woodworth were side by side down the front stretch when contact got Elston sideways. With Woodworth unable to slow in time, the momentum sent Elston into a pair of hard sideways rolls, drivers side first, stopped when he contacted the tractor tire at the entrance to turn one. Tommy emerged from his badly damaged car, sore today, I am sure. Woodworth would have to restart at the back of the now five car field with only two laps remaining. Sheppard was the new leader, and he held off Savage for his first QR win. Woodworth powered back to third ahead of Kirkham, Charles Vanzandt, and Evans. Savage however, failed post race inspection due to the incorrect placement of weight in the back of his car, moving him to ninth behind the remaining cars on the track, as well as Elston, Joey Gower and Scott. Until these final three circuits, only one lap in the crate class had been led by anyone other than Woodworth and Elston on 2017, a first lap lead for Brad Denney. The IMCA stock cars were up next for 15 laps. Jake Powers charged to the opening lap lead, as Brian Hoener and Beau Taylor slugged it out for the second spot. The stock cars all elected the low line, although Hoener and Taylor locked together briefly going down the back chute as they fought for position behind Powers. Jake held his line, running 15 mistake free laps, and picking up his first stock car win. Hoener, Taylor, Jerry Jamsen, and Nathan Hayes completed the top five. All 19 UMP modifieds came to the track for 20 laps of action. Following a couple of first lap cautions, Dave Weitholder and Long vaulted out to a two car lead.On lap six, Long charged to the top spot, and Weitholder came hard into turn one, looping his machine. Though he did a good job of powering out of the spin,with the field bearing down on him, the caution waved, and Weitholder was headed to the back. Before racing resumed, he apparently could not get his #05 refired, and he was pushed to the pits. As the green waved, Jason Frankel used the Delaware restart to take second from Gary Bently, but he could not run down his brother in law, Michael Long. it was now Bently, his teammare Rick Conoyer, and Shaun Deering in a tight race for third. As Long easily negotiated slower traffic, Conoyer took over third and began to run down Frankel. With about two laps to go, Conoyer moved to the runner up spot, but at the checkers, it was Long with the easy win. Conoyer, Frankel,Deering, and Bently scored top five runs. The clock was now heading past 9:15, so I headed to the car as the seven car IMCA sport compact finale was still to be contested. Craig Bangert picked up another win over Darin Weisinger Jr., Brandon Lambert, Jeffrey Delonjay, and David Primm. As the is originally a scheduled night off at the track, the turn out was perhaps better than might have been expected. In fact, the 19 modifieds checked in persuaded promoter Ken Dobson to add them to the card next Sunday night along with the return of the UMP super late models,the crates, stock cars, sport mods, and sport comapcts. Then Sunday August 27 is a scheduled night off before racing every week in September. It looks now like next Sunday might be my next race night, maybe I will see you there!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Close Finishes at Lee County Speedway

Friday night I took in night two of Summerfest at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson,Iowa. An unofficial total of 99 cars signed in to race in six divisios, led by 27 IMCA sport mods. The heat races clicked off in good fashion, with a bit of a delay when contact in late model heat race number one sent Derek Liles hard into the turn two guardrail. The #33 recieved heavy damage, although Derek was able to complete a lap in the feature with his car resembling a modified more than a late model. Following a candy dash and some more intermission hijinks, it was feature time, with extra laps added in several of the classes. The IMCA sport compacts ran first. Nine cars had started the heat race, with Josh Barnes starting scratch on the field for the main event after I assume arriving late to the track. Polesitter Brandon Reu and row two starter Barry Taft crossed the stripe side by side as lap one was scored and those towo battled until Reu finally took command. Meanwhile, Barnes advanced to fourth on lap five, and he powered to third five laps later, then set his sights on Taft. With no caution periods slowing the action, Reu held on for the win, with Taft barely edging Barnes at the line for second. Kimberly Abbott and Travis Demint filled out the top five. The INEX legend cars were on hand, 18 strong, and they came to the track next for a 30 lap main event. With the field tightly bunched entering turn one on lap four, contact sent a pair of cars flipping multiple times. One of those airborne was former open late model pilot Jason YUtter, and the other was Nelson Stewart, the 79 year old father of NASCAR legend Tony Stewart. Although slow to exit their cars, both drivers professed to be ok. Back to racing, therer were several lead changes up front, with Bismarck,North Dakota driver Drew Papke taking the win over Tim Brockhouse. A B main for the sport mods ran next to eliminate three cars to set up the final four rows of the 20 lap feature. Bobby Six captured the win over Tony Dunker, who had run fifth in the fourth heat. All but one of the 17 IMCA stock cars, the #30c of Abe Huls, came out for 22 laps of feature racing. Front row starter Jeremy Pundt was the first lap leader, with outside polesitter John Oliver Jr. inches behind. Oliver nosed ahead on lap two and took command on the third trip around the 3/8 mile oval. Meanwhile, visiting David Brandies started mid pack, powering to fourth on lap four. With Oliver holding a nice lead, the first caution came with six laps down. On the Delaware restart, third running Jeff Mueller moved to second, taking Brandies along in third. Oliver was working the top side of the track, with Mueller and Brandies working the low line. Brandies then began moving around on the track, searching for the fastest groove. He challenged Mueller on lap 13, taking the position two laps later. But Mueller was not in a mood to surrender the spot, and he regained the runner up slot on the 16th circuit. Lap 19 saw Jason See ease past Pundt for fourth, and that is how the top five took the checkers. Dakota Simmons parlayed a pole start into a first lap lead, with Ryan Cook taking over on lap two. The yellow waved for debris on lap four, and back under green, Jeff Waterman grabbed the lead, with Cayden Carter on his heels. Row four starter Michael Long was looking for racing room behind cars running side by side, and following a lap seven caution he was able to nab fourth. On the tenth of the 25 lapper, Long took over third, and it was now a three car breakaway. Carter alternately fought off the challenges of Long, who was running the top in turns three and four. the diving to the inside in one and two, and stalked Waterman, as the front duo ran the top groove. Lap 21 saw the front two side by side, and on lap 23, Carter powered around Waterman in turn four, with Jeff using a crossover move to cancel the pass. The checkers waved with a excited Waterman picking up the win over Cater, Long, Chris Zogg, and Dennis Laveine. The IMCA sport mod 20 lapper was next, with outside polesitter Brandon Lennox taking the early lead, with Brandon Dale challenging. The caution came out on lap two for a multi car scrum, and back to racing, a three wide battle for second saw Jim Gillenwater take the spot. Following a lap four yellow, Lennox moved to the low line that was working for Gillenwater. Lennox built a nice lead, but with seven laps to go, he caught slower traffic, allowing Gillenwater to close in. With clear track, Lennox would pull away, with Gillenwater again closing in traffic. The caution waved with two laps remaining, and now Dunker, who had started outside row nine, was up to sixth. Gillenwater took over the lead on the backstretch as racing resumed, but the caution flag negated the pass. The final restart saw Dunker charge to thrd, and he was not done yet, as he cleared Gillenwater for second. At the checkers, he was within striking distance, but it was Lennox with the flag to flag win. Dunker turned in the run of the night in second, followed by Gillenwater, Carter Vandenberg, and Brayton Carter. It was now time for the 25 lap $1,000 to win UMP Pro Crate late model headliner. Heat two winner Mark Burgtorf was wheeling the Clint Kirkham #28 for the two day Summerfest, and he sat outside row one, taking the lap one lead ahead of row two starter Todd Frank. Fifth starting Tommy Elston moved to third on lap three,the cleared Frank five laps later. By the tenth circuit, he was up to challenge Burgtorf. As Elston worked the low line on the multi grooved surface, Burgtorf ran low in turns one and two, and the high line in three and four. Sam Halstead started in row four, and he was on the move, taking third at the half way mark. He steadily made up ground on the leaders, challenging Elston on lap 16. The top three pulled away from the pack, hitting slower traffic on lap 18, as Frank tried to stay in the mix. With a pair of laps to go in the non stop event, Halstead stuck the nose of his #84 under Elston to take the spot away. As I was stating to write the results down, Burgtorf pounded the turn four cushion for the final time, and Halstead stuck his ride on the bottom groove, winning the drag race to the checkers for an incredeible finish. It was win number two of 2017 at LCS for "Superman." Burgtorf pulled up in victory lane to congratulate a happy Halstead. Elston took third, with Denny Woodworth getting around Frank late for fourth. Visiting Kyle McMahan, from Mt Vernon,Il was sixth ahead of Jeff Guengerich,Gunner Frank, Chris Richard, and Tyler Cale. Chase Frank was next, ahead of Russ Schoonover, while Trent Grotx pulled out on the final lap. Liles was scored in 14th. It was a late night, with the final checkers close to 11:30, but a truly outstanding night of racing! Wather premitting, we will be back at Quincy Raceways Sunday night for UMP Super late models and modifieds, along with IMCA stock cars, sport mods, and sport compacts.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Back On Track at Quincy

After a two week hiatus, racing resumed Sunday at Quincy Raceways. Because it was originally a scheduled night off, no track points were awarded, although the UMP ProCrate late models and UMP modifieds competed for regional and national points. The sport mod and stock car rules were opened up to allow USRA B mods and UMP street stocks to join in, and 19 sport/B mods and ten stock car/street stocks signed in. The evening started with UMP modified qualifying, with Ray Bollinger setting quick time. The nine heat races clicked off in less than an hour, and after a brief intermission, the stock car feature came to the track. UMP driver Brian Gaines led the opening lap before track point leader Brian Hoener took over on lap two. A caution period on the next lap saw Jerry Jansen getting the worst of the deal, ending his night with front end damage. On the eighth circuit, third running Dean Kratzer made contact with second place Jake Powers, bringing out another yellow and ending Kratzers run. Back under green, Hoener held the lead, but Beau Taylor and Robert Cottom began to apply pressure. Taylor used the bottom groove to grab the lead on lap twelve, with Cottom following him into second. Cottom led lap 13, but Taylor fought back, and he took the lead for good on lap 15. Beau hung on for the win,his first of 2017. followed by Cottom, Hoener, Gaines, and Rudy Zaragoza. The late models were next in the running order. In his first visit to QR, Brad Denney picked up the heat race win, and redrew the pole for the 20 lap feature. But it was Denny Woodworth coming from row two to lead the opening circuit. Denney did no go away quietly, and the pair ran side by side, with Denney leading lap three using the high line, while Woodwrth tried the lower groove. Woodworth then switched lines, moving to the top side to chase the leader, but Denney made contact with the front stretch wall, slowing just enough for Woodworth to grab the top spot. Now able to run his preferred high line, Woodworth opened a straightaway advantage as the race went caution free. Denney brought his #11 home in second, while another first time visitor, Braden Johnson, rallied for third in his #14/ Joey gower and Clint Kirkham completed the top five while Peoria Speedway regular and newcomer Jim Hagedorn powered his #1 machine to sixth ahead of Laine Vanzandt. Heat race winners Bollinger and Michael Long sat on row one of the 20 lap modified maun event. Bollinger got the advantage at the green,and the race was on! He ran the lower line through turns one and two, then pounded the cushion in three and four. Lap after lap, Long stayed on his bumper, but could not find an opening. With the front pair well out front, Long began to try to slip under Bollinger down the backstretch on laps 14,15, and 16. The leaders were now in lapped traffic, and on the white flag lap, Michael made his move, leading the final two circuits of the non stop battle. Following the front duo was Chris Spalding, who missed his heat race and came from the back to third. Rickey Frankel climbed behind the wheel of brother Jasons modified ti run fourth, edging Frankie Wellman. The mod finale was definitely the race of the night! All but one of the 19 limited mods came to the track for 18 laps. Justin Ebbing jumped to the lead from the pole position, with the yellow waving on lap two. One lap later second running Brandon Lennox retired with suspension issues, and Vance Wilson took up the chase. As Ebbing opened a nice lead, Wilson and Austen Becerra battled for second, and Tanner Klingele and Bobby Anders fough behind them. The leader caught slower traffic with a pair of laps to go, but as the white flag was displayed, Becerra spun in turn two. Although he did not stop, the yellow was displayed setting up a two lap shootout to the end. The field was set single file, and Ebbing was up to the challenge, taking the flag to flag win. Wilson took runner up honors over Klingele, Anders, and visiting Cole Campbell. The sport compacts were last on the card, with Jeffrey Delonjay scoring the lap one lead. Craig Bangert took over the next trip around, while Kimberly Abbottm after falling out of the heat race, moved to second on lap three. When Kim also exited the track mon lap nine, Bangert had a sizable lead, but a lap ten caution period erased his advantage. With five trips around the .29 mile oval remaining, Bangert stayed in command, while a battle for second developed withn three laps to go between Delonjay and Darin Weisinger Jr. As the twom youngsters slugged it out, Brandon Lambert slipped past to take runner up honors. Weisinger won the battle for third over Delonjay, with David Primm rounding out the top five. Next Sunday at QRthe UMP super late models will be joined by UMP mods, IMCA sport mods, stock cars and sport compacts. Sunday August 13 has been added to the schedule with classes to be determined. This Thursday and Friday will be the Summer Extravaganza at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, with the UMP Pro Crate late models racing for $1,000 to win each night, and I hope to be on hand Friday, for sure. Hopefully the worst of the hot weather is behind us, so get out and enjoy some racing action!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Repeat Winners at Donnellson

After two weeks off, racing resumed at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson on Friday night. 64 race teams signed in, lead by 19 IMCA sport mods. The track presented a clinic in running a race program, ten heat races and five features on a multi groove track with the first green flag promptly at 7:30 and the final checkers at 9:27. Those ten heat races clicked off with only one caution flag, that coming in the final heat when IMCA modified rookie Shawn Millmier tagged the turn one guardrail, ending his night. Following a ten minute intermission, the IMCA sport compacts came to the track for their 15 lap feature. As the green waved, Josh Barnes shot to the front from his row three starting slot to grab the lead. Kimberly Abbott charged to the second spot from row four, and the duo soon put distance on the field. Meanwhile Brandon Lambert and Brandon Reu battled side by side, lap after lap for third., with Reu finally taking the spot at the halfway mark. As Barry Taft moved ahead of Lambert with six laps remaining, the caution waved for Mike Hornung Jr as he had a wheel come off his car. The wheel cleared the turn four fence and Hornung pulled to the infield, but the yellow had already waved. Abbott elected the high line on the Delaware restart, and as racing resumed, Abbott, Reu, and Taft battled three wide for the runner up spot. Reu nosed ahead of the other pair, with Barnes still well out front. But coming out of turn four to the white flag, Barnes suddenly slowed and pulled off the track. Taft then challenged Reu, with the two coming to the checkers side by side. But it was Reu first at the line, as he celebrated birthday #24 a day early. Taft was second, followed by Abbott, Mike Reu, and Lambert. All 19 sport mods took the feature green, but the caution waved on the opening lap for a spinning Daniel Fellows. Following a complete restart, John Oliver Jr. took the top spot, with fifth starting Brandon Dale in second. Five laps in, it was Dale,Kyle Hill and Austen Becerra battling for second, with row five starter Jim Gillenwater and eighth starting Tony Dunker soon joining the fray. The seventh circuit saw Gillenwater move all the way to second, as the front six ran in a tight breakaway pack. Two laps later, Dale looped his ride, bringing out the second caution. Back to racing, Gillenwater used his trademark low line to claim the lead, opening a sizable lead. With six circuits to go, Becerra grabbed second, and one lap laterDunker moved to fourth. While Gillenwater had a healty lead over Becerra, there was also a gap between him and Oliver. Two laps from the checkers, Dunker grabbed third, and the checkers flew for Gillenwater over Becerra, Dunker, Oliver Jr., and Carter Vandenberg. Four first timers were a part of the 13 car UMP Pro late model field, including Illinois drivers Brad Denney and Mavrick Piller, Iowa rookie Eric Knapp, and Russ Schoonover, who makes a visit home to western Illinois from I believe England during the summer and hauls his #59 to the track. But it is veteran sTommy Elston and Denny Woodworth who have dominated the division, and with each winning a heat race, Elston drew the third starting spot for the 20 lap feature, with Woodworth starting fifth. Polesitter Todd Frank paced the first two laps running for him an unusual inside line, but lap three saw Elston pound the cushion to grab the top spot. On the same circuit, Woodworth charged to third, taking Sam Halstead along in fourth. As Elston stretched his margin, Woodworth moved around Frank for second on lap eight. Halstead eased past Frank for third on lap ten, but Todd quickly reclaimed the position. Woodworth was able to cut into Elstons lead somewhat, but with the race going caution free, Tommy stayed in command to pick up the win. Woodworth settled for the runner up finish, followed by Frank, Halstead, and Jeff Guengerich. Gunner Frank finished his night the week prior at Bloomfield upside down, but he came out in a different car and ran sixth ahead of Chris Richard, Derek Liles, Denney, and Piller. Chase Frank rounded out the cars running at the finish. Only ten IMCA stock cars checked in, with all taking the feature green. Jeremy Pundt came from row two to lead lap one, while Oliver Jr. powered from row three to second. Oliver took command on the second trip past the flag stand, with Corey Strothman and Jason Cook joining the front pair. Cook worked his way to second, and by lap five, he was bidding for the lead. For the next several laps,he ran side by side with Oliver, Cook on the bottom, Oliver on top. Pundt had fallen to fourth, but he cleared Strothman on lap nine. Cook had a slight advantage at the flagstand with seven circuits remaining, and going in to turn one, Oliver smacked the guardrail, bringing out the caution. Apparently John had been running without power steering since lap two, and he retired to the pits during the caution. As racing resumed, Cook opened a big lead, with Pundt also putting distance on Strothman. The yellow waved again with two laps remaining, as Scott Jordon spun in turn four. Pundt stayed close for the closing laps, but Cook held on for the win. Strothmon, Derek Kirkland, and Chad Krogmeier completed the top five. The IMCA modifieds came trackside for the final event of the night. Dakota Simmons paced the early laps, with Jerad Fuller taking over on lap five. But row three starter Michael Long, who had been searching for an opening behind side by side racing, pull a breathtaking power move, jumping from fourth to first coming out of turn two on the very top of the track. Michael continued to pound the cushion, opening a nearly straightaway lead. Meanwhile row four starter Jeff Waterman moved to third on lap six and took the runner up spot on lap eight. The final caution of the night came with five laps remaining for debris, wiping out Longs lead. But he quickly pulled away as the green waved, cruising to the win. Waterman topped Dennis Laveine, Fuller, and Bill Roberts Jr to round out the top five. Sunday night Quincy Raceways will get back to racing, with UMP Pro late models and UMP modifieds joined by sport mods, stock cars ans sport compacts. No track points will be awarded, as this was originally a scheduled night off. The UMP classes will be running for national points. Lee County Speedway will be in action both Thursday and Friday next week for Summerfest. Extra money and extra classes will be featured, so mcheck the website for details. See you at the track!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Track, Same Result

UMP Pro late model drivers Tommy Elston and Denny Woodworth have spent the 2017 season chasing each other around at the front of the pack at the Lee County Speedway and Quincy Raceways. So Saturday night, the two veterans met up again at the Bloomfield, Iowa Speedway as part of the Bob Weaklin Memorial race during the Davis County fair. a total of twelve late models joined 17 sport mods, 22 stock cars, and eight assorted vehicles from the Mississippi Valley Vintage Racing group. Following eight heat races and a brief intermission, the sport mods hit the 1/3 mile oval for their 14 lap feature. 16 cars took the green flag, as Jason Reigel was out the back gate before heat races had even started. Colton Nelson led the opening lap, the Brandon Dale, fresh off a heat race win, smacked the fence in turn one, ending his night. Meanwhile, Jim Gillenwater worked his way to the lead about lap four, building a sizable lead running the inside groove as Casey Lancaster began to use the high side of the track, advancing to third on lap six and the runner up spot two laps later. Gillenwater caught the back of the pack with four circuits remaining, and one lap later, Lancaster took advantage to fly around the leader on the outside. But the only caution flag of the race came out before the lap was complete, putting the veteran Gillenwater back out front for the Delaware restart. Lancaster fell briefly to third on the restart, with Gillenwater able to open a lead. He then moved up the track a bit, and with open track, he cruised to his second win in two nights, having captured the Scotland County fair race in Memphis,Mo. the night before. Lancaster rebounded to take second, while Jason McDaniel came from sixth to third following the restart. Nelson finished fourth, with Daniel Fellows fifth in this his first month in the sport mod class. The vintage group then ran an eight lap feature event, with winners awarded in the various types of sprint, midget, and super modified type cars. Rob Caho was the overall winner of both the heat and feature. The late models were up next, racing 18 laps for a $1.000 top prize. Rookie Eric Knapp #57 was the only driver failing to make the feature call. Although he finished third behind Todd and Gunner Frank in his heat, Elston redrew the pole for the main event, with Gunner on his outside. Elston quickly shot to the lead, wity row two starter Tyler Cale in the Brandon Ruffcorn #11R moving to second. Fourth starting Woodworth cleared the younger Frank for third on lap two as Elston began to stretch his lead. But the yellow waved as Gunner and heat two winner Derek Liles got tangled up in turns three and four. Contact on the restart found Gunner Frank upside down on the front stretch. The youngster stayed in the car until track workers uprighted the #21, then he walked away, apparently uninjured. During the red flag, Sam Halstead also headed to the pits, done for the night. Back under green, Elston put distance on the field as Cale and Woodworth slugged it out for second. By lap ten, the two were still in a duel as Elston built a straightaway lead. Woodworth finally took command of second on lap twelve, but with no more interruptions, Tommy cruised to the victory. Woodworth came home second, with Cale third followed by local driver Jim Lynch and Todd Frank in fifth. Brandon Savage started seventh and finished sixth, with Jeff Guengerich in seventh. Chris Richard was piloting the second car from the Richard Racing stable, with new graphics and #17R replacing the #73R in the new scheme. Chris pulled out with a couple laps remaining, while Liles was pitside with a caved in front end and credited with ninth. The final race of the evening was the $1,000 to win 22 car stock car tribute race in honor of Bob Weaklin. He was a competitor in the IMCA stock car division and was instrumental in the racing program at Bloomfield for many years. He was a gentleman racer that I had the pleasure of meeting when he raced at Lee County in the 1990s. The stock car field was a solid one, although top competitor Jason Cook was a non factor, dropping out of both his heat and the feature after one lap. Gary Harward paced the first lap, with row three starter Mike Hughes taking over on lap two. The caution waved on the third lap, and now fellow row three starter Dustin Griffiths was second. It was then that we noticed that Cayden Carter, who had issues in his heat race and missed the top four redraw, had advanced from row seventh to sixth in those first three laps. On the restart, Carter shot to fourth, and one lap later, Griffiths took the lead. The yellow waved at the end of lap five, but the pass for the lead was official. Back to racing, the field was tight, with Hughes running the low line in second and Derek Agee challenging in third. But the caution waved again as Danny Thrasher, who captured his heat by inches over Griffiths, stopped, bringing out the yellow with 13 laps to go. As racing resumed, Carter now advanced to third, and on the seventh circuit he passed Hughes for second. Just after halfway, it had become a two car battle for the lead when the caution flew again. Abe Huls, the Friday night winner in Memphis, moved to a higher line back under green , and Carter grabbed the lead, and Huls advanced to third, with yet another yellow stopping the action. As the green waved, Griffiths appeared to get a bit loose coming off turn two and spun around to bring out the caution. Officials decided Hughes had "helped" the spin, and both were sent to the back for the final restart. It was now Carter, Huls and Jason See in the top three spots with six laps to go. With Carter running the low line, Huls tried the top groove. He could not get close enough to challenge Carter, who came from the row seven start to collect the big check. For his part, Huls had come from a row six start to second. See came home third, followed by Agee in fourth. Griffiths crossed the line in fifth, but was penalized four positions for jumping the final restart putting Jeremy Pundt in fifth. Buddy Fred and grandson Peyton and I all agreed that it was a well run and very enjoyable show and was enhanced by a very informative announcer, although I did not catch his name. The program ended soon after the 10:00 hour. There is no racing tonight or next Sunday at Quincy Raceways, but the Lee County Speedways springs back into action next Friday night. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 10, 2017

One Family, Two wins at Quincy

Five classes of cars were in action Sunday at Quincy Raceways, and a pair of brothers in law picked up wins in the UMP divisions. Rickey Frankel took a nonstop win in the UMP late models, while Michael Long claimed the UMP modified checkers. And only Dave Weitholder setting quick time in the modifieds prevented the duo from a double clean sweep, as Frankel paced the late models with a lap of 13.493 seconds. The UMP Pro Crate late models and IMCA stock cars had a scheduled night off, with 305 sprints added to the card. The sprints ran the first feature, with Ben Waggoner and Brian Armitage setting on the front row. At the drop of the green, Waggoner jumped to the lead, with Ryan Jamison in second. Waggoner built a commanding lead running the low line around the speedway before moving to a higher line in the second half of the race. Jamison also ran the low groove until the closing laps, when Jerrod Schneiderman closed in on Jamison by running a higher line. Ryan then moved up for the final three laps to protect his runner up status. The 18 laps clicked off caution free. Waggoner picked up the win ahead of Jamison, Schneiderman, Armitage and Nathan Charron. The IMCA sport mods turned out the highest car count of the night with 15 entrants. Point leader Tony Dunker was absent, having been handed a 30 day track suspension. Also missing was the #17 car of Brandon Lennox. Lennox has been the hottest driver in the division lately, but he found himself upside down the night before at Lake Ozark Speedway. Always the racer, Brandon borrowed the # 23D ride of Billy Deroy for the night. Bobby Anders shot from row two to lead the opening lap, but fellow row two starter Vance Wilson snared the top spot on lap two, with Austen Becerra coming from the fourth row to third. Following a lap three caution and a Delaware restart, Becerra was now in second. Another yellow came two laps later, and Becerra dropped to fifth on the restart. With Wilson out front, a solid four car battle raged behind him between fifth row starter Justin Ebbing, Anders, Becerra, and Lennox. Another caution came on lap eight, and back under green Becerra challenged for the lead. The front duo swapped the top spot, running side by side for several circuits, with Becerra edging ahead about lap twelve. One lap later, Wilson bobbled slightly on the backstretch, turning second over to Lennox. One more caution with three laps to go set up a single file dash to the checkers, with Becerra picking up his first win of the season at QR. Wilson regained second, an overheating Lennox hung on for third ahead of Anders and Tanner Klingele. Weitholder and Long were heat race winners in modified action, but the redraw put Michael outside row one and Dave outside row two. By the second trip past the flag stand, Long had a big lead, while Weitholder stretched his advantage over Craig Spegal. Slower traffic on lap nine did nothing to slow Long, as he negotiated the lapped cars with ease, maintaining a straightaway lead. In fact, Michael had lapped all but three cars when the only caution of the race wiped out his lead with three laps to go. But it only delayed the inevitable, as he cruised to the win, unofficially the 300th of his career at Quincy, including 121 feature events! Weitholder, Spegal, and Shaun Deering were the other cars on the lead lap. Frankel began the UMP late model feature inside row two, but he vaulted quickly to the front using the inside line. Jason Perry took up the chase, with Denny Woodworth and Jamie Wilson slugging it out for third. In his second night out in his #533 Janes Racing machine, Mark Burgtorf fought fuel problems all night, missing time trials and his heat, and pulling out of the feature on lap two. With the leaders all running the high side of the .29 mile oval, Perry kept the pressure on Frankel. As the laps clicked off, Perry moved down one line to try and overtake the leader, but Rickey had plenty of momentum and drove a flawless race. No cautions slowed the action, with Frankel picking up the flag to flag win. Perry settled for second in front of Woodworth and Wilson. Mark Rose stopped by on his way home to Wisconsin and put his #0 in the fifth finishing spot ahead of visiting Rusty Griffaw. JoeY Gower was dialing in his #31G crate late model in his third night out, and was credited with seventh. The clock registered my self imposed 9:30 work night curfew, so I headed to the parking lot ahead of the IMCA sport compact feature. Reports have Craig Bangert picking up the win, besting Brandon Lambert. Quincy Raceways had a scheduled night off next Sunday night, and with a monster truck show the following weekend, they have also decided there will be no racing also on July 23. However racing will be held on July 30 , which also appears as a night off on the original schedule. Be sure and check the Quincy Raceways website for more info, including classes in action. The Ciltrak team has added a UMP Big Ten late model race Sunday, July 23 at the Jacksonville,Il fairgrounds facility. With Lee County Speedway in Donnellson also taking off this Friday, I am uncertain about this weekends plans, but there are several options and we will be at a track somewhere. Maybe we will see you there! Thanks for reading!