Monday, August 15, 2011

Pratt Back, Perry Back on Top

After devoting the first part of the weekend to family activities, Sunday was the day to saddle back up and head for the race track. It was regular racing at Quincy Raceways, with 64 cars checking in to compete in the five featured classes. We had a couple of visitors in the IMCA stock car class, including Joe Gerdes, who brought out his # 76 for the first time in 2011, and Ty Hill, who calls Dallas Center, Iowa home. Ty has visited the speedway on occasion in the past. Although Hill posted a top five run, neither the out of towners nor the locals had anything for points leader Aaron Brocksieck. Aaron blasted to the lead on lap six, survived a couple of yellows, then stretched out to a big lead, picking up his fourth points feature win of the season. Abe Huls muscled his way to a runner up finish ahead of Terry Houston, Jerry Jansen, and Hill.
The 13 car IMCA late model field rolled out second for their 30 lap finale.
Many eyes were on Keith Pratt, who ended last weeks feature upside down with a fourth place finish and a destroyed race car. Last Sunday night, things looked bleak for the # 33 team, with their shot at a points championship at both QR and 34 Raceway headed down the tubes. With a huge hand from family and friends, however, Pratt had a deal worked out with Joe Garrison of GRT for an almost new race car. While Keiths father and a buddy headed to Arkansas to pick up the car, Garrison bolted on a body, as the 33 team looked to save every step possible. With help from the Woodworth and Schlipman race teams, as well as many others, the " Kool Kat " was back on the track Saturday at 34, and QR on Sunday. Come feature time, however, It was Jason Perry grabbing the lead from Clint Kirkham on lap one, and shooting out to a big advantage. As the leader moved through traffic and the laps clicked off, eighth starting Lonnie Bailey began to close the gap on Perry. Jason was glued to the bottom of the track, while Lonnie was bumping the cushion at both ends of the .29 mile oval. The first caution flag waved on lap 25, and even though the NASCAR style restart put Bailey alongside Perry, the slow down seemed to hurt, perhaps due to Baileys tires cooling . A couple laps later, Bailey was on the move again, but again the yellow waved for a spinning Justin Reed. On the final restart, Perry got a good jump, and Bailey found himself challenged by Joey Gower. For Perry, it was his first points feature win of the year, although he picked up the opening night victory on April 3. Bailey held off Gower for second, Pratt scooted home fourth, and Matt Bailey completed the first five. The late model points race is the closest in the history of QR, with Justin Reed holding the top spot, with Bailey, Gower, Pratt, and Woodworth all within nine points of the top, with two points nights remaining.
After a four week suspension from the track during which time he sold his car, Bobby Anders has picked up right where he left off. Now behind the wheel of Wes Mayfields #21, Bobby powered his way to a flag to flag win in the 20 lap feature. Second generation pilot Tanner Klingele challenged Anders, but could not get by.
The 4 cylinder Wild Things saw nine of the ten entrants start the main event, after Kevin Baze rolled his # 7 in his heat race. Craig Bangert picked up the win over points leader Seth Woodruff.
The 20 car strong UMP modifieds were last on the card, with all but Chris Spalding making the call. As often happens, the open wheelers were plagued by caution flags early on until the field is pared down a bit, then things seem to heat up. Shawn Deering took the early lead, with Jared Schlipman taking over on lap four. Following another restart, Michael Long moved to the front, and held off all challengers to collect his second consecutive main event win. Point leader Steven Delonjay wrestled second away from Schlipman, with Deering sticking around in fourth. Dave Weitholder broke something in the front end of his #05 on about lap six, but managed to keep the car under him to finish fifth.
If you have never been to QR, this coming Sunday night would be a good opportunity to do so. It is fan appreciation night, with $5.00 adult admission, and the IMCA sport mods added to the regular five class card.
As for me, plans for this weekend are up in the air for Saturday, then back to QR on Sunday. See you at the races!

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