Monday, April 2, 2012

Racin'Thru the Weekend

Last week, I found out that I was expected to not go racing this past Saturday night, but instead help babysit our youngest grandson. Armed with that information, buddy Darryl and I made the trturn trip to Highland,Il Speedway to get our first actual racing fix of 2012 after being rained out on St Patricks Day. Everything was going according to plan until the phone rang Saturday afternoon, with Jeff Broeg on the line. His first question was " Are you going racing somewhere tonight? " " No..." " Would you like to? " Uh oh, that, my friends is a rhetorical question. So after making rash promises at seeking redemption to the Mrs., eldest grandson Keagan and I hooked up with Mr Backstretch and headed to the newly renamed Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. Jeff has a detailed account of the nights action on the Backstretch, so I will just day that while there were a lot of opening night problems, we still came away happy to have been there. If you gave never been to the Ken Schrader/Ray Marlar owned 1/3 mile facility, I urge you to make the trip. The facilities are good, and the racing is simply bad fast. Two drivers from my area, specifically Quincy,Il, made the trip down, Brothers in law Michael Long with his # 18L modified, and Rickey Frankel making his season debut with his # 33F UMP late model. Michael did not draw well, and cut down a tire in his heat race, sending him to one of two B -mains. While he was able to transfer to the feature event, he started 17th, and could only advance to tenth on the slick track. He still fared better than Rickey, who broke a J-bar bracket as he exited turn two in his heat race. His car made a sharp 180 degree right turn, slamming him drivers side first into the outside concrete retaining wall. At first glance, Frankel said he would not be able to make repairs to race the Sunday home opener at Quincy Raceways, but a lengthy and focused effort by the 33 team had him back on the track as Quincy Raceways entered the UMP late model weekly family for the first time as the track begins its 38 th season of operation. Again, Jeff has a detailed analysis of the action, at least until the lights went out! Following a thirty minute delay for the outage, veteran Tony Dunker, wheeling a number 3 sportmod, picked up the win in the fledgling open wheel class. Why the
" Team 4 Boss " decided to run # 3 in the sport mod class remains a mystery, but he was decidedly fast in holding off first Dean Kratzer, who nabbed third, and young Tanner Klingele, also sporting a number different from his hobby stock. Tanner has his Dads old number, 73 on his open wheeler. For his part, Kratzer should be pleased, as he is still recovering from some rather serious health problems which has put his program somewhat behind in the early going. The hobby stock feature was a crash fest, but young Jake Powers stayed out of trouble to grab the win, while Chuck Fullenkamp made the haul from Fort Madison, Iowa pay off with a Sport Compact win. Congrats to them, as well as late model winner Justin Reed, mod victor Steven Delonjay, and stock car hotshoe Abe Huls on opening night wins. The 91 car field and full grandstands offers hope for a successful 2012 season at Quincy Raceways. If you are thinking of making the trip to Quincy, remember the April and May start times of 4:45 hot laps and 5:30 racing. In two weeks, on April 15, the UMP Northern All Star late models come to town for a $2000 to win show that should draw a large field of top notch late models. It may only be the first week in April but the race season is already in high gear! See you at the track

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