Monday, September 9, 2013

More Big News From Quincy Raceways

The racing program Sunday night at Quincy Raceways was beset with problems, but it may have been an historic night, none the less. The evening was fraught with rumor, and a poorly kept secret was announced on Monday. Pending the final dotting of " I's " and crossing of " T's , " the track is set to be leased to Last Chance Promotion based in Jacksonville,Il. The front man for the three person group is Ken Dobson, who is also the director of the Midwest Open Wheel Association sprint car series. Other members are Mike Wankel and Tom Casson. The group has also promoted racing at the Jacksonville Speedway for the past two seasons. Nothing will be official until papers are signed, but Dobson indicated that late models will continue to headline the program going forward. 2014 will be season number 40 for the Broadway Bullring.
 A combination of factors made for a long night on Sunday. First, a morning rain shower put track prep behind, resulting in a late starting show. The rough track was reworked a couple times during the night, but continued to be an issue. Due to " real  life " circumstances, some key members of the Sunday night crew were absent, putting a strain on the remaining crew. The ambulance crew was called not once, but twice to the grandstands, well you get the picture. During one delay, the 2013 Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame class was introduced, including former drivers Dick Crane, Lonnie Carter, Joe Gower and Tom Long.
 In between, there was some pretty good racing. 13 UMP late models checked in, with Mark Burgtorf setting quick time at 13.843 seconds. Even qualifying was beset by controversy. Seven cars had attempted to qualify, but Burgtorf and visiting Steve Thorsten from Milford,Il both suffered flat left rear tires. The decision was made to check the track, some grading was done, and time trials were restarted.  Burgtorf rolled a " three " to set the dash lineup, putting McKay Wenger from Fairbury,Il on the front row alongside UMP national point leader Brandon Sheppard. It was the first ever appearance for Wenger at QR, while B Shepp made the long tow from the World 100 where he finished 15th on Saturday night. Sheppard held off fourth starting Jason Perry to capture the dash after Wenger broke six laps in.  The win gave him the pole for the 30 lap finale. Brandon led lap one of the feature before Perry took over on lap two. These two began to check out on the field while Wenger and Burgtorf swapped the third spot a couple of times. On lap 13 Sheppard regained the point as the leaders negotiated slower traffic. A lap 17 yellow bunched the field, but on the restart Sheppard and Perry again built an advantage. The yellow waved for the second time for debris on lap 24 and one lap later Wenger took third back from Burgtorf. One more caution flew on lap 26, and two laps later Burgtorf retired with another flat tire. Sheppard held on for his fourth QR win, tying Michael Long for the track lead. 2012 track champion Perry took second, with Wenger running a strong third. 2013 track point leader Denny Woodworth ran fourth, edging out Jared Schlipman, while Thorsten brought his damaged number 7T home sixth.
 The UMP modified count stood at 22, with NASCARs Kenny Wallace posting fast time. Wallace rolled a " six " for the dash invert. Dave Weitholder was able to make less than one lap of the dash after hurting his engine Saturday night at Pevely. Point leader Steven Delonjay also failed to finish after suffering front suspension damage. Delonjay made hasty repairs to start the feature in row 11, while number two point man Weitholder borrowed the sport mod of Trevor Hagerbaumer for the 25 lapper. Justin Reed was back after a nasty crash in the Begley # B4 a couple weeks back, and he took off from the pole as the green waved. Delonjay used a handful of yellows and some aggressive moves to work his way through the field advancing to third by lap 11. It then took him until a lap 23 restart to claim second after a ferocious battle with Chris Spalding. Wallace followed Delonjay around Spalding, but Chris regained the third spot at the checkers. It was a flag to flag win for Reed, who now has both a late model and modified win this season. Robbie Reed completed the top five, as only eight cars took the checkers out of 21 starters.
  Abe Huls made the long haul back from a successful run at the Boone Supernationals to pick up win number seven in the IMCA stock car division. After suffering a flat tire on the trailer headed south, the # 30C crew stopped in Carthage just long enough to unload a few suitcases and head for QR. With the IMCA classes not racing for points due to the Boone rain date, a draw, redraw format was used for the stock cars, sport mods, and sport compacts. While Jack Powers took the lead at the green, Jerry Jansen was the leader as lap one was scored, and he held off 2012 champ Terry Houston early. When Houston bobbled on lap four, Powers and Huls roared past. It was lap nine when Abe made his move around Jansen. The three challengers battled behind Abe, with Houston back to second on lap ten. Powers edged Jansen for third in the non stop 15 lapper.
 The redraw was kind to defending champion and point leader Tony Dunker in the IMCA sport mod class. Tony drew a front row spot, and led all 20 laps for his 29th consecutive top two finish. The race was red flagged when Brandon Dale clipped one of the tractor tires and went into a series of flips in his #12. The youngster appeared unhurt, but his car was heavily damaged. The time limit hit on lap 16, with Jeff Delonjay the only car in the same time zone as Dunker. Todd Reed and Charles Vanzandt also posted top four runs.
  The IMCA sport compacts ran the final feature of the night. 12 of the 13 entrants took the green, and with the draw format, Kimberly Abbott secured the pole position. She led until a lap two restart, when Austen Becerra powered by for the lead and eventual win, I believe his fifth in a row. and yes, it was a different car than the one he destroyed Saturday night at 34 Raceway. Abbott held on for second ahead of  Laine Vanzandt and Brandon Lambert.
 Quincy Raceways still has three weeks of Sunday night racing remaining. As for me, September racing is one of my favorite times, so maybe we will meet Racin' Down the Road.

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