After a holiday weekend of non racing activities, Sunday night found me back in my familiar spot at Quincy Raceways. The Midwest Open Wheel Association 410 cubic inch sprint cars were added to the card this week, and a total of 81 cars checked in led by 23 sprints and 58 cars spread throughout the regular five classes. Michael Long was behind the wheel of the # 1F UMP modified normally driven around the St Louis area by Mike Francis. It is a car that Long built in the off season. Michael proceeded to turn the fastest modified qualifying lap of 2014 at 14.888 seconds. Justin Reed then topped late model qualifying with a lap of 13.683 seconds around the .29 mile oval.
The three sprint heats ran first on the card, with series point leader Jarrod Hull taking an easy win in heat one. The second ten lapper was setting up for a great finish when number two point man, teenager Paul Nienhiser miscalculated a turn two slide job as he attempted to move from third to the lead. While he cleared second place Chris Urish, he made hard contact with leader Ryan Bunten, sending both cars pitside on the hook. It was a race of attrition, with only three of eight starters around at the checkers. Australian racer Trevor Reynolds won a duel of # 47s with Brett Sammonds to take the final heat.
just before intermission, Hull easily captured the six car position dash to set the first three rows of the main event.
Following a lengthy intermission to rework the racing surface, the feature order was changed up, with the sprints running first. Reynolds got things off to an interesting start when he rolled his ride during the warm up laps! Some quick hot pit work got a new wing on the car, and he rejoined the tail of the field in time for the green. Hull led the 20 car field as the green waved following one false start. Hull put the # 12 in the low groove, while Urish went to the high side, grabbing the lead one lap later. The leaders encountered slower traffic by lap seven, and they ran in heavy traffic the rest of the 25 laps, as the race went non stop. Nienhauser started in the fifth row, and he soon found his line, as he closed on Hull even as Hull began to reel in Urish. Urish held on by a car length at the checkers, with Hull and Nienhauser bearing down on him.
Next up was the ten car UMP late model feature. Several regulars were missing on Sunday, but three drivers made their first appearance of the season, including veteran Robby Warner and Peoria area racer Bo Brockway, making his first ever visit to QR. And while Jamie Wilson was on vacation, a look alike # B155 normally driven by cousin Vance Wilson was in the pits. IMCA sport mod driver Brandon Lennox was set to pilot the car, but there was some discussion about a driver competing in both an IMCA and UMP car in the same program. Long time driver Gary Wilson was the scheduled driver at last report.
Justin Reed and Jason Perry had captured the two heat races, then reed rolled a three for the feature invert, putting Mark Burgtorf on the pole with Perry to his outside. Point leader Burgtorf took off as the green waved, and built a nice lead. After falling back some, Perry hooked up his # 27 on the low line and by lap 21 of the 30 lapper, he was dogging the leader. Burgtorf was running the middle groove, and the leaders crossed the line side by side on laps 25 and 26. On lap 27, Michael Larsen came to a stop on the front straight, bringing out the only caution of the race. Burgtorf held the point in the Delaware double file restart, but Perry was not to be denied, and he managed to get under the # 7B, taking his first win of 2014 and denying Burgtorf his first trip to victory lane. Reed retook third from Warner, and Denny Woodworth completed the first five.
It was now on the wrong side of 9:30 with four features still to go and an early Monday on my mind, so I headed for the car.
Congrats to Steven Delonjay ( mods ), Abe Huls (IMCA stock cars), Tony Dunker ( IMCA sport mods), and Austen Becerra ( IMCA sport compacts) on feature wins.
I hope to start a racing weekend with a trip to the Lee County Fair in Donnellson, Iowa Friday for UMP/IMCA late models, the 34 Raceway Saturday for the UMP Summernationals, the back to Quincy Sunday for a five class weekly show.
Maybe we will meet Racin' Down the Road!