Friday, July 24, 2015

Moyer and Abreu Top Historic Night at Quincy

 The most significant night in the 41 year history of Quincy Raceways is in the books after a successful evening of racing in front of a standing room only crowd on Thursday night. I you were among the 3000 or so folks on hand, you experienced quite an evening. If you were not, boy did you miss out!  The parking lot filled up hours before race time, the adjoining Scott family property was jammed with cars, and vehicles were parked along the four lane highway leading to the track as the crowd continued to filter in during late model qualifying. The beer stand had to be replenished twice, and the kitchen was cranking out food so fast one of the grills caught on fire!
 Even though a job fair contributed to the evening as one of the title sponsors of the " Workforce 40, "
ultimately, this night was, as it should be, all about the racing.
Two classes of cars were on the card, with the Midwest Open Wheel Association 410 sprint cars supporting the World of Outlaw late models. 24 sprinters and 32 late models filled the regular and extended pit areas.
 The night began with late model time trial qualifying. Brian Shirley paced the first group of 16 cars, but first time visitor Tim McCreadie, a New Yorker, set overall quick time with a lap of 13.112 seconds. A series of ruts developed in turn three, making early qualifying a bit of adventure, but it seemed to smooth out a bit as we went along, and some later track prep took care of the issue.
 Three sprint heats were followed by four late model ten lappers. Shirley over Brandon Sheppard, Brandon Overton ahead of Shane Clanton, McCreadie followed by Bobby Pierce, and Billy Moyer topping Josh Richards all took heat wins from the front row.
  Next up was the MOWA position dash. Cory Bruns took the win, holding off a challenge from Chili Bowl winner and NASCAR competitor Rico Abreau.
  Two late model last chance races added six cars to the feature field, with Morgan Bagley and Jimmy Mars taking wins, and two provisionals, based on WoO points went to Boom Briggs and Jordon Yaggy, completing the 24 car field.
  The 25 lap sprint feature ran first, with 23 cars taking the green. Things got off to a bit of a slow start, with Bruns taking off from the pole. Abreau grabbed the lead on lap one, and on the next circuit, Brady Bacon flipped his ride. Bacon was fast early on, but blew an engine in his heat race, changed it, and now was upside down in two laps! A false start on the restart saw Casey Shuman exit the track. Back to racing, Jeremy Stndridge came to a stop in turn two, and as the field slowed, Jimmy Hurley flipped hard in turn three. After one more false start, we were back to green. The field was scrambling for position behind Abreau, who encountered slower traffic on lap 12. Winning a low - high duel for second with Bruns, Hunter Schuerenberg was closing on the leader when his rim riding sent him over the cushion on lap 15, bring out the caution. With a clear track on the restart, Abreau opened up a lead. Jerrod Hull was now on the move, challenging for the runner up spot. At the checkers, it was Abreau, Bruns, and Hull in the top three, followed by Jake Blackhurst and Brad Loyet.
  It was now time for the $8,000 to win, 40 lap headliner. The top two from each heat race had redrawn for their staring slot, and on lap one, sixth starting Shirley spun in turn three. According to WoO rules, Brian got his spot back on the false start, as Eric Wells and Justin Reed were also involved trying to avoid the # 3S. Back to green, polesitter Moyer grabbed the lead, with tour points leader  Clanton moving to second on lap two from his row three starting spot. It quickly became a two car batlle, with Moyer now running a middle groove and pinching off the low riding Clanton in turns one and two, where a bump had formed. After the sprint feature, the top groove seemed to be used up, as Pierce was going backwards running there. However, McCreadie began to make a run to the front using the high line as we approached the half way mark. Moyer caught the back of the pack by lap 15, and on lap 19 Clanton made his move, the two leaders side by side on lap 20. Clanton grabbed the lead, then used a dandy move on lap 25, splitting the now lapped cars of Jason Feger and Jason Perry to open a lead, as Moyer was caught in the lapped traffic. With the race staying green, Clanton seemed to have things in hand, but with just two laps remaining, he was forced to check up for  a slower car, and Moyer powered around to regain the lead. The veteran held on the final two laps for a popular win. The Georgia native Clanton settled for a runner up finish and $4,000 pay day. Richards advanced four spots to take third, Sheppard came from eighth to fourth, and Outside row one starter McCreadie grabbed fifth. Shirley started sixth and finished there, Chub Frank came from ninth to seventh, Baggley moved up nine spots to eighth. Rick Eckert wheeled the # 7V up four slots to ninth, with Frank Heckenast Jr advancing nine spots to complete the top ten. Mark Burgtorf was the highest finishing " local," coming from 21st to 16th.
 The Outlaws now move to Fairbury,Il for a two day show, and the sprinters continue on their four day Illinois Sprint Week tour, going to Tri City Speedway in Granite City,Il tonight. Quincy Raceways will be idle this Sunday night, returning to action on August 2.
 Thanks to the Ciltrak group for taking a big risk to bring a national tour to Quincy, it was a night that did not disappoint!

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