Monday, August 31, 2015

Pierce Leads the Way at Quincy

 The largest non special late model field of 2015 turned out on a hot, humid, Sunday night at Quincy Raceways. 20 UMP late models headlined the 75 car five class program.
 UMP Summernationals champion Bobby Pierce paced late model qualifying with a lap of 13.526 seconds, and former late model ace Rickey Frankel topped the UMP mod time trials. Things got off to a rocky start, when Justin Wade, subbing for John Hahler in the Moon Racing # 124 late model jumped the tall cushion in turn two in his heat race, flipping a couple of times and landing on his roof. Wade was not injured, but the car was tangled in the fence, and it took a while to get back to action.
The top groove was the fast way around in heat race action, and outside polesitter Jamie Wilson bested Pierce in the first ten lapper. But Jamie then rolled a four for the feature invert, putting Bobby back on the pole for the feature.
 The IMCA sport mods ran the first money race. 19 cars had checked in, but when Tony Dunker had problems with his # 3, the Nathan Hayes # 1 car came out of the garage, arriving at intermission for the veteran Dunker to drive in the 18 lapper. Wes Mayfield paced the field from row one through two early cautions. On the fifth circuit, Tanner Klingele, who had rolled to a stop in hot laps, took over the top spot. Lee County Speedway and 34 Raceway point champ Joey Gower moved to third on lap seven, and at the half way mark, a five car battle had formed at the front. Following a lap nine yellow, Mayfield had regained the lead, and Dunker, starting on the back in a borrowed car was up to sixth. Brandon Lennox charged to third on the restart, and again a four car battle developed. On thre 13th circuit, Klingele retook the point, and Mayfield looped his ride, bringing out the caution. Dunker advanced to fourth on the restart, as Lennox and Gower raced side by side for second. When the checkers waved, Klingele had come from row five to take the win and the points lead. Gower grabbed second ahead of Lennox, Dunker, and Austen Becerra.
 Only eight IMCA stock cars were on hand, but as usual, the racing was outstanding. Brandon Savage had captured the last two wins, and he quickly grabbed the lead from the outside pole. As Savage led the charge, Abe Huls moved in to challenge on lap seven, taking command one lap later. Lap 11 saw Andrew Hustead slip past Savage as the low groove began to come around. The race went caution free, with Huls taking the winover Hustead. Savage came home third one day before his birthday, just ahead of his brother in law Beau Taylor. Point leader Jim Lynch was fifth.
  Nine rows of super late models took to the track, with Wade and Trace Westling, who lost a drive shaft in his heat, not making the call. Pierce and Denny Woodworth paced the field, but a mixup mid pack brought out the caution before a lap was scored. Back to racing, the youngster and the veteran ran side by side, Pierce a nose ahead on lap one, and Denny by the same margin on lap two. The front two broke away, side by side until slower traffic came in to play on the ninth go around. Pierce took advantage of a lapped car, opening a lead at this point. Half way through the 25 lapper, fifth starting Mark Burgtorf moved to third, setting up a duel with Woodworth. Pierce continued to stretch his lead, as UMP national points contender Michael Kloos stormed to third on lap 22. Just as a three car battle for second was forming, the caution came out on lap 23. Woodworth took the low side on the Delaware restart, with the now third place Burgtorf  on the outside. As the green waved, Mark rocketed ahead, but another mid pack scrum negated the start. This time, Denny chose the outside, but Burgtorf was on a mission and again grabbed the runner up spot. He took one lap to try to set up Pierce, then pulled a dandy high/low move out of turn four, but came up a half car length short at the flagstand.  In thee post race interview, Bobby said his car was getting loose and his tires were going away, and he was happy the race was over! Burgtorf settled for second ahead of Woodworth, Kloos, and Justin Reed. University of Missouri college student Joseph Hughs was sixth, leading Jason Perry, 18th starting Moon, Gordy Gundaker, and Keith Pratt.
 Jake Griffin was a no show in the UMP modified 25 lapper, giving us 16 starters, Frankie Wellman and Dave Weitholder paced the field, with Dave scoring the first lap lead. Two circuits later, fourth starting Michael Long cleared Wellman, and soon the top two had opened up a sizable advantage on the field. Weitholder was riding the rim, with Long working the low side. As with the late models, slower traffic came in to play. On lap ten, Michael chose the better line, taking the top spot. One lap later, the first caution flag waved, and on the restart, Long checked out. Yet another dandy four car battle developed for second through fifth, with Weitholder, Frankel, Shawn Deering, and sixth row starter Steven Delonjay. Long was in anothe time zone when Delonjay powered to third on the 19th circuit, but again a lap 22 caution period wiped out his big margin. It was only a temporary set back, as Michael pulled away as the green waved. Meanwhile, Deering took advantage, grabbing the third spot and putting pressure on Weitholder. At the checkers, it was Long, Weitholder, Deering, Delonjay, and Russ Coultas. It was the fifth win in a row for Michael, and his ninth overall in what has been an incredible season for the driver of the # 18L.
 The final feature of the evening was the ten car IMCA sport compact 15 lapper. Brandon Lambert charged to the early lead, pacing the pack for ten green flag laps. Following a caution perios, Kimberly Abbott has moved up to the runnerup spot, with Brandon Reu running strong in third. With the leader in her sights, Abbott had a tire go down with just two laps to go, dropping her to seventh at the finish. Reu took the second spot ahead of Trent Orwig and Jeffrey Delonjay. Alyssa Steele had jumped the cushion in turn three on the opening, lap, but she pulled back on the track a half lap down, but without bringing out the caution. She was rewarded with a fifth place finish, as she shows no lasting effects from an early season mishap that landed the 17 year old in University of Iowa hospitals. As for Abbott, what looked for awhile like a runaway track title now has her unofficially clinging to a five point lead over Lambert, who has now won three consecutive features.
 Quincy Raceways will host a special race program on Friday, featuring sport mods, stock cars, sport compacts, spectator drags, and more, with FREE ADMISSION. Regular points racing continues next Sunday, with three more points nights, and racing scheduled through the end of September.

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