Monday, June 20, 2016

Four Letter Words Dominate at Quincy

 The weather was hot on Sunday as I enjoyed my only race of the weekend Sunday night at Quincy Raceways. Car counts were down with the 90 plus degree temps, but a nice size crowd turned out anyway.
  Until the final feature of the night, four letter last names was the ticket to victory lane. As usual, the IMCA stock cars ran first for 18 laps. Heat race winner Cletus Coats paced the opening circuit before a lap two yellow slowed the action. On the Delaware restart, third place Abe Huls charged to the lead. With only four laps in, Abe had a straightaway lead before another caution bunched the field. The yellow was for Michael Larsen, but back under green, the veteran was back to fourth in one lap. Again Huls pulled away, but the yellow waved one final time as lap ten was scored with Larsen in third by a nose. Back to racing, Huls pulled away, but this time Brian Hoener kept the # 30C in his sights. But Huls stayed in control, starting off the four letter winners. Hoener, Larsen, Jake Powers and Beau Taylor completed the top five.
 The UMP modifieds were up next, with Michael Long looking for a sweep. Michael had paced qualifying with a lap of 14.796 seconds around the .29 mile oval, then captured the heat race. He rolled a four for the 20 lap feature invert, putting Shaun Deering and Dave Weitholder in row one. Deering jumped to the early lead, with Weitholder, Long, and Rick Conoyer in tow. Weitholder stumbled slightly on lap four, as Long moved to second. Deering was hitting his marks and holding off Long, with Weitholder again joining the breakaway. As lap nine was being scored, Long pulled a perfect slide job out of turn four to grab the lead. He then stretched his lead as Deering and Weitholder battled for second, Deering on the cushion and Weitholder trying the low line. The race stayed caution free, and Long found himself back in the winners circle, another four letter winner. Deering, Weitholder, Conoyer, and Frankie Wellman chalked up top five runs.
 Keith Pratt was missing from the UMP late model lineup after blowing his engine in the second heat. McKay Wenger, already a two time feature winner over the weekend, set quick time at 13.379 seconds, but finished behind Justin Reed in the first heat. Reed then pulled a one for a straight up start for the 25 lap finale. But it was outside polesitter Mark Burgtorf shooting to the lead, with Reed in second. Row two starters Jason Perry and Wenger made contact going through turn tow, damaging the rear spoiler on Wengers ride. Still Wenger stayed close until he slid out of the groove on lap six. Fortunately for him, the yellow waved at the same time for Charles Vanzandt, who contacted the front stretch wall. Back under green, Burgtorf built a comfortable lead as Reed and Wenger dueled for second until a caution for debris on lap nine. Point leader Denny Woodworth slipped past Wenger for third on the restart, but again Burgtorf pulled away. But on the 16th circuit, Burgtorf suddenly slowed on the backstretch and pulled to the pits, turning the lead over to, you guessed it, Reed! Perry powered around Wenger and was soon locked in a battle for second with Woodworth, but it was Reed now building a sizable margin. Perry moved to the runnerup spot on lap 21 , but Reed built on the four letter theme with his second win in a row at QR. Perry, Woodworth, Wenger, and Laine Vanzandt completed the top five.
  A dozen plus one IMCA sport mods took the green, with second generation driver Spencer Coats pacing the first trip around. It was then Levi Long and Wes Mayfield battling for the top spot on lap two, with rookie Justin Ebbing closing on the leaders. At the midway point of the 18 lapper, Mayfield spun going into turn one, with possible drive train issues, bringing out the first yellow of the night. Back to green, Tanner Klingele jumped ahead of Ebbing for second, and with Brandon Lennox and Joey Gower joining in, it was now a five car battle. On lap 13 Ebbing regained the second spot, and one lap later, Klingele spun his machine. With racing resuming, Gower advanced to third, then to second as Lennox stumbled on lap 17. And even though Gower climbed from the 13th starting spot to second, it was Levi Long, a double four letter driver picking up his first ever sport mod win.
 With quite a  bit of track prep pre race and during the night as officials tried to overcome the heat, the clock was now past 9:00 and I needed to head to the car ahead of an early Monday. Congrats to Brandon Lambert on the IMCA sport compact win, although had I stayed, I might have expected Jerry Bown to come out on top!
  It was announced that proceeds from the fifty/fifty drawing would go to the Frankel family to help with expenses from their accident. In addition, the winner of the drawing gave back the entire $505.00 winners share, helmets were passed in the stands, and the track donated $2.00 per adult and senior ticket. As a result, over $3,000.00 was raised for the long time racing family! Also, promoter Ken Dobson confirmed that he has indeed signed a " long term " lease extension to continue to operate the track.
 Although the UMP Summernational late model tour is making a pass close to the area, my next race will probably be Friday night, at the Lee County Speedway. Summer is officially here, so take in some racing!

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