Michael Long continued his march to a possible UMP modified national title Sunday night at Quincy Raceways. Entering the week with a slight lead over chief rival Mike Harrison, Long saw his regular tracks rained out Friday and Saturday, so he journeyed to Spoon River Speedway on Saturday and picked up a win, then headed home for Sunday night action. He paced qualifying with a lap of 14.829 seconds, and picked up his heat race win, following which he rolled the die for a straight up start in the 20 lap feature. 15 cars took the green flag, including Kenny Bringer, who competed in both the IMCA sport mod class and the UMP mod feature. After one false start in the main event, Long jumped to the lead before a lap three caution saw the night end early for Spencer Havermale. On the restart, Dave Weitholder moved past row two starter Rick Conoyer for second. Long and Weitholder quickly distanced themselves from the pack, and as the race reached its mid point, Michael rode the cushion to a commanding lead. Weitholder tried to stay close using the bottom of the speedway. but with no more cautions, Long cruised to the win. Weitholder came home in second followed by Conoyer, Kevin Blackburn, and Shaun Deering.
IMCA stock cars started off the feature parade, with ten starters. Jerry Jansen was an early casualty last week with still unknown engine woes, so he brought last years # 06 to the track on Sunday. Starting on the pole, he led lap one, but by the second time around, he was shuffled behind Abe Huls, Jake Powers, and Michael Larsen. The caution flew on lap three, and on the restart it was Huls and Powers running the bottom line while Larsen tried to bri8ng in the cushion. AQnother yellow on lap six was followed by a false start, and back to green Larsen found what he was searching for, blasting around Huls on the high side. Abe eventually took to the top groove as well, and the two ran nose to tail until a caution on the white flag lap set up a green, white, checkers finish. The stoppage came for third and fourth place Powers and Shane Paris, as Paris went hot into turn three, sending both cars to the back. Neither driver stopped, but there was debris on the track, and both drivers were charged with the caution. Huls pushed ahead briefly in the closing pair of laps, but Larsen kept his # 48 on the top side, and came first to the checkers. Huls took second ahead of Brian Hoener. Andrew Hustead recovered from the lap six yellow to take fourth ahead of visiting Tyler Gilmour from Peoria,Il.
Ten UMP late models made the feature call. Jason Perry had posted quick time of 13.677 seconds, but it was Denny Woodworth capturing the first heat. The late model lawyer rolled a four, putting Dustin Griffin on the pole with Perry alongside. Perry shot to the early lead, holding on as a battle raged behind him. Woodworth slipped past Griffin for second on lap six, and the front two pulled away from the pack. But by lap nine, Griffin was again on the move, and lap 13 saw a three wide battle for the top spot. Perry held on, with Griffin claiming second. Three circuits later, Justin Reed cleared Woodworth for third. In the closing laps, Perry stretched his lead, and with race caution free, he cruised to his second win of the season. He joined the list of two time winners at QR this season, with no one having more than two. Griffin took runner up honors over Reed, Woodworth, and Mark Burgtorf. Alan Westling piloted Jim Moons back up car to sixth, passing seventh finishing Moon to do so. Trent Grotz, Cliff Powell and Trace Westling, who retired early, rounded out the action.
Brenden Ryan was the early leader in the IMCA sport mod 18 lapper before a caution for Justin Ebbing and Tanner Klingele, who became hooked together. Back to racing, Nathan Bringer charged in to second, and on the fourth trip around, he took the lead, with Austen Becerra following in second. After another yellow, row six starter Brandon Lennox advanced to fifth, and then quickly to third. Yet another caution saw Becerra bobble a bit, and Lennox used the opening to climb to second, with Joey Gower moving to third. The lead pack was hugging the inside line while Becerra tried to make up ground on the top of the track. When the checkers waved, it was Bringer with his second win of the season, followed by Lennox, Gower, Ebbing, and Becerra.
A dozen IMCA sport compacts signed in bolstered by a trio of Lee County regulars. One of those, Barry Taft, completed only one lap of his heat race before pulling to the infield, done for the evening. Craig Bangert jumped out front to pace lap one, and things got dicey when Brandon Herron spun in front of the field on lap two. Everyone avoided the # 88 and the race stayed green. Perennial front runner Josh Barnes pulled to the infield on lap two, his night over. Bangert continued to stretch his lead, and second running Brandon Lambert also opened an advantage on the rest of the pack. With no yellows, Bangert cruised to a straightaway lead and win. Lambert ran second, while Austen Becerra, shaking out a new # 04 car, finished ahead of Kimberly Abbott and Brandon Reu.
The quickly run program saw the final checkers wave well before the 9:00 hour.
Friday night, I hope to be back in my regular spot at Lee County Speedway, as they begin to wind down their regular season, then Sunday it will be regular racing again at Quincy Raceways. Until next time, enjoy racing at your favorite track!