Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans


May 11, 2011 -  After three straight weeks of Sunday night baseball, Mother Nature finally relented and let us get back to racing at Quincy Raceways. That was the good news. The bad news is that Mothers Day is always a tough draw for both cars and fans, but none the less there was plenty of action on a warm night on the dirt. Fifteen IMCA late models checked in to do battle, including three making their season debut. Robbie Warner was back with a # 79 that he is fielding as his own car owner. Dustin Neese rolled in with his familiar # 8. And Jason Krigbaum was back after having purchased Terry Gallahers ride late last week. Terry has apparently decided to hang up his helmut - at least for now. Come feature time, Justin Reed, who now calls Collinsville,Il home, and Keith Pratt sat on the front row. The duo ran first and second Saturday night at 34 Raceway, with KP picking up the win. Sunday was to belong to Justin, however, as he held off a host of challengers to pick up win number one of 2011. At the checkers, defending champion Denny Woodworth had advanced from a row four start to finish second. Lonnie Bailey started third and finished there, while Pratt took fourth. A mid race skirmish between Matt Bailey and Jason Perry moved Bill Genenbacher to fifth, just ahead of Krigbaum, a good start to his season.

   As might be expected, the UMP modifieds led the way in car count with 22.

The quality of modifieds at QR is a bright spot, but unfortunately, the caution flag must be displayed far too often. I am a fan of side by side restarts, but the mods seem to have a lot of trouble adjusting to the close quarters, as the nine car pileup on a lap nine restart demonstrated. By that time, second row starter Michael Long had moved to the top spot and he had just to survive a few more yellow flags to pick up the win. Rickey Frankel in the Mike Begley # B4 and Vance Wilson in his own # B1 were trying to run down Michael when they made contact in turn one, with both spinning. Much has been made of the incident, and in fact some actions after the spin got both drivers black flagged. From the very good vantage point I had for the contact, it looked like good, hard racing by two good drivers. Hopefully both will be back to race each other some more! Defending champion Jared Schlipman hung around to take second. Canton, Mo. driver Adam Birck may have had the run of the night in his first visit of the year. Adam brought his IMCA mod to the track and picked up a third place run. The race ended five laps short of the scheduled 25 laps as the time limit expired.

  Only seven IMCA stock cars made the trip Sunday, but the racing was good anyway. Aaron Brocksieck had captured two straught features, but he rolled to a stop on the backstretch on the start with a flat tire. Quick hot pit action got him back out in time, and Aaron set sail with his pink # 40A in pursuit of race leader and defending champion Terry Houston. Aaron used the top groove to move to the front, staying perfect for 2011 in feature racing at QR. Houston took second after an exciting side by side finish with Andrew Griffin. The finish was so close, only the transponder scoring could determine who took second. Kevin Tomlinson took fourth in his back up # 49KB normally driven by Kelly Bartz after breaking in the heat race.

  Ten of the twelve hobby stocks started their 20 lap finale, with Justin Bartz and Tanner Klingele watching from the trailer. Tanner got everyones attention in hot laps, shucking a drive shaft and spreading drive train parts down the front stretch. With two time winner Bobby Anders and defending champion Steve Carlin side by side in row one, the smart money had the battle to lead into turn one as the key part of the race, and that was born out. Anders took the early point, and lead the distance, giving him 56 fearure laps led and three wins in three tries in 2011. Only one caution period slowed the action, with Carlin in the runnerup spot. Keokuk, iowa driver Brandon Symmonds had his best run of the season, pushing Carlin to the flag.

  The Wild Thing car count was a bit low at eight, but again, Mothers Day likely played a roll. Still the 12 lapper produced some of the best racing of the night. Craig Bangert took the win ahead of Seith Woodruff and Austin Uppinghouse. Casey Kendrick came home fourth ahead of our two lady racers, Sierra Bueker and Kimberly Abbott. Track officials expect the 4 cylinder car count to increase, and I would be inclined to agree.

  This coming Sunday night is one of the highlights of the 2011 schedule. After an absence of a half dozen years or so, the cars and stars of the United States Modified Touring Series - USMTS - comes to QR as part of a three race swing through the area. With the aforementioned quality of our weekly mods led by Michael Long and company, it will be fun to see who comes out on top. In addition, the other weekly classes of IMCA late models, IMCA stock cars, QR hobby Stocks, and Wild Things will be in action. You won't want to miss this one.

See you there!






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