Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans
June 8 - If
you did not take a chance on the Tuesday night reschedule at Quincy
Raceways, you missed some of the very best racing of 2011. After seven
Sunday washouts in ten weeks, Tony and Paul came through on their earlier
promise to try Tuesday night make ups after school was out. Given the fact
that it was the first such attempt, given the 95 degree heat, given the fact
if was a week night, given the fact there was a Deery Brothers Summer Series
late model race in Iowa, and given the fact that the IMCA classes could not
be awarded points, the whole deal had a lot of potential pitfalls. So the 56
car field was a pleasant surprise, with four of the five classes drawing
average or better fields. Amazingly, it was the UMP modifieds, who were
running for track as well as national and state points who were short on
cars with eleven.
The crowd was
less than Sunday night sized, but was apparently good enough, as the
experiment is set to continue as needed. And given the forecast of rain
again this Sunday... Incredibly, mid season championship night is two and a
half weeks away, and QR has only one late model point night in the books.
That means that if we are able to race for points this week, it will still
be a draw, redraw night for the late models.
The 14 car
turnout in the late model class was a pleasant surprise, with Jake Griffin
again allowed to compete with his crate engine, and Tom Goble making the
trek south from Burlington. The LM feature was the highlight of the night,
with numerous lead changes. Joey Gower was in charge early, before Denny
Woodworth powered by and checked out. Dennys car seemed to fade, and Lonnie
Bailey soon took over. A restart saw Woodworth again take the top spot, but
agsin his ride " went away " as the laps piled up, and Gower came back with
six laps to go to retake the lead and pick up the win. Keith Pratt, Bailey,
Darin Weisinger , and goble chased the front two across the stripe. A three
car pile up in heat number one saw Dustin Neese get upside down, partially
on Weisingers ride. Although his car looked to have quite a bit of damage,
Dustin came back to run the entire feature. Bill Genenbacher was also caught
up in the melee, made it back out for the feature and again left on the hook
after being in the wrong place!
mods ran the last feature, but it was an entertaining one, and the shortage
of cars may have actually made for better racing, with few caution periods.
Shawn Deering sat on the pole, still in search of his first feature win,
while Festus, Missouri ace Rusty Griffaw, who had the outside draw, made the
long drive north in search of UMP points. Deering took the low groove to an
early lead, while Griffaw clearly had set his mount up to run the top lane.
Unfortunately for him, the top groove was pretty well gone by the time the
open wheelers took to the speedway for the nights final event. As the two #
16s battled, Jared Schlipman inched forward, passing first Griffaw, then
Deering with six laps to go. A restart one lap later allowed Jared to pick
the bottom groove, and he powered to the victory. Once again, Deering
settled for the runner up slot, with Griffaw besting Dave Weitholder for
Brocksieck returned to the winners circle for the fourth time in the stock
car 15 lapper, topping an eight car field in a non stop event. Aaron started
up front and led the distance, although Kevin Tomlinson, who has captured
the only feature Brocksieck did not win, put pressure on in the closing
laps. Jerry Jansen held off Gabe Harrison for third. Terry Houston was among
the front fronnerers when a flat tire ended his run on the final lap. The
hobby stocks measured 13 stong, with all starting the 20 lap finale. Bobby
Anders was looking to make it five wins in a row, and started the race in
the third row. Jim Powell led lap one, stopping Anders consecutive laps led
streak at 76. By lap two, Bobby was out in front, and he promptly started
another streak, leading the final 19 laps for win number five in five tries.
Amazingly, Anders has been out front for 95 of 100 feature laps, and is also
five for five in heat races. In short, he has not been beat at QR yet in
2011. Anybody think it might be " bounty time? " Steve Carlin patiently
worked his way to second, but could not over take the leader. Jkae Powers
and Adam Scott completed the top four.
Things came to race, with Bill Michel again making the pull from Farmington,
Iowa, and Todd Nelson chcking in from Springfield,Il. But it was Casey
Kendrick, from New London, Mo. who took off from the front row, and quickly
built a big lead. It took Nelson and Michel several laps to work their way
forward, but when they did, Kendrick remained in charge. Devin Still garbbed
fourth in the 12 lapper.
All in all,
it was one of the best nights of 2011 at QR, and despite a later weeknight
starting time of 7:00, the final checkers waved about 9:40. The Tuesday
night deal may work fine, but heres hoping we can have racing this Sunday
atQuincy Raceways - the way it was meant to be!