Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

  June 14, 2011 - Things were looking and sounding pretty good all day Sunday for a good night of racing at Quincy Raceways. But on the way across highway 24, I noticed the building clouds in my rear view mirror. Still, things looked okay at the track, and when the heat races started several minutes before the advertised 6:30 start time with two caution free UMP modified heats, things were looking fine. Then as the first late model heat took the green, the rain began to fall. Three laps in, the caution came out, and it was time for a chorus of "here we are again". Fortunately it only rained for a few minutes, not all that hard, and with the way 2011 has gone so far, track officials and drivers alike were determined to not fall victim to another cancellation. 90 minutes and a lot of hard work later, we were racing again! With the delay and the wet conditions, the candy dash was moved behind the grandstands and the show was kept moving along on what proved to be a lightning fast and smooth racing surface. It often seems that this is this case when some rain falls early in the program and the track gets worked back in.

   After some discussion in previous weeks, the UMP mod feature was moved to first in the running order, and the 15 car field was on their best behavior. Only one caution period slowed the 25 lap event. 12 year old Jake Griffin paced the field for the first three laps before Steven Delonjay took over. Steven was dominant on the night, although Shawn Deering came through the pack to move into second place. A lapped car slowed Deering late in the race, and Dave Wietholder then held off Jared Schlipman for the runner up spot. Justin Reed, now behind the wheel of Mike Begley’s # B4 took fourth ahead of Deering. Mark Zimmer of Jacksonville made his first trip to the speedway in his # 3Z, and Kevin Morrow was a late arrival from West Peoria in his # 242, missing the heats and tagging the back of the feature.

   The hobby stocks were up next, and although there were only 11 of the 12 cars taking the green, the action was intense. Tanner Klingele led the first nine circuits before Steve Carlin took the lead. Three laps later, undefeated Bobby Anders moved into second. The caution flew on lap 15, and on the restart. Anders took the lead with a nifty move in turns one and two, and appeared headed for win number six in six tries. I am of the opinion that the hobby main should be 15 laps rather than 20, as the race is generally decided by then, and the last five laps normally only produces attrition and caution periods. Well, I was only half right on Sunday. There were two more yellow flags, and after the final one, Carlin returned the favor with an inside pass of Anders in turns one and two. Anders looped his # 20 machine, and obviously was unhappy with the proceedings, as he pointed his car at the slowing Carlin on the cool down lap, drilling the # 9 on the driver’s side. The unfortunate act earned Anders a DQ for the night, and reportedly a four week suspension, ending his bid for a track title and giving Carlin the points lead to go with his first feature win of the season. In the final lap mix-up, Wes Mayfield emerged in the second slot, ahead of Adam Scott, Nathan Hays, and Jim Powell.

    The late models rolled out next, with Bill Genenbacher jumping out to the early lead. The only stoppage of the race came out on lap two, and on the restart, Lonnie Bailey charged to the lead from his row three starting spot. Lonnie was absolutely on a rail, checking out on the field of 13. Joey Gower powered into second, and appeared to break something in the front end of his # 31G. Still Gower muscled his mount to a runner up finish, with Keith Pratt, Matt Bailey, and Genenbacher rounding out the first five. Word around the speedway is that QR officials have petitioned IMCA to be allowed the offer points for the late models and stock cars should there be any more Tuesday night make up dates. IMCA has granted the request for the Tuesday night make-up races to be run for IMCA points as long as it does not conflict with any Deery Brothers Series events or IMCA Stock Car Special Events..

   The 4 cylinder Wild Things were up next, with all nine entrants taking the green flag. The 12 lap event ran caution free, with Casey Kendrick taking another win in somewhat dominant fashion. Craig Bangert got by Kimberly Abbott for second. Bill Michel was back in town from Farmington, Iowa, this time testing a # 24 car for his wife to race, and he came home in fourth ahead of Austin Uppinghouse.

    IMCA stock cars ran the final main event of the evening, a nine car, 15 lapper. Warsaw, Il. rookie Gabe Harrison jumped out to the early lead, and never looked back in another caution free event. Aaron Brocksieck started last in the field, moved to third by lap five, and took over the second slot on the final tour around the oval, overtaking Kevin Tomlinson. Jerry Jansen held off Terry Houston for fourth.

    A couple of announcements were made on Sunday, including an upcoming visit by NASCAR veteran Kenny Wallace. The driver known as Herman will be racing his UMP modified on Sunday, June 26, which is also mid season championship night. The following Sunday, July 3 will feature the second visit of the season of the IMCA late model Summer Series. And the growing sport mod class has been added to the card for the night, meaning six classes will be in action. The IMCA SportMods, which have effectively replaced B-mods, has been drawing huge car counts in central Iowa, and 15-20 car fields at southeast Iowa venues. The IMCA SportMods will be sanctioned and award IMCA National Points.

    Even with the delay, the racing wrapped up around 10:00 on Sunday, a great job by all involved. As of this writing, the torrential rains of the last 24 hours have inundated the track with standing water; however, it has started to recede. Hopefully we can now get some drying, and racing can continue this Sunday. If so, we will still only have three late model points’ nights before mid season! What a spring this has been. See you Sunday!




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