Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

  June 30, 2011 - Against all odds, Quincy Raceways was able to stage mid season championship races on Wednesday night, June 29. Although the raceways experienced some minor damage in the devastating early Monday storms, the track and pit area was in good shape by Wednesday evening. As might have been expected, both car and crowd count was down somewhat as the Tri State area continued to clean up and repair, and even as race time came, some residents still were without power. At least the weatherman cooperated and offered up a splendid evening for the evenings activities.

  With hot laps out of the way, the heat races started a few minutes early, and were completed in about 45 minutes, with the only caution periods coming in the final heat race of the night, modified heat two.

  The stock car feature was the first on the track, and although it was midseason championship, no points could be awarded to the stock cars or late models, as both classes had IMCA specials going on in Iowa. QR had earlier received permission to award points on Tuesday night make up nights when there were no such specials, however the decision has been made to switch to Wednesdays as the permanent night for make up races. With the redraw formula being used, heat race winner Beau Taylor charged from the outside front row to take the early lead. Taylor ran the high groove, with polesitter Kevin Tomlinson on the bottom, and the two ran side by side for five laps, with Beau on top each time by. On lap six, Aaron Brocksieck used the inside groove to move to the front. Taylor kept his # 2T within striking distance, pulling ahead on the backstretch, but Aaron was fast off the bottom in turns three and four, and eventually opened up a car length lead, going on to his fifth feature win in seven tries in 2011 at the Bullring. Taylor held off Tomlinson for a season best second, Abe Huls charged to  fourth, and Gabe Harrison completed the top five. The 15 lap race went green to checkers with no yellows.

   Next up was the hobby stock 20 lap finale, with Jake Powers and Wes Mayfield setting a fast pace as they battled back and forth. Point leader Steve Carlin soon joined the chase, but the night belonged to the hard luck Mayfield. After a nightmare early season, the veteran had his # 21 dialed in, and cruised to the midseason title. Powers ran a strong second, followed by Carlin, Tanner Klingele, and Jim Powell. Nathan Anders was behind the wheel of the # 20 formerly driven by cousin Bobby, but Nathan had mechanical issues and finished seventh. Again, no caution periods slowed the race.

   The 30 lap late model headliner ran next, with second heat winner Keith Pratt and Joey Gower on the front row. Keith won the drag race to turn one, and quickly locked in on the bottom groove. Gower followed in hot pursuit, and heat one winner and points leader Lonnie Bailey quickly charged from row three to join the leaders. For the third straight feature of the night, no caution periods occured, and Pratt became the seventh different late model winner in seven nights of action. Billy Genenbacher took fourth, and Robbie Warner moved from eighth on the starting grid to take fifth. Jake Griffin rolled home sixth and he will likely be a full time two class racer as he now has an IMCA spec motor. Long time QR regular Gary Wilson brought his # 55 ULMA late model to the track in hopes of getting in some practice laps, but as the race was not officially IMCA sanctioned, he was allowed to strap on some IMCA tires and compete in the nights events. Gary dropped out of the feature in the middle stages. Ron Elbe had a good run going when he appeared to break a rear shock on his # 3 machine, falling back to eighth. Among the missing were Justin Reed, who finished second to Jeff Aikey in a Summer Series race in Iowa, and Denny Woodworth who was working in the StLouis metro area and could not get home in time.

  The Wild Thing field was extremely thin, with only six cars, but they never the less ran an entertaining 12 laps. Bill Michel ( pronounced

" Mitchell " ) has been making the pull down from Farmington, Iowa, about a 65 - 70 mile tow, and he jumped out to a commanding lead. Disaster struck as he took the white flag, as he had a tire go down on his yellow # 69. Kimberly Abbott was running in the second spot, but she slowed a bit when Michel did, and first time visitor Robert Thompson from Macomb moved past both cars for the lead. Kimberly recovered to take the runner up slot, with Austin Uppinghouse edging Michel out of turn four for fourth. Seith Woodruff took fifth.

And again, no yellow flags!

  The final mid season feature was for the UMP modifieds. All 14 entrants took the green flag, and the run of consectutive caution free laps quickly came to an end. I will spare you the details, but five yellow flags slowed the event, and kudos to flagman Chris Miller, for avoiding a green, white, checkers finish after a car spun in turn one as the white flag waved. So a total of eight yellows for a night of racing would be considered a good night - too bad the mods had them all! The moist serious of the stoppages came on lap five when the # 2S of Ryan Morrison went up in smoke, and apparently had some fire in the engine compartment. Through it all, front row starter Steven Delonjay held the top spot and the bottom groove, take a flag to flag 25 lap win. Perpetual runner up Shawn Deering picked up his fourth second place finish after an exciting duel with visiting veteran Danny Crane, from Columbia, Mo. Crane is locked in a battle for UMP Missouri state points - QR is in the Missouri region - with QR regular Dave Weitholder. Dave rolled home fifth behind Troy Grotz, picking up enough points to take over the track points lead. Jared Schlipman was out of the area on Wednesday, costing him the points lead.

   This Sunday night, July 3 will feature the secons and final visit of 2011 of the above mentioned IMCA Deery Brothers late model Summer Series, contesting a 40 lap feature for $ 2,000 to win. The youngest member of the racing Eckrich brothers, Andy, leads the series points coming into the Quincy stop.The late models and four other regular classes will be joined on the holiday card by the IMCA Sport Mods, an evolutionary cousin of the old B- mod class. The rumor is that it may be an audition for 2012, however the $500 top prize and holiday night may not paint an accurate portrait of the potential for the class. We shall see. In any event, the season is going by way to fast, so make plans to be on hand on Sunday for some great racing action.



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