Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans
17, 2011 - Quincy Raceways is finally on a roll, as Mother Nature has
replaced Sunday rain with clear skies, but plenty of heat! No doubt
the excessive temps have taken a toll on both fan attendance and car
count, but both were up a bit this week, and the on track action was
intense. A solid field of 18 UMP modifieds highlighted the night’s
activities, and they were first on the feature card. Unfortunately,
much of the field was not on their best behavior, and although I did
not count caution flags, I did watch the clock, and I had an
unofficial time of 42 minutes to complete the 25 laps. And by the time
the checkers waved, the track was shiny black at both ends! The
frequent stoppages had little affect on the hottest driver at QR,
Steven DeLonjay. The second generation pilot muscled his # 35 to the
front early, and hit his marks throughout the marathon for his fifth
straight main event win. Things were anything but smooth behind him,
as the competitors jostled for position, and jostled each other as
tempers flared, and sheet metal was bent. At the checkers, defending
champion Jared Schlipman crossed the line in second, with Tony Dunker
having a successful run in third in his second night back at his home
track. Vance Wilson wheeled his battered # B1 home in fourth, and
veteran Jim Roach climbed behind the wheel of the Mike Begley # B4 and
rolled home in fifth. One of the interesting battles of the night was
mod heat three, as father and son Steve and Troy Grotz dueled for the
win. “Mack Daddy" Steve held on in the eight lapper. Dave Wietholder
was strong early in the feature, but faded as the race went on. Before
the races, Dave’s wife Tonya told me not to get to close to the # 05
unless I had a tetanus shot! She said Dave told her they would replace
the body on the # 05 after 50 races. When I asked when that would be,
he said Sunday was night 46, and they hoped to get to 50 this week.
Dave is a true racer!
Second up on Sunday was the 15 lap IMCA stock car finale. Eight cars
took the green flag, and only one caution period slowed the action. As
always, the stock cars put on a close, entertaining main event. Abe
Hulls was able to get out front from his third row starting spot, and
picked up his second win of 2011. Aaron Brocksieck, with the new body
decaled on his pink # 40 grabbed the runner-up slot, with Kevin
Tomlinson, Andrew Griffin, and Terry Houston completing the first
five. When I talked to Terry about the intense heat, he said he did
not notice it during the race, but sitting in staging with the sun
beating down was tough. I recalled this as the stock cars waited out
the modified marathon.
eleven car IMCA late model feature was next out for their 30 lapper.
The late models had no trouble with the slick track, going caution
free, but the lead changed hands several times. Throughout the middle
part of the race, Denny Woodworth looked to be in command after
charging to the front on the top of the track. Soon, however, Justin
Reed began to close in using the bottom groove, as the top side "went
away”. Denny dropped down to try and use the same groove as Justin,
but could not make the # 45DW stick in the lowest groove. Once Reed
made the pass, he pulled away to a nice advantage, grabbing his second
QR feature of the season. Woodworth held on for second ahead of a
closing Joey Gower, while Keith Pratt and the son and father Baileys
ran fifth and sixth. The last late model to check in on Sunday was the
# 56J of Justin Jennings. Justin was all smiles after his adventure on
Saturday, as he competed in the ARCA series event at Iowa Speedway.
The 18 year old entered the 200 lap race with two goals - finish the
race, and do so in the top 20. Both goals were realized as he took the
checkers in the 19th position. The 18 year old hopes to be able to
enter some more ARCA races, even as he continues on the dirt at QR. He
is enrolled in NASCAR school in Carolina this fall.
hobby stocks ran their 11 car 20 lap finale next, with everyone taking
the green. Last weeks winner, Tanner Klingele became trapped on one of
the tractor tires early on, necessitating a visit to the hot pit area.
Nathan Anders led early in the # 20 car he has purchased from cousin
Bobby. The driver on the move though, was Jake Powers. Jake has had
more bad luck than he deserves, but things finally broke his way on
Sunday, as he captured his first feature win. Anders held on for
second, with point leader Steve Carlin third. Klingele rebounded to
grab fourth ahead of Adam Scott and Jeremy Buss.
final feature of the night belonged to the 4 cylinder Wild Things.
Eight of the nine competitors took the green flag. The total number of
entrants in this class continues to grow, with Jen Reedy # 17 and
Thomas Angelo # 23 making their QR debut. Now if we could just get
everyone to come on the same night. Seth Woodruff took a scary ride
off turn two in the middle of the 12 lapper, but managed to stay on
his wheels, coming back on the track. It turned out to be something of
an historic night, as one of our (young) lady racers picked up the
win. Kimberly Abbott took the lead on lap three, holding off
challenges from Austin Uppinghouse, Woodruff, and finally Todd Nelson.
Todd took second, Seth third, Angelo fourth, and Austin fifth.
According to my research, Kimberly is the first female to win a
feature at QR since Mary Kay Allen captured an A modified main event
in 1993. For those who don't know, Mary Kay raced several successful
seasons in the # 8 before starting a family and turning the ride over
to husband Ted. She is the sister of former QR champion Michael Long.
So congrats to Kimberly, who has come close before, and finally found
those of you hankering to try your luck on the Bullring, this Sunday
night will feature spectator drags. Bring a helmet, your street
vehicle and your courage and take a chance at a trophy.