Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

August 17, 2011 - The weather man gave us a beautiful Sunday night at Quincy Raceways, and it was reflected in the full grandstands. In addition, 64 race teams signed in to do battle on the .29 mile oval. Once again, we had some drivers making their QR season debut, with two of them in the IMCA stock car class. Joe Gerdes, from Burlington made the trip down with what appeared to be a new # 76. Joe has been an occasional visitor in the past. Also, Ty Hill towed all the way from Dallas Center, Iowa with his # 3H. Ty has also raced a few laps around the bullring in the past.

The stock cars ran the first feature of the night, and even with the newbies, the field was only nine strong, with everyone taking the feature green. Gabe Harrison took the early lead before points leader Aaron ?Brocksieck took over on lap six. A lap nine caution bunched the field, and on the restart, a mixup at the front found Harrison getting the worst of the action, winding up at the back. A total of four yellow flags slowed the 15 lapper, a rare event for the stockers. Through it all, Brocksieck showed he had the car to beat, and when the checkers flew, he had opened a good margin over the second place car of Abe Huls. Terry Houston battled Abe and settled for third, with Jerry Jansen and Hill rounding out the top five.

The IMCA late models were up next, with 13 cars signed in. The story at the beginning of the night was the quick return of Keith Pratt. Keith destroyed his # 33 machine at the checkers last week, flipping across the finish line, losing a feature win as well as his car. When the night ended last Sunday, no one was sure when the " Kool Kat " would be back to racing, but his family and friends jumped in, and by mid week, Keith had an ( almost ) brand new GRT chassis, complete with new blue body, setting in his shop. From that point, the Woodworth and Schlipman race teams, as well as many others, worked long hours to get the new # 33 race ready. Pratt was back on the track Saturday night at 34 Raceway, where he finished sixth, staying in the thick of the points battle there. On Sunday, Pratt took the green from the ninth position, while heat two winner Clint Kirkham, and Darin Weisinger filled out the front row. It was third starting Jason Perry who vaulted to the lead on lap one, and he built a sizeable lead through the first half of the 30 lapper. As the laps clicked away, eighth starting Lonnie Bailey began to gain ground running the top side of the oval, while Perry ran the bottom groove. A lap 25 caution actually put Bailey alongside Perry with the Nascar style restarts that QR uses. Still the slowdown seemed to hurt Bailey, possibly because of his tires cooling. After a couple of laps, Lonnie was making another charge, but point leader Justin Reed suffered a flat tire, bringing out another caution flag. Jason got a jack rabbit restart, and Bailey found himself actually falling to third behind Joey Gower. Lonnir regained the runner up spot, but the win belonged to Perry. Gower rolled home third, with Pratt holding off Matt Bailey for fourth. With only two points nights remaining for the late models, Reed holds a one point advantage over Pratt, two over L Bailey, four over Gower, and nine over defending champ Denny Woodworth. For those who do not know, heat races pay three points to win, two for second, and one for third. Feature wins are worth 40 points, 39 for second, etc. The win was Perrys first points win of the season, although he was the opening night winner in April.

Twelve hobby stocks took the green flag, and Bobby Anders showed once again that he can run up front in a car other than the # 20 he sold to cousin Nathan. Bobby used a front row start to lead flag to flag in the 20 lapper in Wes Mayfields # 21. The previous weeks winner, Tanner Klingele hounded Anders, but settled for a runner up finish. Jim Powell had a nice run to take third, followed by Jake Powers and Adam Scott.

The Wild Things were next up, with nine of ten cars starting. Kevin Baze was a no show after flipping his # 7 machine in his heat race. Robert Thompson who picked up a feature win earlier this season,had a front row start, but dropped to the back on a lap one restart, possibly missing a shift. Craig Bangert grabbed to top spot, and picked up win number two, holding back points leader Seth Woodruff for the checkers. Kimberly Abbott nabbed third, ahead of Austin Uppinghouse and Brandon Lambert.
The UMP modifieds finished out the card, with 19 of 20 entrants taking the green. Craig Roden, from Montgomery City, Mo. debuted a new # 27, while Tony Dunker was wheeling the # 15C. Dunkers chief mechanic, Brandon Brown brought his # x14 out for the first time in 2011. Brandon fought a miss in his engine, and retired to the trailer during a lap one caution, as did Todd Reed.Only Chris Spalding, who closed with such a flourish last week, was unable to make the start. As is the case more often than not, the mods were plagued with yellow flags in the early laps until the field was whittled down through attrition. Shawn Deering took the early lead, turning it over to Jared Schlipman on lap four. Following a lap six yellow that saw Jake Griffin, Vance Wilson, Roden, and Jim Roach all drop out, Dave Weitholder appeared to break something in the left front of the # 05. He stayed on the track, eventually recording a fifth place finish. Michael Long jumped to the lead on the restart, and held on, despite heavy pressure from hard charging points leader Steven Delonjay and Schlipman. deering came home in fourth.

One late model driver who has been absent lately is Robby Warner. Robby blew the engine in his # 79 at another track, and after getting it back together he injured his back, knocking him out of action for the rest of the season. Vance Wilson also threw a rod in his power plant on Sunday and is planning to park the # B1 for the rest of the year. It was good to have Ron Elbe back last Sunday after an extended absence.

This coming Sunday, the 21st will be a big night at QR, with $5.00 adult admission for fan appreciation night. Also, the IMCA sport mods will be added to the card, as track officials try to decide whether adding another modified class to the lineup in 2012 is feasible. The spectator drags are also scheduled back on Sunday.

Thanks to everyone who purchased a 50/50 ticket, as we were able to raise $428.00 for the fledgling Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame. We are hoping to get things rolling soon on this long overdue project.
See you at the races!

 


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