Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

August 31, 2011 - Sunday night at Quincy Raceways brought the curtain down on the IMCA late model pointís season. Two time champion Lonnie Bailey and former modified champion Justin Reed entered the night tied atop the standings with Justin holding the tie breaker, three feature wins to one for Lonnie. After a complete restart in heat one, Lonnie was able to move into third place, then moved around son Matt for second, picking up two valuable points. In heat two, Justin scuffled near the back, earned no points and went into the 30 lap finale down by two. With the straight up start, Reed and Bailey started on the front row. Knowing he needed to finish at least two spots ahead of Bailey, Reed quickly jumped into the lead and began to stretch it out. For his part, Bailey settled into second and built a good margin over the trailing pack. Denny Woodworth, fresh off a feature win and a point championship the night before at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, tried to follow Bailey around the high side of the oval, but his car did not seem to like the cushion. after losing several spots, Woodworth moved back to the bottom of the track and began to pick off cars. On lap 20, he caught and passed Bailey, creating the two position gap Reed needed to secure the title. Lonnie did not go away, and challenged Denny for a couple of laps before the # 45DW stretched out to a bit of a distance. With the top three crossing the stripe in that order, the point totals were again identical, and Justinís fourth QR win of 2011 gave him his first late model track title. Interestingly enough, it was one year ago that Woodworth captured his first QR late model championship after having previously won a modified title. Congratulations to Reed, who now calls Collinsville, Il. home, and his family, friends and considerable crew on a hard earned championship! The Q-34 combo point fund with 34 Raceway also wrapped up on Sunday, with Joey Gower claiming the top spot, following a fourth place run. With four weeks of non points racing left for the late models, look for a special announcement later this week concerning rules changes.

   Two new IMCA stock cars debuted on Sunday, with Charley Van Zant and Jeff DeLonjay racing for the first time. In addition, Iowa hot shoe Ryan Cook made the trip down from New London, Iowa. Ryan captured a heat win, but dropped out of the hotly contested feature. Jerry Jansen set the pace for the first seven circuits before Andrew Griffin slipped past following a caution period. One lap later the yellow waved again, and Terry Houston moved in to challenge Griffin. The two ran side by side on lap 14, and following another caution, Houston took command, leading to the checkers. Griffin held off Jansen for second, with Abe Hulls rolling home fourth.

   The IMCA Northern Sport Mods made their third of four appearances, and again the car count failed to reach double figures, even though five drivers made their first visit to the Bullring. Still the yellow flag was evident throughout, slowing the pace of the finale. Bob Woodrow from Hannibal led early before Quincy pilots Joe Bliven and Tony Dunker made their way to the front for an old fashioned shoot out. As the two veterans came to the checkers, it was virtually impossible to determine the winner, but thanks to the transponders, there was no argument, as Dunker ended a six year drought with a .031 second win. Iowa driver Rick Barlow, Jr. took third, with Woodrow fourth.

   Eleven hobby stocks took the green flag, and again the caution flag played a prominent role. Jeremy Buss jumped out to an early lead, but a flat tire sent him to the hot pit for repairs. Jake Powers grabbed the lead, and staged a nose to tail, side by side duel with pointís leader Steve Carlin. Carlin held the edge out of turn two, but Powers held the advantage off turn four. At the checkers, Jake picked up his second win of 2011, Carlin finished second, and Bobby Anders recovered from a trip pitside to grab third. Buss recovered to come back to fourth. Nathan Anders took the hard luck award, as a late race altercation may have cost him a radiator.

  Todd Nelson took the early lead in the Wild Things before losing a wheel on lap four. From there, Seth Woodruff took over, holding on for the win. Kimberly Abbott was closing at the checkers, but settled for second ahead of Robert Thompson and Craig Bangert.

  The UMP modifieds closed out the night once again, with 14 of the 15 cars signed in taking the green. Vance Wilson was behind the wheel of Ben Huffs # 00, but experienced engine woes in his heat and trailered the car. Shawn Deering and Donovan Lodge shared the front row of the 25 lapper, and ran side by side until a lap three yellow for Jared Schlipman, who shot off turns three and four. On the restart, Mark Burgtorf ducked to the infield with apparent engine issues. Michael Long vaulted to second, and on lap seven he shot by Deering for the lead. As Long stretched it out, point leader Steven DeLonjay took the second spot on lap15. DeLonjay was closing in on lap 21 when Michael made a dandy move to power around two lapped cars. That was the move of the night, and Michael then cruised to his fourth straight win since his return to QR. For his part, Steven added his fourth straight runner up finish following six consecutive wins. What a season for these two young guns! Deering came home third, with Dave Wietholder fourth.

   Don't forget, the 360 CI Sprint Invaders series will join the late models, UMP modifieds, IMCA stock cars, hobby stocks, and Wild Things for the holiday weekend show this Sunday. The sprinters are sure to provide some " Wow! " moments, so don't miss this one. See you there!

 


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