Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans
May 21, 2012 -
mid afternoon shower did nothing to dampen the action or the
enthusiasm Sunday night at Quincy Raceways. A total of 83 race teams
signed in to do battle on the .29 mile oval in six divisions. The
evening started out mostly uneventful, the show began on time, and it
took just barely over an hour to complete the 11 heat races and the
late model dash. after a protracted intermission, the UMP modified
feature hit the track, and that is when things got interesting. All 20
mods took the green flag, and Tony Dunker may have been the smartest
or luckiest guy out there, as he retired to the pits on lap one.
Michael Long took off from his front row starting spot, with Dave
Weitholder in hot pursuit from row two. The leaders soon hit lapped
traffic, and made contact in turns one and two. Long soon built a
sizeable lead, but again a lapped car caused him to lose his line, and
Weitholder was back on his bumper. A lap 13 caution had the two again
side by side. after another caution on lap 17, Weitholder got the
jump, with Long trying a low line that resulted in him looping his #
18L. Michael then retired to the pits, and Dave charged to his second
win of the season. Jared Schlipman made a pass of Steven Delonjay for
second, but another caution negated the pass, and Steven held the spot
ahead of Schlipman, Shawn Deering, and Robbie Reed. After the feature,
there was some bumping and banging in the grandstands as well and
unfortunately there was more rowdiness throughout the evening. and the
hot summer days are not even here yet!
The hobby stocks numbered 13 strong, and
their main event was a caution fest as well. Jake Powers, who has had
a run of bad luck, got out front and ran a smooth, patient 20 laps to
pick up the win over Brandon Symmonds and the Bevill boys, Jamie and
Justin. Nathan Hays came home in fifth.
The UMP late model count was down a bit, as
there was a high paying special in Lincoln, Il., but still 17 of the
high powered machines signed in. all 17 started the 30 lap finale, but
hard luck continued to follow Joey Gower, who appeared to break
something in the front end of his # 31G at the start. Mark Burgtorf
was back in the Lynn Richard owned # 15R on Sunday, and his win in the
dash earned him the pole position in the feature, with much improved
Jerry Lierly on the outside. First heat and last weeks main event
winner Dustin Griffin started inside row two, and he was in the
runner-up spot when a lap four caution put him alongside Burgtorf.
Mark took the preferred low groove, as that seemed to be the fast
line, but Dustin jumped out front. The leaders encountered lap traffic
by lap 19, and Michael Long closed in on Burgtorf. While " D Griff "
cruised out front, Mark and Michael recreated some of their modified
battles from years past. Michael edged ahead in the # 56J, only to
have Mark slip by. The two swapped the spot again before Long eased by
out of turn four on the final lap to claim the runner-up spot. Hard
luck Rickey Frankel ran a steady race to take fourth, with Lierly
strong in fifth.
The IMCA sport mod count was down to ten, with two
time winner Jim Gillenwater among the missing. Joe Bliven got a ride
in the Uppinghouse # 18 after losing an engine in his # 20JB on
Friday. The new kid on the block was Vance Wilson, who sold his late
model operation to someone in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and purchased the #
15 sport mod belonging to Chad Canady. The # 15 had yet to hit the
track, but Vance quickly dialed in the machine, coming home in second.
Bobby Anders held the lead until a lap nine caution, when Tony Dunker
made the winning pass. Booby held on for third, ahead of Brad
Holtmeyer and Bliven.
The IMCA stock car count dipped to seven,
but again the action was intense. Abe Huls grabbed the early lead,
Aaron Brocksieck came from row three to challenge, but settled for
second. The " Ford Fanatics, " Jerry Jansen and Terry Houston
followed, with Darin Weisinger completing the top five.
IMCA sport compacts finished off the
evening, 16 strong. Like 'em or not, the 4 cylinder machines have put
on some of the best racing of the season, and Sunday was no exception.
Chuck Fullenkamp looked like he had things covered, but Morning Sun,
driver Nick Wilkerson, visiting for the first time this season,
charged to the top spot. a caution with three laps to go bunched the
field, and created a scramble to the checkers. Nick picked up the win,
with Kimberly Abbott blasting to the second spot. Fullenkamp, last
week’s winner Seith Woodruff, and Andrew Davis filled out the first
Racing this Sunday will feature hot laps at
4:45 and racing at 5:30. A vote was taken during the drivers meeting,
with the majority wanting to stay with the early start times
throughout the season, rather than moving back an hour for the summer
months. Personally, I like the early times, as Monday morning comes
early enough for this old race fan. so stay tuned to see what the
track owners decide.
In case you missed the announcement, QR will
be hosting a UMP Summernationals race on July 6, watch for more
See you Sunday!