Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans


May 21, 2012 - A 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, Iowa 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 five.

  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 details.

  See you Sunday!








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