Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans
June 30, 2013 --
three weeks of weather related cancellations, Quincy Raceways drivers,
fans, and officials were more than ready for a night of ground
pounding action on mid season championship night, and I don't think
anyone went away disappointed.
With a UMP Summer Nationals show just a couple hours away in Lincoln,
Il., the 75 car turnout was more than acceptable. Steven Delonjay has
been dominating the UMP modified division in 2013, and he picked right
up where he left off with a fastest qualifying lap of 15.004 seconds.
Rickey Frankel then blistered the .029 mile oval with the fastest UMP
late model time trial lap of the season at 13.463 seconds. Steven then
rolled a four for the invert for the mod fast dash, while Frankel
rolled a five.
The ten preliminary events were mostly uneventful, although a first
lap melee in the late model fast dash resulted in outside row one
starter Mark Burgtorf retiring to the pits.
As the IMCA sport compact heats were being run, dark clouds began to
form, and the IMCA stock car feature was quickly called to staging.
Before they could take to the track a brief but steady rain shower put
the remainder of the night in jeopardy. As quickly as it started, the
rain stopped, and despite another brief sprinkle, the show continued
without a hitch. Although fast, the track had begun to get a bit rough
as the heats continued, but after the rain and subsequent running in
by the stock cars, it became smooth, multi grooved, and super fast,
with a nice cushion building in turns one and two.
Michael Larsen jumped to the early lead in the stock car main, with
second row starter Brandon Savage in tow. The two pulled away,
dominating the event before Larsen got a bit out of shape in turn
four. Savage checked up, but still made contact with the back of the #
48. The two held their advantage, but a lap or so later, the
front bumper came off Savages ride, bringing out the caution. On the
Delaware style restart, third running Abe Huls vaulted to the lead,
and Savage soon followed in second. Point leader Jake Powers also
found his way past Larsen, and Beau Taylor ran a steady fifth in the
20 lap event.
Next up was the 25 lap UMP mod finale. 19 cars had signed in, but
Robert Thompson could not make the feature call after having problems
in his heat. 40 year veteran Steven Thievagt had dropped out of his
heat on the first lap, and his misfortune continued as he spun the
driveshaft out of his # 36 on the parade lap. Front row starter
Michael long took the early lead, but Delonjay powered by on lap six.
The second yellow of the race waved on lap 16, as fifth running Troy
Grotz rolled to a stop out of turn four. One lap later it was Russ
Coultas slowing in turn four, but the stoppages were no problem for
Delonjay. He picked up another win over Long, dash winner Dave
Weitholder, Robbie Reed, and Craig Spegal.
Jeff Delonjay jumped to the early lead in the IMCA sport mods,
building a nice lead before a lap six caution. When racing resumed,
Bobby Anders moved past Tanner Klingele for second. At the mid point
of the 20 lapper, Anders bobbled, dropping to fourth as Delonjay
continued to lead. But two laps later, Klingele brought out the yellow
when he clipped the tractor tire in turn four. Lap 15 saw Delonjay,
Anders, and Tony Dunker racing three wide for the top spot, , with
Anders and Delonjay trading the top spot back and forth. Along the
way, Delonjay suffered broken left front suspension, but he stayed in
the mix, coming home third behind a jubilant Anders and Dunker.
Brandon Dale was fourth.
The UMP late model 15 car 30 lap feature was next up. Steve Thorsten
from Milford, Il., in only his second visit to QR, started on the pole
by virtue of his win in the fast dash. He took the early lead running
the top side of the track before fifth starting Frankel slipped by on
the bottom on lap five. As racing continued, sixth starting Burgtorf
moved to second on lap 12, although by now Frankel had opened a
sizable lead. The only caution of the race came on lap 17 when Justin
Reed slowed on the backstretch. Jason Perry was on the move at this
time, and had just moved to third. The pass was negated, and Thorsten
was alongside Burgtorf for the restart. As action resumed, Perrys run
ended, and fast starting Jerry Lierly and Thorsten began to lose
ground, but Burgtorf pulled alongside Frankel. The action really
picked up on lap 24 as Frankel took the top spot back from Burgtorf.
Three laps later, it was again Mark out front, and on lap 28 Rickey
was the leader. As the front two came out of turn four to the
checkers, Mark found some moisture and an opening down low, and with
literally everyone on their feet, the # 7B took the win by .123
seconds. Throughout the battle, the two cars never touched in as good
a race as you will ever see. Nearly missed in the action was a charge
by ninth starting Michael long, who edged Denny Woodworth for third.
Dewayne Kiefer came home fifth, amazingly his worst ever finish at the
The finale of the night was the 12 lap IMCA sport compact feature.
Bryce Baker climbed in the # 55 borrowed from Michael Hornung, and
rolled the car in turns one and two. After a brief delay, Bryce
attempted to rejoin the race, but soon retired. Austen Becerra charged
to the lead, besting early leader Josh Barnes, Laine VanZandt,
unofficial new points leader Kimberly Abbott, and Brandon Lambert.
Several new drivers were on hand Sunday, including sport mod drivers
Sean Wyett from Danville, Iowa, and Austin Howes from Memphis, Mo.
Both may have been tuning up for the $1003 to win sport mod payday
Tuesday July 2 during the UMP late model and modified Summer Nationals
event. The late model headliner will pay $5,000 to win, while the mods
compete for a $1,000 top prize. Agroup of local supporters lead by
Tony and Pat Dunker worked to raise funds so that the sport mod purse
would rival and eventually exceed the UMP mod purse. The race will pay
$113 to start, and should draw a solid car count to compliment what I
would guess would be 30 plus late models and 25-30 mods. Again, that
is just my guess.
Brandon Sheppard, with one QR feature win under his belt in 2013
should come to town Tuesday as the current Summer Nationals points
leader, while teen age Bobby Pierce who has raced multiple times
here will be looking to pick up second ever tour win after taking the