Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans
July 15, 2013 --
was a hot and muggy night Sunday at the Bullring, and although folks
came a bit late, attendance was pretty good. The car count did not
match the crowd on this night, with several factors no doubt
contributing to the drop off. There has been a lot of racing at a lot
of area tracks over the last few weeks, the weather was a bit
uncomfortable, vacation season is in full swing, there are some torn
up race cars and some depleted check books. And to top it off,
defending late model point champ Jason Perry spent the weekend in the
Time trial qualifying started things off, with Steven Delonjay at
15.538 seconds in the UMP modifieds and Rickey Frankel at 13.904 in
the UMP late models. Both drivers then rolled a " six, " setting up a
full invert in the mod dash, and the lone late model ten lapper. Jared
Schlipman failed to make the time trial call, Ron Elbe pulled off
after one lap, and mod driver Adam Birck suffered suspension damage in
qualifying. fortunately all three were able to make repairs.
Feature racing began with the IMCA stock cars. The usually tame and
efficient full bodied machines have had yellow fever the last couple
of weeks, and for the first time Sunday, they actually had a time
limit shortened main event. In his second time out, Jeremy Buss took
the early lead, holding on through a lap four caution. Terry Houston
eased ahead on lap six, but another caution put Buss back out front.
On the restart, Brandon Savage used the Delaware lineup to charge to
the lead, taking fifth running Abe Huls along. Two more cautions took
out Jake Powers and Jimmy Lynch. Savage had built a sizable lead when
the next yellow waved, and the bunched field saw Huls move around
Houston to reclaim second. Another caution for a tire kicked out on
the track saw the time limit hit with four laps to go. This meant that
the next flag, checkers or yellow, would end the race. Two green flag
laps later, Kevin Tomlinson, driving the Michael Larsen # 48 again as
Michael rehabs his shoulder, made contact with a tractor tire, ending
the race. It was the first win for Savage after back to back runnerup
finishes. Huls, Houston, and Jerry Jansen filled out the top four.
Brandons brother in law, Beau Taylor was among the missing after his #
2T suffered extensive damage the week before.
Next up was the 13 car modified main, with Delonjay and Michael Long
sharing the front row. Steven shot to the lead with Michael in
pursuit, but things turned bad for Long on lap nine as he pulled to
the infield with engine troubles. Early diagnosis was a broken
crankshaft on the # 18L. The 25 lapper went caution free, with
Delonjay lapping up through the seventh place car. Robbie Reed ran a
steady second followed by last weeks winner Dave Weitholder and Jake
The IMCA sport mod feature then came to the track for their 15 lap
finale. Last weeks winner Jeff Delonjay was unable to make the call.
Joe Bliven paced the first two circuits, with Tony Dunker taking over
on lap three, moving from third to first. The only stoppage of the
race came on lap six for Trevor Hagerbaumer, who suffered a broken
front end on the Greg Uppinghouse # 18 that Trevor was wheeling for
the night. In fact, he quickly exited the track, and the race could
have probably stayed green. Following the restart, Tanner Klingele
began to pressure Dunker all the way to the checkers, although he
could not set up a winning pass. Third place went to Bliven, with Joe
Hooper in the # 20BA in fourth.
A season low nine late models checked in, but the 30 lap main event
was a good one, none the less. Again, the race was non stop, giving us
three straight features with a total of one caution flag! Michael Long
and Denny Woodworth sat on row one, and Denny won the drag race to
turn one. He then began to build a significant lead while Long focused
on holding off point leader Mark Burgtorf for second. Mark took over
the second spot on lap 16 and began to run down the late model lawyer,
pulling to his rear bumper on lap 22. Burgtorf spent the next several
laps trying to sneak under the # 45DW, but on lap 28 he charged to the
top side out of turn four and shot by to lead the final lap and a
half. It was the second feature win at QR for Burgtorf in 2013.
Woodworth crossed the line second ahead of Long, Frankel, Clint
Kirkham, and Bill Genenbacher, the only cars on the lead lap.
Eleven IMCA sport compacts took the green for the 12 lap finale of the
night. Austen Becerra led the first two trips past the flag stand, and
looked to be in charge before a lap three caution. After a false
restart, Pat " Skip " Dunker used the high side to take the lead.
Following a caution for a lost wheel off the Alex Baker machine, Laine
VanZandt slipped around Becerra for second. He was unable to get
around Dunker, settling for a runnerup finish. Brandon Lambert took
third ahead of Becerra. Point leader Kimberly Abbott ran fifth as she
tries to become the first lady point champion at QR.
The final checkers flew at exactly 9:00, ending what was a very good
night of racing even with the lighter than normal car count. Racing
resumes next Sunday with a promise of cooler temps. See you then!