Monday, June 11, 2012

Griffin, Long and Huls Among Mid-Season Champions At Quincy

With early season rainouts and other commitments on Sunday nights it had been since the season opener back on April 1st that I had been to Quincy Raceway so it was nice to get back down to the “Bullring on Broadway” again last night. Believe it or night the weather on June 10th was about the same as it was on April 1st with temperatures in the mid-80’s and a gusty south wind so track crews used some extra moisture to try to keep the dust down and, while the show started a half hour later than scheduled, the racing surface was multi-grooved throughout the evening.

The UMP Modified boasted the largest car count of the night at twenty and their feature was the first of six on the schedule. Steven DeLonjay and David Wietholder locked into a tight early duel for the lead that was hampered by four cautions caused by two drivers over the first three laps. Following a lap three restart that battle continued with Wietholder slipping by DeLonjay for the lead on lap six. DeLonjay stayed close though and as the two raced with lapped traffic on lap thirteen they went three-wide down the front stretch with contact peeling the driver-side body work away from Wietholder’s car. The two would swap the lead back and forth over the next two laps before the caution waved again with ten laps remaining. On the restart the two race leaders now had company in Michael Long who decided that it was his turn to run up front taking the top spot with eight to go. The caution would wave two more times over the final laps, but there was no stopping Long from taking the win on Mid-Season Championship night. DeLonjay would finish in second ahead of Wietholder with Jared Schlipman and Jake Griffin completing the top five.

The IMCA Stock Car A-Main was up next and it is too bad that this class cannot draw more cars at Quincy. Seven were on hand tonight with Abe Huls establishing himself as the leader early and then cruising to the win. Behind him the racing was tight going three-wide on a couple of occasions with Darin Weisinger prevailing for the runner-up finish. Michael Larson recovered from an early spin to finish third with Terry Houston and Jerry Janssen next in line. Weisnger had a second car in the field tonight with Nathan Anders behind the wheel and he was in that battle for second mid-race before retiring with mechanical issues.

The UMP Late Model feature was up next with seventeen cars lined up for thirty laps. Jason Perry stormed to the lead through turns one and two on the opening lap only to have pole-sitter Dustin Griffin find the bite down low exiting turn four to be scored the leader on lap one. Michael Long in the Jennings #56 and Jerry Lierly were racing for third when on lap five the two made contact entering turn three. Lierly spun and Ricky Frankel had no place to go as he slid into Lierly with both sustaining cosmetic damage and perhaps a bit more. Once back to green Griffin took charge and was comfortable out front until the caution waved again on lap sixteen when Roger Brickler spun in turn four. On the restart, things started to get a little crazy as first Justin Reed had his right front ride up over the left rear of Jim Moon’s car while racing for third with Reed coasting to a halt on the back stretch. The, on the next restart, the two leaders Griffin and Perry tangled in turn four with Perry spinning. Moon was able to slide below those two and was scored the leader of that lap as it appeared that Perry would keep moving, but the cation waved and the current UMP Late Model National Point Leader Moon would restart as the leader. Both Griffin and Moon had been primarily using the bottom groove throughout the race, but now Griffin went to the top side and he swept past Moon on lap twenty-one. Another caution for Brickler and Perry waved with seven laps remaining and on the restart Griffin went back to the bottom where he pulled away to take the win. Moon would settle for the runner-up honors on this night after having won his first feature of the year the night before at the recently re-opened Montgomery County Speedway in central Missouri. Denny Woodworth worked his way up from a fourth row starting spot to finish third, Mark Burgtorf drove the Richard Realty #15 tonight to a fourth-place finish while Jerry Lierly fought his way back to a fifth-place finish narrowly edging out Robby Warner at the checkers. Warner had started fourteenth on the grid.

With the checkers waving on the Late Model main event at 9:47 p.m. I decided to pass on the remaining three classes to make the 85-mile trip home. Sunday night action continues each week at Quincy and the track has a couple of special events coming up straddling the Fourth of July. On Sunday night July 1st the MOWA 410 Sprint Cars will be in action here and on Friday night July 6th the UMP Late Model Summer Nationals will make a stop. I am hoping to make it back down for at least one of these events if not both!

No more racing for me this week as Burlington’s annual Steamboat Days gives me a music fix, plus a mid-season break from the action. I hope that you have it in your plans to make it to Tipton on Tuesday night for the Deery Brothers Summer Series/Hawkeye Dirt Tour doubleheader and then support the track or tracks of your choice the rest of the weekend. School’s out for the summer……

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