Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

August 27, 2013 -- Controversy was the buzz word Sunday night at the Bullring. Those folks who typically head for the exits as the checkered flags falls on the UMP late model feature must be real confused reading the final results. Clint Kirkham came from row two to win the dash, earning the pole for the main event. He then charged into turn one at the drop of the green, outgunning fast qualifier Jason Perry, and taking Michael Long with him. Kirkham and Long held those top two spots for the entire 30 laps. In fact, the final position change of the race came on lap three, when Denny Woodworth slipped around Perry for third. At least it was the last change until after the checkers. Kirkham crossed the scales three times and did not register the minimum 2300 pounds. This turned the win over to Long, his class leading fourth of 2013. For his part, Clint seemed genuinely perplexed, and went home to check the # 28 on his own scales, where the car weighed above 2300. Never the less, the other top five finishers scaled over the limit, leaving track officials no option other than a disqualification. The Kirkhams had made the long drive back to QR after attending the Sprint Cup race at Bristol the night before. Following the DQ, Woodworth was credited with second, followed by Perry, Ron Elbe, and Jared Schlipman. Mark Burgtorf was a no show after blowing his engine while winning the feature Saturday night at 34 Raceway, and Rickey Frankel was also down after suffering engine issues in Pevely,Mo.

  The UMP modifieds were 22 strong on Sunday, although Derrick Carlson was a feature no show after blowing his power plant in his heat race. The young driver known as the " Murrayville Madman " had been out of action for several weeks as his engine was rebuilt, but he was only able to get four races on it before the latest problem. Steven Delonjay was the top qualifier, then rolled a " one " setting the stage for a clean sweep, winning the dash. He then  bolted to the lead at the feature green, and held on through numerous cautions to pick up another win. Shawn Deering broke his 132 race winless streak the week before, and was running a strong third when he suddenly ducked to the pits on lap 24. The lap before, Chris Spaulding saw his top five run evaporate as he suddenly slowed, winding up with a 15th place finish. Dave Weitholder trailed Delonjay at the checkers. Adam Birck continued to dial in the Jody Wood # 51. Adam picked up the second heat win, then came from row four to finish third ahead of heat one winner Keith Pratt. Tony Patterson has been making the 100 mile tow from New Florence, Mo., and he picked up a top five run.

 The IMCA stock car finale was entertaining, as always. Jim Powell took a quick lead, but his night ended on the wrecker after a lap one collision damaged his rear suspension. With one lap in, Jeremy Buss looped his ride in the very slick turn two, and on the restart, row three starter Abe Huls charged to the front. On lap four, Brandon Savage advanced from sixth to third, and following a lap five stoppage, Savage moved to second while Terry Houston took third. On lap 11, Terry took over second as Brandon unsucessfully tried the high groove to overtake Abe. During a lap 13 caution period, Houston developed a flat, ending his shot at the win. Kevein Tomlinson, missing for several weeks, also headed pitside at this time. On the restart, double duty Dave Weitholder started his move to the front, taking fourth. With five laps to go, Jake Powers charged to the runnerup spot, and on lap 18, Weitholder grabbed third. Still no one had anything for Huls, who finished off his weekend with his second win, along with a runnerup finish on Friday. Powers, Weitholder, Savage and Jerry Jansen turned in top fives.

  Tony Dunker mad it six in a row in the IMCA sport mod 15 lap finale. Ten of the 12 cars took the green, with Charles Vanzandt taking the first lead. Following a lap four caution, Jeff Delonjay grabbed the top spot, and one lap later Dunker rolled to third. A lap six yellow was followed by several false starts, but when racing resumed, Dunker took the second spot, and it was on lap 11 that he grabbed the lead. Delonjay came home second, with Tanner Klingele turing in another strong run in third. Brad Holtmeyer recovered from an early spin to collect fourth, and Trevor Hagerbaumer brought the # 18 across the line fifth.

  As always, it was the IMCA sport compacts closing the show. Brandon Lambert had the hood fly up on his # 14L as the green waved, and after the ensuing caution, Alex Baker took the lead. But his # 27AM was found to have a fuel leak, ending his night. After a lengthy delay to dissapate the fuel, Austen Becerra took over, leading Skip Dunker and Laine Vanzandt. Kevin Morgan made the long tow from St Peters,Mo, then was late to the track in his heat race, relagatting his to a last place feature start. By lap two, he was up to third! On lap six, co point leader Kimberly Abbott took over fourth, and that was how they crossed the line, with Vanzandt completing the first five. It was win number five for Becerra, who is now three points ahead of Abbott in the title chase. Kimberly arrived home last Sunday minus her equipment bag holding her helmut, gloves, neck brace and other items. She thought it may have been setting on the truck. Should anyone come across the bag, please contact the # 71 team or track officials.

  Although the track went to the one hour earlier school days start times on Sunday, times have been pushed back for this Sunday due to the anticipated heat. As this will be the night before the Labor Day holiday, hopefully a limited number of folks will be affected. Hot laps and qualifying will begin at 5:45 with racing to follow. Racing will feature the Midwest Open Wheel Association 410 cubic inch sprints cars racing for a $2,000 top prize. the MOWA was on the card for the night before Memorial Day, but that show was rained out. Also in action this week will be UMP late models and UMP modifieds, as well as IMCA sport compacts. The IMCA stock cars and IMCA sport mods will have the night off as several competitors will be headed off to the IMCA Supernationals in Boone, Iowa, a six day extravaganza of IMCA racing. Only five race nights remain at QR in 2013, so I hope we will see you on Sunday!


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