Past the Pit Gate
by Danny Rosencrans

September 24, 2013 -- Sunday was the next to last night of a very interesting 2013 season at Quincy Raceways. 66 cars were checked in to compete in the five divisions. Hot laps began on a greasy track, but a few exrtra trips around and the .29 mile oval came in. UMP modified time trials were topped by point leader Steven Delonjay at 15.903 seconds. Steven then rolled a "2" to put himself outside row one in the dash lineup. The track continued to come in, and UMP national late model points leader Brandon Sheppard blistered the oval with a lap of 13.487 seconds to top late model qualifying. Brandon rolled a "3," putting himself inside row two in his dash. Things went down hill rapidly for the 20 year old after that. In the dash, he jumped the cushion in turn three,digging his front bumper in the dirt, ending his run.

 Following the 11 preliminary races, the grader was brought out to knock down the cushion, and the feature track was plenty fast.

 The IMCA stock car feature ran first, and after one false start, Brandon Savage charged through the pack to grab a quick lead. Brandon stretched out a big advantage as a great four car battle ensued for the runnerup spot between rookie Jake Powers, defending champion Terry Houston, point leader Abe Huls, and returning Beau Taylor, back after several weeks while making repairs to his # 2T. On lap 10 a mixup in turn three brought out the caution, erasing the big lead Savage had maintained throughout. On the Delaware restart, Huls powered to second, but Savage was hooked up and haulin', and he again built a nice lead to take his third win of 2013. It was also the first wedding anniversary for Brandon and wife Nikki. His # 47s is for sale, a great ride for anyone looking to enter the stock car ranks. Huls held second followed closely by Houston, Taylor, and Jerry Jansen.

 The UMP modifieds were up next, with 19 of the 20 entrants taking the green. Todd Fox was an early casualty, not starting his heat or feature. Late arrival Milo Veloz, a top runner from the Quad City area missed qualifying and started deep in the field. He was wheeling one of the Allen mods - # 242 - out of the Peoria area. But the long distance award went to David Baldwin, who arrived from Perrysville, Indiana with both his # B6 modified and late model. David stayed in the area after racing earlier in the weekend at Pontoon Beach,Il. Delonjay vaulted to the early lead with Dave Weitholder in tow, and the front pair  pulled away, catching slower traffic by lap seven. the first yellow waved on lap 11 when Baldwin and Adam Birck got together as they lapped slower traffic. On the restart, Justin Reed, Veloz, and Jake Griffin began to move to the front, before the caution waved again on lap 13. Back to green flag action, Danny Lake powered into the fourth spot, and in the next half dozen laps Veloz and Russ Coultas swapped the fifth spot. By now Delonjay and Weitholder were again pulling away. Veloz good run ended on lap 22 with Griffin moving into the top five. Delonjay led the distance for win number 12 of the year. Weitholder claimed second ahead of Reed, Lake, and the 13th starting Griffin.

 The UMP late models were moved back up to the third running slot, where in my opinion they should be. All 11 cars took the green. Baldwin had indicated on arrival that his late model was having engine issues, and he skipped qualifying and his heat race, but lined up at the tail of the 30 lap finale. Denny Woodworth jumped to the early lead from outside row one, and was soon locked in a battle with Mark Burgtorf. By lap seven Jason Perry caught the front duo, and one lap later Sheppard joined the fray. Perry moved around Burgtorf on lap eight, and Sheppard followed into third. Perry muscled his way to the lead on lap 15, and on the next circuit Sheppard appeared to make contact with Woodworth. He then slowed in turn one, exiting the track, but the caution was thrown. On the restart, Jared Schlipman and Bill Genenbacher got together, bringing out the only other stoppage of the event. Genebacher headed to the trailer, and Michael Long also exited with front suspension damage. When the green waved, Burgtorf moved around Woodworth for second, while Schlipman and Springfield,Il driver John Beck battled for fourth. Rickey Frankel pulled out on lap 19. Perry, the 2012 track champion took his first checkers of the year, followed by Burgtorf, Woodworth, Schlipman, Beck, Ron Elbe, and Baldwin. The podium finish was good enough to give Woodworth the 2013 point title, his second in the late models at QR, first under the UMP banner. Denny also had a modified title way back in his college days!

 The IMCA sport mod 14 car field came to the track next. There is not much I can say about the sport mods except that they simply struggle so much that the racing almost becomes secondary to the caution flags. Tony Dunker was coming off a big win on Saturday at Marshalltown, Iowa, and it actually took seven laps and five caution periods before he secured the top spot. With Tony, it is pretty much not " if , " but " when."

It was his eighth straight feature win and  tenth points win.Tanner Klingele, Todd Reed, Brad Holtmeyer, and Bob Cowman filled out the top five.

 As always, the IMCA sport compacts closed out the action. The 2014 promoters in waiting led by Kenny Dobson towed the Jacksonville Speedway 4 cylinder house car to the Bullring, with Paul Nienhiser behind the wheel. This is the same youngster who wowed us a few weeks back in his winged sprint car. Needless to say, the 4 cylinder was not quite as quick... Only eight of the 11 cars took the green, with Alex Baker leading the first two circuits. Brandon Lambert then took over, but soon Austen Becerra was applying pressure. At the halfway mark Austen grabbed the lead, and although Lambert pushed him hard, the # 22 went to victory lane for the seventh time. Rookie Spencer Coats, son of former late model racer Rick coats took third ahead of Kimberly Abbott and Alex Baker.

 The point races are all pretty much locked up, but there will still be plenty of action on this coming sunday, the 2013 season finale. Plus the UMP  national late model title  may still be up for grabs between Sheppard and Bobby pierce, both multiple feature winners this season at QR. So don't miss out on what looks to be the final night of the Paul Holtschlag - Bob Rhinburger promoting era. Take time to say " Thanks" to the outgong team, and " Welcome " to the new Last Chance Promotions group. See you there!



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