Finley Flies to Spartan Checkers
Mason State Bank Night and picture perfect weather treated the fans on Friday night at Spartan Speedway. The Metro Ford Super Late Models 40-lap feature had an 11-car invert putting Jimmy Gallagher and Charlie Ryan Jr. on the front row. Ryan took the early lead, as Jack Landis pressed hard. Points Leader, Dave Stehouwer spun down the frontstretch on lap 5 scattering the entire field and ending his night. Ryan and Landis hooked up in a great side-by-side duel after the restart until Landis took the point and looked to be headed for his first win until Doug Finley got under Ryan as he drifted high in turn 4 on lap 10. As the leaders took off, the race to watch was from 4th through 7th as John Dunivion and Gallagher touched the pack slowed to let everybody get straightened out, Harry Foote stayed in it and made a daring move from 7th to 5th position. The last ten laps were a carbon copy of last week as the lead pack put on a show. Foote peaked under Ryan with 10 laps to go and finally took the spot 3 laps later, only to have it called back due to the spinning car of Tom Fedewa. Landis was busy with a mirror full of Finley until Finley jumped to the outside of Landis diving into turn 1 on the white flag lap. The two dragged race down the backstretch, as Finley was able to take the exciting victory over Landis. Ryan was able to hold on to 3rd as Foote and Bill Heeney Jr. rounded out the top 5. Phil Massuch put on one great show by claiming the hard charger award as he brought home 6th from his 19th starting spot. Darel Woolsey, Tom Fedewa and Jack Landis took the heat wins. The Semi-Feature was claimed by Stan Perry. Rookie, Jeff Hackworth set fast time for the 28 Super Late Models.
A 13-car invert for the 35-lap Michigan Modified feature put Wayne Haughton and Mike Wells on the front row. The front row stayed side-by-side until lap 4 when Haughton took the point. Lap 5 had Justin Kazmar going high in turn 2 and got shuffled out of the top 10. Wells jumped back to the outside of Haughton for the lead as they swapped the point until Wells took over on lap 8. Wells held the lead as Jim Butler and Gary Sherman worked the outside to challenge the Parish brothers for 4th and 5th. Rookie Wells held on for his 2nd win of the season as Sherman nipped Haughton for 2nd at the stripe. Jason Parish was 4th and Jim Butler 5th. Tim Easey, Bob Bauer and Wells; making it a clean sweep, took the heat wins. Ron Parish Sr. won the Semi-Feature event. Gary Sherman set quick time of the 29 Modifieds.
The Performance NW Street Stocks had a deep 15-car invert putting Steve Billingsly and Wayne Beckner Jr. on the pole. Billingsly took the lead as the entire pack ran in formation. Veteran, Dave Parker, was running his best race of the year and took over the point on lap 8. Ben Hidy, driving the former car of Brad Moore, was the man on the move as he worked his way up to 3rd by lap 12. Point's leader, Rob Marten was in tow as Hidy got the lead with 10 laps to go. As the leaders stretched out, Mike Havens was holding of a great 5-car battle for 4th. A caution with 6 laps to go bunched the pack, but Hidy took off and went on to win his first street stock feature of the year. Marten, Jeff Houghton, Pat Dent and Parker rounded out the top 5. Heat winners were Wes Houghton, Al "Gator" Williams, Wayne Beckner Jr. and Mike Havens. Pat Dent set fast time for the evening.
The Post-Net Pont Stocks had a familiar car, but a different face visit victory lane as Owosso Modified ace, Randy Clingan took over the controls of his wife's #47 and brought home the win for the FOX 47 team. Mannie Goodrich was the early leader as Chris Van Gorden took to the 3rd groove to work his way to 5th by lap 4. Clingan quickly used the openings created by VanGorden as they took over 3rd and 4th by lap 7. Goodrich quickly turned into the meat in the sandwich as Vangorden went low and Clingan took to the outside for the lead. VanGorden took the lead, but lost control in turn 4 giving the position to Clingan with 5 laps to go. Clingan went on for the easy victory as a great six-car battle for 3rd was claimed by Andy Sands on the last lap. Manny Goodrich and Mike Sarils rounded out the top 5. 80 year old, Art Kimball took his first heat win, only to be given a speeding ticket and thus giving the win to Missy Bishop. Mike Sarils took the other. Clingan was the fast qualifier for the 15-car field.
This week Westwinds Community Church and Valvoline Instant Oil Change sponsor the evenings events as the point battles are really tight with only 3 weeks left to crown a champion at "The Track the Stars Call Home"- Spartan Speedway.