Buckley Back at Spartan
By: Michelle Sprague
Rob Buckley made his return to the Spartan Speedway with the traveling, template body, crate engine series, the Super Pros. Spartan veteran, Justin Kazmar, a graduate of the Modified division, jumped out to take the early lead, when the green flag dropped on their 75-lap feature. As the pack ran side by side, Kazmar pulled away from the field a bit with Shaun Whitney and Rob Buckley in hot pursuit. Mike Kugler was a big factor, using a higher line to get good runs off the corners and was making his bid for a spot in the top five. Kazmar and Buckley broke away from the field and Buckley went to work on him, trying to find a way around him. Buckley got a fender under Kazmar but Kazmar slammed the door, as Whitney and Kugler battled for the third and fourth position at lap 20. Caution closed up the field and suddenly, Mark Kortz was a threat, sitting in the fifth position behind Kugler. Kugler and Kortz made their way around Whitney, as Buckley and Kazmar ran side by side. It was nip and tuck, swapping the lead, with Buckley taking the upper hand on lap 29. Caution on lap 31 erased Buckley?s lead over Kazmar, and on the restart, Kugler jumped out to his familiar high line, making his way around Kazmar, as Kortz followed suit. Kortz went to work on Kugler as the lead cars were catching the rear of the field. Lap 50 saw Buckley putting lcars down a lap, as Kortz got around Kugler. Buckley was running away from second through fifth positions, but Kortz wasn?t giving up. He methodically began reeling Buckley in and was riding his rear bumper by lap 59. Kugler caught Buckley and Kortz, making it a three-way run for first. Kugler once again almost made that high side work for him, looking to the outside of Kortz for second, but Kortz held him at bay. Kortz made one last ditch effort to get around Buckley, but ran out of laps. At the stripe, it was Buckley, Kortz, Kugler, Kazmar and Whitney.
Dane Long continued his reign in the Performance Automotive Northwest Street Stock division, setting fast time and winning the 25-lap feature. Damon Place and Ron Heeney both tallied heat wins. Rolly Olney and ?Gator? Williams started on the front row, with Williams shown as the lap one leader. Kenny Clark, a regular in the ShortTrackTruck.com series, took command on lap two, and led through lap five, as Jack Koone and Long made their way up through the field. Long grabbed the top spot on lap six and drove away from the field. Koone and Mike Ammerman went to work on Clark for second, with Koone taking the spot on lap 13. Ammerman got around Clark on lap 15, as did Heeney on lap 20. With Long so far out of the picture, the race was for second between Koone, Ammerman, Heeney, and Place. At the checker, it was Long, Koone, Ammerman, Heeney, and Place.
The Holiday Powersports Pony Stocks lined up for their 20 lap feature with Rich Roberts and Keith Holden making up the front row. Roberts jumped out to the early lead, but Holden battled back to lead by lap four. John Conroy took over at the helm on lap five, as Jimmy Scavarda, John Ward and Brent McCort made their move to the front. Conroy, Ward and McCort broke away from the field, with Ward getting around Conroy on lap 12. Ward opened up some real estate between himself and Conroy, and at the line, it was Ward, Conroy, McCort, Tina Anderson, and Brian Beckner. George Wyers and Conroy won their heats. John Ward also scored another win in the Pony Stock Figure 8, bringing him up to three straight wins.
Just a reminder, the Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models return to action next Friday, June 23rd, along with WMMQ Classic Rock 94.9 MI Modifieds, Performance Automotive NW Street Stocks and Holiday Powersports Pony Stocks, with the ?Special Show? being sponsored by Auto Value Bumper to Bumper.? Action returns to Spartan on Sunday with a ?Special Show? featuring Street Stock and 4 CYL Figure 8?s, Round Two of the Sunday Street Stock Slug-fest, a 4 CYL Open and the Midgets. Check out our website at www.spartanspeedway.com for special show pricing and gate times. We?ll see you at the races!