By: Carol Thompson substituting for Michelle Sprague
The weather was perfect, the crowd was enthusiastic, the racing was fast and furious – who could ask for anything more?!
The Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Sprints were back at Spartan Speedway for the first time in eight years, and the action was fast and furious. The identical blue sprinters driven by Bill Tyler (#24) and Jason Blonde (#42) battled hard in the early laps of the Sprint feature running side by side, lap after lap, but at the finish it was Jason Blonde finishing slightly ahead of Tyler, with Chad Goff finishing a close third, Jeff Banyas fourth and Jimmy McCune finishing fifth. It’s always fun to watch open wheel racing, but on that tight quarter-mile track it takes special skill! Sprint heats were won by Ike Beasley, Bill Tyler and Jason Blonde.
The 40-lap Performance Northwest Sportsman feature got off to a rough start with Dane Long and Jack Koone coming together on lap 2, but once they were off and running again it was a slugfest. Two laps later Jack Koone was at the end of the hook – off to the pits. There was passing and dicing and slicing, but at the end of 40 laps it was Dane Long of Charlotte in the winner’s circle, Scott Sigman 2nd, Damon Place of Leslie right on his bumper for third place, Jordan Harvey 4th , Nate Moon 5th, Dave Thorburn 6th.
There were 20+ Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks on hand and at times they were running four abreast – flat out – no holds barred! The feature was won by 14-year-old Lex Jarecki who took a commanding lead and held it for his first feature win! Veteran Wayne Beckner, Jr. came home second, followed by George Wyres, Edson Rowley III and Todd Metz, Jr.
The Pure Stock Feature was wild and wooly as always! The lead changed so many times it was hard to keep track of who was where, but in the end, it was young Lonnie “Buzz Saw” Saumier, followed across the line by Dan Leeck, Chris Stearns, Nick Johnston, Chad Decker, Chad Lamson and Spencer Drake. Lots of “east-siders” were on hand. We’re always glad to see them roll into the pits at Spartan – they keep things interesting!
Last but not least were the two wacky figure 8 races. First up, it was the Pony Stock guys – Brian Beckner was not to be beaten, and in spite of losing parts of his car here and there, rolling his front bumper under the car, and going airborne on at least two occasions, he remained in the lead to take his first checkered flag of the season! He was followed by Todd Metz, Jr., Joe “Dirt” Bates, Jim Harbenski and James Hogan. After that – it was anybody’s guess!
Second of the figure 8 races was equally as exciting – it was the first time the Pure Stock guys took a shot at getting through the “X” safely. And for a few laps they managed to do just that, with hair-raising passes. But, it was bound to happen, Troy Shinabarger and Wayne Parkhurst Sr. both got to the intersection at precisely the same time and pretty much destroyed both cars – one stopping in the “X” the other sailing across Poor Paul’s precious green grass and ending up against the front straight wall – much worse for the wear. After the wreckers hauled them back to the pits, it was back to the action. There was a young pre-teen sitting in front of me – I was sure she’d never see her 13th birthday! She was so excited (it was her first figure 8 race) – it was fun to watch her unadulterated joy and enthusiasm! She clapped and shouted and squealed through the entire race! At the end of 20 laps, Chad Lamson bested the rest with an impressive win over Lonnie Saumier, Dan Leeck, Chad Decker, James Hogan and Dan Lewis.
For more fun and excitement, join us at Spartan Speedway in Mason next Friday, July 18th – “topless night” - half price general admission for convertibles. The SuperPro racers will be back in town for a 75-lap race sponsored by Lipari Foods, along with Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Performance Automotive Northwest Sportsmen, Pure Stocks and Pony Stocks. Come join us! Summer is half over – get some racing in while you can.