By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
It was an evening of firsts on CARQUEST Night, with Lansing’s Dan Gokee rounding out the Boss Snow Equipment Pony feature with his first ever Spartan Speedway win. The pack was tightly bunched as they came down for the start, running three- and four-wide going into turns one and two. Brian Beckner of Lansing took the lead, with Gokee, Patrick Denison, of Eaton Rapids, and Beckner coming across the line, three wide, for the lead on lap four. Denison took the lead away from Beckner, with Gokee slipping under Denison for the lead just three laps later. As Denison, Beckner, and Jackson’s George Wyers battled, Gokee opened up a bit of a cushion between himself and second place. Gregory’s Jeremy LaFontaine worked his way around Wyers, Beckner, and Denison, while point leader, Edson Rowley III, of Jackson, made his way to the front, in a borrowed CRC race car from Grass Lake, to sit in third, as laps wound down. At the checker, it was Gokee, Rowley, LaFontaine, Denison, and Beckner. Brothers, Brian Beckner and Wayne Beckner Jr., both of Lansing, made trips to the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle after scoring heat wins.
The Performance Automotive NW Sportsmen gave a little taste of what was in store when the heat race was run side by side until a miscue opened the door for Damon Place, of Leslie, to score the win. Feature time saw Mason’s Scott Sigman jump out to the lead, with Charlotte’s Dane Long and East Lansing’s Jack Koone Jr. in hot pursuit. Long tried to make the outside groove work for him, while Koone worked the inside, right behind Sigman, waiting for either Long or Sigman to open a window of opportunity. That window never opened as Sigman made the race car as wide as possible to hold of both Long and Koone. Holt’s Jimmy Scavarda won the battle for fourth with Leslie’s Damon Place, while Leslie’s Nate Moon and Bubber Patrick, of Stockbridge rounded out the field. Place scored the heat win for the division.
Evan Barrett, of Jackson, was in good company, scoring his first win in the Andrew’s Chevrolet Super Late Model division of the 2008 season. Barrett led from wire-to-wire, while Dewitt’s Chad Finley, Dimondale’s Jimmy Gallagher, Lansing’s Doug Finley, and Muskegon’s Dave Stehouwer fought for position. C. Finley gave up the second spot to Gallagher, after retiring to the pit, leaving D. Finley to try and find a way around Gallagher for second, and with four laps to go, dove under Gallagher, bringing Stehouwer with him. At the line, it was Barrett, D. Finley, Stehouwer, Gallagher, and McNett. Barrett took the heat win as well, making two trips to the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle.
Three seasoned veterans found the Winner’s Circle in the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division. Leslie’s Ken Buchner and Corunna’s Larry Wallace tallied wins for their heats, while Vermontville’s Leroy Ellis found himself at the top of the heap, when the leader, Ron Parish, of Okemos, and Wallace got together during the feature, effectively knocking themselves out of contention for the evening, thus handing the lead over to Ellis. Eaton Rapid’s Jason Parish, Charlotte’s Dan Loughan and Lansing’s Chris Ozanich ran in a tight little pack, but couldn’t catch Ellis, on the restart, after the caution. As the checker waved, it was Ellis, Parish, Loughan, Ozanich, and Mason’s Rob Newman as the top five.
It was a sweep for Spencer Drake, of Dimondale, as he won both the heat and the feature for the Pure Stock division. Leslie’s Justin Lewis was the early leader, but Drake overpowered him on lap three to take the lead. Charlotte’s Marc Childers got around Lewis for second, while Lansing’s Ian Schafer challenged Lewis for third. At the line, it was Drake, Childers, Lewis, Schafer and Stockbridge’s Darren Wright.
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting racing action at the Spartan Speedway. Friday, August 1st will be a special show, with special show pricing, as the School Bus Figure 8’s make their return to the track. The ever popular Pony Stock Figure 8’s will bring their brand of excitement on Dodge Night, sponsored by Beacon Sales of Charlotte. Regular divisions will include the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds and the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. August 8th will feature a full show of Andrews Chevrolet Super late Models, Valvoline Instant Oil Change, Performance Automotive NW Sportsman, Pure Stock and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. For more information, check us out at www.spartanspeedway.com and as always, we’ll see you at the races!