By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
John Mamula made his first visit to the Corrigan Oil Winnerís Circle, Friday, July 3rd, for his win in the MOD 50 at the Spartan Speedway. Eighteen Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds timed in, with Leroy Ellis topping the speed chart with a 13.655. Mamula and Ron Parish sat on the front row for the start, and after the green, Mamula jumped out to the early lead, with Tom Hernly Jr. challenging for the lead on lap two, taking the spot away on lap three, and was sent to the pit on lap five with a smoking issue, thus turning the lead over to Mamula. Earl Miles quickly picked off a couple of cars to sit in the third position ahead of Bill Butler and Leroy Ellis. Two non-qualifiers got a little dicey and the caution waved again on lap 10, with both retiring to the pits. On the restart, Mamula pulled away leaving Parish and Miles to slug it out for second, as Ellis jumped to the outside of Butler to take away the fourth spot. Back in the pack, Sonny Coito and Wayne Haughton battled side by side for seventh position, while the leader pulled away from Parish and Miles on lap 20. Ellis dove under Miles to take away third on lap 27 but Miles wasnít going to give up. Ellis went to work on Parish for second as Miles seized the opportunity to make a run on Ellis. Ellis had his hands full but was able to keep Miles at an arms length. Ellis took a look under Parish on lap 45 and the two tangled in turn two on lap 46, opening the door for Miles. Ellis and Parish were able to gather both cars up. Miles dove under Ellis, attempting to make the pass going into turn three, with Miles spinning into the infield. Caution waved and on the restart, it was a four lap shootout, with Mamula, of Okemos, able to hang on for the win over Parish, Butler, Larry Wallace, and Haughton. Mamula and Rob Newman took heat wins.
In one of the largest fields of Performance Automotive NW Sportsmans yet this season, Dane Long, of Charlotte, set the bar high during qualifying with a time of 14.353. On the start, Damon Place looked like he was shot out of a cannon, leading the first four laps, but he had company, as Jimmy Scavarda drove from his mid-pack starting position and into the lead by lap seven. Ron Heeney worked his way up into the third spot while Dane Long and Jack Koone Jr. battled for fourth. The top five were spread out on the track by lap 17 and Heeney was able to make up some ground on Place, but ran out of laps to challenge for second. At the line, it was Scavarda with his first win in a Sportsman, followed by Place, Heeney, Long, and Koone Jr. Heeney and Place won their heats.
The Spartan Speedway Pure Stocks saw Ian Schafer in the Corrigan Oil Winnerís Circle twice with a heat and 20-lap feature win. Mark Childers took the early lead after the green flag waved, with Tyler Hawkins right there to challenge for the top spot. Schafer got around Hawkins on lap four and went to work on Childers, diving under Childers to take the spot away on lap six. Mark Carson reeled in Childers by lap 10 who used a lapped car to slow Carsonís advances. As Schafer continued to drive away from the field, Carson took one last shot at Childers but Childers was able to hold him off. At the stripe, it was Schafer, Childers, Carson, Jamie Feguer and Tyler Hawkins.
Patrick Denison was the man on a mission in the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division, driving to his first win in the 20-lap feature, as well as taking the fast heat win. Brad Harbenski took the early lead over 87-year old Art Kimbal and George Wyers. Wyers took over the lead on lap two, with Denison blasting up through the field, as cars ran three- and four-wide. Brian Beckner jumped into the mix on lap five but Denison was able to pull away. Todd Metz Jr. had worked his way up to the third position by lap nine while Beckner caught Denison to challenge for the lead on lap 15. Beckner tried to dive under Denison for the lead, got into Denison, and ended up stopped at the top of turn two. This opened the door for Metz as caution bunched the field up. Denison brought the field down for the restart at a snailís pace and, at the green, was able to pull away from Metz and Edson Rowley III. After 20 laps, it was Denison, Metz Jr., Rowley, Lex Jarecki, and Wayne Beckner Jr. Wyers took home a heat win for the evening.
The Auto Value Bumper to Bumper MI Legends Series made its way to the Spartan Speedway and put on a whale of a show for the fans on the holiday weekend. Matt Todd led all 30 laps of the feature, making his long haul from Birmingham, AL worth every mile. Brandon Mahoney, Bryan Nuckles (also a heat winner), Tony Monge and Ben Rouster rounded out the top five after 30 laps. Chance Rice won the second heat race of the evening but experienced mechanical difficulties in the feature.
Please join us each and every Friday night at the Spartan Speedway for exciting, family-friendly, racing action. Friday, July 17th will feature the ShortTrackTrucks.com series, along with Topless Night. Anyone arriving in a convertible gets half-price general admission. Featured divisions will be the Short Track Trucks, Modifieds, Pure Stocks, Pony Stocks, and MCR Dwarfs. A special Sunday show with special show pricing will be run on Sunday, July 19th, featuring the Late Model 75, Slugfests for Sportsmans and Pure Stocks, and Double Figure-8ís featuring Pure Stocks and Pony Stocks. July 24th is the ďCharginí Charlie Ryan Late Model 40Ē, with a total invert in honor of Charlie. Vintage racers, the VROA, and Old Timers Night is on the docket. As always, weíll see you at the races!