By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
The Spartan Speedway, along with B & L Truck Caps, hosted the “Chargin’ Charlie Ryan Jr. Memorial” for Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models on July 24th, 2009. The stage was set for a barn-burner as many of Charlies fellow racers timed in to take home the coveted prize in Charlie’s memory. Ron Heeney and Logan Beckwith sat on the front row and on the start Heeney drove into the lead, with Beckwith and Bill Heeney Jr. in hot pursuit. Beckwith took the lead, bringing Heeney Jr. and Jimmy Gallagher along with him. Caution waved and on the restart, Evan Barrett dove under Heeney on the backstretch, leaving Heeney caught on the high side of the track. Jeff Hackworth moved into the fifth position, with Dave Stehouwer poised to break into the top five. Gallagher jumped to the second groove to find a way around Heeney Jr. for second, made the pass and took second away while Barrett went to work on Heeney Jr. for third. Beckwith and Gallagher pulled away from the field as Barrett moved into third with Hackworth tacked to his rear bumper. Doug Finley had methodically picked off cars to sit in fifth when caution waved and on the restart, it was anybody in the top five’s race. On the restart, Beckwith and Gallagher pulled away from the field but Gallagher slowed dramatically, relinquishing second to Barrett. Finley dove under Hackworth after the Gallagher caution and went to work on Barrett for second. With Barrett working the high groove, Finley was able to drive under him and into second. In the waning laps, Finley went to work on Beckwith, nailed down the top spot, and went on to take the emotional win, visiting the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle honoring the memory of his friend, “Chargin” Charlie Ryan Jr. Beckwith, Barrett, Heeney Jr. and Tim Ryan rounded out the top five. R. Heeney and Gallagher took heat wins and Finley scored the Hard Charger Award for the evening.
The Performance Automotive NW Sportsmans saw Owosso Speedway regular, Jordan Harvey, take the early lead in the 25-lap feature. Matt Kirchen ran second on the high side while Jimmy Scavarda repeatedly stuck a nose under Harvey and Kirchen, making it three-wide at times. Scavarda jumped to the high side of Harvey as Dane Long dove under the duo to take away the lead. Long then drove away from the field. Scavarda sat in second while Jack Koone Jr., Harvey and Kirchen ran third through fifth, respectively. At the line, it was Long, Scavarda, Koone Jr., Harvey and Kirchen. Koone Jr. took the heat win and Long won the Hard Charger Award.
The Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified division was 23 cars strong in qualifying. Two cars were unable to make the call for the feature, so all 21 competitors were lined up for the start of the 35-lapper. Rob Newman took the lead when the green flag waved, with Perry Davenport, Bubba Brooks, and Chris Ozanich ready to challenge for top honors. An altercation on the frontstretch sparked a huge melee in turn one as cars checked up to avoid other spinning cars in turn two. The red flag was displayed and on the restart, Brooks dove under Newman for the lead, as Ozanich issued a challenge on Newman for second and took the spot away. Ozanich looked high and low for a way around Brooks, while Kazmar went after Davenport for the fourth position. Brooks used slower traffic to his advantage, slowing Ozanich’s advances, but eventually Ozanich overpowered Brooks to take the lead. As Davenport and Kazmar duked it out for fourth, Larry Wallace jumped into the mix and got around Kazmar for fifth. Caution waved with seven laps to go and on the restart, Wallace and Leroy Ellis were able to get around Davenport. At the stripe, it was Ozanich, Brooks, Newman, Wallace and Ellis. Ellis was the Hard Charger and Ken Buchner, Newman and John Mamula took heat wins.
A fine display of driving was the story in the Pure Stock division, as Matt Childers started sixth in the feature and was the leader by lap two. Rick Gokee Sr., Ian Schafer and Mark Childers had a three-way battle going for second and Kevin Adkins was able to hold down the fifth spot over Jake Pearson. After 20 laps, it was Matt Childers (also Hard Charger), Gokee Sr., Mark Childers, Schafer and Adkins. Mark Childers took the heat win.
Rookie driver, Marissa Jones led the opening laps of the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock 20-lap feature, with Jeremy LaFontaine taking charge just three laps in. Rich Roberts was running second when, from the back of the pack, Todd Metz Jr. just motored past everyone and into the lead. Wayne Beckner Jr. and Edson Rowley III ran second and third but didn’t have anything for Metz who tallied his second win in two weeks. Beckner Jr., Rowley, Patrick Denison and Brian Beckner rounded out the top five. Roberts and Denison took heat wins for the division.
It was Old Timer’s Night as well at the Spartan Speedway and the Vintage Automobile Racing Club paid a visit and put on an exhibition race. Chuck Faulkner took the exhibition win. A big thank you to the group for exposing the fans to the cars of yesteryear!
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting racing action. Friday, July 31st is the return of the School Bus Figure 8’s. Special show pricing will apply. Friday, August 7th is a Mod 50 featuring the modified division. Other divisions will include Sportsmans, Pure Stocks, Pony Stocks and Legends. Sunday, August 9th is the Late Model 75 for Super Late Models and Sunday Slugfest for Sportsmans, Pure Stocks and Pony Stocks. Double Figure 8’s are also on the docket. Special show pricing will apply. As always, we’ll see you at the races!