By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
The Friday, August 14th, night of racing at the Spartan Speedway was sponsored by CARQUEST, and the Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds turned out in a big way, with 25 racers timing in for their 50-lap event. Wayne Haughton and Sonny Coito brought the field down to the green flag and the duo battled side by side for a couple of laps until Coito took the lead, with Haughton, Larry Wallace, Jon McNett, and Bud Perry in hot pursuit. A multi-car pile-up brought out the first caution, and on the restart, Perry dove under McNett for fourth, as Coito pulled away from Haughton in second. Caution waved again with Wallace tapping out for the altercation with Haughton and on the restart, Perry was sitting within striking distance of Coito. He picked off Haughton then went to work reeling in Coito for the lead. The pair ran away from the field, leaving Haughton, McNett, John Mamula, and Travis Eddy to battle amongst themselves. McNett took the high line and got into the marbles, bringing out the next caution. Perry is the master of restarts, and at the green, dove under Coito coming out of turn three to take away the top spot. Caution waved for the final time and after the restart, Perry was able to put some distance between Coito and himself, while back in the pack, Dan Loughan, A J Foote and Earl Miles had a battle shaping up, while Chris Ozanich had quietly worked his way into the top five. Leroy Ellis drove under Haughton to take away the third spot but needed to gain some ground on Coito to challenge for second. At the line, it was Bud Perry of Edgerton, OH, over Coito, Ellis, Ozanich, and Haughton. Ken Buchner, Ozanich, Butler won their heats while Nyle Weiler took the last chance win, transferring into the feature along with Megan Carpenter, Perry Davenport and Buchner.
The Performance NW Sportsman division was few in numbers but the boys always keep it interesting. Jack Koone Jr. took the early lead while Matt Kirchen made his car pretty wide, putting Jimmy Scavarda and Dane Long to the task of finding a way around him. Scavarda took the second groove and took the spot away from Kirchen. Kirchen then fell prey to Long, and both he and Scavarda got busy trying to run down Koone. Scavarda caught Koone and tacked on to his rear bumper. One last ditch effort on Scavarda’s part, on lap 24, sent Koone spinning and Scavarda to the rear, just the break Long was waiting for, but the caution came out , setting up a one lap shoot-out between Long and Koone. At the line, it was Koone, Long, Scavarda, and Kirchen. Long took the heat win.
The Spartan Pure Stock division is growing weekly with sixteen cars taking to the track. Shane Fagan and Tyler Hawkins got the ball rolling in fine style, with Hawkins leaning on Fagan all the way down the front stretch coming down for the green. This triggered an altercation between Lonnie Saumier and Jim Gokee, with Gokee retiring to the pit. On the restart, it was Ian Schafer with a charge into the lead over Fagan bringing Rob Newman and Saumier along with him. Newman took the lead, with Saumier diving to the low side of Newman to take the spot away. Saumier proceeded to run away from the field, leaving Newman and Chris Stearns to duke it out for second. Matt Childers ran solo in fourth, while Mark Carson had to hold off Jake Pearson for fifth. At the stripe, it was Saumier, Newman, Stearns, Childers, and Carson. Carson and Saumier scored heat wins for the division.
The Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division saw wild and wooly racing action as drivers put their cars four- and five-wide during the 20-lap feature. Brad Harbenski took the early lead over Rich Roberts, Joe Bates, Lex Jarecki and Jeremy LaFontaine. Harbenski continued to lead as Brian Beckner drove to the front, on the outside, to sit in second just seven laps in. Beckner took first from Harbenski who received a speeding ticket at the halfway point in the feature. Misty Allen put on a driving exhibition at this point, driving up the middle and threading the needle to sit in fourth behind Roberts and Jarecki. Patrick Denison drove around all three, Allen, Roberts and Jarecki, and found himself in the second spot trying to keep Beckner in the crosshairs. Wayne Beckner Jr. worked his way into the top five, sitting third behind Denison. At the checker, it was B. Beckner, Denison, W. Beckner Jr., Jarecki and Allen. Harbenski and B. Beckner took heat wins.
The GLS Mini Cups were on hand and these little powerhouses didn’t disappoint the fans. Past champion, Tim Phillips jumped out to the early lead but spun, with just two laps in, bringing out the caution and sending him to the rear. Tyler Minnix assumed the lead with Morgan Baird right there to challenge for the lead. A spin ahead of the leaders sent Baird slamming into the front stretch wall. Baird was able to continue but was considerably slower than before the crash. On the restart, Minnix took the lead with John Dewey in hot pursuit. Phillips had worked his way back into the top five and was sitting third when the checkered flag waved, giving Minnix the win. At the line, it was Minnix, Dewey, Phillips, Jesse Thatcher, and Dustin Clark. Phillips and Scott Swem won their heats.
Please join us on Friday nights as racing action at the Spartan Speedway is beginning to wind down. Friday, August 28th is season Championship Night for all divisions, while Friday, September 4th, is the “Eve of Destruction” with Push-Pull, Chain Gang and Trailer races, along with Pony Stocks and Pony Stock Figure 8’s. Sunday, September 6th is the Poor Paul 275, with our five regular divisions in action, along with Pure and Pony Stock Figure 8’s. Both of the above events will have special show pricing. For more information, check out the website at www.spartanspeedway.com. As always, we’ll see you at the races!