Springport Racing toward Championship Night
By Michelle Sprague
With point battles heating up in most of the divisions, only five more nights of regular racing remain at the Springport Motor Speedway. The competition was fast and furious, as the drivers know where they stand in the point chase.
Earl Miles and Wayne Haughton made up the front row, for the WMMQ Classic Rock MI Modified division's 30-lap feature. Miles took off like a shot, when the green flag waved, to lead the first lap. Point leader, Chris Ozanich, got together with Larry Wallace on lap one and was sent to the rear. Miles drove away from the field on lap two, leaving Haughton, Perry Davenport, Wallace, and Brian Heeney to battle for position. Miles continued to widen the gap between Haughton and himself, as Wallace moved into third around Davenport. By lap 11, Wallace was working the inside of Haughton for second. Wallace found himself in second, as Miles tried to distance himself from Wallace. Wallace reeled in Miles and the battle for first was on. Wallace looked to the inside of Miles on lap 17 but couldn't get it done. He got a fender under Miles on lap 18, driving through the dirt in turn one to try and complete the pass. Miles used a slower car as a pick on lap 20, forcing Wallace to slow when he came up on the lapped car. Miles set up another pick on lap 23, once again slowing Wallace's progress. Lap 26 saw Wallace dive under Miles. Wallace got into Miles, Miles went up the track, gathered it up, relinquishing the top spot to Wallace. At the line, it was Wallace, Miles, Davenport, Heeney, and Haughton. Jason Parish and Heeney won their heats.
The point battle is really tight, among the top four, in the Performance Automotive NW Street Stocks. Jerry Schroll and Dennis Rockey brought the thirteen cars down for the start of their 25-lap feature. JL Smith jumped out to the early lead, but Dan Lewis set sail for the front and into the lead by lap five. Lewis drove away from the field, leaving Smith, Jeff Brown, Darrell Taylor, and Matt Kirchen to duke it out. Mike Ammerman began his march to the front on lap 6, as did Walt Obrinske Jr. Ammerman was sitting third by lap ten, with Lewis checking out on the competition. Ammerman and Taylor made short work of Brown and began to try to reel Lewis in. Obrinske went to work on Brown for fourth, as Ammerman and Taylor were dicing it up on lap 14. A caution on lap 23 closed up the field, and on the restart, it was evident that no one had anything for Lewis. Obrinske made a last lap charge on Brown, bringing Scott Sigman with him. At the line, it was Lewis, Taylor, Ammerman, Obrinske, and Sigman. Brown and Lewis scored heat wins.
The MCR Dwarfs made a stop at the big 3/8-mile, minus a few of their regulars. Attrition has been a factor in car counts but they put on a great show nonetheless. Rob Roney nearly broke into the 15 second bracket, with a qualifying time of 16.076. Roney tallied a heat win, along with Doug Miller, and also took the feature win over Mike McManman Sr., Junior Gould, Craig Meyer, and Jeff Slayton. The top three battled tooth and nail until lap 12, when Roney jumped to the outside of Gould, and just drove around him. Roney put some real estate between himself, Gould, and McManman, leaving McManman and Gould to vie for position. Slayton opened the window of opportunity for Meyer on lap 18, as Meyer slipped under Slayton into fourth.
The Holiday Powersports Pony Stock division saw a third-generation driver, Jacob Newman, find his way into the Winner's Circle, along with Patrick McNamara. Both won heats in their division. Jared Roy and Patrick McNamara sat on the front row for the start of the 20-lap feature. At the start, it was Roy who jumped out to lead the first lap. Roy continued to lead through lap four, as Harlan Oleski wrangled his way through the field, sights set on the top spot. Oleski grabbed the spot from Roy, with Brent McCort on the move. Robert Fletcher and Eric Weinman followed McCort to sit in the top five. McCort caught Oleski on lap 17, but ran out of laps. When the checkered flag fell, it was Oleski, McCort, Fletcher, Weinman, and Roy.
Russ Potter IV grabbed a Pure Stock heat win, and scorched the competition with a feature win as well. Potter started shotgun on the field, and was in the lead by the time the Pures entered turn one. Wayne Parkhurst II had to be content with second, while Bryan Passick Sr. and Adam Gusey rounded out the top four.
Please join us Saturday, July 29th, as Shafer Brothers Redi-Mix, Coca Cola, and R.W. Mercer sponsor the racing program, which includes MI Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pony Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Fireworks. Saturday, August 5th, Performance Automotive NW presents, MI Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pony Stocks, Pure Stocks, and the VROA CAN-AM Series. Remember, SMS has a new start time of 7:30 PM. Hope to see you at the races!