Spartan Speedway hosts the Harvest 250
By: Michelle Sprague
The Harvest 250 is a staple at Spartan Speedway, as season championships at area tracks have been, or will soon be decided. Sunday, Sept. 3rd, was no exception, as the pit area was full, with well over 100 cars in attendance, and the racing action was some of the best all season.
The Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Model division played host to a number of visitors, Dave Sensiba, Greg Studt, Ron Shamel Jr., Harry Foote, Jr., Dennis Strickland, Jimmy Thiel, and Craig Everage, along with the cars and stars that call Spartan Speedway home.
Harry Foote Jr. set fast time, turning the fastest lap of the season, a 12.778, for the division, while a 20-lap last chance race was necessary to complete the 21 car field, with 2006 track champion, Doug Finley, winning it to make the show. Shamel Jr., John Ledwidge, and Greg Studt also advanced into the 100-lap feature. Jimmy Gallagher and Darrell Howard Jr. brought the field down to the green, and caution immediately flew, as John Dunivon got into the wall and collected Jack Landis and Stan Perry. On the complete restart, Gallagher jumped out in front, while Thiel, Howard, McNett, an Landis gave chase. McNett and Landis made short work of Howard, but Gallagher was pulling away from the field. Cautions continued to plague Gallagher?s drive, allowing Thiel, Landis, Howard, and Dunivon to keep Gallagher in check. Landis, with a flat tire, made a quick pit stop and tacked on to the rear of the field. Sensiba cracked the top five on lap 21, with Perry, Fedewa, and Jeff Hackworth on the move. Sensiba moved under Dunivon to take away the fourth spot on lap 34, as Fedewa got around Perry, to sit in sixth. Sensiba went to work on Dunivon, looking high and low for a way around him, finally stuck a fender under him as Dunivon washed up a bit, allowing Fedewa to slip past as well, on lap 41. Thiel retired to the rear of the field for his spin, moving Sensiba up behind Howard. Sensiba and Fedewa dove under Howard, and both advanced their position. Foote, who had a flat early on in the race, along with Landis, were marching up through the field at a steady pace, while up front, Gallagher had a mirror full of Sensiba and Fedewa. Gallagher, Sensiba, and Fedewa pulled away from the field on lap 50, as Perry, Everage, Hackworth, Foote and Landis battled for fourth through eighth position. Caution for a spin by Fedewa on lap 74, brought Perry up within striking distance of Gallagher and Sensiba. On the restart, Gallagher slowed with a flat tire, and other difficulties ended his night after leading for 74 laps. Sensiba inherited the lead, with Perry, Everage, Foote, and Landis poised to make a run for the top spot. Finley looked to the outside of Foote but couldn?t get a run on him. Thiel stuck a nose in under Finley while he was trying the high side around Foote but had to settle in behind Finley. Lap 88 saw Finley jump to the outside of Foote, bringing Thiel along with him. Landis drove around Hackworth on the very next lap to take away the fourth spot. Sensiba was driving away from the field by lap 90, as Perry, Everage, and Landis tried to keep him in their sights. At the line, it was Sensiba, Perry, Everage, Landis, and Hackworth. Finley, Thiel, Foote, Fedewa, and Bauer rounded out the top ten.
The WMMQ Classic Rock 94.9 MI Modifieds saw Larry Wallace continue his dominance, by setting fast time for the division. On the start for their 50-lap feature, John Beach sent Earl Miles into the wall between turns one and two, ending Miles evening. On the restart, Wayne Haughton took the top spot, as Ozanich tacked on to his rear bumper. Nick Clemens, Brian Heeney, and Jon Beach were battling for position, as Dick Maurer jumped into the mix. Heeney challenged Haughton for the lead at lap seven, and took over the position on lap 10. Heeney worked up a pretty good lead over Haughton in second, but Wallace had begun his drive up through the field, to sit in third by lap 20. Wallace overtook Haughton for second, as Perry Davenport made his way up into third by lap 28. Heeney continued to open up a huge lead over Wallace and Davenport, as Stan Perry and Dan Loughan broke into the top five. By lap 40, Wallace had reeled in Heeney, when caution closed up the field. Wallace pulled alongside Heeney after the restart, with Wallace taking the lead on lap 44. At the checker, it was Wallace, Heeney, Davenport, Perry, and Loughan.
The Performance Automotive NW Street Stock division played host to 39 cars, as Dane Long found his way to the top of the speed chart once again. Two last chance races were run, and Jay Woolworth, Rob Sullivan, Rob Marten, and Scott Sigman advanced to the feature. Rob Patrick and Walt Obrinske Jr. brought the field down for the start of the 50-lap feature, as Nate Moon and Mike Ammerman made up the second row. Obrinske took the early lead, with Ammerman wasting no time in chasing him down. Ammerman and Obrinske ran side by side on lap 13, with Ammerman taking over the top spot on lap 14. R. Patrick was sitting in third, with Moon, Place, and Jack Koone Jr. close behind. Caution on lap 22 set up Koone with his golden opportunity, as R. Patrick got loose, and Koone launched himself into third. Koone took a look under Obrinske, and completed the pass on lap 30 to sit in second. Long had begun his march up through the field around Place and Ron Heeney, to sit in fourth. Long made his way under Obrinske on lap 35, as Kyle Hayden challenged Moon for the fifth spot. Koone took a look under Ammerman, as Long pulled up alongside Koone for second, but caution flew on lap 40. On the restart, the trio, Ammerman, Koone, and Long opened up some daylight between themselves and the rest of the field. Long looked to the outside of Koone as Koone darted to the inside of Ammerman. They made an Ammerman sandwich, with Koone getting the short end of the stick, as he spun at the bottom of turn four. Ammerman was only able to hold off Long for so long, and on lap 44, Long drove into the lead. After 50-laps, it was Long, Ammerman, Obrinske, Hayden, and R. Patrick. Darrell Taylor, Koone, Woolworth, Sullivan, and Sigman completed the top ten.
Eighteen Holiday Powersports Pony Stocks lined up for their 25-lap feature, with Jimmy Scavarda wanting to make it feature win number 13. On the start, the ponies made it four-wide going into turn one, and were still four-wide going into turn three. John Anderson came through unscathed to lead lap one, with Missy Bishop taking over on lap two, and Jacob Newman leading lap three. Brian Beckner charged to the front on lap four, to lead through lap eight. Scavarda had made his way from the rear and into first on lap nine, bringing Willie Conroy along with him. Conroy and Scavarda battled for first with Conroy moving into first on lap ten. Conroy led the charge until lap 15, when Scavarda moved back into the lead. Scavarda drove away from the field until caution waved on lap 19. Beckner, George Wyers, Bo Smith, and Tina Anderson had been duking it out for third through sixth, as caution came out on lap 21. On the restart, Scavarda drove away from Conroy, leaving Beckner, Wyers, Smith and Anderson to sort themselves out. At the conclusion, it was Scavarda, Conroy, Beckner, Smith and Anderson. Keith Holden, Newman, Joe Bates, Bishop, and Wyers rounded out the top ten.
The Capital City Crazies hit the Figure-8 track, with 19 cars slated to run the 25-lap feature. Jamie Feguer led lap one of the insanity, as Frank Erlenbeck and Wayne Parkhurst Sr. gave chase. Lap two was red-flagged as Rick Gokee Sr. and Erlenbeck slammed into each other in the intersection. On the restart, it was Jim Gokee, Parkhurst, and Jerry Atwell as the top three. Gokee held a commanding lead over Atwell, John Hitsman, and Mike Ammerman by lap eight. Jeff Cummings moved into second behind Gokee on lap nine, with Ammerman moving into third by lap 15. At this point, there were only two cars remaining on the lead lap. All others were either one or more laps down. Action at the cross remained exciting, as Gokee continued to open up his lead. At the conclusion, it was Gokee, Cummings, Ammerman, Hitsman, and Steve Utley. Jeff Cummings was crowned 2006 Figure 8 champion.