By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Mother Nature was intent on spoiling the show at Spartan the evening of August 7th. Sprinkles of rain throughout the entire program didn’t stop the drivers, or the die-hard fans, as the decision was made to qualify, run heat races for the Legends only, and then go directly into the features for the four regular divisions and two traveling series.
The Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stock division saw rookie driver, Marisa Jones, jump out to the early lead when the green flag waved. Jones was able to hold down the top spot until the halfway point, when Patrick Denison got around her after starting near the rear of the field. Wayne Beckner Jr. caught Jones as well and made the pass for second on the high side and went to work reeling in Denison. Rich Roberts and Todd Metz Sr. ran nose to tail until Brian Beckner jumped into the mix and took away the fifth position as laps wound down. W. Beckner Jr. worked the high side of Denison for the lead but ran out of laps. At the line, it was Denison, W. Beckner Jr., Jones, Roberts, and B. Beckner.
The Performance Automotive NW Sportsmans saw Jimmy Scavarda take the early lead over Dave Elliott, Dane Long, Matt Kirchen and Scott Newson. Scavarda was able to hold off Long for a number of laps until Long took the high road and they made slight contact, with Long able to drive into the lead. Scavarda and Long battled lap after lap for first with Scavarda unable to get the job done. Kirchen came home in third, while Newson and Elliot rounded out the top five.
Lonnie Saumier continued his reign in the Spartan Pure Stock division, tallying another win over 25 year veteran, Rich Kinch, Ian Schafer, Chris Stearns and Matt Childers. Rob Newman grabbed the lead on the start with Schafer battling Kinch for the second spot. Saumier drove around the outside of the pack, picking off cars, one by one, to take the lead from Newman. Saumier pulled away from Kinch, leaving Schafer, Childers and Stearns to duke it out for third. Stearns was able to get around Childers for fourth behind Schafer.
With the sprinkles of rain getting closer together, 23 Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds hit the track for their 50-lap feature. Newcomer, Jacob Mann, and Wayne Haughton brought the field down for the start with Chris Ozanich diving under the front row to take the lead on lap one. Ozanich never looked back but did have company as Travis Eddy got under Haughton for second, then began reeling in Ozanich to challenge for the lead. In third, Haughton had a rearview mirror full of Leroy Ellis but was able to outrun Ellis who, in turn, was being chased down by Larry Wallace. Ozanich and Eddy ran up on slower traffic and got bogged down a bit with three laps to go. At the stripe, it was Ozanich, Eddy, Haughton, Ellis and Wallace.
Tyler Rysinga and Tony Monge brought the field of MI Legends down for the green, with Monge driving into the lead, as Brandon Mahoney and Bryan Nuckles made their way to the front as well. Mahoney took the lead, sticking Monge on the outside to, allowing Rysinga to drive under Monge as well. Rysinga made the pass on Mahoney, as Nuckles was closing in from the third spot, with Matt Todd and Levi Rouster moving up into the top five. Caution waved for Nuckles who was putting fluid down on the track. Todd moved up into te third spot as Monge worked his way back into fourth ahead of Rouster. At the line, it was Rysinga, Mahoney, Todd, Monge and Rouster.
Twenty-one MCR Dwarfs timed in and their feature proved to be fast and furious. Mike McManman Jr. and Todd Getz brought the field down to the green. Craig Curtis charged to the front from his mid-field starting position and took the lead with just four laps in. Eric Hoffman was able to keep Curtis in his sights, but Hoffman had his hands full holding off Landon Hidy. Hidy could dive under Hoffman in the turns, but Hoffman could pull away coming off the corners. This battle went on for lap after lap, with Craig Campbell watching the action unfold ahead of him. Jon Wylie moved in on Campbell for the fourth spot but ran out of laps to challenge Hidy for third. At the checker, it was Curtis, Hoffman, Hidy, Wylie and Campbell.
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting, family-friendly racing action at the Spartan Speedway. August 21st will feature Spectator Drags, sponsored by Andrew’s Chevrolet, along with the Andrew’s Chevrolet Super Lates, Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Performance Automotive NW Sportsmans, Spartan Pure Stocks and the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. August 28th is Season Championship Night for all divisions. Pencil in Friday, Sept. 4th, for the “Eve of Destruction I”, featuring Push-Pull, Chain Gang, Trailer, Pony Stock and Pony Stock Figure-8 races, as well as Sunday, Sept. 6th, for the “Poor Paul 275”, sponsored by Lipari Foods. Plan to tailgate from Noon-2 pm on Sunday, as the “Basement Dawgs” (featuring Spartan’s own Matt Shindewolf, the “Racing Hippie’) will be on hand. Special show pricing applies for both of these events. Please check out the website at www.spartanspeedway.com for more details. As always, we’ll see you at the races!