By: Spartan correspondent, Michelle Sprague
Fans at the Spartan Speedway broke in the new grandstands in fine style, as April 23rd was Opening Night for Spartan’s 54th season. The Andrew’s Chevrolet Super Late Models, Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks put on a great show, with the Supers being first on the docket.
Thirteen Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models brushed away the cobwebs from winter to focus on the task at hand, a 40-lap feature. Two complete restarts (the second of which involved nearly half of the field) proved the drivers were a little over-anxious. Dave Watson and Joe Hodgeson brought the field down to the green (third times the charm) and all drivers made it safely through turn one. With Hodgeson in the lead, Jimmy Gallagher jumped up to run the second groove setting up his run for the lead. Logan Beckwith and Chris Hettinger gave chase, running third and fourth respectively, with Tim Ryan in fifth. Gallagher drove to the outside of Hodgeson on lap nine, took away the lead and drove away from the field. Beckwith and Hettinger were battling for third when Hettinger spun bringing out the caution. This moved Ryan into fourth and Dave Stehouwer into fifth for the lap 14 restart. Gallagher continued to lead after the green, caught the rear of the field, and as the leaders worked lapped traffic, Hodgeson and a slower car made contact. Caution waved both on lap 27 and the restart, closing the field up behind Gallagher, not once, but twice. On the final restart, Gallagher set sail while Beckwith and Ryan made contact, spinning on lap 28. Both were sent to the rear and when green waved again, Hodgeson had a mirror full of Hettinger followed by Dan Leeck and Stehouwer. Stehouwer drove under Leeck into fourth, as Hettinger looked to the high side of Hodgeson for second. Hettinger took the spot away on lap 37. At the stripe, it was Gallagher, Hettinger, Hodgeson, Stehouwer and Beckwith. Leeck and Ryan both tallied heat wins.
The 35-lap Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modified feature saw Travis Eddy lead all 35-laps ending up in the Corrigan Oil Winner’s Circle for the first time in 2010. Eddy jumped out to the early lead over Sonny Coito, leaving Coito to fend off Wayne Haughton’s early bid for second. Haughton took the spot away and Rob Newman issued Coito a challenge for third. Newman moved into third on lap three and Leroy Ellis worked his way up into fourth, while Larry Wallace broke into the top five on lap eight. Ellis dove under Newman for third while Wallace set his sights on Newman, making his move on the inside as well, taking fourth away from Newman on lap 22. Earl Miles who had been sitting just outside the top five, began to reel in Newman, but ran out of laps to make the pass. At the line, it was Eddy, Haughton, Ellis, Wallace and Newman.
Matt Schindewolf and Wallace scored heat wins for the evening.
Twenty-four Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks set up A- and B-Main features, with Jim Harbenski and Scott Sparagowski bringing the field down for the start of the B-Main. It was a mad dash to the front between Harbenski, Patrick McNamara, Joe Bates and Darrell Taylor. Jimmy Scavarda started mid-pack and was coming in a hurry as Bates and Harbenski battled for the lead. Scavarda took the lead on lap five, was issued a speeding ticket on lap nine, and was sent to the tail of the field. On the restart, it was Taylor and Bates, one and two. Bates dove under Taylor for the lead on lap ten as Scavarda began his march to front. Amanda Blanchard got around Harbenski and Sparagowski to move into third, while Scavarda jumped to the high side of Blanchard to take away the third position. Scavarda set his sights on Taylor and made the pass for second on lap 16. As laps were winding down, Scavarda caught Bates and made the pass for the win coming down to the checker. Scavarda, Bates, Taylor, Blanchard and George Garza came across the line as the top five. The A-Main feature saw Marisa Jones jump out to the early lead over Rich Roberts and Randy Kretzinger Jr. As the battle behind her heated up, Marisa was able to put some distance between herself and the rest of the field, leaving Roberts to duke it out with Todd Metz Sr. and Lex Jarecki. Metz got around Roberts, tried to reel Jones in, when Bo Smith, from the tail of the field, was suddenly a factor. Smith caught Metz Sr. on lap eight and took away the lead from Jones on lap nine. Todd Metz Jr. was steadily picking off cars, making his way into the top three, with Smith out front. The leaders put plenty of distance between themselves, with Metz Jr., Patrick Denison, Jarecki and Metz Sr. sitting in the top five. At the finish, it was Smith, Metz Jr., Denison, Jarecki and Metz Sr. A post-race inspection penalized the top three finishers, handing the win over to Jarecki, with Metz Sr., Kretzinger Jr., Jones and Roberts rounding out the top five. Heat wins went to Taylor and Jones.
Fourteen Pure Stocks tested the waters with Jordan Harvey taking the lead after the green flag flew. Ben Hidy, Mark Carson and Kyle Drake gave chase with Hidy taking away the top spot on lap three. Hidy was issued a speeding violation three laps later, handing the lead over to Matt Childers. Scott Beach and Jordan Lechota were in hot pursuit. Lechota made the pass on Beach and went after Childers for the lead on lap sixteen. Caution for a Lechota/Childers altercation sent both cars to the pit for repairs. The lead was handed over to Beach who had a mirror full of Chris Stearns and Lonnie Saumier. After a wild ride through the infield between turns three and four, Stearns was sent to the rear, putting Saumier right up on the bumper of Beach for the restart. Beach and Saumier battled for the lead and Beach prevailed. At the checker, it was Beach, Saumier, Lechota, Drake and Stearns. Heat wins went to Drake and Lechota.
Please join us each and every Friday night for exciting short-track racing action at the Spartan Speedway. Gates open at 5 PM, racing at 7:30 PM. Friday, April 30th is the MOD 50 for Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds. Also on the docket are the Sawyers Chevrolet Wingless Sprints, Pure Stocks, and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks. May 7th is Red Carpet Night featuring the introduction of track sponsors. The Andrews Chevrolet Super Late Models, Valvoline Instant Oil Change Modifieds, Pure Stocks and Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks will be in action. For more information, please visit our website at www.springportmotorspeedway.com. As always, we’ll see you at the races!