Racing Heats up at Springport Motor Speedway

by Michelle Sprague

SPRINGPORT, Mich. -- The racing action was as hot as the weather, with 65 cars in the pit on a blistering Saturday night. The canopies and umbrellas were up, providing much needed shade to the drivers, crews, and their cars. First up, were the WMMQ Classic Rock 94.9 MI Modifieds, with 15 cars braving the stifling heat to take times for their 30-lap feature. Jason Parish and Brian Heeney sat on the front row, and at the drop of the green, Parish led the drag race to lead the first lap. Larry Wallace and Earl Miles were bound and determined to put on a great show, running second and third for the entire feature, as Chris Ozanich had methodically reeled them in by lap 10. Bill Butler had to be content sitting in the fifth spot, as the lead four pulled away from the rest of the pack. Wallace had his hands full, trying to fend off Miles for the second spot. Miles tried working both the high- and low-side, but couldn't get a good enough run on Wallace. Ozanich tacked on to Miles' bumper and hoped that Miles would bobble, or would stick a fender under Wallace so they both could slip around him. With the battle for position going on behind him, Parish opened up a pretty good cushion between himself and Wallace in second. At the stripe, it was Parish, Wallace, Miles, Ozanich, and Butler. Parish and Wallace scored heat wins as well.

Fifteen of eighteen Performance Automotive NW Street Stocks survived qualifying and heat races to compete in their 25-lap feature. It was a rookie front row coming down for the start, and Ian Sprague and Shawn Kinch were shuffled back, as Matt Kirchen, Nate Moon, Scott Sigman, and Mike Ammerman worked their way to the front. Caution came out on lap six, with Sigman taking over the lead from Kirchen on the restart. Ammerman took advantage of the great run that Sigman got, and he also slipped around Kirchen. Damon Place and Bubber Patrick went to work on Kirchen, moving into the third and fourth spot on lap 10. Marc Smith rounded out the top five by lap 15. With Sigman running away from the field, the three-way fight for second was on between Ammerman, Place, and Patrick. After 25 laps, it was Sigman, Ammerman, Place, Patrick, and Smith.

Heat race wins went to Kirchen and Ammerman.

The Holiday Powersports Pony Stock division saw eleven Ponies heat things up on Holiday Powersports Night at Springport. The Pony Stock division sports drivers of 14- to 84-years of age, and two wily veterans came out on top of the heat events, with 84 year-old Art Kimball scoring the first heat win, and John Conroy scoring the second. First-time driver Bruce Salts, and Ashley Passick brought the field down to the green for the start of the 20-lap feature. Cars were five-wide on the backstretch coming down for the completion of lap one. Caution on lap two saw Kimball take the lead from Passick on the restart, bringing Patrick McNamara and Terry Winstead along with him. Jacob Newman took over the third position on lap six, while McNamara tried to run down Kimball. McNamara made his way around Kimball, who experienced mechanical difficulties, on lap 12. Newman moved into the second spot ahead of Winstead, while Jared Roy and Randy Kretzinger Jr. rounded out the top five. Newman and Winstead caught McNamara but ran out of laps. At the line, it was McNamara, Newman, Winstead, Roy, and Salts.

The Pure Stock division saw newcomer, Mike Dailey, sweep the heat and feature, with wins in both events. Dailey took the feature win over Russ Potter IV, Wayne Parkhurst II, Doug Patrick, and Bryan Passick Sr. Potter was later declared the winner following post-race inspection.

The Michigan Bandaleros put on a six-lap exhibition, with Scott Menlen taking the win over Jake and Zack Densmore. Menlen pulled double duty in a Legends car, and scored a heat win in that division as well.

The Legends timed in 19 cars for their 25-lap feature and Randy Gallagher Sr. was shown as the lap one leader, with Dan Russell and Billy Simmons charging up through the pack as the green flag waved. Russell went into the lead on lap three with Simmons hot on his trail. Levi Rouster jumped into the mix just as caution flew for a spin involving Simmons and a slower car. Simmons tacked on to the rear of the field for the restart, and began to work his way back up to the front. Jerry Warden and Ryan Meldrum were on the move and sat in the top five behind Russell and Rouster by lap eight. Rouster gained the lead as Meldrum moved up into third behind Russell on lap 12. Simmons cracked the top five on lap 20, taking only 13 laps to make up lost ground. Russell went to work on Rouster for the top spot but ran out of laps. On lap 25, Meldrum made his way around Russell to finish second behind Rouster. Warden and Simmons rounded out the top five.

Please join us Saturday, July 22nd for Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pony Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Dwarfs. Saturday, July 29th is Sponsor Appreciation Night sponsored by R.W. Mercer, Coca-Cola, and Shafer Brothers Redi-Mix. The evening's racing program will include Modifieds, Street Stocks, Pony Stocks, Pure Stocks and Fireworks. Check out the Springport Motor Speedway website for special gate times and prices.

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