Springport Ends Season with Season Championships
by Michelle Sprague
Drivers, and fans alike, were stunned by the news that Sat., August 5th, was the last night that the Springport Motor Speedway, would be in competition for the remainder of the 2006 season. It was no longer feasible to keep the track open, so 2006 season championships were run that evening.
The WMMQ Classic Rock 94.9 MI Modifieds timed in for their 30-lap feature, with Larry Wallace breaking the 16 second mark, with a time of 15.997. Nineteen mods lined up, with Wayne Haughton and Ken Buchner on the front row. After the drop of the green, it was a drag race to lead the first lap, with Buchner taking the spot. Haughton and Buchner ran side by side, and on lap three, it was Haughton to the point. Chris Ozanich was on the move, when he got airborne and sailed into the infield, but was able to continue. Ozanich got his spot back, and on the lap three restart, began passing car right and left. Ozanich was up to fifth by lap eight, having made his way around Leroy Ellis, Earl Miles, Terry Trost, Bill Butler, and Darrel Woolsey. He zeroed in on Brian Heeney and Jason Parish, looking to the low side, to take away both spots. Meanwhile, Larry Wallace had begun his march to the front, trying to keep Ozanich within striking distance to capture the championship. With Ozanich sitting third by lap thirteen, Wallace began picking off cars from his eighth spot. At the halfway mark, Ozanich pulled alongside Haughton for first and the two ran side by side, until lap 18 when Ozanich got around Haughton, just as caution came out. On the restart, Ozanich went to work on Haughton, as Wallace found himself sitting in the fifth position. Ozanich moved into first around Haughton, as Wallace went to work on Jason Parish, on the outside, for fourth. Ozanich put some daylight between himself and second-place Haughton on lap 25, while Wallace worked his way into second, picking off Haughton on lap 28. Buchner moved up into the third spot behind Wallace, but Ozanich scored the win. At the checker, it was Ozanich, Wallace, Buchner, Haughton, and Parish. Heat wins went to Gilbert Little and Parish. Larry Wallace was named the 2006 Springport Motor Speedway MI Modified Champion.
The Performance Automotive NW Street Stocks had a real point battle raging between Walt Obrinske Jr. and Scott Sigman. Matt Kirchen, sitting third in points, pulled himself from competition, due to extensive damage to his race car during last week's feature. Dan Lewis, fourth in points, qualified his car, set second fast time behind Obrinske, and turned the driving duties over to Ron Heeney for the feature. As they lined up for their 25-lap feature, Al Williams and newcomer, Martin French sat on the front row. Jeff Brown grabbed the lead on lap one, with Sigman and Heeney breathing down his neck by lap two. Heeney took the high-side around Brown for first on lap six, as Sigman and Obrinske set their sights on Brown. Sigman was sitting in second by lap nine, as Heeney pulled away from the field. Brown got into Obrinske, bringing out the caution, and closing up the field. The trio of Heeney, Sigman, and Obrinske ran nose to tail, as Darrell Taylor worked his way into contention, sitting fourth. Heeney pulled away from the field again on lap 16, leaving Sigman and Obrinske to battle it out for the championship title. Sigman opened up some breathing room over Obrinske by lap 23, and at the stripe, it was Heeney, Sigman, Obrinske, Taylor, and Brown. J.L. Smith and Sigman tallied heat wins, and Walt Obrinske Jr. captured the title of 2006 Springport Motor Speedway Street Stock Champion.
The Holiday Powersports Pony Stock division had a pretty slim turnout, as many competitors were lost, due to attrition, at the Spartan Speedway on Friday night. John "Baja" Conroy set fast time, won the heat, and also took the feature win. This gentleman worked so hard and had been biding his time, surviving numerous gremlins that plagued the team, and on the last night of competition, he hit the ground running and swept the Pony portion of the program. Harlan Oleski led the first lap of their 20 lap feature, with George Wyers taking command on lap three. Conroy blasted around Wyers and left the competition in a cloud of dust. Wyers and Brent McCort battled for the second position, with McCort trying to secure a championship, over brother, Jared Roy. Roy was experienced engine difficulty, and was out of the competition only a few laps into the race. Larry Surber Jr. also had engine problems, but nursed his car along for as long as he could during the feature. Conroy breezed into Victory Lane, ahead of Wyers, McCort, Oleski, and Surber. After lengthy calculations, it was determined that Brent McCort had secured the 2006 Pony Stock Championship at the Springport Motor Speedway.
Latecomer to the division, Russ Potter IV, swept the Pure Stock division with a heat win and a feature win. Doug Patrick and Wayne Parkhurst II battled for second, and it came down to the wire, with Parkhurst taking the upper hand. Agam Gusey and Bryan Passick Sr. rounded out the top five. Wayne Parkhurst II was crowned Springport's 2006 Pure Stock Champion.
The VROA CAN-AM series came to town for a two race series, one at Springport and the second at Spartan Speedway. 26 beautiful, vintage race cars lined up for their caution-marred 25-lap feature. With the cars being so closely matched, racing action was tight, and many chain reaction altercations plagued the drivers. Drivers from Canada and the US were in competition, so it was a 'border war' of sorts. The word in the grandstands was that Phil "Wild Child" Shaw was the man to beat, and his move to the front proved that he was a force to be reckoned with. Shaw ended up taking the win.