Perry Photos Heeney at Spartan Speedway
The weather is still feeling like winter, but the racing has quickly heated up at the raciest ¼ mile in Michigan. The closet finish in Spartan Speedway history had Bud Perry nipping Brain Heeney at the line by 0.002 seconds in the WIBM AM1450 Michigan Modifieds feature event. The new transponders were needed as it looked like a dead heat to the spectators. Heeney took the early lead from the outside pole and at times had a straightaway lead, but last weeks winner, Bud Perry was the car to watch as he worked the entire track from his 12th starting spot. Perry finally had his chance after a late caution created a five-lap shoot-out. These last five laps were some of the best racing the track has seen in years as Heeney and Perry ran side-by-side, inside and outside until Perry nipped Heeney at the line for his second victory of the season. Leroy Ellis came home 3rd in his best finish ever. Larry Wallace and Jim Butler rounded out the top five. Perry also claimed the 3-D Auto Racing Supplies Hard Charger Award.
Rolly Olney took his first ever victory in a heat win as Ron Parish Sr. and Dan Logan won the other heats. Bill Luckhurst was the Racefan.com fast qualifier for the 21-car field with a lap of 13.828.
The COMCAST Cablevision Super Late Models 50-lap feature had their own share of excitement as the Ryan brothers staged their own family feud in the 50-lap event. Tim Ryan tried the inside on numerous late race restarts, but the veteran Charlie Ryan Jr. was able to hang on for the popular win over Tim. Bill Heeney Jr. was third followed by a great duel for 4th as Jon McNett beat out John Dunivion. McNett claimed the Pierce Race Engines Hard Charger Award for the evening.
Jim Heeney, Jack Landis and Bill Heeney Jr. claimed the heat wins, while Jim Heeney also took home the semi feature event. Dave Stehouwer set fast time with a lap of 13.078 for the 23-car field.
The Performance NW Street Stocks 25 lap feature had Stan Lambert and Joe Barnhart on the pole, with Lambert taking the early lead. Brain Beckner quickly jumped to the outside trying to take the position when he made heavy contact with the front stretch wall. The restart had the entire pack running side-by side through 10th position. Lap 16 had cars coming out of turn 4 four abreast as Jim Blanchard Jr. worked Rick Gokee for 2nd. As the pack still raced in formation, Landon Hidy and Mike McEwan got together in turn 3 creating an exciting 2-lap finish. The restart had the 3rd place car of David Thorburn heading to the pits with a flat and Blanchard working Lambert hard for the win. Lambert was able to hold off Blanchard for the win followed by Ben Hidy, Gokee and Dave Parker. Doc Dutton brought home the Lost Tiger Tattoos Hard Charger Award finishing 8th from his 20th starting spot.
Another first time winner was Joe Barnhart in the first Street Stock heat along with Rob Patrick and Mike McEwan taking heats two and three. Ben Hidy set fast time with a lap of 14.664 for the 20-car field.
The Midwest Amusement Pony Stocks 15-lap feature had an all women front row with Sarah Flotka and Lyndsay Ward. Nat Hinderer jumped pass both to take the early lead as Chris VanGordon flew through the pack and was up to 3rd by lap 3. Van Gordon then took over the lead on lap 6 and started to stretch his lead when he encountered heavy lapped traffic. Fast qualifier, Mike Daily, driving Julie Abbot's car quietly snuck up to VanGordon's back bumper. As the leaders raced the final laps in traffic, Daily was able to use it to his advantage and take his first ever win over VanGordon, Trei Duble, Hinderer and Kenny Clark. Daily also took home the Mac's All Car Auto Salvage Hard Charger Award.
Nate Hinderer was the third first time winner of the evening and Chris VanGordon won the other Pony Stock heat. Mike Daily set fast time for the 16-car field at 17.181.
This weekend will kick-off the Mr. Gasket Hard Charger Award Program for all divisions in Spartan Speedway Carquest Racing Series