Baker, Weber, Gross Jr., Duke and Barnes Take Wins @ Sandia Speedway
Bob & Ray Ingram
9-12-2015
 
A nearly perfect night for racing on the Dirt Track @ Sandia Speedway saw some terrific racing in 5 divisions, with several winners taking the lead coming out of the last turn and others leading from flag to flag with lots of action behind them.  With the regular season coming to a close there are some tight battles in the points in all divisions that has led to some tense moments on the track.

The NMMRA Traditional Non-Wing Sprints brought out a nice field of 16 cars to run two heats and their main-event.  Heat #1 saw veteran driver Randy Smith in his #19 take off from his pole position start and hold off a hard charging youngster #57 Austin Mansfield with another veteran racer #65 Rick Johnson close behind in 3rd place.  Heat #2 had 5 or 6 of the 8 starters up front fighting for the win.  Front row starters #6 Robert Marfia and #45 Jason Grady fought side by side for several laps before the #4X of Cody Mansfield made his presence known and got by Marfia with the #7 of Jesse Baker also getting alongside the leaders.  At the checkered flag it was #45 Grady taking the win with #4X Mansifield in second and the #6 of Marfia holding off Baker for the 3rd spot.  The main-event had 15 starters as only the #11W of Dillon Tanner was unable to make the call.  The main-event got off to a rough start as points leader #45 Jason Grady clipped one of the implement tires in turn one on the first lap and broke his left front suspension ending his night.  When racing resumed the #7 of Jesse Baker shot out from his pole position start and never looked back except during 3 caution flags that brought the field up to his rear bumper ( Nerf Bar ???? ).   The #38 of Michael Fanelli who started on the outside of row one fought off challenges from 7 or 8 drivers throughout the race, with cars getting 3 wide on many occasions as they caught lapped traffic that was also running 2 or 3 wide for position which led to some very intense moments.  When the checkered flag flew the #7 of Jesse Baker took a very comfortable win in front of the #57 of Austin Mansfield getting by the #38 of Michael Fanelli for second and third place.  The winner was never in doubt during this race but positions 2 thru 10th was not decided until the final lap.
 
The A-Mods had 11 cars plus one X-Mod ( #29 Mike O'Neal ) to run two VERY fast heat races and their main-event.  Heat #1 saw the #73 of Gerald Haste take off from outside the front row and fly into the lead with the rest of the field in tow.  Haste was running one of his best races ever and holding off some very fast cars, but at about the half-way mark Haste made a slight bobble and got high in turns 3 and 4 allowing the very fast #63 of Justin Weber to get by for the lead.  At the finish it was Weber taking the win with Haste holding off the very hard charging #62 of Tom Melloy coming home in third position.  Heat #2 had pole position starter #09 Bill Waltman and inside second row starter #75 Bob Harter from Bloomfield, New Mexico take off at the drop of the green flag and battle each other for several laps with the rest of the field close behind.  As the laps wound down the #75 of Harter took off to a comfortable lead with everyone else fighting for the runner up spot.  When the checkers flew it was Harter with the win and the #58 of Clint Miller taking a very hard earned second spot and the #28C of Cooter Frazier taking a very close third place.  The main-event saw all 12 cars on hand make the call for a very good race.  The #73 of Gerald Haste again took off from his pole position start with the #75 of Bob Harter running side by side with him.  On lap two the #75 of Harter took off to a fairly long lead with the rust of the pack close behind.  Most of the race saw a great battle among the top 5 or 6 drivers with positions changing many times every lap.  At about the half-way point there was a yellow flag that brought the field back together bumper to bumper.  As the green flag waved the #75 of leader Harter dropped a drive shaft, causing a mad scramble behind him.  When all was said and done Harter and the very competitive cars of #73 Haste and #28C Cooter Frazier were done for the night.  When racing continued there was a race long battle between the #09 of Bill Waltman, #63 Justin Weber and #58 Clint Miller.  At the finish line it was the #63 of Justin Weber taking a well deserved win in front of #09 Waltman and #58 Miller.
 
The Street Stocks had a short field of only 8 cars, but as is usually the case these drivers put on some GREAT racing.  Heat #1 saw the #99 of Joel Duke take off for the early lead and look like a sure win in the future but the #5X of Rick Boelter came along side and made the pass for the lead and the win with the #76 of Madison Conrad coming home in third spot.  Heat #2 had the #M77 of Cameron Martin and the #74M of Rob Moesley take the early battle for the top spot but the #143 of Danny Gross Jr. took the lead after only a couple of laps and took a long win in front of #M77 Cameron Martin with #33 of Devon Gates coming home in third place.  The main-event was one of the best races of the year with 6 of the 8 drivers in the hunt for the win at one time or another.  As in heat #1 the #99 of Joel Duke took off in the lead and held that spot for several laps with the rest of the field running side by side 3 wide for several laps. As the laps were winding down the #5X of Rick Boelter took over the from Duke only to have mechanical problems bring his night to an end.  For the last third of the race it was the father and son duo of Dan Gross #43 and Danny Gross Jr. #143 fighting each other for the win.  Gross and Gross Jr. did a fantastic job of running bumper to bumper with Gross actually getting alongside Gross Jr. on a couple of occasions.  At the finish it was Danny Gross Jr. #143 taking the win in front of dad Dan Gross #43 with the #99 of Joel Duke coming home a close 3rd spot.
 
The Cruisers / Hornets had 2 heats and a very good main-event.  Heat #1 saw veteran driver Perry Held in his #2 take the win in front of the #99 of Hornet driver Lena Duke and the #43 of the Petty Blue Mopar of Art Hurley.  Heat #2 had the top two in points vying for the win with the #1 of Phil York taking the win in front of the station wagon of #28 Gary Smith and the #26N of new comer Justin Neff doing a very good job coming home in third position.  The main-event had 14 starters to put on a great race.  At the drop of the green Art Hurley in his #43 took off in the lead with the #99 of Lena Duke trying to pass for the lead.  At about the half-way point Duke was able to take the lead and hold off several challenges for the win.  At the checkered flag it was the #99 of Lena Duke taking her first main-event win with the #97B of Justin Morgan coming home in second with the #1 of points leader Phil York who had started at the rear of the field taking home 3rd place, chasing the top 3 drivers home was teenage newcomer #11 Rhi Rhi Hall doing a great job coming home 4th in only her 3rd or 4th race ever.
 
The mini-sprints had a short field of 8 cars as several drivers elected to race at another area track.   Heat #1 saw a very good race among the top 4 drivers as they were never more than a foot or two apart at anytime.  When the checkered flag flew it was the #22 of Robert Turner taking the win in front of #1st Bob Harrington with the #72 of Mike Barnes coming home 3rd.  Not to be overlooked was the very good job by newcomer #24T Taryn Stelzig in a very close 4th position.  Heat #2 was a two car race for rookies in this division.  Taking the win was the #23 of Brandon Dykes in front of #57X Thomas McHugh.  The main-event looked much like heat #1 with the same 4 drivers running at the front the entire race with a couple of changes at the finish.  Taking the win was the #72 of Mike Barnes with #1st Bob Harrington taking second and #22 Robert Turner in a very close 3rd spot with the #24T of Taryn Stelzig again coming home in 4th place.
 
Be sure to come out next Saturday 9-19 as the NMMRA Sprints are on the schedule again for some great dirt track racing.  Joining the NMMRA Sprints will again be the A-Mods, Street Stocks and Mini-Sprints.
 
Here are the complete UNOFFICIAL results.  We apologize for any errors.
 
NMMRA Non-Wing Sprints
Heat #1  #19 Randy Smith, #57 Austin Mansfield, #65 Rick Johnson, #2D David Gay, #29 Ted Schlote, #21P Paul Whitehead, #7M Matthew Cardenas DNF, #12J Josh Grady DNF
 
Heat #2  #45 Jason Grady, #4X Cody Mansfield, #6 Robert Marfia, #7 Jesse Baker, #38 Michael Fanelli, #55 David Dykes, #52NM David Burns, #11W Dillon Tanner DNF
 
Main-Event  #7 Jesse Baker, #57 Austin Mansfield, #38 Michael Fanelli, #19 Randy Smith, #12J Josh Grady, #65 Rick Johnson, #6 Robert Marfia, #4X Cody Mansfield, #7M Matthew Cardenas, #29 Ted Schlote, #55 David Dykes, #2D David Gay, #21P Paul Whitehead, #52NM David Burns, #45 Jason Grady DNF, #11W Dillon Tanner DNS
 
A-Mods
Heat #1  #63 Justin Weber, #73 Gerald Haste, #62 Tom Melloy, #R7 Ronnie Salas, #29 Mike O'Neal, #3J Josh Cain DNF
 
Heat #2  #75 Bob Harter, #58 Clint Miller, #28C Cooter Frazier, #09 Bill Waltman, #2 Kenneth Payne, #20 Tim Lamm
 
Main-Event  #63 Justin Weber, #09 Bill Waltman, #58 Clint Miller, #62 Tom Melloy, #29 Mike O'Neal, #73 Gerald Haste, #20 Tim Lamm, #2 Kenneth Payne, #3J Josh Cain DNF, #28C Cooter Frazier DNF, #75 Bob Harter DNF, #R7 Ronnie Salas DNF
 
Street Stock
Heat #1  #5X Rick Boelter, #99 Joel Duke, #76 Madison Conrad, #43 Dan Gross
 
Heat #2  #143 Danny Gross Jr., #M77 Cameron Martin, #33 Devon Gates, #74M Rob Moesley
 
Main-Event  #143 Danny Gross Jr., #43 Dan Gross, #99 Joel Duke, #M77 Cameron Martin, #74M Rob Moesley, #76 Madison Conrad, #5X Rick Boelter DNF, #33 Devon Gates DNF
 
Cruisers / Hornets
Heat #1  #2 Perry Held, #99 Lena Duke, #43 Art Hurley, #5.0 Dan Baca, #44 Art Hurley III, #11 Rhi Rhi Hall, #13 Rosemary Gallegos, #26 Cody Sanchez DNS
 
Heat #2  #1 Phil York, #28 Gary Smith, #26N Justin Neff, #58 Frank Payne, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #97B Justin Morgan, #29 Vanessa Frazier
 
Main-Event  #99 Lena Duke, #97B Justin Morgan, #1 Phil York, #11 Rhi Rhi Hall, #44 Art Hurley III, #58 Frank Payne, #29 Vanessa Frazier, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #43 Art Hurley DNF, #2 Perry Held DNF, #5.0 Dan Baca DNF, #26N Justin Neff DNF, #13 Patricia Gallegos DNF, #28 Gary Smith DNF, #26 Cody Sanchez DNS
 
Mini-Sprints
Heat #1  #22 Robert Turner, #1st Bob Harrington, #72 Mike Barnes, #24T Taryn Stelzig, #69X T.J. McHugh, #84 Katie Seals
 
Heat #2 ( Rookie Heat )  #23 Brandon Dykes, #57X Thomas McHugh
 
Main-Event  #72 Mike Barnes, #1st Bob Harrington, #22 Robert Turner, #24T Taryn Stelzig, #23 Brandon Dykes, #84 Katie Seals, #57X Thomas McHugh, #69X T.J. McHugh DNF
 
Have A Great Day
God Bless Everybody
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