JASON GRADY TAKES ANOTHER NMMRA SPRINT CAR MAIN
Albuquerque New Mexico, The Dirt Track @ NAPA Speedway 8-24-13. With threatening weather in the area the crowd was a bit smaller than usual but the racing was as fast and exciting as ever. Charlie Fegan and staff had the track in excellent shape with no wet spots and very little dust to contend with. It was an unusual night with 3 rollovers and some extra curricular activity under caution periods and even after the checkered flag. A very good full night of exciting racing and done before 10:30.
As always the NMMRA Sprints did a superb job of wheel packing the track to make a great racing surface for all divisions. ( Thanks Guys and Gal ). All 3 heat races had 6 cars and saw plenty of action throughout the field. Heat #1 had the #56 of rookie driver Dillon Tanner take off in the lead with a couple of very fast veterans chasing him down. The #6 of Michael Marfia and the #45 of Jason Grady fought side by side from their last row start to overhaul Tanner. At the finish line it was Grady taking the win with Marfia 2nd and Tanner in 3rd. Heat #2 also was packed with FAST cars. Randy Smith in the #26 took off to a fairly comfortable lead with everyone else bearing down on him. At about the halfway point the #24M of Robert Marfia was working his way up from the back row. As Marfia pitched it sideways entering turn 3 the right front tucked under and sent Marfia on a wild ride that saw his car do a couple of side over side flips then a couple of HUGE end over end flips that left the car and driver nearly into the parking lot. Fortunately Marfia was able to walk away from his heavily damaged car with no apparent injuries. Once the racing resumed Smith was able to hold off a very hard challenge from the father and son duo of Bo & Jesse Baker. In the end Smith took the win with the #7 of Jesse taking 2nd and the #22B of Bo taking 3rd. The 25 lap main-event was slowed a few times for yellow flags but the racing was top notch all the way. Once again the #26 of Randy Smith jumped out to the early lead with a fierce battle behind him. Smith led for several laps before being involved in a spin that sent him to the back of the field. Farmington New Mexico driver Jason Grady in the #45 took over the lead and had to battle a very determined Cody Mansfield in the #4X. Mansfield who won the last time out was desperately trying to make it 2 in a row. At one point Mansfield was able to get beside Grady but not able to make the pass. At the checkered flag is was Grady taking a very close win over Mansfield with a GREAT drive by youngster Cody Dons in the #24C coming home in 3rd only a few car lengths behind Mansfield.
Again the A-Mods had a very short field of only 4 cars. The A’s ran their heat race by themselves but were joined by 4 ( sometimes 5 ) X-Mods for their main event. As always this year the nearly unbeatable Josh Cain in the 3J took the heat race win over the #31 of Doug Goodenough and the #58 of Clint Miller. The main event saw 4 A’s and 4 X’s start the race, but after a few laps a caution flag came out and the #0 X-Mod of J.R. Bonesteel entered the race a few laps down. While under the yellow flag the #3 of Kenneth Payne decided to drill the Bonesteel car sending both into the infield. Bonesteel exited his car and had words with Mr. Payne, I didn’t hear the conversation but I’m pretty sure they weren’t exchanged Christmas Card information. Once the cars were separated Payne left the track and Bonesteel was able to continue on. As might be expected, the #3J of Cain took a big lead and the win with the #58 of Clint Miller in 2nd and the #K3 of Kevin McDonald coming home in 3rd place. The #0 of J.R. Bonesteel actually crossed the finish line in 3rd but was in fact a few laps down due to not making the original start of the race. Both McDonald and Bonesteel did a very credible job of staying close to the A-Mods in their X-Mods.
As has been the case all year the X-Mods had the largest field of cars on the night. Heat #1 had the newly bodied and painted beautiful #54 of Tim Hooper take the early lead only to be chased down by the #0 of J.R. Bonesteel and the #37 of Rob Haaland. Kevin McDonald in the #K3 also came up to challenge for the lead and the win. In the end Bonesteel was able to fend off Haaland with McDonald a very close 3rd. Heat #2 saw another Bonesteel take a hard fought win as the #00 of Steve Bonesteel ( J. R.’s Dad ) took the victory over the #23 of Andy Gensen Jr. with the #34S of Donald Scot a close 3rd. The 3rd heat also had a good battle for the win with the #5X of Rick Boelter jumping out to a nice lead only to have a very hard charging Justin Weber in the #63 catch up to his back bumper on the last lap. In the end Boelter held off Weber with the #14C of Bennie Chavez taking the 3rd spot. The Main Event again saw the usual suspects at the front of the field. J.R. Bonesteel in the #0 who has been starting from the back of the field decided to accept his front row start tonight and jumped out to the early lead. Kevin McDonald in the K3 who started right behind Bonesteel was able to keep pace and even get beside Bonesteel on several occasions. The battle back in the pack involved several cars fighting for position. In the end Bonesteel was able to hold of McDonald with the #54 of Tim Hooper crossing the finish line in nearly a dead heat with the #63 of Justin Weber and the #1 of Mychal Lucero.
The Street Stocks ran 2 very close heat races and an exciting main-event. Heat #1 had a race long battle between the front row starters of #73 Ric Valdes and the #99 of Joel Duke. At the checkered flag it was Valdes taking the win over Duke with the #8X of Mario Truden Jr. coming home in 3rd. Heat #2 had the #143 of Danny Gross Jr. jumped out from inside the second row to take a commanding lead and never look back as he took the win over the #3 of Mario Truden Sr. and the #3D of Nathan Medina. The main event saw the #54 of Shawn Dutcher Jr. take the lead from his pole position start and lead for several laps only to see his night come to an end as he got a little out of shape and was tagged by another car and flipped over on his side, ending his night. As racing resumed the #73 of Ric Valdes took over the lead and had a race long battle with the #3 of Mario Truden Sr. Valdes and Truden Sr. raced bumper to bumper and side by side for the second half of the race without ever touching each other and bringing the crowd to their feet. In the end Truden Sr. was able to squeeze by Valdes to take the win with the #8X of Mario Truden Jr. coming home in the last podium spot.
The Cruisers ran 2 heats and a main event. Heat #1 had a great race between two of the young lady drivers in this division as the #15 of Cheyenna Yates and the #76 of Madison Conrad ran side by side nearly the entire race. In the end Yates in the #15 was able to hold of Conrad with the #00 of Leo Dennisson ( from Stanley N.M. ) staying close enough to keep the girls honest coming home in 3rd spot. Heat #2 saw the #49 of Brandon Caldwell take off from his front row start and lead all the way with the #33 of Devon Gates taking 2nd and the #80 of Ernie Sandoval taking 3rd. The main event saw the 3rd rollover of the night as the #78 of Anthony Cordova got into the infield then shot back across the track and nailed by another car that sent the #78 of Cordova tumbling side over side. Cordova was able to exit his car without injury but his night was ended. When the racing resumed there was a heated battle for the lead among several drivers. After running side by side the entire race the #15 of Cheyenna Yates was able to hold of the #49 of Brandon Caldwell and the #76 of Madison Conrad. The young ladies in this class have really been giving the boys fits this year.
The Hornets had 8 cars to run a single heat race and their main event. The heat race saw the big winner so far this year, Patricia Gallegos in the #06 take the win over the #99 of Lena Duke with the #17 of Trevor Isengard taking 3rd. The main event was a thriller as the newly painted and sharp looking #29 of Larry Johnson came up from his last row start to take the lead and the win over the #99 of Lena Duke and the #58 of Frank Payne. Patricia Gallegos who has done so well all year seemed to have mechanical problems that kept her from getting in the hunt for the win tonight.
Have A Great Day
God Bless Everybody