Motiva Motor Speedway Dirt Track 8-9-2014
Bob & Ray Ingram
Another nearly perfect night for racing and a nearly perfect race track at Motiva Motor Speedway saw a very good field of cars put on some of the most exciting races of the year.  The NMMRA Sprints brought out a very strong field of 20 cars for some great ground pounding side by side action ( sometime a little more than desired ).  Heat #1 got off to a very rough start as there was a false start on the first attempt, then mayhem on the next start as three cars came together very hard in the first turn.  The #62 of Bill Mitchell appeared to launch himself over the right rear tire of the #52NM of Steve Nix sending the #62 for several scary flips.  When the Mitchell car finally came to a stop upside down the engine continued to rev at full RPM with the tires spinning at full speed until the motor finally exploded.  Mitchell was checked by track EMT's then transported to the hospital for evaluation.  At last report Mitchell was home with lots of sore spots and a mild concussion.  Nix also was a bit wobbly as he exited his #52NM machine but was able to return for the main-event. Once the race got going the #19R of Ronnie Smith took the lead and the win in front of the #52X of James Hatch in 2nd and the #7M of rookie driver Matthew Cardenas taking 3rd.  Heat #2 was loaded with a bunch of hot shoes.  Front row starters #6 Michael Marfia and #5 Tye Mihocko from Peoria Arizona waged a race long battle with Mihocko taking the victory and Marfia settling for 2nd  and the #45 of Jason Grady close behind in the 3rd position.  Heat #3 saw the return of the #4X of Cody Mansfield who destroyed his car two weeks ago and was able to rebuild a new car with lots of help from his family, friends and crew.  The #26 of Randy Smith took the win over Mansfield with the #12J of Josh Grady taking home 3rd spot.  The Main-Event was a wild and wooly affair from start to finish with only 1 caution flag to slow the action.  At the drop of the green the 4X of Cody Mansfield took off in the lead with the #5 of Tye Mihocko beside him and the rest of the field 2 x 2 behind them fighting for position.  As Mansfield and Mihocko battled at the front the #45 of Jason Grady and the #57 of Austin Mansfield along with several others hot on their heel.  With just a few laps to go the #45 of Grady made a great pass on the outside of both Austin Mansfield and Tye Mihocko to take over 2nd spot and set after the #4X of Cody Mansfield.  As Mansfield and Grady came upon lapped traffic coming out of turn 4 Mansfield went high and Grady shot low and took the lead and the win in front of a very close Cody Mansfield in 2nd with younger brother Austin Mansfield taking 3rd position.
The A-Mods had their best field of cars this year with 16 drivers on hand.  This class had drivers from the Albuquerque area as well as drivers from Bloomfield, Los Alamos and Grants.  The Mods ran 3 heats without a single yellow flag but they made up for it in the main-event with lots of caution periods under the full moon.  Heat #1 had the #75 of Bloomfield N.M. Driver Bob Harter taking the win over the #62 of Tom Melloy in 2nd and the #98 of Toy Fisher in 3rd.   Heat #2 saw the #87R of Grants driver Ryan Hovland jump out to the early lead with two more Grants drivers in hot pursuit in the #4X of Dewayne Hatten and his daughter #17 Melinda Garcia. It looked as though Hovland would take the victory but with only a couple of laps to go Hovland had mechanical problems and left the track.  At the checkered flag it was the #4X of Dewayne Hatten taking the win in front of his daughter #17 Melinda Garcia with the #58 of Clint Miller finishing 3rd.  Heat #3 saw a very close race for the win with the #45X of Todd Budlong holding off the #3J of Josh Cain in 2nd and the #13 of Luigi Truden in 3rd place.  Truden was making his first start of the year in a new car and was coming on strong the entire race. The Main-Event was a thriller from beginning to end but was slowed on several occasions for false starts, spins, crashes and debris on the track.  Dewayne Hatten #4X took off at the drop of the green and held on to the top spot through several restarts and lots of hard side by side racing.  At times there were 6-8 cars within a few car lengths of the lead with Hatten doing a good job at the front.  With the laps winding down the #3J of Josh Cain was battling side by side with Hatten when Hatten spun in turn 3-4 bringing out a yellow flag and sending him to the back of the field.  Once Cain got into the lead the battle was pretty much on for 2nd spot among several drivers.  At the finish it was Cain taking the win in front of the #13 of Luigi Truden with the #45X of Todd Budlong in 3rd.
The Non-Winged Mini-Sprints had 10 cars on hand to run a single heat ( only 8 cars as two drivers did not show up until late ) and their main-event.  The heat race went green to checkered with the #07 of Patrick Hurtado taking a close win over the #17J of Jacob Johnston with the #72 of Mike Barnes coming home 3rd.   The Main-Event had a couple of yellow flags for relatively minor incidents and a single red flag when the #1 of ( Driver Unknown ) did a 360 spin and stood on the gas sending his car over on to its top.  Jacob Johnston who has been nearly unbeatable this year took off from his pole position start and never looked back as he took yet another victory.  Chasing Johnston to the stripe was the #07 of Hurtado and the #72 of Barnes.  These little pocket rockets really fly even on the shorter infield track but look for them to be REALLY fast next week as they run the big track with their wings on.
The Cruisers put on 2 good heat races and their main-event without a single yellow flag to slow the action ( great job drivers ).  Heat #1 had a battle of the Camaro's as the #33 of Devon Gates and the #00 of Leo Dennison fought side by side the entire way with Gates taking the win over Dennison and the little Mustang of Dan Baca coming home in 3rd.   Heat #2 saw young lady driver Madison Conrad in her beautiful red #76 take the win over another youngster ( only 78 years old ) Phil York in the #1 with the #58 of Frank Payne taking the 3rd spot.  York has a sign on the rear of his car that very few drivers could have, it says “Great Grandpa's Rock”.  The Main-Event saw the usual suspects at the front running side by side nearly the entire race with the #33 of Devon Gates again taking the win in front of the #00 of Leo Dennison and the #76 of Madison Conrad.  These mostly novice drivers put on some of the closest races on any given night and do a very good job.
The Hornets had a short field of only 4 cars as many of the drivers in this division have moved up to Cruisers, Street Stocks or Modifieds.  The heat race saw points leader #97B Justin Morgan take the win in front of the #99 of Lena Duke and the #98Y of Coulter Morgan.  The Main-Event saw a great battle at the front with the #99 of Duke leading and the #97B of Morgan trying to get by, first on the low side then on the high side for many laps.  With only a few laps to go Duke had a tire going down and tried to hang on but as the tire went completely flat she had to give up the lead and exit the track, leaving Morgan to take the win in front of newcomer Doug Cloud in the #48 with the #98Y of Coulter Morgan finishing in 3rd.
A very good night of racing in all divisions.  Next week will see the 305 Winged Sprints back in action along with a big field of X-Mods, Street Stocks, Winged Mini-Sprints, Cruisers and Hornets.  Here are the final results as we saw them.  These results are unofficial and we apologize for any errors.
NMMRA Sprints
Heat #1  #19R Ronnie Smith, #52X James Hatch, #7M Matthew Cardenas, #55 David Dykes, #62 Bill Mitchell DNF, #52NM Steve Nix DNF, #65 Rick Johnson DNF
Heat #2  #5 Tye Mihocko, #6 Michael Marfia, #45 Jason Grady, #57 Austin Mansfield, #11W Dillon Tanner, #42 Katherine Aragon, #4L Kristy Smith
Heat #3  #26 Randy Smith, #4X Cody Mansfield, #12J Josh Grady, #5J Jeff Brumfield Jr., #38 Michael Fanelli, #17 Steven Spiak
Main-Event  #45 Jason Grady, #4X Cody Mansfield, #57 Austin Mansfield, #5 Tye Mihocko, #12J Josh Grady, #52X James Hatch, #19R Ronnie Smith, #11W Dillon Tanner, #7M Matthew Cardenas, #17 Steven Spiak, #38 Michael Fanelli, #52NM Steve Nix, #4L Kristy Smith, #55 David Dykes, #42 Katherine Aragon DNF, #65 Rick Johnson DNF, #5J Jeff Brumfield Jr. DNF, #26 Randy Smith DNF, #6 Michael Marfia DNF, #62 Bill Mitchell DNS
Heat #1  #75 Bob Harter, #62 Tom Melloy, #98 Toy Fisher, #06 Frank Dutton, #29 Mike O'Neal, #73 Gerald Haste
Heat#2  #4X Dewayne Hatten, #17 Melinda Garcia, #58 Clint Miller, #05 Donald Clinger, #87R Ryan Hovland DNF
Heat #3  #45X Todd Budlong, #3J Josh Cain, #13 Luigi Truden, #09 Bill Waltman, #88 D.J. Hovland
Main-Event  #3J Josh Cain, #13 Luigi Truden, #45X Todd Budlong, #05 Donald Clinger, #06 Frank Dutton, #4X Dewayne Hatten, #29 Mike O'Neal, #73 Gerald Haste, #58 Cling Miller DNF, #87R Ryan Hovland DNF, #62 Tom Melloy DNF, #75 Bob Harter DNF, #17 Melinda Garcia DNF, #98 Toy Fisher DNF, #09 Bill Waltman DNF, #88 D. J. Hovland DNS
Non-Winged Mini-Sprints
Heat #1 and only  #07 Patrick Hurtado, #17J Jacob Johnston, #72 Mike Barnes, #14 Alex Robinson, #5JR Tyler Grier, #16 Callie Justus DNF, #9X Eric Smith DNF, #45 Josh Shipley DNS
Main-Event  #17J Jacob Johnston, #07 Patrick Hurtado, #72 Mike Barnes, #9X Eric Smith, #11 Driver Unknown, #14 Alex Robinson, #5JR Tyler Grier, #1 Driver Unknown DNF, #16 Callie Justus DNF, #45 Josh Shipley DNS
Heat #1  #33 Devon Gates, #00 Leo Dennison, #50 Dan Baca, #43 Art Hurley, #20 John Morningstar
Heat #2  #76 Madison Conrad, #1 Phil York, #58 Frank Payne, #18 Jim Kisinski
Main-Event  #33 Devon Gates, #00 Leo Dennison, #76 Madison Conrad, #43 Art Hurley, #1 Phil York, #58 Frank Payne, #20 John Morningstar, #50 Dan Baca, #18 Jim Kosinski DNS
Heat #1 and only  #97B Justin Morgan, #99 Lena Duke, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #48 Doug Cloud
Main-Event  #97B Justin Morgan, #48 Doug Cloud, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #99 Lena Duke DNF
Have A Great Day
God Bless Everybody
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