Dirt Track Racing @ Sandia Speedway Finally Beats The Weather
Bob & Ray Ingram
8-15-2015
 
After being partly or completely rained out for the last few weeks Sandia Speedway Dirt Track was finally able to get in a full show.  There was a good field of cars in all divisions with 79 cars on hand to put on some of the best racing seen all season. 

With heavy hearts due to the injury to young driver Josh Jackson last week in Las Cruces the NMMRA Non-Wing Traditional Sprints had a smaller field than usual but still put on 2 really good heat races and a very good main-event.  Heat #1 saw the #38 of Michael Fanelli take off from outside the front row and do a very good job of leading several laps as he held off the very fast #45 of Farmington driver Jason Grady.  With only a couple of laps to go Grady was able to get by Fanelli with the #6 of Robert Marfia taking home the 3rd position.  Heat #2 looked a lot like heat #1 as the #65 of Rick Johnson took off from outside the front row and held off the VERY fast #74X of Josh Hodges.  Once Hodges got by Johnson he was gone into another zip code.  The remainder of this heat race saw a good battle between Johnson and the #7 of Jesse Baker with Baker taking the 2nd position at the flag and Johnson having to settle for a very hard fought 3rd spot.  The main-event had all 14 cars on hand make the start as no cars were damaged or suffered mechanical problems in the heat races.  As in both of the heat races the #19 of Randy Smith who started on the outside front row  ran some great early laps and led several laps holding off some very determined drivers.  The #45 of Jason Grady and the #74X were making there way through the field from their 3rd and 4th row starts.  At about the halfway point there was a red flag for the #7 of Jesse Baker who sailed off the top of turn 1 and looked like he got upside down as all of the track officials could see nothing but the underside of the #7.  When the safety crew got to Baker they discovered that the car never actually got upside down and was able to restart the race at the back of the field.  When the racing resumed Hodges took over the lead and was running away from the field with Grady trying first low then high to catch up but was never able to cut the distance.  At the checkered flag it was the #74X of Josh Hodges followed by #45 Jason Grady and the #6 of Robert Marfia taking the final podium position.
 
The A-Mods had their best field of the year with 18 cars on hand to run 3 heats and their main-event.  Heat #1 saw the #M71 of Deral Meek take the win in front of the very fast X-Mod of #28 Skimmer Leathem in second and the #63 of Justin Weber coming home in 3rd.  Heat #2 saw the #58 of Clint Miller hold off two very determined X-Mod drivers who ran a very good race.  Chasing Miller to the checkered was the #29 of Mike O'Neal in 2nd and the #54 of Tim Hooper coming home 3rd.  Heat #3 had a race long battle at the front among the top 4 drivers.  At the finish an X-Mod was sandwiched between two A-Mods as the #28C of Cooder Frazier took the win in front of the #1X of Todd Budlong  with the #09 of Bill Waltman taking the 3rd spot.  The main-event was a wild and wooly affair with 1 red flag and 9 yellow flags to slow the action.  All 18 cars on hand made the call for this race but only 7 managed to make it to the checkered flag.  The X-Mod #1X of Todd Budlong took off from outside the front row and led the field for  most of the race as the action kept being slowed due to numerous spins.  There was one scary moment as the beautiful yellow #63 of Justin Weber took a hard rollover off the top of turn #3/4 as he was battling for one of the top spots.  Fortunately the safety equipment in Weber's car did its job and Justin was able to walk away from the crash uninjured.  Once the race finally ended the #09 of Bill Waltman who had to come from the back of the field after an earlier spin took the win in front of the #28C of Cooder Frazier in 2nd and the #29 of Mike O'Neal taking home the 3rd position.
 
The Street Stocks also had a nice field of 13 cars to run 2 heat races and their main-event.  Heat #1 had the #M77 of Cameron Martin run a very good race holding of the father/son duo of #143 Danny Gross Jr. and the #43 of Dan Gross.  Heat #2 saw the #5X of Rick Boelter take off from inside the 2nd row and never look back as he led every lap, with the #15 of Cheyenne Yates coming home 2nd with the #99 of Joel Duke taking 3rd place.  The main-event was slowed by several yellow flags but the racing in between was excellent with the top 6-8 drivers running side by side 3 wide at times.  The M77 of Cameron Martin took off to the early lead and was looking strong until he was involved in a spin and had to restart at the rear of the field.  The #5X of Rick Boelter and the #53 of R.C. Combs ran side by side just inches apart and kept the fans on their feet most of the race.  At the finish line it was Combs taking the win with Boelter taking a hard earned 2nd place and the #143 of Danny Gross Jr. filling the podium.
 
The Cruiser / Hornets also had their best field of the year with 22 cars on hand to do battle.  Heat #1 was a very entertaining race as  new driver Justin Neff in #26N made several unusual laps around the track and nearly making contact with the wall a couple of times.  Neff had a passenger who was undoubtedly getting a WILD ride.  Neff did a good job of getting the car under control by the end of the race, he proved the old axiom that you have to go slow to go fast.  At the end the largest car in the field the #26 of Cody Sanchez was sandwiched between the two smallest cars in the field with the #97B of Justin Morgan taking the win in front of Sanchez with the #98Y of Coulter Morgan taking 3rd spot.    Heat #2 also had a new driver #29 Vanessa Frazier who kept the fans entertained with some exciting laps.  At the checkered flag it was the #2 of Perry Held taking the win in front of the #79 of Thomas Travis-Bateman and the #58 of Frank Payne.  Heat #3 went caution free with the #18 of Jim Kosinski taking off from the outside front row and running a smooth race to hold off wily old veteran #1 Phil York with the #50 of Todd Hendrickson taking 3rd place.   The main-event saw 21 cars take the green flag as only the station wagon of points leader #28 Gary Smith was unable to make the call.  This race was much like the A-Mod main with less than half of the starting field making it to the checkered flag due to numerous spins and crashes.  In the end the little Hornet of #97B Justin Morgan was able to hang on for the win over the #1 of Phil York who had elected to start from the back of the field coming up one spot short of the win.  Chasing Morgan and York to the stripe was the #7 of Daysha Boelter who was making a rare start after missing most of the year.
 
The Mini-Sprints also had one of their best field of the year to run 2 heat races and a main-event.  Heat #1 went caution free and saw a very good battle for the win with the #72 of Mike Barnes holding off a fast closing #17J Jacob Johnston with the #712 of Paul Campbell coming home in 3rd place.  Campbell tows down from Bayfield Colorado to have fun at Sandia Speedway.  Heat #2 saw the #22 of Robert Turner pretty much run away with the win in front of the #619 of Lalo Saenz and the #9X of Eric Smith.  The main-event had only 1 yellow flag for a couple of laps when a light rain made the track a bit slick.  Once the racing resumed the #17J of Jacob Johnston held off the very determined #22 of Robert Turner with the #619 of Lalo Saenz taking 3rd position.
 
Here are the full results of all races.  These results are UNOFFICIAL and we apologize for any and all errors.
 
NMMRA Non-Wing Sprints
Heat #1  #45 Jason Grady, #38 Michael Fanelli, #6 Robert Marfia, #19 Randy Smith, #29 Ted Schlote, #17 Steven Spiak, #4L Kristi Smith
 
Heat #2  #74X Josh Hodges, #7 Jesse Baker, #65 Rick Johnson, #55 David Dykes, #5 Jerrill Higginbotham, #49 Chuck Jackson, #2D David Gay, #11W Dillon Tanner
 
Main-Event  #74X Josh Hodges, #45 Jason Grady, #6 Robert Marfia, #38 Michael Fanelli, #7 Jesse Baker, #49 Chuck Jackson, #11W Dillon Tanner, #19 Randy Smith, #29 Ted Schlote, #55 David Dykes, #2D David Gay, #4L Kristi Smith DNF, #17 Steven Spiak DNF, #5 Jerrill Higginbotham DNF, #65 Rick Johnson DNF
 
A-Mods
Heat #1  #M71 Deral Meek, #28S Skimmer Leathem, #63 Justin Weber, #73 Gerald Haste, #62 Tom Melloy, #71 Randy Combs
 
Heat #2  #58 Clint Miller, #29 Mike O'Neal, #54 Tim Hooper, #97 Jeremy Warren DNF, #05 Donald Clinger DNF, #1 Mychal Lucero DNF
 
Heat #3  #28C Cooder Frazier, #1X Todd Budlong, #09 Bill Waltman, #77 Deral Meek Jr., #20 Tim Lamm, #53 Eddie McLain
 
Main-Event  #09 Bill Waltman, #28C Cooder Frazier, #29 Mike O'Neal, #1X Todd Budlong, #58 Clint Miller, #54 Tim Hooper, #28S Skimmer Leathem, #1 Mychal Lucero DNF, #20 Tim Lamm DNF, #05 Donald Clinger DNF, #62 Tom Melloy DNF, #53 Eddie McLain DNF, #97 Jeremy Warren DNF, #73 Gerald Haste DNF, #71 Randy Combs, #M71 Deral Meek DNF, #77 Deral Meek DNF, #63 Justin Weber DNF
 
Street Stocks
Heat #1  #M77 Cameron Martin, #143 Danny Gross Jr., #43 Dan Gross, #1 Ronnie Bell, #74M Rob Moesley, #11X Casey Gossett, #21 Jan Quigley
 
Heat #2  #5X Rick Boelter, #15 Cheyenne Yates, #99 Joel Duke, #76 Madison Conrad, #48
Dan Glass, #53 R.C. Combs DNF
 
Main-Event  #53 R.C. Combs, #5X Rick Boelter, #143 Danny Gross Jr., #1 Ronnie Bell, #15 Cheyenne Yates, #99 Joel Duke, #76 Madison Conrad, #M77 Cameron Martin, #48 Dan Glass, #43 Dan Gross DNF, #74M Rob Moesley DNF, 11X Casey Gossett DNS, #21 Jan Quigley DNS
 
Cruiser / Hornets
Heat #1  #97B Justin Morgan, #26 Cody Sanchez, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #11 Rhi Rhi Hall, #26N Justin Neff DNF, #28 Gary Smith DNF, #75 Jared Hensley DNF
 
Heat #2  #2 Perry Held, #79 Thomas Travis-Bateman, #58 Frank Payne, #78 Anthony Sandoval, #7 Daysha Boelter, #29 Vanessa Frazier , #7J Josh Thornburg DNF
 
Heat #3  #18 Jim Kosinski, #1 Phil York, #50 Todd Hendrickson, #99 Lena Duke, #16 Francisco Baca, #43 Art Hurley, #44 Art Hurley III, #80 Ernie Sandoval DNF
 
Main-Event  #97B Justin Morgan, #1 Phil York, #7 Daysha Boelter, #43 Art Hurley, #44 Art Hurley III, #58 Frank Payne, #99 Lena Duke, #98Y Coulter Morgan, #2 Perry Held DNF, #5.0 Todd Hendrickson DNF, #75 Jared Hensley DNF, #26 Cody Sanchez DNF, #29 Vanessa Frazier DNF, #78 Anthony Sandoval DNF, #18 Jim Kosinski DNF, #26N Justin Neff DNF, #7J Josh Thornburg DNF, #79 Thomas Travis-Bateman DNF, #80 Ernie Sandoval DNF, #11 Rhi Rhi Hall DNF, #16 Francisco Baca DNF, #28 Gary Smith DNS
 
Mini-Sprints
Heat #1  #72 Mike Barnes, #17J Jacob Johnston, #712 Paul Campbell, #38 Travis Oldfield, #84 Katie Seals, #69X T.J. McHugh DNS
 
Heat #2  #22 Robert Turner, #619 Lalo Saenz, #9X Eric Smith, #22$ Ian Stroud, #24T Taryn Stelzig
 
Main-Event  #17J Jacob Johnston, #22 Robert Turner, #619 Lalo Saenz, #72 Mike Barnes, #9X Eric Smith, #22$ Ian Stroud, #712 Paul Campbell, #38 Travis Oldfield, #24T Tary Stelzig, #84 Katie Seals, #69X T.J. McHugh DNS
 
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God Bless Everybody
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