GPS Week 7 Recap 4/22/2017
April 22nd 2017 Week 7 Race Recap
By Matthew Henson
The seventh week of competition kicked off with our second dash for cash this year, this time for the renegade division. The field of six cars was selected based on who had not won a race this season and placed via an inversion on qualifying speeds, Jeff Key, Michael Mote, Randy Ballew, Spenser Darnell, Tyler Woodring, and Steven Guthrie all made the race and started in that order. On the start, the 1 of Jeff Key and the 97 of Michael Mote were shoved by the faster 9 of Steven Guthrie and 63 of Randy Ballew. Eventually the 9 of Steven Guthrie would push his way through and never look back, winning a cool two hundred dollars in the process.
Pure stocks would mark our first points paying race of the night, and although the 71 of buck Simmons would win pole, the race began with a three-wide dash into turn one on the start with the 71, the 28 of Ashley Granata, and the 66 of Charlie Meinders all in a heated race to the front. On lap 2, the 1 of Zach Meinders would slow in turn four and bring out a caution, although he would get his car re-fired. On the restart, the 28 of Granata would shove Charlie Meinders to the lead by lap three. On the sixth lap, Buck Simmons would try Charlie going into one, but would hop the inside curb and one lap later would suffer tire trouble and retire as a result. Although, Ashley Granate would hound the 66 of Charlie Meinders for the remainder of the race, Charlie would claim his second win of the year.
The four-cylinders would take to the pavement next and Tommy Davis Jr. would take fastest lap honors, but by virtue of winning the previous week would be forced to start mid-pack. However, on his second qualifying lap, he would go high on a slower car and would brush the wall, putting his main event performance into doubt. Don Tavernia would start P1 for the third week in a row, but all eyes were on the 23 of Dannon Esco would timed the start perfectly and jumped from the fourth row to the second, putting himself into serious contention in the short fifteen lap race. In the initial scramble, Tommy Davis Jr. worked his way through the pack and ended up in the top six. On lap four, a three car pile-up involving the 11 of Justin Brown, the 6 of AJ Davis, and Matt Lockee brought ouyt the caution although all three cars would continue on. On lap 7, Don Tavernia would suffer a mechanical issue and would surrender the lead to the 44 of Ray Mullinax. Although. Tavernia would recover to finish in the top five, Tommy Davis Jr. would claim the lead from Mullinax and score his seventh straight win in the division.
The Limited Late Models returned to competition this week, and the race began with some new faces on the front row: the 28 of Bob Root on pole and the 4 of Michael Guthrie on the outside pole. On the start, the 4 of Guthrie had trouble taking off, but settled back in fourth place. Meanwhile, the 33 of Andrew Cordell passed Tasha Kummer for second on lap three, but before he could set his sights on Root for the top spot, the 44 of Brad Burns and the 8 of Nick Thunder spun in turns three and four. The 7 of Kevin Sterling came in hot, but got his limited late model slowed down in time, but the new-comer Devon Morgan in the 12 slid in and rear-ended Sterling, making the incident a four-car affair.
On the restart, Taylor Nesbitt in the ever-competitive 92 car took the outside and quickly dived down to an opening on the low side, just behind the leader, but Andrew Cordell would waste no time in putting the pass on her and worked his way into second. While all this action was occurring Bob Root had put down the fastest laps of the night of any driver and had pulled out to an impressive lead; Andrew had his work cut out for him. He would get help when the 4 of Michael Guthrie, himself attempting to pass the 92 for third, was tagged by Nick Thunder in turn one on lap twenty-seven, bringing out the caution. On the restart, Bob Root would jump out to another sizable lead, but the 33 followed closely as the race went caution free for the rest of the night. With five to go, Cordell started using up all he had saved from his tires and closed the gap all the way to Root’s back bumper. As the two came out of turn four, Andrew attempted a classic bump-and-run, but Root kept his car pinned to the bottom as best he could and slid high. Cordell took the low line in the straightaway, but would never get passed Root’s left rear quarter panel and the 28 would claim his first victory of the year.
Super Stocks finally returned after three weeks off and Ken Guthrie showed everyone what he had been cooking up in the down time as he nabbed the pole position. However, on the start the 11 of Travis Cox (starting in third) shoved Guthrie into turn one. Although the veteran Guthrie would hold the car to the low side in turn one and two, by the time he got to turn three, the car was simply too loose to drive. He would spend the next few laps fighting his car as he was freight trained to the back. For the second spot, the 70 of Ricky Stephens attempted to pass the 11 of Cox and in the scuffle the 11 car would lose his front end body panel, but a synchronized spin from the 33 of Spencer Morgan and the 34 of Danny Gilbert in turn four would bring out the caution before Stephens could solidify the position change. Meanwhile, the 99 of Samero lead on the restart with the 30 of Jason McDowell in second. At halfway, the 30 would attempt the pass out of four with his black and orange vehicle dead sideways in a four-wheel drift. He passed Samero cleanly and never looked back, claiming another victory on the season.
The renegades closed out the night with the biggest field yet and on the start, the sixteen car field jammed up into turn one amidst a shower of smoke and sparks, and coming out of two, the 31 of Tyler Woodring, last week’s runner-up, slammed the wall and the 4 of Spenser Darnell and 56 of Bobby Emory would also be collected. After a red flag for cleanup, the 9 of Steven Guthrie, our dash-for-cash winner, went outside on Ricky Burnett, the leader, and the two would race sideways for several laps before the 15 finally broke loose, allowing the 9 of Guthrie to cruise to victory. Behind them, the 56 of Emory had recovered from his accident and fought Eddie Ray in the 14 and the 3 of Robin Darnell, culminating in a three wide finish for third with the 3 car coming out on top. How’s that for numerology?