Night One of the “BIG WEEKEND OF RACING”
by Lynn Hensley
History repeats itself with a Gallardo winning the USRA/IMCA battle at Aztec Speedway Friday night. Only this time it was Jacob Gallardo instead of Fito (the dad) taking the top spot and the $1,000. The father son team arrived late and only got in a few hot laps during intermission. Also with them was Rick Gallardo. All three cars had to tag the back of the field for the 25 lap feature. At the drop of the green, Rick Gallardo pulled his M16 into the infield with what everyone thought was mechanical trouble. Turns out, Rick was missing some key components for safe racing…a window net or arm retraints. With Rick out and Joseph Trujillo a DNS only 16 cars were left to run the feature. But the fans definitely got their moneys worth on this one. Josh Cain of Moriarity led from the pole and looked as though he would best the field but four cars were slowly reeling him in. The Gallardos came from the back to join Jimmy Ray and Ricky Alvarado in challenging Cain for the lead. On lap 19 Jacob Gallardo passed Cain for the front spot and never relinquished it. Moving into 2nd spot was Jimmy Ray of Las Cruces, N.M. and Ricky Alvarado of Delta, Colo. moved up to 3rd. Fito Gallardo was 4th with Josh Cain fading to 5th. The last several laps of this one had the fans on their feet as Ray, Alvarado, Fito G. and Cain were swapping positions almost every lap. Clint Miller of Los Alamos, N.M. ran 2nd and 3rd for much of the first 18 laps but something went wrong with the front of the car causing the #58 to spin two different times causing Miller to have to park it in the pits. Only four IMCA cars finished in the top 10. Here is the rest of the finishing order: 6th Zane Devilbiss, 7th JJ Harpole, 8th Allen Bradley 9th Todd Budlong, 10th Robbie Chiles, 11th Alex Kennedy, 12th Robby Halland, 13th Tom Melloy, 14th Michael Lucero, 15th Andy Goodenough, 16th Clint Miller, 17th Rick Gallardo and 18th Andy Trujillo. More cars are expected tonight.
The Championship Late Model Association/DIRT had 20 cars sign in with only 17 able to start the feature. Andy Hockinhull and Jeff Davis, two local drivers, both had mechanical issues in their heats. Capt. Cliff Hanson of El Paso, Texas lost an engine in practice. The 17 remaining cars put on a great 25 lap race and all under green. Dean Moore of Grand Junction, Colo. put his #14 in front on lap one but couldn’t hold off the “freight train” behind him. Jeep Berry, also of Grand Junction, slipped by for the lead on lap 16 and managed to hold off all challenges to take the $1500 win. The race for 2nd through 5th was up for grabs. Jason Davis was in 2nd for a few but faded to 8th. Dave Garman of Brighton, Co. raced his way up to 2nd with hometown hero, Garrett Higgins moving past several cars for 3rd. The man that lead the most laps, Dean Moore, finished 4th with Garret Alberson of Las Cruces, N.M. in 5th. This was Berry’s 2nd win here in a CLMA late model in two years. Alberson was also a former winner at Aztec. Finishing 6th through 17th were: Scott Lewis of Henderson, Co, Lonnie Parker of Phoenix, Az., Jason Davis of Grand Jct., Co., Jimmy Ray of Las Cruces, N.M. (also drove a modified), Steve Lewis of Denver, Co., Jason Hockenhull of Farmington, N.M., Nate Beacham of Grand Jct., Co., Jeff Whyman of Albq.,N.M., Dave Deetz of Las Cruces, N.M., Rick Ortega of Las Cruces, N.M., Alan Bowers of Albq.,N.M., Kyle Hill of Cortez, Co. and three DNS, Jeff Davis of Aztec, N.M., Andy Hockinhull of Farmington, N.M. and Capt. Cliff Hanson of El Paso, Tx.
The First Annual Witten’s Warriors Stock Car Shootout drew a field of 25 cars from three states with seven former track champions and the rookie of the year. Three champs from Texas and two from southern New Mexico. Also from Texas was the rookie of the year. This race was organized by Steffan Carey and his wife Maegan. Donations and T-shirt and bracelet sales all go to the Carey Tingley Foundation in Albq.N.M. Awareness of cerebal palsey is just one of the goals. Donations so far are in excess of $18,000 with goal by the end of the being $35,000. The 25 lap race’s early leader was Cory Davis of Eunice, N.M. but with some problems, Davis faded to 12th. The ‘Rookie’, Mark Egert of Lubbock, Texas took over and looked to be the one for several laps before dropping back to 11th. Frankie Hendershot of Farmington moved into the lead but had challenges from Tony Hill of Cortez, Co. and Steffan Carey of Bloomfield,N.M. Hill had spun on lap 2 and restarted in the back. With a very fast #007, Hill took the lead from Hendershot with only a three laps to go. But Hendershot wouldn’t give up and retook the lead on the white flag lap. Carey moved up to give chase to the checkers. Frankie Hendershot won by 0.181 seconds over Carey. Finishing 3rd was Danny Stevenson and fourth went to Richard Trujillo. Tony Hill ended up 5th as he slipped up high out of turn 4. The rest of the finishing order was: Jay Kibel, Ed Brown, Cary White of La Mesa, Tx., Lee Moss, Rex Higgins (lead early but restarted in back after a crash), Kenny Hendershot, Traci Jennings, Mark Egert of Lubbock, Cory Davis of Eunice, N.M., Brandon Hopper of Lubbock, Cody Kays of Hobbs,N.M., Jody York of Lubbock, Michael Farley, Luke Rowe, Race Fisher, Jeramy Bradley, Shane Devilbiss, Daniel Christianson.
One more feature of 25 laps was for the Southern Sport Modifieds. Twenty cars took the green with Bobby Rivas leading for a few until an 8 car pileup eliminated a couple. Two drivers showed their skills early. Joey Klemish in his Mopar car #22 jumped into the lead with #11 Jordan Eddleman running a close 2nd. These two pulled away from the field for most of the race. In the end, Brandon Tenski closed in but could only garner the 3rd spot. Klemish takes his 2nd win of the year with Eddleman in 2nd, again Tenski was 3rd. In fourth was Ryan Henley, and fith went to Julie Boettler. The rest of the order wss: Brian Carey, Tom Plant, Kristi Tenski, Bill Dowdy, Bobby Rivas, Juanita Faddis, Charles Yates, Ross Whipple, Billy Courier, George Goshorn, RL Henley, Rodger Cordary, Dakota Kibel, Randy Henley, and Ace Eavenson.
Winners June 8, 2012