Night Two of the “BIG WEEKEND OF RACING”
by Lynn Hensley
The second night of racing at Aztec Speedway this weekend had a repeat winner in the Modified Feud and a three car photo finish for the win in the stock car shootout. The CLMA had a familiar face in victory lane and the USRA hobby stocks ran their first sanctioned race. All in all it was a super night for the fans and drivers alike.
The Championship Late Model Association/DIRT series once again had a field of 20 cars for the 30 lap feature. After a six car dash for cash was won by Jeep Berry #75B of Grand Jct., Colo. the drivers gathered on the front straight and drew T-shirts with a number on the back. And this bit of luck determined where those six would start. Jeff Whyman #72 of Albq.,N.M. drew the #1 spot with Garrett Higgins #37 picking up the outside pole. Berry strated inside 2nd row with Scott Lewis #99 of Henderson, Colo. outside of him. Third row inside went to Garrett Alberson #43 of Las Cruces, N.M. and in the sixth spot was Lonnie Parker #8p of Phoenix, Az. All of the drivers came onto the track and tossed a tennis ball into the crowd with their respective number on it. The lucky fan that had the race winner’s number would receive a fifty dollar bill from T-n-T Motorsports. With all fanfare aside, the late models took the green for what was to be a 30 lap feature. Higgins jumped in front in turn one but with a little help from behind spun the car in front of the field. Somehow nobody hit the #37. With a CLMA ruling that everyone line up just as they were for the restart, Higgins again took the lead in turn one for a couple laps. On lap 3 Dave Deetz #17 of Las Cruces, N.M. tangled with another car on the backstretch that ended up with five cars in a heavy crash entering turn three. All drivers were ok but the #85 of Steve Francis of Rio Rancho, N.M., the #69 of Jason Hockenhull of Bloomfield, N.M., the #59 of Alan Bowers of Albuequerque, N.M. and the #47 Kyle Hill were out of action. Deetz was able to continue after repairs. After about a 30 minute red flag the race was shortened to 25 laps. On the restart, Alberson pulled a great move on the high side and slipped into the lead past Higgins. The #43 seemed to be on cruise control from there on to the double checkers as he picked up his 2nd win in two years at Aztec Speedway. Higgins held 2nd until lap 23 when something in a wheel assembly came apart and ended his night of racing. Scott Lewis moved up to 2nd with Dean Moore of Grand Jct., Co. taking 3rd. In 4th was Lonnie Parker and 5th Jimmy Ray of Las Cruces, N.M. Alberson collected $2500 for the win.
Here is how they all finished: 6th Dave Garmann of Grand Jct, 7th Jason Davis of Grand Jct., 8th Jeff Whyman of Albq., 9th Andy Hockenhull of Bloomfield, 10th Steve Lewis of Denver, Co., 11th Nate Beacham of Grand Jct., 12th Ron “Cooter” Frazier of Albq., 13th Rick Ortega of Las Cruces, N.M., 14th Dave Deetz of Las Cruces, 15th Garrett Higgins of Farmington, N.M. 16th Jeep Berry of Grand Jct. (Berry went to his pit under the red flag and had to restart in the back-he was then involved in a tangle and left the track early in the race), 17th Alan Bowers of Albq. -accident-, 18th Steve Francis of Rio Rancho -accident-, 19th Jason Hockenhull -accident, 20th Kyle Hill -accident-.
The CLMA will journey to Thomas County Speedway in Kolby, Ks. on June 17th for a $1,250 to win one day show.
The 2nd night of the 1st Annual Witten’s Warriors Stock Car Shootout had 26 cars taking the green flag treated the fans to a great race and one heck of a finish. Cory Davis of Eunice, N.M. cossed the line with two other cars for the win. Had it not been for the transponders on the cars, we might have had to go to the photo finish camera. Davis, Frankie Hendershot (Friday night’s winner) and Race (real name) Fisher were side by side coming out of turn 4. At the end of the race all eyes were on the large, vertical tower in the infield. Number 28 was at the top with Hendershot’s #5h next and Fisher’s #15 in the 3rd spot. This is the closest finish between three cars in Aztec history. Early in the race Kenny Hendershot and Carey White of LaMesa, Tx. ran lap after lap, side by side for the lead. When Hendershot finally thought he was safe up front, his brother, Frankie Hendershot took over the top spot. At least eight cars were in contention to win this 25 laps feature. Tony Hill of Cortez, Co. made a charge to the top five but spun out of contention on lap 18. Cory Davis managed to get in front with only a few to go after Frankie had lead for several laps. Race Fisher of Dove Creek, Co. started 13th and just kept picking off cars one by one until he was suddenly in a three car race on the last lap for the lead. Earlier in the evening, most all of these drivers donated $50 to the Witten’s Warriors. And in doing so, made themselves eligible for an extra $500 if they won. Cory Davis enjoyed his win and the $1000 he picked up. All proceeds of the Witten’s Warriors campaigne goes to the Carey Tingley Foundation in Albuequerque to help children all over the state of New Mexico. And to bring awareness to cerebal Palsey…..Witten was the guest of honor both nights and when I asked him what he thought about all this, he said, “My racecar is at home”. What else would I expect a 2 year old that spends his weekends at a race track to say!!
Finishing behind Davis, F. Hendershot and Race Fisher, was 4th Kenny Hendershot, 5th Rex Higgins of Bloomfield, 6th Steffan Carey #3 (Witten’s dad), 7th Luke Rowe, 8th Danny Stevenson, 9th Carey White of LaMesa, Tx., 10th Brandon Hopper of Lubbock, Tx., 11th Cody Kays of Hobbs, N.M., 12th Travis Southerlin of Farmington, 13th Mark Egert of Lubbock, Tx., 14th Richard Trujillo of Farmington, 15th Lee Moss Bloomfield, 16th Shane Devilbiss of Farmington, 17th Ed Brown of Cortez, Co., 18th Michael Farley of Farmington, 19th Jay Kibel, 20th Daniel Christiansen of Farmington, 21st Traci Jennings of Farmington, 22nd Jereamy Bradley of Aztec, 23rd Tony Hill of Cortez, Co., 24th Larry Bradley, 25th Jim Fisher, and 26th Jody York of Lubbock, Tx.
The Big Battle of Aztec between the USRA and the IMCA modifieds finally had one IMCA car in the top five. Jacob Gallardo of Las Cruces, N.M. won on Friday night and Saturday night was a replay of that with Gallardo taking the lead from the outside pole in turn one. Nobody challenged until very late in this 30 lap race when a restart gave Josh Cain of Moriarity, N.M. a chance at Gallardo. Cain just couldn’t quite get the momentum to pass and settled for 2nd. Running 3rd in a borrowed car was Ricky Alvarado of Delta, Co. Ricky popped his motor in a heat race so a local driver, Derek Rhoden offered his brand new modified to Ricky for the feature. Alvarado drove the car like it was built for him. He ran in the top five all the way in this 30 lapper. At one point Alvarado had 2nd but Cain eased by him and relegated Ricky to 3rd. Rhoden, the owner of the car, knows now that he has a very good IMCA modified. Running 4th for the 2nd night in a row was Fito Gallardo (Jacob’s dad) and fifth was Jimmy Ray of Las Cruces. Fito’s brother, Rick Gallardo had some more bad luck as he was trying to get his car off the track. Rick turned left and was t-boned by Alan Bradley of Farmington. Somehow, Bradley managed to continue in the race. Finishing 6th was Zane Devillbiss, 7th Julian Garcia, 8th Allan Bradley, 9th JJ Harpole, 10th Robbie Chiles, 11th Alex Kennedy, 12th Andy Goodenough, 13th Clint Miller, 14th Doug Goodenough, and 15th Rick Gallardo.
The newly sanctioned USRA hobby stocks ran on Saturday night with several cars expected from the southern part of the state. Not to be as only one car journeyed up to Aztec. In the 20 lap feature Dennis Spencer put his #07 out front and looked to be unbeatable but somebody forgot to tell that to Amador Milliano as he raced his $45x up to challenge Spencer for the last few laps of the race. Milliano finally cleared Spencer and went on to win the first USRA hobby stock race at Aztec Speedway. Spencer held onto 2nd with Randy Dorsett 3rd. In fourth was Darrell Cordary and fifth went to Clint Proffitt. The rest of the 10 car field finished like this: Jim Griffin, Tommy Valdez, Kris Faddis, Paul Dorsett and Jeff Warren of Bernallio, N.M.
A good weekend of racing at Aztec Speedway in front of a good crowd Friday and a large crowd of fans on Saturday. The Speedway will be dark next week with racing to resume on Saturday June 23rd.