Night two of The 5th Annual Ryan Bard Memorial
By Lynn Hensley
Aztec, N.M.–Aztec Speedway celebrated the memory of the 2007 Southern Sport Modified state champion, Ryan Bard. Ryan Bard lost his life in a fiery crash in Texas that same year. The 5th annual Ryan Bard memorial saw two nights of very competitive racing in the IMCA sport modified and modified classes. Twenty eight cars signed in for the sport modified class with twenty cars qualifying by way of heat races and ‘B’ mains. After one pace lap with the missing man formation and all race fans holding up one finger, indicating Ryan’s number, the green flag dropped. Dakota Kibel in his #89 took the lead for seven laps. Then Colorado’s Jeff Jennings put his #3 in front and never looked back. Jennings was driving a JJ Harpole car for only the second time this year. Jennings maintained a one car advantage over Kibel for the next 18 laps. The checkers fell on lap 25 with Jennings in front of Kible. In 3rd was Randy Eitel with Kristi Tenski fourth followed by Joey Klemish in the only Mopar car in the race. All 25 laps were under green.
In the IMCA modified 25 lap feature, the 2010 IMCA Champion Zane Devilbiss, started mid pack and pulled into 2nd with 11 laps to go. With all 25 of these laps run under green, Devilbiss had to run a perfect race to catch Mark Rodgers. Rodgers had the field covered as he had jumped out to almost a half lap lead. Slowly but surely, Devilbiss closed in and on the final lap pulled up beside Rodgers. Coming out of turn four, the #18 Pink Panther took the lead and won by a few feet. Finishing 3rd behind Rodgers was JJ Harpole. Regan Tafoya was fourth with Tyrone Yazzie taking fifth in a borrowed car. The difference between 1st and 2nd was .079 sec.
Night two of the Ryan Bard Memorial was a replay of night one with some exceptions.
In the Southern Sport Modified 25 lap feature, the 20 cars taking the green flag had a few new faces. But the outcome was the same. Jeff Jennings in the unsponsored #3 took the lead from R.L. Henley on lap 5 and cruised on to the checkers. Henley held onto 2nd for one of his best races at Aztec Speedway. Third was Randy Eitel again and fourth went to Dakota Kibel. Taking the fifth spot was Julie Boettler. Jennings did a tremendous donut burnout followed by another NASCAR move. He pulled up to the wall with the front bumper and smoked em’ for the fans.
All winners of each class turned a Polish victory lap and carried a large checkered flag with Ryan Bard’s number on it.
The IMCA Modified 25 lapper for the second night in a row saw Zane Devilbiss come out of turn four again on the white flag lap with the lead. He and Regan Tafoya had raced for almost 5 laps side by side. Tofoya working the high side would pull ahead out of the turns but on the final lap and final turn, Devilbiss found a little more bite and won by a car length. The difference this time was Devilbiss was driving Bob Harter’s #75 modified. Earlier in the night during a heat race, Devilbiss popped the motor in the #18.
Finishing 3rd was Zach Hamilton with Danny Bradford next and Mark Rodgers fifth.
The IMCA stock car 25 lap feature on Saturday saw Danny Stevenson take the win handily over Kenny Hendershot, Richard Trujillo, Steffan Carey, and Porter Smith.
Night two in the IMCA stock cars had Steffan Carey winning his first for the year with Frankie Hendershot 2nd followed by Porter Smith, Rex Higgins, and Danny Stevenson.
The New Mexico Mini Sprints ran night two without their wings. And the fans might have liked that better than their winged show….Nothing changed up front as young Devon Amos came on strong to make it a clean sweep for the weekend in his #25. Behind him for 2nd was Mike Brewer in the #38 with Jacob Johnston a nice 3rd in his #17. Fourth went to Kenney Brewer in the #45 and Patrick Hurtado was fifth in his #07.
A great weekend of racing (except for the 60mph wind Sat.).
Aztec Speedway will be silent next week but get ready for another two night show Friday and Saturday June 8th and 9th. The sprint cars and late models are coming!!