Since last week’s comment on this blog about Tony Dunker being due to end a 56-feature winless streak at Quincy Raceways, there have been several comments about other drivers in the midst of such runs. There was also a request to run an updated list of drivers seeking to end streaks of similar lengths.
I always aim to please, so here is that updated list of the track’s current — and most notable — winless streaks:
Joe Bliven, modifieds, 68 features
Tony Dunker, modifieds, 56
Justin Reed, late models, 46
Jerry Weisenberger, late models, 32
Brandon Lennox, modifieds, 31
(Note: Joe Hooper, modifieds, has not won in 81 features, and Wyatt Lantz, modifieds, has not won in 54, but neither has raced full-time during those periods.)
All of these streaks should be taken with a grain of salt. Cases in point:
• Bliven has missed a handful of races during those 68 dates due to mechanical issues.
• Dunker, Bliven and Lennox were unfortunate enough to find themselves in the same class as Michael Long and Hank DeLonjay, who, for the most part, have dominated the modified division in recent years. DeLonjay retired after 2007 with 13 track titles (10 of them modified) and Long has been next to unbeatable since the start of 2007, winning 21 features, including 12 of the last 14.
• Reed, Weisenberger and many other late model drivers have found their victories few and far between because of the amount of features won by 14-time track champ Mark Burgtorf. Since 2002, Burgtorf has won 36 features and only one other driver, Lonnie Bailey (16) more than six.
One of the reasons I’m anxious to see the "new" track surface in action is I think we will witness some — if not all — of these track records fall. It’s been virtually impossible to better some of the early season times because of the roughness of the new .29-mile track in recent weeks.
If the weatherman cooperates Sunday night, here are the marks to beat:
Late models: Mark Burgtorf, 70.091 mph, 14.895 seconds, April 20.
Modifieds: Michael Long, 69.735, 14.971 seconds, April 20
Stock Cars: Chris Wibbell, 61.423 mph, 16.997 seconds, April 20
Hobby Stocks: Steve Carlin, 60.079 mph, 17.377 seconds, April 6
(Note: All times for each series are the best in feature competition only.)
DARBYSHIRE WINS DEERY EVENT
Tom Darbyshire became the sixth different winner in as many events when he won Monday’s Deery Brothers Summer Series late model feature in Boone, Iowa. The victory was Darbyshire’s second career Deery win.
Darbyshire, of Morning Sun, Iowa, led the distance, being able to keep Justin Reed of Quincy in check after a caution late in the contest brought the 40-lapper to a tight green-white-checkered finish.
Iowa drivers Charlie
McKenna of Clear Lake, Terry Neal of Ely and Todd Cooney of Des Moines rounded out the top five. Jason Frankel of Quincy was 13th.
The $2,000 victory also gave Darbyshire a two-point edge over Cooney in the standings.
The next Deery date is June 10 at Marshalltown, Iowa, Speedway. Pit gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps are at 6:30 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m.
‘KID ROCKET’ READIES FOR ‘THE DREAM’
Josh "Kid Rocket" Richards, the 20-year-old late model driving sensation from Shinnston, W.Va., will be one of the key names to watch in "The Dream," the $100,000 event June 6-7 on the fabled high banks of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. The Dream is one of the crown jewels in late model racing and will draw more than 200 of the nation’s finest dirt-track hotshoes.
Richards officially became one of the favorites when won the 39th annual Johnny Appleseed Classic Sunday at Eldora. The win was Richards’ first at Eldora, where at age 17 three years ago he became the youngest driver ever to qualify for both The Dream and the World 100. This year’s World 100 is Sept. 5-6.
"I love Eldora," Richards said. "I have ever since I ran my first race there … I grew up going to watch all the big races at Eldora and I’d love to win one of them."
Rick Eckert, one of the nation’s elite late model drivers, decided to head east after failing to qualify for Saturday’s Show Me 100 in West Plains, Mo. Eckert and his team motored 14 hours and 900 miles to compete in Sunday night’s Mid-Atlantic Championship Series (MACS) event at Bedford, Pa., Speedway, where he wound up third in the main event.