Finally, an ‘optimistic buzz’ at the Bullring

May 31, 2011 25 Comments

Maybe, just maybe … Monday night was a turning point in the 2011 fortunes of Quincy Raceways.

Great weather, great fan turnout, even a great car count.

I remember reading a comment from blog contributor “Skipp” a few days ago that was bemoaning some of the Debbie Downer comments that had been coming in. “We’ll be on a roll before too long,” he wrote. I wasn’t sure if that was a pipe dream or a wishful forecast.

The overall car count was the highest in more than a year. The 94 in the pits were the most since the 105 for a Deery Brothers Summer Series show in April 2010. Four of the five weekly series at the track matched their season high or exceeded it.

AN OPTIMISTIC BUZZ

Beyond the raw numbers, however, was the “buzz” in the air. Yeah, a legitimate optimistic buzz. It was one of those intangibles you can’t put in the victory column or mark down on a piece of paper. And I don’t think many — if anyone — left 8000 Broadway disappointed in the 4 1/2-hour program that did not end until shortly after 11 p.m.

The most memorable race of the night might have been the stock car feature that showcased a dozen cars, by far the largest field of the season in that series. I’m not sure they knew how to handle the overpopulation, judging by the six cautions. There were eight lead changes in the race, eventually won by Kevin Tomlinson, the most lead swaps in any main event since I began tracking that kind of stuff several years ago.

NEXT WEEK WILL BE A KEY

Finally, there is a chance to have  a sense of momentum at the track. The key will be to maintain this “success” two weeks in a row. Hopefully, the fans — and the cars — will back. And hopefully, it won’t rain like it had five times in the previous six weeks. And hopefully, all the cars that were tore up can be fixed, particularly Vance Wilson’s modified, which was simply a mess after a crash with Travis Griffith on the front straight of the feature.

The product was good Sunday night, with the track offering more than one groove.  And for the first time in a long time walking from the pits to my car after some post-race interviews I found myself sorting through all the racing that had transpired, not thinking so much about the off-track issues that have been plaguing the track.

Normally, when I get home, my wife will always ask, “Was it a good night?”

For the first time in a long time, I answered — with a smile, “Very good.”

DELONJAY GETS MUCH-NEEDED FEATURE WIN

Steven DeLonjay said he needed to “make a statement.”

He did.

Steven DeLonjay

The driver some felt was the modified man to beat this season won his first feature and it could not have come at a more opportune time. He entered the night eighth in points, and while it was only Memorial Day Weekend, five weeks of points racing had been lost to the weather. And as hard as it is to believe, the dirt-track points calendar is about 40 percent over — even thought it has barely started, thanks to the elements.

“I wanted to make a statement,” he said. “I’d had only one DNF (did not finish), but had not been able to show as much consistency as I would like. Like for everyone else, it’s been tough because of the weather.”

DeLonjay withstood a star-studded modified field. The parade of drivers who finished right behind him was a virtual who’s who of the local modified world — Shawn Deering, Dave Wietholder, Ryan Meyer, Jared Schlipman and Michael Long. DeLonjay led the final 10 laps after getting around Deering, who had been in front for 14 of the first 15.

DeLonjay, who won’t turn 20 years old until December but is in his fourth year as a modified contender, has never finished lower than third in points.

“While I try and worry most about feature wins, I would have to say … anything less than a track championship this year will seem like kind of a disappointment,” he said. “I finished third in points last year after being second (in 2009), and I felt like I took a step back.”

He definitely took a step forward Monday night. After beginning the evening 55 points behind leader and defending series champ Jared Schlipman, DeLonjay is now part of a five-pack of drivers separated by only 35 points.

MONDAY NIGHT FEATURE FINISHES

Late models: 1. Denny Woodworth (1st), 2. Lonnie Bailey, 3. Joey Gower, 4. Jake Griffin.
Modifieds: 1. Steven DeLonjay (1st), 2. Shawn Deering, 3. Dave Wietholder, 4. Ryan Meyer.
Stock cars: 1. Kevin Tomlinson (1st), 2. Abe Huls, 3.  Jerry Jansen, 4. Beau Taylor.
Hobby stocks: 1. Bobby Anders (4th), 2. Brandon Symmonds, 3. Steve Carlin, 4. Jake Powers.
Wild things: 1. William Michel (1st), 2. Craig Bangert, 3. Seth Woodruff, 4. Brandon Lambert.
Sprint Invaders: 1. Jim Moughan, 2. Kaley Gharst, 3. Justin Parrish, 4. Mark Shirshekan.

MONDAY NIGHT STARS AT THE BULLRING

5 Stars: Steven DeLonjay, who needed a feature win the worst way in the modified series, emerged victorious in what is arguably the toughest series at the track.
4 Stars: Bobby Anders won his fourth straight hobby stock main event and stretched his string of consecutive feature laps led to 76.
3 Stars: Denny Woodworth won the late model duel with longtime rival Lonnie Bailey to become the fourth different feature winner in as many late model shows.
2 Stars: Kevin Tomlinson ended Aaron Brocksieck’s stranglehold on the stock car series with his first feature win of the season.
1 Star: Shawn Deering, who enjoyed his strongest run of the year in the modifieds, but came up one spot shy of the checkered flag.

FAST FEATURE LAPS (for series that use transponders)

Late models: Robby Warner, 67.636 mph.
Modifieds: Shawn Deering, 64.141 mph.
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck, 61.420 mph.

(Note: Jim Moughan’s victory in the Sprint Invader feature included a fast lap of 70.258 mph, the quickest of the year in an series at the track.)

HEAT WINNERS

Late models: Joey Gower (2nd), Lonnie Bailey (3rd).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (1st), Michael Long (3rd), Vance Wilson (2nd).
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck (2nd), Terry Houston (3rd).
Hobby stocks: Brandon Symmonds (1st), Bobby Anders (4th).
Wild things: William Michel (1st), Chuck Fullenkamp (1st).

TRACK POINTS (Unofficial)

Late models (no points Monday night): Justin Reed 42, Lonnie Bailey 41, Denny Woodworth 40.
Modifieds: Jared Schlipman 200, Dave Wietholder 181, Shawn Deering 170, Michael Long 167, Steven DeLonjay 165.
Stock cars (no points Monday night): Aaron Brocksieck 74, Terry Houston 71, Andrew Griffin 71.
Hobby stocks
: Bobby Anderson 129, Steve Carlin 121, Brandon Symmonds 119, Jake Powers 111.
Wild things: Craig Bangert 123, Seth Woodruff 119, Casey Kendrick 113, Austin Uppinghouse 109.

CAR COUNTS

Late models: 15 (season average 20.0, minus Deery show 14.8)
Modifieds: 18 (season average 17.8)
Stock cars: 12 (season average 7.8)
Hobby stocks: 14 (season average 12.0)
Wild things: 12 (season average 10.5)

CAUTIONS

Late models: 3 (season average 2.5)
Modifieds: 10 (season average 8.8)
Stock cars: 6 (season average 2.3)
Hobby stocks: 5 (season average 2.3)
Wild things: 1 (season average 0.8)

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  1. TEAM4FAN says:

    IM JUMPIN BEFORE ALL THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE DO ……….

    PERTY DARN GOOD NITE O’ RACIN IN MY OPINION ……. I HAD A GOOD TIME , ALTHOUGH MY BUDDY VANCE HAD A BAD NITE (DAMMER, BUT HE’LL BE BACK ) ….. AND MR. 40a ALSO , DAMM AARON , HOW MANY TIMES YOU GONNA RE-START IN THE BACK BUDDY ???? GOOD HARD RUN THO , CAR WAS FAST

    MOD FEATURE WAS PRETTY BAD-ASS

    GOTTA GO , SEE YA NEXT SUNDAY

    i am NOT #4 == SKIPP

    P.S. — SATURDAY JUNE 11 AT THE SOUTH SIDE BAR IN MENDON , MY OLD ASS TURNS 40 !!!! COME ON UP TO THE SHINDIG , EVERYBODY’S WELCOME (IF YER NOT RACIN)

  2. flyby says:

    Great night of racing. I was surprised with the car counts. I can’t imagine what it would of been like Sunday night. Phew. They may not be getting 20 cars in every class but it’s a small track and a 12 car feature can be just as good or better than a 24 car feature. How about that Jake Griffin in the IMCA Late Model. Heck of a run little man. I believe IMCA doesn’t let kids his age race their sanction. Was it not IMCA sanctioned late models last night? Hopefully they let him run he could make some noise in a few years if hes not in asphalt cars by then. One thing that I can’t get over is the track. Man it has been excellent every race this year. With the heavy wind and hot temps I figured it would turn into a dust bowl. It was a little dusty for the fans but if the wind was blowing any other direction we wouldn’t have ate dust. It was a little rough but that can be blamed on the sprint cars. They are notorious for that.

    Hey Dunker did you see that black and green number 4 wild things. It doesn’t look right without Dunker Concrete on the side of it. That thing would fit right in with team4.

    This new track is awesome. Passing high, low, middle. The Frankels would be proud. I don’t think Michael Long likes it though. He isn’t dominating like he was the last few years. His plan was to go for the national championship this year but with not being able to pick up easy wins at Quincy, he may have a hard time getting top 5. He will probably get it figured out sometime this year.

  3. flyby says:

    Watch out for Gabe Harrison in the 99 stock car. He showed his cards last night. This is his first year but he isn’t afraid to throw her hard into the corners and do some rubbing. I hope he pulls off a win this year. It wont come easy though.

  4. just a fan says:

    I hear there’s gonna be a new 4 banger soon once those handicapped roll bars come in. Outfitting a car for seniors ain’t easy. Yay that was fun last night. Sorry Mr Wilson hope you will be all fixed and better by the weekend. Hope to see Mr Justin Reed back with us next week missed getting to cheer for him. WooHoo Mendon Mafia. Ha I broke even so good night all around.

  5. bullringfan says:

    I am glad the car counts were up last night,hope it is a sign of things to come!! I had to miss the last two features because I had to leave for work,really could have done without the 45 minute sprint car yellow fever race,that was painful to watch. It was good when they were racing,but it’s pretty bad when the caution is out as much as it was. I was cheering when the race was over,not for the winner!! LOL Wish I could have stayed for the modified feature,but not being at work doesn’t pay the bills. LOL

  6. flyby says:

    Bullringfan- You weren’t the only one. That is the worse thing about Quincy racing Sunday nights. Work the next morning is in the back of most everyone’s mind. That’s why I was so mad about cancelling Sunday. I could of drank a couple gallons of beer. Oh well. Any word on the new date for Quincy USMTS?

  7. fan418 says:

    Flyby….GET A LIFE!!!! Do you really think before you “speak”? Check out how many races (features included) Michael has won. He doesn’t just run Quincy. He will be solidly in the top 5 UMP regional points. Do you even know how it is decided???? Top finishes in 25 races. So, please, shut your piehole unless you get a clue, which I do not see happening.

  8. flyby says:

    Wow what did I say that made you so mad? That Michael isn’t dominating Quincy but he will probably get it figured out? Was (shut your pie hole) and (get a life) really necesarry for that? Wow pop a xanax Shannon. Thats great Michael is top 5 in regional points. I hope he wins national points. But without picking up easy wins at Quincy and with all these rainouts at Quincy and Memphis its going to be tough. Yes I know how points work.I also know to win national points you need to win over 20 races with solid car counts and at least 2 track points championships. Ive been involved with racing longer than you have been alive.

  9. just me says:

    I agree with fan418. Wasn’t it a real “shame” that Wilson put his self if the wall. The only shame was the other car and driver being hurt. It’s a wonder Wilson didn’t get out and take a swing at him. Just Saying.

  10. flyby says:

    Earlier this season I stated Wilson would be involved in quite a few wrecks and have a tore up race car. Seemed like everyone wanted to argue with me about it. If he ever gets some good luck he will be a consistent top 3 car for sure. Team4Bossman whens the ERD for you to return to Quincy and race. (Estimated Race Date)

  11. just a fan says:

    A coke to go with your crow, Just me I’m making you a special bitter big corn up my … dessert!

  12. GMF says:

    Wow just me…. hate much??

    Dirt how do you pick who and how many stars you give?? Draw straws? In a hat? Just curious

  13. seighinger says:

    GMF,

    Draw straws? In a hat? That would be a blonde way of doing things. When the night is finished I look at who i thought had the most notable accomplishments of the night and go from there. By the way, I have no idea what JAF was saying — let alone thinking — in a few of her recent comments.

  14. GMF says:

    Think you need to start having a round table discussion before you start star throwing… just sayin.. :)

    If she started making sense wouldnt you begin wondering about your own sanity??

  15. seighinger says:

    Well, let’s hear YOUR top five …

  16. GMF says:

    5 stars – Aaron Brocksieck for his 2 pits no quit style and a top 5 finish!! Ooo Yeah!
    4 stars- Kevin Tomlinson for finally getting ‘er done! Was bound to finally happen!
    3 stars – The lawyer brought the heat… Denny
    2 stars – Steven D…. He’s starting to show he’s in it to win it… lol
    1- sprint cars… For once I was semi interested in them…

  17. seighinger says:

    GMF,

    It would be hard to give Aaron five stars on a night when he finished NINTH in the feature and completed just 14 of 20 laps. We all admired his effort, but … it just wasn’t his night. At least it wasn’t a points race.

  18. GMF says:

    A for effort then….. obviously you and I dont get excited by the same events at the track

  19. GMF says:

    Oooo PS YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY for Elbs….. and nitetrain… no longer boys of MIA….!! Even if the night wasnt too good for both of them I was super happy to see that 3 late mod again!!!

  20. seighinger says:

    Here’s a deal for you … you post YOUR five stars each Monday from your perspective. Maybe other Bullring fans will do the same. It would be interesting to see how different people look at the same thing.

  21. GMF says:

    10-4 lil buddy…. I’ll sneak ya in some snacks to try and sway your thinking ;-)

  22. Joe racefan says:

    5 stars- Abe Huls ( He was leading the race when the 99 gave him a flat tire under yellow. Went to the pits and restarted last, worked his was back up to 2nd and was puttin the pressure on Tomlinson.)

    4 stars- Jake Griffin ( Am I the only one that watched him passing cars en route to his 4th place finish?)

    3 stars- Bobby Anders ( You can’t argue with a 4-peat.)

    2 stars- Jim Moughan ( Fastest Car of the night)

    1 star- Steven DeLonjay ( That feature win really did help)

  23. craig courty says:

    5 stars for the stock car class because they had enough cars this weekend that maybe we wont hear about sportmods for a week or two 4 stars for the promoter and track workers for having to put up with all the garbage they got on here sunday for not having races im sure the “experts” thought that some combination of billy moyer, steve kinser, some guys from usmts tour 5 more stock cars and hobby stocks would have showed up if they had races sunday 3 stars for the 20 hobby stock 76 consecutive laps led and was leading the feature on lap one after starting in the 2nd row 2 stars for something that resembles parity in the modified class 1 star for a sprint car race that had passing and not one car checking out and lapping 3/4 of the field

  24. fan418 says:

    Flyby…..this is NOT Shannon. And you are wrong about how they do UMP points. At the end of points (October) they take the drivers best 25 finishes. You do NOT have to win track championships. He also races at Granite City (UMP), Fulton (UMP), made the trip to Florida (UMP). There is a bonus in points if there are more than 20 cars. (That number may not be exact, but it is close)

    By the way…I doubt you have been around racing longer than I have been alive. I am 52.

    This is the last time I will respond to anything Flyby posts. Seems like Flyby just likes to stir (things up).

  25. TEAMFOURBOSS says:

    10 STARS – #16 SHAWN DEERING – 5 STARS FOR ACCEPTING 2ND PLACE AFTER AN OFFICIAL “OOPS” COST HIM A VICTORY

    AND 5 STARS FOR “NOT” RUNNING UP IN THE TOWER AND CLEANIN OFF THE OFFICIALS COUNTER…………SINCE IT IS ALLOWED THIS YEAR

    “I AM NUMBER FOUR”

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