Matt Bailey showed how a little finesse, combined with track knowledge, can offset a disadvantage in sheer horsepower.
Bailey won Sunday night’s UMP Super Late Model feature at the Bullring, despite driving with a decided “handicap.” Bailey’s familiar No. 52 Rocket is powered by an IMCA spec engine — which translates into about 200 less horsepower than each of the next nine UMP engines that followed him across the finish line.
“A quarter-mile track like Quincy can level the playing field, especially if it is a smooth, dry track like we’ve had (the first two weeks of the season),” Bailey said. “The extra horsepower isn’t that much of an advantage. Things like set-up come more into play. You just have to be patient.”
A “chrome horn” can also help.
Bailey nudged eventual runner-up Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill., out of the way between turns one and two on the final lap to regain the lead and hold on for his first win at 8000 Broadway since April 10, 2011.
Bailey said his nudging of Pierce — a familiar tactic in NASCAR — was simply “repaying the favor” of a slide job Pierce pulled on him a couple of laps earlier.
“I just wanted to give him a nice warm welcome to Quincy Raceways,” Bailey said.
Bailey is excited about the new blood the UMP sanctioning is bringing to the Bullring.
“Justin Reed (who won the April 1 feature at Quincy) and I were talking how cool it is to have guys like Brandon Sheppard and Bobby Pierce racing here now, guys we see and read about on the Internet … guys who have driven in the World of Outlaws and the Summernationals,” he said. “It’s (also) cool when we’re driving by them.”
Something else that has been “cool” for Bailey is having his dad, Lonnie, a two-time late model track champ in Quincy and the No. 4 ranked late model driver in the 38-year history of the Bullring, serving as his crew chief.
When Quincy switched from IMCA affiliation to UMP prior to this season, Lonnie Bailey opted to concentrate on IMCA races this year at tracks such as 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. In doing so, it freed up his Sunday nights to help Matt.
“This is my eighth year of racing and it’s the first time I’ve had my dad helping me like this,” Matt said. “It’s really nice having him in the pits.”
Next Sunday night will be the first special at the track since it has become a UMP site. The Northern AllStars are scheduled to compete, which should mean about a 30- to 35-car field, possibly including defending UMP national champ Ryan Unzicker. At this writing, Unzicker is committed, but schedules for a driver at his level can always change.
Rounding out the top five behind Bailey and Pierce were Dustin Griffin, Reed and Sheppard. Griffin, the Quincy driver who won the 2011 UMP crate model national title, led the first 16 laps before a caution halted the race. On the restart, Pierce took the lead and Griffin slipped back to third.
WIETHOLDER WINS A DANDY MODIFIED FEATURE
Dave Wietholder won a thrilling modified feature in a three-car scrum that also included runner-up Michael Long and third-place finisher Robbie Reed. Wietholder led flag to flag, despite surrendering the lead on two in-lap occasions to Long late in the race.
All three top cars were not only battling one another in the closing laps, but trying to dodge lapped traffic. Wietholder powered across the finish line .056 of a second ahead of Long. That was the fourth-closest finish in the track’s electronic era that dates to late 2007.
The victory was (unofficially) Wietholder’s first modified feature win at Quincy since July 13, 2008.
Steven DeLonjay, the 2011 track champ, was fourth and Jared Schlipman, the 2010 champ, was fifth.
MIKE MURPHY JR. WINS SLOCUM 50
(Thanks to Bill Martin of the IMCA for providing the following report)
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa — Once Mike Murphy Jr. got into the lead, the race was for second in Saturday’s Deery Brothers Summer Series Slocum 50 special.
Murphy took the $3,000 checkers half a lap ahead of runner-up Tyler Bruening, lapping up to the sixth-place car in the IMCA Late Model tour event at 34 Raceway.
Jay Johnson led the first six times around the track from the track before giving way to the eighth-starting Murphy, who set sail from that point. What proved to be the only caution of the night had come out on lap three and Murphy was lapping cars by the 17th circuit.
The victory was his Deery career second.
Bruening repeated his second-place finish from opening night on Friday. Joel Callahan was third while Ray Guss Jr., Farley winner Andy Eckrich and Jeff Aikey all raced their way from “B” features to the fourth through sixth finishing positions.
Guss passed a dozen cars, Eckrich 10 and Aikey 14.
– Brent Slocum, IMCA Late Model track champion at West Burlington in 2004 and Quincy Raceways in 2002, was remembered with the missing man formation during parade laps. 34 Raceway also raised and contributed more than $1,000 Saturday evening for the scholarship fund in his name that benefits area high school students.
Slocum 50 Winners
2012: Mike Murphy Jr., Colona, Ill.
2011: Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa
2010: Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, Ill.
2009: Jason Frankel, Quincy, Ill.
Slocum 50 Results
1. Mike Murphy Jr.
2. Tyler Bruening
3. Joel Callahan
4. Ray Guss Jr.
5. Andy Eckrich
6. Jeff Aikey
7. Mark Burgtorf
8. Tom Bowling
9. Tom Darbyshire
10. Matt Bailey
Other finishers of note:
18. Joey Gower
SUNDAY NIGHT FEATURE WINNERS
Late models: Matt Bailey, 1st. (Last week’s winner; Justin Reed)
Modifieds: Dave Wietholder, 1st. (Last week’s winner: Steven DeLonjay)
Sport mods: Tony Dunker, 2nd. (Last week’s winner: Tony Dunker)
Stock cars: Aaron Brocksieck, 1st. (Last week’s winner: Abe Huls)
Hobby stocks: Brian Hoener, 1st. (Last week’s winner Jake Powers)
Sport compacts: Kimberly Abbott, 1st. (Last week’s winner: Chuck Fullenkamp)
Late models: Dustin Griffin (1st), Brandon Sheppard (1st).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (1st), Robbie Reed (2nd), John Coultas (1st).
Sport mods: Jim Gillenwater (2nd), Tony Dunker (1st).
Stock cars: Terry Houston (1st).
Hobby stocks: Brian Hoener (1st), Jeremy Buss (1st).
Sport compacts: Mike Hornung Jr. (1st), Chuck Fullenkamp (1st).
Late models: Dustin Griffin (1st).
SUNDAY NIGHT STARS
10 stars: Matt Bailey, who wowed the crowd in the Super Late Model main event by winning with his old IMCA motor. That makes it two in a row for the local guys in this new era of late model racing at the Bullring.
9 stars: Dave Wietholder, who judging by crowd reaction might have been the most popular winner Sunday night following his victory in that slam-bang modified feature battle with Michael Long and Robbie Reed.
8 stars: Dustin Griffin, whose first night at the track this spring almost produced the trifecta. He won his late model heat race and the dash, and then looked primed to add the checkers from the feature before that caution on lap 17.
7 stars: Tony Dunker, whose second straight sport mod feature win officially makes him the man to beat in that series.
6 stars: Brian Hoener, who had the top performance of his career with the flag to flag effort in the hobby stock finale.
5 stars: Aaron Brocksieck, who renewed his rivalry with Terry Houston in the stock car feature. Brocksieck edged Houston for last year’s series title by one point, and edged him again in Sunday night’s main event.
4 stars: Kimberly Abbott, who looked more like her old self in taking the sport compact feature victory. Abbott won the final three main events of 2011, but struggled to a fifth-place finish last week.
3 stars: Michael Long, who finished second in the mod feature a second straight week, but put on his usual display of exciting driving.
2 stars: Jeremy Buss, who ran a strong second to Hoener in the hobby stock feature and continues to establish himself as a title threat.
1 star: Robbie Reed, who was a close third in the mod feature and won his second heat race in as many weeks.
FAST FEATURE LAPS (only the following classes were timed)
Late models: Dustin Griffin, 65.430 mph. (UMP track record: Jeep Van Wormer, 78.376 mph, 2010)
Modifieds: Michael Long, 64.120 mph. (Track record: Michael Long, 73.763 mph, 2010)
Late models: Matt Bailey 135, Justin Reed 135, Brandon Sheppard 125.
Modifieds: Michael Long 140, Steven DeLonjay 135, Robbie Reed 130.
Sport mods: Tony Dunker 80, Joe Bliven 74, Brandon Ruffcorn 73.
Stock cars: Terry Houston 75, Jerry Jansen 73, Aaron Brocksieck 724, Abe Huls 71.
Hobby stocks: Jake Powers 82, Jeremy Buss 81, Brian Hoener 74.
Sport compacts: Chuck Fullenkamp 77, Seth Woodruff 77, Andrew Davis 77, Kimberly Abbott 76.
Total: 88 (89.5 average)
Late models: 17 (19.0 average).
Modifieds: 18 (18.5 average)
Sport mods: 13 (13.5 average)
Stock cars: 9 (10.5 average)
Hobby stocks: 14 (13.5 average)
Sport compacts: 17 (14.5 average)
Total: 13 (21.5 average)
Late models: 1 (1.5 average)
Modifieds: 5 (6.0 average)
Sport mods: 4 (7.5 average)
Stock cars: 0 (1.5 average)
Hobby stocks: 2 (4.0 average)
Sport compacts: 1 (1.0 average)