A few years ago we chronicled the top 10 events of the 2000-09 decade at Quincy Raceways (see the second part of the blog), and since we’re three years into the current 10-year period I thought we’d get a head start on another such list.
Since 2010, here are what I think I have been the most important developments at 8000 Broadway:
1. The arrival of the UMP Super Late Models in 2012: A decade from now, we’ll look back and realize how important this wound up being in the overall future of the track. In the same breath, always keep a warm spot in your dirt-track heart for the IMCA, which served the class very well at Quincy for more than a decade. It was simply time to move on.
2. Bringing back another modified class: I touch on this subject in the 2000-09 decade info that follows, but the sport mods’ time had come and this, too, will prove to be an extremely important decision. By 2015, this series will be averaging more than 20 cars a week.
3. The Paul Holtschlag-Bob Rhinberger ownership team: Very few will ever know how important this alliance was in moving the track forward. The Bullring is on its way to becoming the crown jewel of the region. Trust me on this one.
4. The Dunker Dominance: Tony Dunker’s 15 feature wins in the 2012 sport mod seres was just one off Michael Long’s moder era record of 16 in the modifieds in 2007. His 27 total victories ranks fourth in that same period.
5. The sport compacts: Talk about an often overlooked — but brilliant — move. Who saw the popularity of this series coming?! Stop and think about it. Using that 2015 date as a common thread, there could be four weekly classes at 8000 Broadway averaging 20-plus cars a week — and the sport compacts might end up having the most.
6. The new faces of QR: As the current decade progresses, new faces and personalities are emerging in many of the classes. Look around, in the late models we have The Black Car Superstar (Dustin Griffin), in the modifieds Steven DeLonjay, in the sport mods Tanner Klingele, in the sport compacts a host of young faces are running up front. And look for some new blood in the stocks this season, led by Jake “The Snake” Powers.
7. The end of the hobby stocks:Yes, it was sad. I loved the hobbies, too. But the raw figures showed it was time to pull the plug. Both nationwide and regionally, it was/is a dying class. Those things happen, especially in racing where everything is cyclical. When the shock of the initial announcement wore off, several of the hobby stock regulars grudgingly admitted, “It was time.”
8. The Mayor of Mount Sterling: Terry Houston’s quiet dominance in the stock cars has resulted in two titles in the first three years of the decade and a one-point miss the other. The unofficial Mayor of Mount Sterling could easily be going for a fourth straight championship this season.
9. The retirement of Steve Carlin?: The Cap’n won his fifth track title in 2011 and then only ran a handful of races in 2012. The jury’s still out whether No. 9 will ever return in another class since the hobbies are now gone, but if he is in permanent retirement that means he left the track with more championships than any driver not named Burgtorf, DeLonjay or (Steve) Fraise.
10. Double Duty: When Justin Reed won the 2011 late model track title he became the second driver in track history to win championships in two different classes. Reed also won the 2009 modified crown. The other driver to pull off such a double is Denny Woodworth, who won 2010 late model championship and the 1993 “A” modified title.
We’ll be adding to and subtracting from this configuration as the years accumulate. If you think there’s something that should be on this list right now that I missed, you know the drill. Leave a post and we’ll let everyone take a look.
The following information is taken from “Dirt: A History of Quincy Raceways,” and deals with the top 10 most important/memorable items from the 2000-09 decade:
1. Change in ownership: The Scott family sold the track in 2007 after owning and running the facility for 32 years.
2. The 2007-08 domination of Michael Long: No. 18 won an almost unthinkable 31 features in those two years and 71 overall races.
3. The Burgtorf Dynasty: “Magic Mark” Burgtorf won seven of his 14 track titles in this decade, including three in a row from 2005-07.
4. “Hank the Crank” Knew When to Step Away: Hank DeLonjay was still a force when he retired following the 2006 season, but he opted to go out on top (or at least close to it) and turn his attention to son Steven DeLonjay (who has not done too badly himself). Hank retired with 13 track titles.
5. When Two Became One: After the 2005 season, the “A’ and “B” mods were retooled into one class. I was against the idea at first, but the one-series system morphed into a whale of a class. (But it became obvious a couple of years ago there was room for two modified divisions, and as a result the sport mods are now a welcome part of the weekly show.)
6. Oh What A Night: Aug. 24, 2008 was the evening the modified, stock car and hobby stock series were decided by a point — or less— on the final Sunday night of points racing. The computers and calculators were working overtime in the press box that evening. When the dust — and calculations — had settled, Michael Long, Jeff Mueller and Aaron Brocksieck had won the closely contested championships. Long took the modified title by a point, and Brocksieck did likewise in the hobby stock series. Mueller and Chris Wibbell tied for the stock car championship and were forced to go to a tiebreaker to determine the title. Mueller was declared champ by virtue of having won more features. Overall, that may have been the most exciting night of racing in the 14 years I have been going to the Bullring.
7. The arrival of the stock cars: The stock cars came to Quincy as a weekly series in 2008, and although there have been struggles since 2009, it appears the series is now on solid ground.
8. The “Hell Tour” comes to 8000 Broadway: The track solidified its standing as a major arena in this part of the country when it hosted its first UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour race in July 2006.
9. Electronic scoring arrives: In late 2007, the electronic scoring and timing system was installed and has been a godsend for all involved. We always wondered how fast those cars were going — and now we know.
10. The retirement of Eddie Dieker: The Quincy Raceways Hall of Famer won four track titles between 1999-2005 and then drove off into the sunset in 2006. He still has a small legion of fans at the track who keep hoping he will someday return.