DeLonjay goes for a piece history — actually 2 pieces

January 14, 2013 14 Comments

Steven DeLonjay

(The following is the fifth of our annual mid-winter looks at the coming Quincy Raceways season, plus a look back to see how we fared with the previous year’s picks. Today we examine the IMCA modifieds.)

UMP modified driver Steven DeLonjay will be putting the pedal to the metal this season in pursuit of a twofold piece of Quincy Raceways history. And I wouldn’t bet against him.

First of all, DeLonjay will be going for his fifth track championship, which would put him in some mighty elite company. Only four other drivers since the track opened in 1975 have accomplished that:

Most track championships
Mark Burgtorf, 14 (all late model)
Hank DeLonjay, 13 (10 “A” modified, 3 sportsman)
Steve Fraise, 9 (all late model)
Steve Carlin, 5 (3 hobby stock, 2 bomber)
Active drivers with 4
Steven DeLonjay (2 UMP modified, 2 hornet)
Terry Gallaher (all late model)
Active drivers with 3
Tony Dunker (2 “B” modified, 1 sport mod)
Lonnie Bailey (2 late model, 1 sportsman)

Secondly, DeLonjay is trying to become the third modified driver with three or more consecutive championships.

Consecutive modified track championships
Hank DeLonjay, 4 (2002-05, all “A” modified)
Sam Burgtorf, 3 (1998-2000, all “A” modified)
Drivers with 2 consecutive modified track championships
Steven DeLonjay (2011-12, UMP modified)
Michael Long (2007-08, one-class modified)
Tony Dunker (2003-04, “B” modified)
Lonnie Carter (1995-96, “B” modified)
Hank DeLonjay (1994-95, “A” modified)

Here’s how we see the UMP modifieds finishing at this point in the preseason:

1. Steven DeLonjay: Challengers better hope hoe does not pick up where he left at the end of last season. DeLonjay won seven second-half races, including four of the final seven to pull away from Jared Schlipman and Dave Wietholder.  DeLonjay finished first or second in 14 of 22 features.

Why he’ll win: He’s been there and he knows how to “points race” late in the season.

Why he won’t: It’s hard to win even one track title, let alone three in a row.

2. Dave Wietholder: He was the top modified driver for almost half of the season, then fell victim to the DeLonjay Smackdown.

3. Michael Long: He finished sixth a year ago and missed five points weeks. If he’s on hand for a couple of more weeks this summer, well … you can do the math.

Dark horse: Jake Griffin. He’s not old enough to drive to the track, but he can certainly drive at the track.

Comeback of the year: Troy Grotz. He got buried in the points early in 2012 due to some wrecks that were not his fault. Look for better results this season.

A LOOK BACK AT HOW WE SAW THE 2012 PRESEASON

This is what we said a year ago at this time, plus with updated comments:

1. Steven DeLonjay: A year ago in this space I said, “I think we are about to see the beginning of the second era of DeLonjay dominance at the Bullring.” Steven proved that forecast true. This year could be chapter No. 2 in what will be an ongoing serial.

(Count one for Stevie Dirt.)

Why he will win: He’s tasted the fruits of that championship and knows what it takes to reach that level. He also has a 13-time track champ as crew chief — his dad, Hank.

(Hank’s on hand again, so watch out, world.)

Why he won’t win: Because there are at least a half dozen other capable drivers of winning the championship Steve-O now possesses.

(True, but DeLonjay was still the best — again — in 2012.)

2. Jared Schlipman: Jared won the 2010 title and it appears he and DeLonjay are developing a great rivalry.

(Hopefully, that rivalry is not over. Is Jared moving to a late model for 2013?)

3. Dave Wietholder: Dave had a solid season in 2011 but was overshadowed by DeLonjay’s exploits. No. 05 should be part of a great points pursuit this summer.

(I just realized I picked Delonjay, Schlipman and Wietholder 1-2-3 a year ago at this time and that’s how they finished. I guess hanging around Joe Bliven for 15 years has helped.)

Dark horse No. 1: Shawn Deering may have made more of a statement last year than he did if not for that horrible month when everything that could have gone wrong did. The law of percentages should be in his favor this time around. Plus, he has a great looking car!

(Shawn had a solid season, finishing fourth in points. He was just overshadowed by the Big Three.)

Dark horse No. 2: If Michael Long races enough to challenge for the championship he’s obviously our choice. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens with that development. Michael has his eyes on championships outside of 8000 Broadway.

(Only Michael Long could miss five points weeks and still finish sixth points.)

Comeback of the year:Tony Dunker. He was my pick in this space a year ago, but did not race that much. This year will be different, and with that winless feature streak monkey off his back I look for Dunker to challenge for the title, not only in this class but the sport mods as well.

(Well, I got part of this right. Dunker owned the sport mods, but said farewell to the UMP mods.)

2012 POINTS LEADERS
Steven DeLonjay, 1,224
Jared Schlipman, 1,140
Dave Wietholder, 1,136
Shawn Deering, 975
Jake Griffin, 962

2011 POINTS LEADERS
Steven DeLonjay, 1,121
Jared Schlipman, 960
Dave Wietholder, 946
Shawn Deering, 919
Jake Griffin, 741

2010 POINTS LEADERS

Jared Schlipman, 869
Michael Long, 819
Steven DeLonjay, 816
Dave Wietholder, 786
Justin Reed, 770

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Comments (14)

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  1. 42 says:

    It is indeed over Dirt.

  2. Wietholder Fan says:

    Really the Delonjay Smackdwon!?, Hows that even possible when he can’t keep any part of his car out of Mr. Wietholder’s 05 car

  3. Another Voice says:

    They always say 8 wheels on the ground is better than 4, slam bang and use the other guys wheels to pass him. We will yet to see how much banging Steven will do this year, probably more than last.

  4. race fan says:

    his new name steve O the clown delonjay cause he drives a race car like a circus clown.

  5. Racefan27 says:

    Nobody likes a winner! So it doesnt matter last seaon is OVER! Whoever wins in the MODS someone will talk smack about them.

  6. not35fan says:

    You no racefan27 that ain’t true a lot off people like a winner when they do it clean but steveo the clown can’t win without taking some1 out we all no that he ain’t no champ he got it gave to him if he would off been sent to the back every time he spun sombody he might off got a top 5 in points

  7. not35fan says:

    Racefan27 I wouldent say that a lot of people like winners steve o the clown ain’t no winnier if the affecials would off put a stop to him running over everybody and put him to the back everytime he did he wouldent of got a top 5 in points

  8. SKIPP says:

    ECHO ……
    .
    ECHO
    .
    ECHO
    .
    SO YER SAYIN STEVE-O WOULDNTA GOT A TOP FIVE IF NOT FOR BAD CALLS HUH. ????
    YEH, AND IF MY AUNT HAD (blank), SHE’D BE MY UNCLE. !!!!!

  9. not35fan says:

    Wow skipp your right she would b your uncle congrats you no your body parts that’s great and its steveO the clown and yes iam saying if he didn’t take some1 out the first 9 weeks of racing like he did and got no punishment 4 it he wouldent off won the points and he would off struggled 4 a top 5

  10. not35fan says:

    O yeah echo echo echo didn’t think it submited the 1st coment I put but atleast I got the point accross submit it tolk it YES did it right this time

  11. Racefan27 says:

    So your saying that there is actually Mod driver who doesnt beat and bang on other cars? If so i call BULLSH@T! They either do or have done it! And if there would happen to be one he probably hasnt won or will win very much. Its kinda part of the class as long as you dont go to far. Did steve get alittle rough yeah sure has he gotten run over in years past yes so i cant say i blame him. Blaming the OFFICALS is just a lame childish excuse! If they picked favorites he would start up front every week and maybe with a whole lap lead! Not35fan you have to be a Cardinals fan cause all you do is make excuses when your team (driver) doesnt win! Get over it that was last year!

  12. not35fan says:

    Yep there is a lot off mod drivers who win and dnt beat on people I understand rubing is racing but when you take some1 out the 1st 9 weeks off racing and nothing happens to you yeah the officials are on your side that’s easy to see. There is nothing we can do about 2012 but 2013 all the other mod drivers including my self should put him in his place early so he dnt tear so many racecars up this year

  13. not35fan says:

    O yeah dnt like the cards I like the reds think the same team you like ain’t it mr softball player that I haven’t seen at qr in idn how many years but can talk smack on the net get over your self

  14. Racefan27 says:

    Im there every sunday! And i dont like the reds either soo you have me mistake for someone else! And if you are racing how would you know if i was in the stands anyway?

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