Shawn Deering, one of the most popular drivers at Quincy Raceways, won the first feature of his modified career Sunday night and set off a celebration in the pits that may be still be in progress.
“I may not sleep tonight,” said Deering, shortly after ending his well-documented winless streak.
The 39-year-old Deering’s victory ended a winless run that covered eight years and 132 features.
“It feels like a great weight has been lifted,” he said. “Now that the gates are opened, I hope the flooding begins. My only goal is to win more races.”
Deering’s first victory did not come easy, even though he led the final nine laps — the first laps he’s led this season. While running second to Dave Wietholder, the two got into each other between turns three and four on lap 17.
Wietholder had to retire to the pits, three laps after series points leader Steven DeLonjay — a 10-time feature winner this season – had to be towed from the track following a mechanical failure on the back stretch and ensuing crash with Justin Reed and Jake Griffin.
“I think Dave goot loose and went sideways, and I locked my car up getting on the brakes,” Deering was said. “Nothing that happened was on purpose. We were both just going for the win. It was just hard racing.”
Deering was on the pole on the restart and was able to keep his closest challengers, Mike VanDeriet and Chris Spalding, at a comfortable distance. Deering said the final few laps were like a blur, his only thoughts concentrating on not overdriving his car.
“Actually, I probably underdrove the car the last couple of laps,” he said. “I was just trying to be careful. I had beaten myself so many times in the past with (mistakes) … it is such a relief. I have so many people to thank for sticking with me.
“For years, I have watched guys like Steven DeLonjay, Michael Long, Dave (Wietholder) and others win races … I just wanted to be part. Those guys make you better just racing against them.
“I knew we could do it,” Deering said. “Tonight, it all came together.”
Yes it did, Shawn. Yes it did.
DeLonjay held on to the modified points lead (850-814) over Wietholder. Deering, who is third in points (726), could establish a career high in that area. His best points finishes have been fourth in both 2012 and 2011.
WILD AND CRAZY LATE MODEL FINISH
If not for Deering’s victory, the story of the night would have easily been the late model battle between Bobby Pierce, Brandon Sheppard and Mark Burgtorf.
Pierce won his second straight feature at the Bullring, edging UMP Super Late Model rival Sheppard by .031 of a second, with Burgtorf a close third 1.19 seconds off the pace.
Sheppard led the first 28 laps of the 30-lap main event before Pierce finally ran him down on the high side. Sheppard stuck to bottom feeding while Pierce systematically cut into his lead, one-tenth of a second at a time over the closing half-dozen laps or so.
Pierce’s .031-of-a-second victory was the closest late-model finish (and tied for third-closest overall) in the six-year history of the track’s electronic era. The electronic timing and scoring system was installed in 2007.
The closest finishes in the last six years:
Winner (Runner-up), Margin of Victory, Date
1. Steven DeLonjay (Dave Wietholder), 0.010, July 11, 2010 (modifieds)
2. Steven DeLonjay (Mark Burgtorf), 0.024, Sept. 25, 2011 (modifieds)
3-tie. Bobby Pierce (Brandon Sheppard), 0.031, Aug. 18, 2013 (late models)
3-tie. Tony Dunker (Joe Bliven), 0.031, Aug. 28, 2011 (sport mods)
5. Dave Wietholder (Michael Long), 0.056, April 8, 2012 (modifieds)
6. Justin Reed (Steven DeLonjay), 0.087, May 31, 2009. (modifieds)
7. Jake Wenig (John Oliver Jr.), 0.096, May 18, 2008. (stock cars)
8. Tom Goble (Justin Reed), 0.116, June 14, 2009. (late models)
9. Mark Burgtorf (Ricky Frankel), 0.123, June 30, 2013 (late models)
10. Michael Long (Mark Burgtorf), 0.126, Sept. 5, 2011 (modifieds)
Denny Woodworth maintained his late model series points lead over Burgtorf with a strong fourth-place run. Woodworth unofficially leads Burgtorf by 18 points 652-634.
AROUND THE TRACK
Here’s a quick look at the rest of Sunday night’s action:
Sport mods: Tony Dunker kept on winning and Tanner Klingele kept on finishing second. Dunker won his ninth feature and Klingele ran second for the third straight week. Dunker (475), Klingele (440) and Charles Van Zandt (407) are setting the points pace.
Stock cars: Abe Huls took another big step toward the series title by collecting his fifth checkered flag. Brandon Savage and Terry Houston filled out the podium finishers. Huls (457), Houston (441), Jake Powers (428) and Jerry Jansen (428) are the points leaders.
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra’s fourth feature win — and second straight — unofficially pulled him even with third-place finisher Kim Abbott in the points derby. Another contender, Pat Dunker, sustained a serious blow to his championship hopes when he crashed four laps into the main event and had to settle for sixth place. Becerra (479), Abbott (479) and Dunker (472) are the top three in points.
THIS WEEK’S MEDAL WINNERS
Gold medal: DRONE
#1 LOOKED LIKE TERRY HOUSTON WAS GONNA GET ONE. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO SEE HIM IN VICTORY LANE.
#2 WHATS UP WITH A BLACK CAR AND NO NUMBERS ON IT. GRIFFIN SIGNS MAKES WRAPS AND WALMART SELLS BRIGHT GREEN DUCK TAPE.
#3 AS STATED LAST WEEK , DUNKER WAXES THE FIELD AGAIN. I MISSED THE DELONJAY WEITHOLDER THOUGH. I BETTER BET ON 35 NEXT WEEK. OR LONG IF HE COMES BACK TO PLAY IN MODS.
#4 SKIPPER CAME UP SHORT AFTER A BAD NIGHT AT BURLINGTON.
#5 WHY DID PIERCE GET TO PARK WHERE ALL THE LOCALS GOT RAN OFF FROM A FEW WEEKS AGO.?
POST SCRIPT : NICE TO SEE THAT PRATT KID BACK IN ACTION.
DRONE IS WATCHING”
Silver medal: Fordracer06
“DRONE That is a pretty easy bet to make on your part if you look at the odds. Lets just say there are 60 cars total in all classes and of those cars 4 are Ford powered. (Long, Burgtorf, Houston, Jansen) That would give you a 93.3% chance of winning the bet. Why don’t you try something a little more daring and get in a car a race!
Ford: The fastest oval in racing”
Bronze medal: Boomer
“If some of the people who comment on here were 1/2 as smart as they think they are, they would have enough spare change to buy the bull ring, and run it like the Geniuses they think they are. JMO.”
ONE YEAR AGO
Late models: Mark Burgtorf won his fourth feature of the season by 3,773 seconds over Kevin Weaver, the second-largest margin of victory of the year to that point. Eventual track champ Jason Perry finished eighth in the 17-car field.
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay won his seventh main event and took the series points lead in the process. DeLonjay went on to win his second straight series title. The mods suffered through a 14-caution night.
Sport mods: Tony Dunker’s 11th feature victory further cemented his track championship as he built a 45-point lead over Bobby Anders.
Stock cars: Taco Larsen won his first feature of the year over runner-up Abe Huls and third-place (and eventual track champ) Terry Houston. Only seven stock cars were on hand.
Sport compacts: Jeff DeLonjay and Jim Brown ran one-two in the feature, just ahead of Jake Powers, who went on to win his first track title.
SUNDAY NIGHT RECAP
Late models: Bobby Pierce
Aug. 11: Bobby Pierce
Aug. 4: Michael Long
July 21: Brandon Sheppard
July 14: Mark Burgtorf
July 7: Michael Long
July 2: Shannon Babb
June 30: Mark Burgtorf
June 2: Michael Long
May 19: Justin Reed
May 12: Brandon Sheppard
April 28: Ricky Frankel
April 21: Chad Simpson
April 14: Jerry Lierly .
Modifieds: Shawn Deering
Aug. 11: Steven DeLonjay
Aug. 4: Steven DeLonjay
July 21: Steven DeLonjay
July 14: Steven DeLonjay
July 7: Dave Wietholder
July 2: Steven DeLonjay
June 30: Steven DeLonjay
June 2: Rusty Griffaw
May 19: Steven DeLonjay
May 12: Steven DeLonjay
April 28: Steven DeLonjay
April 21: Michael Long
April 14: Steven DeLonjay
Sport mods: Tony Dunker
Aug. 11: Tony Dunker
Aug. 4: Tony Dunker
July 21: Tony Dunker
July 14: Tony Dunker
July 7: Jeff DeLonjay
July 2: Tony Dunker
June 30: Bobby Anders
June 2: Jeff DeLonjay
May 19: Tony Dunker
May 12: Tony Dunker
April 28: Bobby Anders
April 14: Tony Dunker
Stock cars: Abe Huls
Aug. 11: Brandon Savage
Aug. 4: Abe Huls
July 21: Terry Houston
July 14: Brandon Savage
July 7: Kevin Tomlinson
June 30: Abe Huls
June 2: Abe Huls
May 19: Terry Houston
May 12: Jim Lynch
April 28: Abe Huls
April 14: Terry Houston
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra
Aug. 11: Austen Becerra
Aug. 4: Laine Van Zant
July 21: Pat Dunker
July 14: Pat Dunker
July 7: Laine Van Zant
June 30: Austem Becerra
June 2: Michael Grossman
May 19: Laine Van Zant
May 12: Pat Dunker
April 28: Austen Becerra
April 21: Pat Dunker
April 14: Craig Bangert
Late models: Dustin Griffin (1st).
Modifieds: Shawn Deering (3rd), Justin Reed (1st).
Sport mods: Joe Hooper (2nd), Tony Dunker (9th).
Stock cars: Abe Huls (8th), Terry Houston (5th).
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra (6th).
Late models: Brandon Sheppard (1st).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (7th).
Fast feature laps
Late models: Mark Burgtorf, 71.137 mph. (UMP era 2012-13 track record: Brian Shirley 77.754 mph, Sept. 16, 2012; Overall track record: Jeep Van Wormer 78.376 mph, July 11, 2009; 2013 best: Ricky Frankel, 72.149 mph, June 2.)
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay, 68.124 mph. (Track record: Michael Long, 73.763 mph, Aug. 22, 2010; 2013 best: Steven DeLonjay, 70.900 mph, June 20.)
Sport mods: Tony Dunker, 65.047 mph. (Track record and 2013 best: Tony Dunker, 65.385 mph, July 2.)
Fast qualifying times
Late models: Bobby Pierce, 75.867 mph. (Top 2013 speed and best in UMP era at track: Brandon Sheppard, 79.361 mph, July 28, 2012; Overall track record: Will Vaught, Crane, Mo., 82.046 mph, July 3, 2009).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay, 67.442 mph. (Top 2013 speed and best since qualifying began in late 2012: Dave Wietholder, 70.365 mph, July 28, 2012).
Sunday night stars
10 stars: Shawn Deering, who said his crew “found something” in the car a couple of weeks ago. Since then, Deering has been fast qualifier, won a heat race and Sunday night ended that 132-feature losing streak.
9 stars: Bobby Pierce, who won an electric late model feature by .031 of a second.
8 stars: Brandon Sheppard, who was runner-up to Pierce.
7 stars: Abe Huls, for a dominating stock-car performance. He won his series-best fifth feature and eighth heat race.
6 stars: Austen Becerra, who has pulled even with Kim Abbott in the sport compact points race. Becerra won his second straight feature.
5 stars: Tony Dunker, who is now officially Tanner Klingele’s worst nightmare.
4 stars: Tanner Klingele, who has now finished second in the sport mod feature three straight weeks and four of the last five.
3 stars: Keith Pratt, whose fourth-place finish in the modified feature meant he improved his starting position 15 places, which ties for the fourth-best showing in that category since we started keeping track in 2009. Pratt’s 15-place jump was the most since Robbie Reed’s 16 in 2010. The record is 19, belonging to Steven DeLonjay in 2009.
2 stars: Brandon Savage, for finishing second in the stock-car main event. The Macho Man has finished first or second six of the past seven weeks. That’s not exactly on par with Tony Dunker’s 27 consecutive weeks of finishing first or runner-up, but it’s not too shabby either.
1 star: Mark Burgtorf, for a strong third-place late model run. Burgtorf’s Sunday night earnings pushed him over the $7,000 mark for the season, the first driver to reach that figure this year.
Late models: 11.
Sport mods: 13.
Stock cars: 11.
Sport compacts: 8.
Late models: 3. (The most since July 7.)
Modifieds: 11. (A season high.)
Sport mods: 5. (The first class to reach 100 yellow flags for the season.)
Stock cars: 1. (The fewest since June 30.)
Sport compacts: 7. (Equals April 14 season high.)