A new team of promoters will be running Quincy Raceways in 2014.
We learned Sunday night a tentative deal has been reached between a three-man group from Jacksonville, Ill., and the track’s current ownership tandem of Paul Holtschlag and Bob Rhinberger.
Last Chance Promotion (LCP) — which consists of Mike Wankel, Tom Casson and Ken Dobson — will be taking over the track once legal counsel on both sides finishes the necessary paperwork. LCP will lease the 20-acre facility at 8000 Broadway. The deal is expected to be concluded around mid-October.
The track was put on the market July 28.
LCP took over the Jacksonville Speedway in 2012 after that quarter-mile facility was on the verge of closing and in less than two seasons has turned it into successful and popular attraction. The track is scheduled to host a World of Outlaws sprint-car show in 2014.
“There will be some big shows coming to Quincy in the future,” Dobson said Sunday night. “Quincy Raceways is a track with a rich history of great racing, great race fans and great support from the community. The track has the ability to be considered one of the premier dirt-track racing venues in the Midwest.”
Dobson is also the director of the Midwest Open Wheel Association (MOWA), which fields the big-motored 410 sprints that appeared at Quincy Raceways Sept. 1.
Quincy Raceways will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and the LCP partners said they are anxious to start planning for that historic season.
“We will look at all options to provide the best racing and best entertainment possible,” Wankel said. “We’re all dirt-track fans who have also owned race cars. We don’t want to see dirt tracks (disappear).”
Holtschlag and Rhinberger were equally pleased a deal had been reached, although no terms on the lease — length or dollar amount — were made public. When Holtschlag and Rhinberger put the track up for sale, lease or lease to buy in late July they stated it could be leased for $36,000 per year.
“I want to see racing here,” Holtschlag said. “I just don’t have the time to devote to it any longer.”
Holtschlag said at the time the track was put on the market if no deal could be reached by next season Quincy Raceways would be closed, except for a handful of special shows. But he insisted that he was confident another party could be found to operate the .29-mile, semi-banked track and devote the necessary attention the entire facility needed.
Five parties expressed interest in the track by early August, but that list was quickly trimmed to two serious inquiries. By the first of September, it was LCP showing the most interest and a sincere desire to take over the track, according to Holtschlag.
“Everyone we have talked with in Quincy, from people in the community to the racers themselves, have been cooperative and excellent to work with,” Dobson said. “Everyone wants to see Quincy Raceways succeed. We want to build a spirit of cooperation between all involved.”
Dobson said as soon as the legal work is out of the way, plans for 2014 will begin so drivers and fans alike will know what to expect next season.
Holtschlag and Rhinberger were the sixth ownership group to oversee the track, and the fourth since January 2007 when Bob Scott sold the site to Tony Rhinberger and Mike Karhoff. The sale ended the Scott family’s 32-year association with the track. The late Albert Scott, who died at age 87 in August 2000, founded the track in 1975 and was directly involved in its operation until three years before his death.
Quincy Raceways Ownership Timeline
1975-93: Albert Scott
1993-2007: Bob Scott
2007-08: Tony Rhinberger-Mike Karhoff
2008-09: Tony Rhinberger
2009-11: Tony Rhinberger-Paul Holtschlag
2011-2013: Paul Holtschlag-Bob Rhinberger
HALL OF FAME INDUCTIONS
The third class of of Quincy Raceways Hall of Fame inductees was presented to those in attendance Sunday night. Drivers Lonnie Carter, Dick Crane and Tom Long were joined by friends of racing Maroline Long, Bill Bair and Joe Gower. Gem City Ford was also inducted as a long-time sponsor of the track.
Crane, the 1986 late model track champ, may have summed up the experience best. He addressed the crowd from in front of the start-finish line, saying, “You, the fans, are the reason we do what we do.”
Carter, a two-time “B” modified champion at the track in the mid-1990s, said “it had been a long time” since he had navigated the tight corners at the Bullring, but the old track at 8000 Broadway will always be a home away from home.
“All of you are my family,” he told the fans. “When we lost (our son) Chuck, you held me up and did not let me fall.”
Chuck Carter was the 1993 “B” modified track champ and was leading the points in 1994 when he died from a work-related accident. Lonnie went on to win track titles in 1995-96.
Long drew a large cheer for his simple, heart-felt response.
“I ain’t got no speech, just … thank you,” said the driver who once strung together 13 consecutive top-10 points finishes.
Maroline Long is the mother of current modified-late model driver Michael Long and former modified driver Mary Kay Allen. When she accepted her Hall of Fame plaque, she looked at Carter, Long and Crane and smiled.
“I used to score all of the drivers — and argue with them, too — but that’s what made it fun,” she said.
Hall of Fame classes
2013: Dick Crane, Tom Long, Lonnie Carter, Maroline Long, Bill Bair, Joe Gower, Gem City Ford.
2012: Terry Gallaher, Eddie Dieker, Francis “Wild Man” Kelly, Gary Dreyer, Charlie Alderton, Glenda and Paul Altgilbers, Roger and Dorothy Yeager, Rinella Inc.
2011: Mark Burgtorf, Hank DeLonjay, Steve Fraise, Scott family, Don Hummel, Refreshment Services Pepsi.
ON THE TRACK
Only two classes were racing for points Sunday night and those series leaders further padded their margins with just three weeks remaining on the schedule.
Late models: Denny Woodworth continued to motor toward his second series title with a fourth-place feature finish behind Brendan Sheppard, Jason Perry and McKay Wenger. Woodworth holds a 95-point (842-747) advantage over Mark Burgtorf, who finished seventh in the feature after being sidelined with less than two laps to go with a flat tire.
Modifieds: Points leader Steven DeLonjay recovered from a nasty crash in the dash to finish second in the feature. DeLonjay had to start at the tail of a 21-car lineup, but climbed through the field during the 25-lap main event to finish runner-up to flag-to-flag leader Justin Reed.
DeLonjay, seeking a third straight championship, has a 64-point (1,060-996) lead over Dave Wietholder, who blew an engine in the dash. Wietholder was able to borrow a car to run the feature, but a mid-race crash sent him to the pits in 14th place.
The sport mods, stock cars and sport compacts did not run for points.
Sport mods: Tony Dunker won his seventh straight feature, the most in the modern era (since 1999) at the track and made it 29 straight weeks of finishing either first or second. Dunker, whose streak dates to mid-2012, has led 146 of a possible 271 feature laps.
Stock cars: Abe Huls won his third consecutive stock car feature and fourth in the last five weeks. Huls, who also won the stock car heat race, now has 16 total wins, a single-season series record.
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra rolled to his fifth straight sport compact checkered flag. Becerra has led 54 of the last 60 feature laps. Becerra, who has 14 total wins (features and heats), needs three more to tie Steven DeLonjay’s four-cylinder track record of 17 established in 2007 in the old hornet division.
SUNDAY NIGHT RECAP
Late models: Brandon Sheppard (4th)
Sept. 1: Brandon Sheppard
Aug. 25: Michael Long
Aug. 18: 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: Justin Reed (1st)
Sept. 1: Dave Wietholder
Aug. 25: Steven DeLonjay
Aug. 18: 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 (11th)
Aug. 25: Tony Dunker
Aug. 18: 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 (7th)
Aug. 25: Abe Huls
Aug. 18: 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 (7th)
Sept. 1: Austen Becerra
Aug. 25: Austen Becerra
Aug. 18: 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: Denny Woodworth (2nd).
Modifieds: Keith Pratt (4th), Shawn Deering (4th).
Sport mods: Jeff DeLonjay (5th), Tony Dunker (10th).
Stock cars: Abe Huls (9th).
Sport compacts: Jarrett Dunker (1st), Brandon Lambert (4th).
Late models: Brandon Sheppard (2nd).
Modifieds: Justin Reed (1st).
Fast feature laps
Late models: Jason Perry, 75.390 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: Jason Perry, 75.390 mph, Sept. 8.)
Modifieds: Justin Reed, 67.551 mph. (Track record: Michael Long, 73.763 mph, Aug. 22, 2010; 2013 best: Steven DeLonjay, 70.900 mph, June 20.)
Sport mods: (Track record and 2013 best: Tony Dunker, 65.385 mph, July 2.)
Fast qualifying times
Late models: Mark Burgtorf, 75.417 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: Kenny Wallace, 69.712 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: Last Chance Promotion, the three-man group who will soon be taking over the operation and promotion of Quincy Raceways. Mike Wankel, Tom Casson and Ken Dobson are legitimately excited about the future of 8000 Broadway. The coming offseason will be an exciting one.
9 stars: Paul Holtschlag and Bob Rhinberger, who have operated the track the past two years. Hopefully, fans will realize some day if not for these two gentlemen the track would have probably closed. They did their best to not only keep it open but present a quality product.
8 stars: Sunday night’s crowd, for showing much-needed patience before and during Sunday night’s show. Anything that possibly could have gone wrong did.
7 stars: Justin Reed, for his flag-to-flag modified run to the checkers.
6 stars: Steven DeLonjay, who finished second in the mod main event. He improved his starting position 19 spots.
5 stars: Chris Spalding, for his strongest overall run of the season. The new dad finished third behind Reed and DeLonjay in the mod feature.
4 stars: Tony Dunker, who now owns the modern era record for most consecutive features won (7).
3 stars: Brandon Sheppard, who simply owns Quincy Raceways. Despite running here less than half the season, B-Shepp is tied with Michael Long for late model features won (4). Sheppard also more overall wins (8) than any other late model driver.
2 stars: Jason Perry, who the way he was running Sunday night in the late model feature could have probably beaten any driver in the state — except Brendan Sheppard.
1 star (tie): Austen Becerra and Abe Huls, who continued their torrid streaks in the sport compacts and stock cars, respectively.
Late models: 13. (Season average 16.1)
Modifieds: 22. (Season average 18.4)
Sport mods: 13. (Season average 12.7)
Stock cars: 6. (Season average 11.1)
Sport compacts: 13. (Season average 11.7)
Late models: 4. (46 for season).
Modifieds: 11. (93 for season)
Sport mods: 4. (104 for season)
Stock cars: 0. (56 for season)
Sport compacts: 1. (51 for season)