Control the bottom, control the race

July 7, 2014 23 Comments

quincy-raceways-2014When Steven DeLonjay controls the bottom, he normally controls the race.

And following Sunday night, DeLonjay might also be in control of the modified points race in his pursuit of a fourth straight series championship at Quincy Raceways.

DeLonjay, the 22-year-old who has already won five track titles — including two in the introductory four-cylinder class — may have taken a major step toward another when he won Sunday night’s midseason championship race.

Steven DeLonjay

Steven DeLonjay

DeLonjay took control of the 25-lap midseason feature on lap three when he wrestled the lead away from Dave Wietholder. DeLonjay spent the final 22 laps hugging the bottom line, a strategy both he and his father, 13-time track champ Hank DeLonjay, have used to their benefit over the years.

DeLonjay reached the checkers a comfortable 2.46 seconds in front of Wietholder, Michale Long, Robbie Reed and Keith Pratt.

“My dad (Hank is his son’s crew chief) set the car up for the bottom, and it worked well down there,” understated DeLonjay.

The victory was DeLonjay’s third of the season, but first since going back-to-back May 18 and June 1.

“I feel like I needed this one,” DeLonjay said. “It felt good to come out and get a win.”

And build his points lead.

DeLonjay now has a 40-point (531-491) advantage over Wietholder. Long is third (435) and Reed fourth (428).

Wietholder was disappointed with the runner-up finish, his fourth in the last five features, but also realistic.

“I’ll take what I can get,” he said. “Steven’s tough to beat when he’s on the bottom. Every time I got something going up top there was a caution.”

Jason Perry

Jason Perry

DeLonjay’s midseason championship win was his second straight and third in the last four years.

Other midseason championship race winners were Jason Perry in late models, Tony Dunker in sport mods, Abe Huls in stock cars and Austen Becerra in sport compacts.

NEVER TOO LATE

Perry spent most of the late model feature chasing Mark Burgtorf, who appeared to have his second straight — and eighth overall — midseason championship race victory in hand.

And then came a late caution in the 30-lap finale.

The yellow flag drew the field together for a lap 27 restart and Perry was able to run down Burgtorf by commanding the low line and keeping Burgtorf high. Perry got around Burgtorf on lap 28 and led the final three circuits for his first midseason championship race victory.

Perry beat Burgtorf to the finish line by 0.011 of a second, the second-closest finish in the track’s electronic era, which dates to late 2007. Burgtorf’s second-place finish was his fourth in the last five features.

“That caution bunched us together,” Perry said. “I felt sorry for Mark. He had make a decision whether to go high or low, and when he did (go high), I went low.”

Justin Reed, Robby Warner and Denny Woodworth filled out the top five.

TOP 10 CLOSEST FEATURE FINISHES since late 2007

1. Steven DeLonjay (Dave Wietholder), 0.010, July 11, 2010 (modifieds)
2. Jason Perry (Mark Burgtorf), 0.011, July 6, 2014 (late models)
3. Steven DeLonjay (Mark Burgtorf), 0.024, Sept. 25, 2011 (modifieds)
4-tie. Bobby Pierce (Brandon Sheppard), 0.031, Aug. 18, 2013 (late models)
4-tie. Tony Dunker (Joe Bliven), 0.031, Aug. 28, 2011 (sport mods)
6. Tony Dunker (Tanner Klingele), 0.041, July 6, 2014 (sport mods)
7. Dave Wietholder (Michael Long), 0.056, April 8, 2012 (modifieds)
8. Steven DeLonjay (Dave Wietholder), 0.058, Aug. 19, 2012 (modifieds)
9. Justin Reed (Steven DeLonjay), 0.087, May 31, 2009 (modifieds)
10. Jake Wenig (John Oliver Jr.), 0.096, May 18, 2008 (stock cars)

ANOTHER CLOSE FINISH

Tony Dunker

Tony Dunker

Dunker put on a last-lap charge to edge Tanner Klingele at the finish by 0.041 of a second, the sixth-closest finish in the electronic era. Dunker, Klingele and eventual third-place finisher Brandon Lennox were all going for the lead in the closing laps and all three took turns leading the race.

“The track was slicked up, just like we like it,” Dunker said. “The track was awesome — again.”

Klingele, although just 19, has raced full-time since 2009, first in a hobby stock and for the past three seasons in a sport mod. He has yet to collect his feature victory in a sport mod, but now has eight runner-up finishes.

“We just haven’t been able to seal the deal,” Klingele said. “We’ll get a win at some point.”

IT’S HULS — AGAIN

Abe Huls

Abe Huls

Honest Abe Huls won his third straight stock car midseason championship race and fourth in five years. He overtook Beau Taylor on lap 17 of the 18-lap main event.

Huls (329) holds a narrow lead over third-place finisher Jim Lynch (328) in the points race.

“It should be an interesting second half of the season,” Huls said.

Taylor praised Huls afterward.

“It wasn’t the finish I wanted — but I’ll take it,” said Taylor, who led the feature for 15 laps. “Abe can run — and win — anywhere.”

Lynch let it be known he’s in it for the long haul this season, his first at Quincy Raceways.

“I’m running for points, and to put on a good show,” he said. “If I was just running for wins, I would have raced a lot rougher.”

IT’S BECERRA — AGAIN

Becerra won his seventh sport compact feature of the year and his second straight midseason championship race. Brandon Lambert was second, Kim Abbott third.

recentwinnersmidseasonRECENT MIDSEASON CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WINNERS
Late models
2014: Jason Perry
2013: Mark Burgtorf
2012: Dustin Griffin
2011: Keith Pratt
2010: Robby Warner
Modifieds
2014: Steven DeLonjay
2013: Steven DeLonjay
2012: Michael Long
2011: Steven DeLonjay
2010: Vance Wilson
Sport mods:
2014: Tony Dunker
2013: Bobby Anders
2012: Tony Dunker
(2012 first full season of sport mods)
Stock cars
2014: Abe Huls
2013: Abe Huls
2012: Abe Huls
2011: Aaron Brocksieck
2010: Abe Huls
Sport compacts
2014: Austen Becerra
2013: Austen Becerra
2012: Mike Hornung Jr.
2011: Robert Thompson
(sport compacts debuted in 2011)

SUNDAY NIGHT RECAP

winners14Feature winners
Late models: Jason Perry (1st).
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay (3rd).
Sport mods: Tony Dunker (1st).
Stock cars: Abe Huls (3rd).
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra (7th).
MOWA sprints: Chris Urish, Elkhart, Ill.

Heat winners
Late models: Justin Reed (2nd), Jason Perry (2nd).
Modifieds: Michael Long (3rd), Steven DeLonjay (4th).
Sport mods: Tony Dunker (2nd), Aaron Brocksieck (4th).
Stock cars: Brandon Savage (3rd), Abe Huls (2nd).
Sport compacts: Bryce Baker (2nd), Brandon Lambert (2nd).
MOWA sprints: Jerrod Hull, Chris Urish, Jeremy Standridge.

Points leaders (unofficial)
Late models: Mark Burgtorf 410, Denny Woodworth 383, Ricky Frankel 306, Justin Reed 290.
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay 531, Dave Wietholder 491, Michael Long 435, Robbie Reed 428.
Sport mods: Tony Dunker 348, Bobby Anders 332, Brad Holtmeyer 328, Joey Gower 320, Tanner Klingele 317.
Stock cars: Abe Huls 329, Jim Lynch 328, Brandon Savage 321, Jake Powers 313.
Sport compacts: Austen Becerra 352, Kim Abbott 335, Bryce Baker 318, Brandon Lambert 312.

FAST TIMES

fast-tietimesQualifying
Late models: Justin Reed, 76.299 mph (fastest of season).
– Overall track record: Will Vaught, Crane, Mo., 82.406 mph, 12.669 seconds, July 3, 2009. (UMP Hell Tour qualifying.)
– UMP weekly series record: Brandon Sheppard, New Berlin, Ill., 79.361 mph, July 28, 2013.
Modifieds: Michael Long, 70.125 mph (fastest of season)
– UMP weekly series record: Dave Wietholder, Liberty, Ill., 70.365 mph, July 28, 2013.

Feature Laps
Late models: Bo Brockway, 66.160 mph.
– Overall track record: Jeep Van Wormer, Pinconning, Mich., 78.376 mph, July 11, 2010.)
– UMP weekly series record: Brian Shirley, Springfield, Ill., 77.754 mph, Sept. 16, 2012.
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay, 64.133 mph.
– UMP weekly series record: Michael Long, Quincy, Ill., 73.763 mph, Aug. 22, 2010.
Sport mods: Tony Dunker, 60.754 mph.
– Track record: Tony Dunker, 65.976 mph, Sept. 30, 2012.

SUNDAY NIGHT STARS
top-10-1410 stars: Jason Perry, who trailed for 27 laps in the late model feature. Fortunately, they race 30.
9 stars: Tony Dunker, who emerged from that three-car scrum in the sport mod finale for his first feature victory of the season.
8 stars: Steven DeLonjay, whose win may not have been as spectacular looking as what Perry or Dunker turned in, but Steve-O’s victory had the edge in dominance.
7 stars: Abe Huls, whose Sunday night win was his third straight midsedason championship race win and fourth in the last five years.
6 stars: Austen Becerra, whose feature victory was his seventh of the season. Is there any doubt the Mighty Becerra will be the first driver to clinch a championship this summer?
5 stars: Zippee, the longtime Quincy Raceways mascot who made his return to the track Sunday night. Now all we need is his freckled cousin Zappee to come back.
4 stars: Robby Warner, whose first late model night of racing this season resulted in an impressive fourth-place feature finish.
3 stars: Tanner Klingele, who missed his first sport mod feature win by a the blink of an eye.
2 stars: Tim and Emily Miller, who spent their first anniversary in the press box at Quincy Raceways running the scoreboard.
1 star: The Kennyburgers at the concession stand Sunday night were the best of the season. Just the right amount of seasoning.

CAR COUNTS
Late models: 10. Season average 12.3.
Modifieds: 14. Season average 13.9.
Sport mods: 11. Season average 14.4.
Stock cars: 11. Season average 10.4.
Sport compacts: 14. Season average 10.3.
Total: 81 (including MOWA sprints). Note: Sunday night was the first time this season all five weekly classes had 10 or more cars.

CAUTIONS
caution-tape2Late models: 2. 12 for season.
Modifieds: 10. 48 for season.
Sport mods: 2. 47 for season.
Stock cars: 3. 31 for season.
Sport compacts: 1. 14 for season.
Total: 22 (including MOWA sprints).

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Comments (23)

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  1. TEAMFOURBOSS says:

    I POST HERE TODAY…TO PUBLICLY APOLOGIZE TO MR JAKE CROXTON FOR ACCUSING HIM OF GOOFING UP THE RESTART LINE-UP IN LAST WEEKS SPORTMOD FEATURE. THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE ARE NOW KNOWN & WILL REMAIN ANONYMOUS

    #3

    NOW THATS HOW YOU PREP A RACE TRACK TOMMY DIRT!!
    YOU KEEP GIVIN US THOSE NICE TRACKS I MITE SEND YOU AN X-MAS CARD

  2. Keith Pratt says:

    Tony, awesome race and I loved the track too. But don’t you think it would have been the exact same without all the “extra” prep?

    Way too much time wasted watering the track! All that prep during a ridiculous intermission lasted 5 laps in the sprint car race. Thank god the racers put on an awesome show to save Quincy Raceways from a poor show. Ending a show at 11pm on a Sunday is poor management. Maybe try starting on time for the first time this year. I could keep going but I’m sure my point is made.

  3. Gene says:

    It is very obvious that Mr Eighinger is not an open wheel fan but it would be nice to read a little recap of the MOWA races and finish line up. He seems to be totally opposed to even mentioning the car count for the sprint cars. He makes it so you have to calculate the number of sprint in the show. I think we should expect an informational recap of all classes running Mr Eighanger is this asking to much?

  4. speedo says:

    I agree Keith, Bathrooms on pit side where nasty, no toilet paper either, what a joke

  5. TEAMFOURBOSS says:

    HAFTA AGREE THERE K.P. TOOK A PEEK AT TRACK AFTER HEATS WERE DONE..ONLY ROTERRA’D TOP 8 FT N I TOLD THE CREW “THATL BE GONE IN 10 SPRINT LAPS”
    LED TO SPRINT FLIP & WORKIN TRACK BACK IN.
    WASTE OF 30 TO 40 MINS? QUIT POSSIBLY BUT WILL TAKE THAT TRACK 7 DAYS A WEEK

    #3

  6. Kenny D says:

    Yes Speedo. You are correct and sorry about the toilets. As Keith said, there were some bad management decisions by the promoter this weekend. Most of which were in some way related to us having used the place for 4 straight nights. Lesson learned.

    When the Quad group called a few weeks ago looking for a track because another one had pulled out of a scheduled event, we more or less gave them the keys to QR to have a place to hold their event. It seemed harmless on paper, and they were a great group of people to work with. But… two unexpected issues that came from that decision:

    1. They didn’t get done racing their Quads until 11:00 Sat night, which seriously limited Tommy’s ability to get water into the track early.

    2. A couple hundred people camped out in your pits for two days tends to fill up the porta potties, and those aren’t getting serviced on a Sunday. Our servicer of those does a great job keeping them emptied etc., so it’s something you don’t even think about or have on your checklist each week because the job just gets done. Extremely sorry for the inconvenience there. It’s been added to the list of considerations now.

  7. spike11 says:

    I’m sure Pratt and TeamFour could run the raceway better get the keys from Dunker and put on a show!
    Let’s see if you can do it!!

  8. Keith Pratt says:

    Sorry spike! I (sure Tony is too) am busy working on my racecar every night. I am a racecar driver, they are promoters, Stevie D is a writer, and you are a troll.

  9. spike11 says:

    Sorry Pratt but at least the promoters are giving you a place to race every Sunday so you can show your off your racing skills and all you can do is bash them and I havnt heard the promoters bash any of the drivers so sounds like all you want to is complain!!
    Good luck next Sunday
    Don’t forget you need to turn left not right

  10. TEAMFOURBOSS says:

    NO BASHING HERE BUD..I LOVE THE BLACK TRACKS..HELL TOMMY DIRT PROLLY STILL HAS A RED MARK ON HIS BACK TODAY FROM ME PATTING HIM ON THE BACK LAST 2 WEEKS.
    I DONT VOICE MY CONCERNS PUBLICLY I GO STRAIT TO THE BOSSMAN KENNY D

    #3

  11. seighinger says:

    For clarification purposes only, it should be known that Tommy Dirt and Stevie Dirt are friends, but not related.

  12. showstopper says:

    Pratt complains weekly. Nothing new. The little extra track prep may have prevented a rubber down freight train track. Great show. Especially the sprint cars. Might wanna consider alternating sprint cars and late models? The sprints always have 20 plus cars. Late models are lucky to get 10.

  13. Keith Pratt says:

    More trolls! 20 plus sprints showstopper? You must have not have been at the track 2 weeks ago. And in my experiences, watering a hard dusty track promotes rubbered up 1 groove racing. But what do I know?

    At least when I complain or rip someone my name is behind it. No hiding here boys

  14. TEAMFOURBOSS says:

    OF COURSE SHOWSTOPPER LIKED THE SHOWSTOPPIN TRACK PREP INTERMISSION.
    10 & NOW 9 LM’S CUZ LARSON CALLED QUITSIES.
    TAKE RUBBER? GRAB A BANDAID CUZ U BUMPED UR HEAD…QRW DONT RUBBER DOWN..NEVA..EVA….N I MEAN NEVER!

    SHOWSTOPPER CALLS ME SHOWTIME BUT WE AINT RELATED…THANK GOD

    #3

  15. showstopper says:

    2 weeks ago the sprint cars were 305s not the 410s genius. Also they did more than just water the track. You must have been to busy preppin your show filling modified to notice Pratt. Dunker, Congrats on winning and doing it clean. You are earning my respect.

  16. dirt wizard says:

    Good run out there by the 32 and a half pratt racing team. Having some electrical issues on the modified right now but keep ur eyes peeled in the weeks ahead. I’m coming Cool kitten or whatever they call ya.

    DIRT WIZARD
    PS SHOOK MY HAND AGAIN KENNY PRATT…. SOONER OR LATER U HAVE TO KNOW WHO I AM…. STOP SHAKING SO MANY HANDS

  17. Keith Pratt says:

    I don’t see them alternating late models with MOWA 410 sprint shows….genius. And I think the fans have had enough high ticket nights.

    On the other hand, I would like to say that I appreciate Kenny D stepping up and owning the bad situations. Many other promoters would run and hide. I had planned on taking a “vacation” from Quincy Raceways, but will give them another shot.

  18. dirt wizard says:

    Newman’s first law- It is useless to put on your brakes when you’re upside down. —Paul Newman

    Gotta love that quote Pratt….

    Dirt Wizard

  19. spike11 says:

    Pratt When you go on vacation maybe stop by some other dirt tracks and see what they are charging to get in to see a race
    PS You could always put asphalt tires on and go race if you like a black track
    Keep up the good work Kenny D

  20. showstopper says:

    Please don’t take a vacation #33. QR needs the show fillers such as yourself. If the late models are off how much higher would the prices be Kenny D. For a 410 sprint show? I can’t see people willing to spend $12 for 8 or 9 late models? I’d gladly spend $15 for 18 sprints. The fans show up for the sprints. Kenny D. I consider you a savior to QR but as you realize the premier class needs a car count.

  21. B says:

    Hey dirt wizard take your magnetic aura of b.s. to the “clinic” you do not have a modified that your working on….

    Is the python still on the loose?

  22. Kenny D says:

    Running 410 sprints (MOWA) and Late Models on the same card has proven to be a great show at our other tracks and the ticket has always been $20 at those tracks for that combination. In fact, last year at QR the MOWA/Late Model show was a $20 ticket. The finances of paying those two purses doesn’t leave room for a smaller ticket – especially on a Sunday where you can’t count on fans from more than an hour away. Our purse nearly doubled last Sunday.

    But in Quincy fans are used to watching late models weekly, so it wasn’t really “two specials in one” like it is at our other tracks and those that have done it elsewhere. Going forward if we are the ones making the schedule for next season, we will probably make the MOWA shows on nights the Late Models aren’t running, but that’s still not going to lower the ticket much more than a couple of dollars.

    Without question in our few years of running race tracks, the most successful shows… and most entertaining shows we have had are Super Late Models and 410 Sprint Cars on the same night. They are great shows… but expensive. In Quincy there are a lot of people “for” this class and “against” that class so you get a lot of late model fans who don’t appreciate the sprints and a lot of sprint car fans that don’t appreciate the late models. I can accept that. To us it’s just great racing in two types of bad-assed race cars. As race fans, we like that and the opportunities to see them together are few and far between.

  23. Jimmy John says:

    Why, does every race track pay more purses to the Sprints, the late model guys have more money in their cars than the Sprints, I guess they have always thought they are the premadonna’s of racing, guess what their not.

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