On what turned out to be an absolutely beautiful late spring/early summer evening in June, the racing season heated up, with domination to be had in every division.
Following a rain-out last weekend, drivers came in to tonight’s race hungry and ready to go after being forced to wait an extra week to race. While side-by-side racing is undoubtedly enthralling, a case can also be made for a driver simply dominating his/her respected class. And yes, domination just so happens to be the word of the night at Shangri-La 2.
In the first feature of the night, the 4-cylinders, Joe Lane, who was the winner for this division two weeks ago, decided he was going to get this dominate party started. After winning the first and only heat for the 4-cylinders, picking right up where he left off two weeks ago, Lane certainly had his eyes on the prize early. With steady and consistent pressure from the #12 of A.J. Lane and the #3 of Alan Blackwell in the heat, and ultimately in the feature, Joe Lane had his work cut out for him. But, the unfathomably strong and fast #4 of Joe Lane would prove why it won two weeks ago. Halfway through the race, Lane would slam the door closed and leave the rest of the pack far behind, taking the checkered flag with an entire straight stretch lead over the #12 of A.J. Lane and taking home back-to-back victories early in the season. Alan Blackwell, who has had a troubling and rough start to the season, would finish third, Zack Knowlden fourth, Josh Bailey fifth, Greg Moldt sixth and Justin Hall seventh.
Remember when I mentioned the whole “dominating” thing? Yeah, well, Tony Hanbury decided he wanted to join in on the fun tonight too. Again. Following his dominating (Stop me if you’ve heard this before) victory from two weeks ago, Tony just couldn’t help himself tonight. After running well but not winning a heat, Hanbury didn’t waste much time showing why heat races don’t always prove anything. After two laps, yes, I said TWO laps, of the 25-lap Sports Mods Feature, the race was essentially over. Hanbury would take the lead and if cruise control were possible in these cars, it would have been on. With nothing but open road and a few cars to lap, Hanbury would easily take the checkered flag with more than an entire straight stretch lead over the second place car of T.J. Zacharias, who won the second heat, and the third place car Paul Johnson, who won the first heat. Tommy Rought would finish fourth, Patti Pruitt fifth, Connor Sellars sixth, Sam Warren seventh and Nick Morich eighth.
As much as I’d love to use the word “domination” one more time, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for the Street Stocks race. Although the race was tightly contested throughout, Billy Coyle was cool, calm and collected en route to his victory tonight. Coyle might not have had the benefit of an entire straight stretch lead, but fans got to watch an enticing battle between Coyle and the #2 of Bill Frisbee Jr. and the #71 of R.J. Zacharias. To his credit, Coyle fought off attempts from Frsibee Jr. seemingly through every turn for the first 20 laps of the 25-lap feature. Coming out of turn two on the 20th lap, Frisbee Jr. would get loose, throwing out the first and only caution of the night. With no damage done, the cars would get back in line, but this time, it was the #71 of R.J Zacharias who would come knocking on Coyles’ door. But, Zacharias’ attempts, with no help coming from too few laps remaining, would fall short as Billy Coyle would take a well-deserving and hard fought checkered flag. R.J. Zacharias would finish second, Lee Sharpsteen third, Derrek Tarbox fourth, Bill Frisbee Jr. fifth, Ron Underwood sixth, Gary Noe seventh and Tom Zacharias eighth.
Looking for something to do next weekend or just want to get out of the house? Well, make sure you come on down to Shagri-La 2 for the Hoosier Daddy Night, Saturday, June 13th, brought to you by Hoosier Tires. The Saturday night event will feature the three regular divisions (4-cylinder, Sports Mods, Street Stocks), but will also be accompanied by INEX Legends Series. Gates open at 3 p.m., practice is at 4:30 p.m., with the green flag dropping at 6 p.m. For more information, be sure to find Shangri-La 2 on the web and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!
— Track release