Mason, MI – Another beautiful summer evening was in store for Spartan Speedway fans as the “Track the Stars Call Home” was the place to be for some great Friday night wheel to wheel racing action. Scheduled for the docket this week on LaFontaine Ford night were heat and feature races for the Modifieds, Michigan Legends, Bandoleros, Spartan Stocks, and Pony Stocks.
The first cars to get fired up and take the green flag were the NAPA Auto Parts Bandolero division for a 12 lap feature event. This is the first year the Bandoleros have competed at Spartan and the excited 8-14 yr. old drivers lined up for the start as their attentive parents paced nervously. Starting on the pole was Cameron Leasure, but behind him, Jon Parish made heavy contact with another car and was towed to the pits. The field lined up for a complete restart as Leasure led the first lap, followed by Logan Haughton, Mason Ludwig, and Nate Jenkins. First it was Haughton taking the lead, but quickly surrendering it to Ludwig, as last week’s winner Toby Tyler charged up from his last place starting position. Tyler made a bold move going four wide on the outside to grab the top spot. Tyler was able to pull away to a comfortable lead over Jenkins and Ludwig. After a tough battle, Ludwig was able to slide by Jenkins for second. Toby Tyler, from Parma, survived a late restart and took his third in a row over Mason Ludwig, as Nate Jenkins barely beat out Joe Moody at the stripe, with Nathan Logan finishing in fifth. Heat winners were Tyler and Zach Parish.
Once the cars went back to the pits and the fans went back to their seats, it was now time for the Performance Automotive NW Modified division to hit the track for 35 laps. Tracey Hernly was on the pole in her Fox 47 car with Tony Pastorino on the outside. The two stayed side by side for a couple laps before Jim Butler muscled his way past both by going three wide, and took the lead followed by Brad Wyatt. Moving his way to third was Travis Eddy, as the top three ran nose to tail for several laps until Butler spun causing a caution flag. On the restart it was Wyatt on the inside and Eddy on the outside as the two ran wheel to wheel for several laps with neither able to pull ahead of the other. Unfortunately for Eddy, he was forced to the pits with engine trouble allowing Wyatt led the remainder of the distance uninterrupted. Wyatt, from Brownstown, won his first at Spartan, with Leroy Ellis barely edging Jon McNett for second, Jason Parish fourth, and John Ledwidge fifth. Heat race winners were Parish and Butler with McNett setting fast time.
In the Sawyer Chevrolet Superstore Michigan Legends 30 lap feature it was Matt Todd jumping out to an early lead in his white and black No. 8 over Grant Quinlan and Tony Monge. Quinlan, who dominated many of the races last year was unable to close the distance over Todd and soon had to defend his spot over last week’s winner, Tony Monge. Grant was smoking his front tire every lap as Monge was able to close up and dove to the inside with one lap to go to grab second. Matt Todd, from Canton, an engineer with Ford Racing, extended his points lead as he took the checker over Monge, as the race went caution free. Third was Grant Quinlan, followed by Rick Kilbourn, and Gregory Rudzik. Quinlan set quick time with Monge winning the heat race.
Next up were the Lipari Foods Spartan Stocks for a pair of 25 lappers. In the “A” it as Greg Studt taking the early lead from the outside pole in his black and red No. 33. Joey Barnhart showed why he was the driver to beat this season as he captured the top spot in No. 45 followed by Ritter in No. 87. The two drivers had a terrific duel as the pair ran side by side, but at the checkered it was Barnhart holding on for the win over Ritter, John Kennedy, Studt and Harvey.
In the “B”, it was Jim Sawade on the pole with Jr. Gokee on the outside. The two battled side by side for a few laps, but it was Bryan Jenks getting by both to take the lead. Jason Luce moved into second and closed up to Jenks. On the white flag lap, Luce inched ahead for the lead, but as the two entered turn 4 they made contact and slid across the line with Luce being awarded the win, Gokee getting second, and Jenks settling for third. Heat races were won by Jenks and Studt.
Finally we finished the night with the Boss Snow Equipment Pony Stocks for two 20 lap features. In the “A” it was Jamie Larner, Nick Leonard, and Brian “Brutus” Boesel battling for the lead with Troy Andrews and Brian Beckner charging up into the top five. Boesel was able to grab the spot, but just like the last few weeks, Tyler Heeney was able to move up from the rear, take the lead and won his fifth in a row. Second was Boesel over Jamie Larner, Brian Beckner, and DJ Marciniak.
In the “B” it was Mariah Caswell leading the early laps over Wayne Parkhurst II, Lex Jarecki, and Ryan Flash Gordon. Thomas Logie was the man on the move sliding his car sideways every lap on the outside and earned his first win over Gordon, Caswell, Jennifer Larner, and Parkhurst.
– Spartan Speedway Press Release. Photo Credit: Spartan Speedway