By: Gary Jacob and Sandy Combs|
Where: Lake Pleasant, AZ
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Lake Pleasant, AZ --
Last year's pure stock track champion Andy Wheat returned to Canyon Raceway and won the biggest race of the season for the class Saturday night. The Pure Stock Thunder special paid $300 to win and the 24 car grid for the 25 lapper required a 25 car B Main to round out the field. A Wheat ran second in that B Main and then won the big 25 lapper that was slowed by just one quick yellow flag. A Wheat gained the lead when 2001 point leader Steve Bitting Jr broke an axle on lap 24. Randy Pope ran second ahead of Mike Huneycutt. Contact racing on the final lap between leader Brian Bullis and K C Dieckman allowed Darren Williams to get by and win the 20 lapper for the IMCA Modifieds. Dieckman recovered for a second. The Arizona Mini Sprints visited and dash winner Jeff Greszler won their 20 lap feature with 18 of the 20 starters running at the end. Gene Povinelli was a wire to wire winner in the 15 lap mini stock main event.
The huge field of pure stocks required a five heat format. Rob Munoz, Glen Stumm, Jim Wheat, rookie Bill Moore Jr and Rick Denson won heat races. With 25 starters, the B Main was extended to 15 laps and Ken Seastedt won over A Wheat and Fidel Gonzales.
The 25 lap A Main did require a restart when six cars tangled in turn 2 including eventual winner A Wheat. Pope took an early lead over Danny Price and Mark Wilson. The only yellow flag came on lap 3 when Mary Thompson spun. By the 7th place, Pope and Price were already working lapped traffic. At the half-way mark, Pope made a bad choice of groove in the lapped traffic and fell back to 4th with Price leading Bitting and A Wheat. Price lost power and handed the lead over to Bitting on lap 14. Pope and A Wheat traded second several times, but couldn't get around Bitting for the top spot. Bitting broke his axle on lap 24 and A Wheat was right there to inherit the win. Pope ran second over Huneycutt, Jim Gwin, Cliff Maggard, Moore, Seastedt and Price. 19 of the 24 starters finished and 16 were lead lap.
There were 30 IMCA Modifieds in the pits and heat winners were Brian Bullis, John Walter, Lance Salo and Dan Klinder. Brian Bullis led 19 laps of the 20 lap main event. A six car tangle forced this race to also be restarted, then the field ran the 20 lap distance without a yellow flag. Mark Williams challenged Brian Bullis for the first 18 laps. Both D Williams and Dieckman got by him. The heavy contact on the final lap saw Brian Bullis knocked off the track and D Williams won over Dieckman, M Williams, Eric Center, Klinder, Western Region point leader Rick Ward, Mark Fowler and Darin Center. In this class, 22 of the 24 starters finished and 18 were on the lead lap.
Greszler won the mini sprint trophy dash. Heat winners were Terry Palmer, Dave Alexander and Duane Adams. Charles Mokry won their B Main. A single car stall forced a restart on their 20 lap feature. Adams took an early lead over Joe Parks and Greszler. The red flag fell at the half-way mark when Bill Marson and Danny Mathus tangled on the front stretch. Mathus flipped without injury. One lap later, Greszler took the lead with Adams second ahead of Alexander. They finished in that order with Ron Pickering fourth over Palmer, Brandon George, Blane Fett and Don Bradley.
Gary Hadler won the lone heat race for the mini stocks. Their 15 lap main had to be restarted after Brandon Jackson and Hadler tangled. Povinelli raced into the lead and won in wire to wire fashion with Russ Clark second over Mike Markley, Mark Dryer and Jackson.
Summary Mini Stock Heat-Gary Hadler. Main-Gene Povinelli, Russ Clark, Mike Markley, Mark Dryer, Brandon Jackson. Mini Sprint Dash-Jeff Greszler. Heat 1-Terry Palmer. Heat 2-Dave Alexander. Heat 3-Duane Adams. B Main-Charles Mokry. A Main-Greszler, Adams, Alexander, Ron Pickering, Palmer, Brandon George, Blane Fett, Don Bradley, Mokry, George Chapman. Pure Stock Heat 1-Rob Munoz. Heat 2-Glen Stumm. Heat 3-Jim Wheat. Heat 4-Bill Moore Jr. Heat 5-Rick Denson. B Main-Ken Seastedt, Andy Wheat, Fidel Gonzales. A Main-A Wheat, Randy Pope, Mike Huneycutt, Jim Gwin, Cliff Maggard, Moore, Seastedt, Danny Price, Steve Bitting Jr, Brian King. IMCA Modified Heat 1-Brian Bullis. Heat 2-John Walter. Heat 3-Lance Salo. Heat 4-Dan Klinder. Main-Darren Williams, K C Dieckman, Mark Williams, Eric Center, Klinder, Rick Ward, Mark Fowler, Darin Center, Brian Bullis, Greg Ambrose, Jim Collinsworth, David Boardman, Chris Huneycutt, Robert Paquette, Bub Bullis, Richard Markley, Marvin Hart, Salo, Walter, Jason Noll, Brian Combs, Tim Palmer, Rick George, Jeff Stafford, Jason Kerekanich.