By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Aztec, NM
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Aztec, NM -- The only consolation that Eddie Farley could draw from his series of blown engines early in the season was that he would have good starting spots once he got his engine program back in order. Saturday night, he got his third Barnett's Harley Davidson 30 lap dirt modified feature win of 2004 coming from the sixth starting position at Aztec Speedway. Second ranked Porter Smith charged from 12th starting to finish third, but gained little on season point leader Craig Nelson. In a borrowed car and coming from last starting for a third straight weekend, C Nelson thrilled the crowd this week with his drive from 28th starting to finish third. C Nelson's point lead is 22 over Smith and 34 ahead of fourth place finisher Derek Neil. Having won races at Cortez CO this year, Andy Hockenhull got his first Aztec win as he battled from 9th starting to win the 25 lap feature over red hot point leader Frank Powell Jr. Powell Jr charged from 12th and second ranked Rex Higgins turned his third row start into a third place finish. Powell Jr's point lead is 24 points over R Higgins. Jeff Jennings won his first hobby stock 20 lap feature since opening night and solidified his hold on second place in points. He had a clean sweep with a heat win and Tre Brewbaker was second at the checkered flag. Ricky Baldwin drove the Tyrel Pickard car to third, but was disqualified to hand that spot to Dereck Rhoden. Point leader Ed Mangum drove a borrowed car to 4th. Daniel Nelson III snapped point leader Brittany Tillerson's three race winning streak in the mini stock action. It was Nelson's fourth win and five time winner Tillerson settled for third behind Joshua Brown. Nelson started 8th, Tillerson 9th and Brown third.
With a 28 car turnout for the dirt modifieds, the track elected to start everyone in the 30 lap feature this night. Nineteen year old Smith won heat 1 over Taylor Yazzie and Farley won heat 2 over Jeff Davis. Danny Bradford and Nick Nelson were 1-2 in heat 3 and M E Eddleman won heat 4 over Derek Neil. Jody Cornell, Frank Powell Sr, Tyrone Yazzie and Eddleman started in the front of the 28 car lineup for the 30 lap feature with C Nelson lined up 28th in the Chad Burson backup car for a second straight week. The usual three and four wide racing saw Farley win from 6th, Smith come from 12th to second and C Nelson's incredible drive from 28th to 3rd. Neil came from the sixth row to fourth and fifth row starter Danny Bradford was fifth. The top ten was rounded out by Davis, Ralph Klemish, Calvin Mathews, James Tabet and Kevin Brown. 2003 champion Aaron Spangler continues to struggle as his car again broke and he ran 28th. Albuquerque champion Richard Johnson was 27th and J J Harpole also had problems with a 20th. Burson lost ground in the point race with a 17th place finish. C Nelson came out of the night with a 22 point lead over Smith and 34 ahead of Neil. He is looking forward to the track's dark night on the holiday weekend to get his own cars back in action. Bradford is only five points back of Neil and 21 ahead of Tabet. Burson dropped three points behind Tabet.
The IMCA Stock Cars had 26 in action so they also started everyone after four qualifying heat races. Heat winners were Beth Hartsfield, Jerald Wright, Garrett Higgins and Matthew Higgins. A Hockenhull was second in his heat and came from 9th for his first local win of 2004. Powell Jr came from 12th to run second over sixth starting R Higgins and 7th starter Michael Farley. A Bradley ran fifth ahead of Melissa Farley, 23rd starter Wayne Soares, Larry Bradley and B Hartsfield. Terry Hopper ran strong early from 4th starting, but faded to a 10th. The hot streak for Powell Jr has seen him pull 24 points ahead of R Higgins, 32 ahead of A Bradley and 41 in front of 11th place finisher Tim Nobis. A Hockenhull has climbed into fifth place in points. For the first time in 2004, Aztec Speedway is ending it's season with a big three day special for the IMCA Stock Cars on Sept 30-Oct 2. The Friday night action will qualify the first five rows and Saturday night's feature will pay $2500 to win, $1250 for second and $850 for third.
There were 11 hobby stocks and Jennings won heat 1 over Ronald Mangum. Brewbaker has shown rapid improvement as a rookie and he won heat 2 over Rhoden. In the feature, it was fifth starter Jennings winning as Brewbaker came from 3rd to place second. The disqualification of Ricky Baldwin moved Rhoden up to third over point leader E Mangum, R Mangum, Rusty Estes and Josh Turnbull. E Mangum has a solid 26 point lead over Jennings with Estes another five points back in third. Brewbaker is now just 4 points back of Estes and 6 up on Rhoden. The mini stocks split 13 cars into a pair of heat races. Brown beat Tillerson in heat 1 while it was Marissa Burson edging out D Nelson III in the second. Brown led much of the feature from his third starting spot, but it was D Nelson III winning for the fourth time as he chased down Brown. Brown ran second with 9th starting Tillerson third over pole starter Zeke Sivers, Zach Rouse, Zach Hamilton and Seth Marquez. Tillerson's point lead is only 15 over Rouse and 38 ahead of D Nelson III, who missed opening night.
As usual, Aztec Speedway goes dark on July 4th weekend, but all four classes will return to action on July 10th.
Summary Mini Stock Heat 1-Joshua Brown, Brittany Tillerson, Gary Linker, Zach Rouse, Zeke Sivers. Heat 2-Marissa Burson, Daniel Nelson III, Zach Hamilton, Ryan Bard, Courtney Nelson. Main-D Nelson III, Brown, Tillerson, Sivers, Rouse, Hamilton, Seth Marquez, C Nelson, T J Morrow, Burson, Bard, Tim Conner, Linker. Hobby Stock Heat 1-Jeff Jennings, Ronald Mangum, Ron Peterson, Ed Mangum, Rusty Estes. Heat 2-Tre Brewbaker, Dereck Rhoden, Leon Shinn, Ricky Baldwin, Allan Buchanan. Main-Jennings, Brewbaker, Rhoden, E Mangum, R Mangum, Estes, Josh Turnbull, Buchanan, Shinn, Peterson. IMCA Stock Car Heat 1-Beth Hartsfield, Julie Boettler, Tim Nobis, Jesse Baldwin, Arlen Cochran. Heat 2-Jerald Wright, Terry Hopper, Michael Farley, Allen Bradley, Larry Bradley. Heat 3-Garrett Higgins, Melissa Farley, Rex Higgins, Wayne Morrow, John Hank. Heat 4-Matthew Higgins, Andy Hockenhull, Frank Powell Jr, Richard Trujillo, Leroy Hartsfield. Main-A Hockenhull, Powell Jr, R Higgins, Michael Farley, A Bradley, Melissa Farley, Soares, L Bradley, B Hartsfield, Hopper, Nobis, Michael Southern, L Hartsfield, Wright, Trujillo, Micah Kitts, Brandon Tenski, Morrow, Boettler, G Higgins, M Higgins, Cochran, Baldwin, Steve Phelps, Leroy Barnhouse, Hank. Dirt Modified Heat 1-Porter Smith, Taylor Yazzie, Frank Powell Sr, Ralph Klemish, Greg Scott. Heat 2-Eddie Farley, Jeff Davis, Tyrone Yazzie, J J Harpole, Kevin Menapace. Heat 3-Danny Bradford, Nick Nelson, James Tabet, Richard Johnson, David Sheffield. Heat 4-M E Eddleman, Derek Neil, Jody Cornell, Kevin Brown, Danny Nelson Jr. Main-Farley, Smith, Craig Nelson, Neil, Bradford, Davis, Klemish, Calvin Mathews, Tabet, Brown, Powell Sr, D Nelson Jr, N Nelson, Cornell, Sheffield, Richard Baldwin, Chad Burson, Scott, Eddleman, Harpole, Tyrone Yazzie, Taylor Yazzie, Julian Garcia, Bob Anderson, Kyle Herrin, Menapace, Johnson, Aaron Spangler.