By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Lake Pleasant, AZ
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Lake Pleasant, AZ --
Rebounding from a disappointing opening night run the previous weekend, many time Aztec Speedway champion J J Harpole from Farmington, NM led the final 21 laps to score a $1,000 win Saturday night in round two of Canyon Raceway's 8 week Winter Season for the IMCA Modifieds. Harpole gained the lead when IMCA Modified Mountain Region champion Aaron Spangler bobbled in turn 4. Harpole uses a McCollough chassis and feature runnerup Spangler wheels a car built by himself and his brother. Colorado's Steve Lewis finished third ahead of track regular Randy Harrison and New Mexico ace Scott Logston. Opening night winner Dale Bertram charged to third by using the bottom groove, but then made a fruitless effort to move up high and settled for 7th.
The second week of racing drew a 45 car field and they were split into six qualifying heats with only the top two finishers advancing directly into the 25 lap A Main. The heat lineups were based on the point averages from the opening race and quick track conditions made it hard to move from the rear and transfer. Spangler won heat 1 ahead of sixth starter Jim Perkins. Terry Tipton came from 6th starting to win heat two ahead of Ricky Johnson. Darin Center came from row 2 to win heat 3 in his new Jet Chassis ahead of Albuquerque champion Butch Reid. R Harrison won heat 4 from the pole ahead of Lewis. Harpole also started on the pole of his heat win with fellow front row starter Steve Simpson Jr second. Colorado's Joe Mullins won heat 6 from the front row with 4th starter Mark Harrison second.
The 12 heat transfers were inverted at the front of the 24 car grid for the A Main and Spangler came from third starting to lead early over Harpole and R Harrison. Simpson gained second on lap 2, but slipped off the top of the track on lap 3, falling from contention. Center raced to third on lap 4. On a lap 5 restart, Spangler got out of shape in turn 4 and Harpole charged underneath to barely pace that lap. That put on the point for a restart when Center spun. Perkins broke for a caution and top five runner Reid also fell out. The first 7 laps had five cautions as Joe Parmeley spun for another yellow. Lewis was now fourth behind leader Harpole, Spangler and R Harrison. A flat sidelined New Mexico's Richard Johnson. Unlike the previous week where he rode the outside to the front, Bertram was hooked up on the pole and he raced to third with his pass of R Harrison on lap 11. Tipton spun for a lap 14 yellow and he was hit by K C Dieckman. Seeing it as his only opportunity to get to the front, Bertram moved high on the restart and was quickly shuffled out of the top 5 as he couldn't find the necessary traction. R Harrison regained third ahead of Lewis and Logston. Northern California long tow Lenny Toolanen spun for a lap 16 yellow. The twosome of Harpole and Spangler checked out on the field and Lewis got underneath R Harrison in turn 2 on lap 24 to take over third. Harpole won ahead of Spangler, Lewis, R Harrison, Logston, Mullins, Bertram, Christy Georges, Simpson and Sherm Barnett.
Both the C and B Mains were set to transfer 12 cars into the following feature, but the C was cancelled when only 12 cars were able to answer the call after the heat action. New Mexico's Don Vontz and Mark Harger both broke motors in their heats. Robert King Jr and Bertram each led one lap of the 20 lap B Main before New Mexico's Johnson took over with a rim riding effort. Craig Nelson broke running 2nd and Dan Fitzgerald climbed to third. Darren Williams was on the move and he passed both Fitzgerald and Bertram to gain second on lap 10. Colorado ace Bill Lundock was also moving to the front and he gained fourth on lap 11. Williams dropped out on a lap 15 yellow flag and Lundock raced into second ahead of Johnson and Logston. Fitzgerald blew for a lap 16 yellow and Lundock broke on the restart to trigger a tangle that took out Toolanen. Bertram had taken the lead from Johnson on lap 10 and he won the 20 lapper ahead of Logston, Johnson, Darren Dodd, Georges and Dieckman.
Summary Heat 1-Aaron Spangler, Jim Perkins, Wayne Francis, Danny Nelson Jr, Larry Follett. Heat 2-Terry Tipton, Ricky Johnson, Robert King Jr, Richard Johnson, Dan Fitzgerald. Heat 3-Darin Center, Butch Reid, Dale Bertram, Darrel Zweifel, Scott Logston. Heat 4-Randy Harrison, Steve Lewis, Bill Lundock, Craig Nelson, Davey Riopelle. Heat 5-J J Harpole, Steve Simpson Jr, Sherm Barnett, K C Dieckman, Lenny Toolanen. Heat 6-Joe Mullins, Mark Harrison, Darren Dodd, Brandon Carley, Gene Bellville. B Main-Bertram, Logston, Johnson, Dodd, Christy Georges, Dieckman, Barnett, King, Norman Uptain, Robert Haaland. A Main-Harpole, Spangler, Lewis, R Harrison, Logston, Mullins, Bertram, Georges, Simpson, Barnett, Dodd, Uptain, Harland, Tipton, Dieckman, Perkins, Center, Toolanen, Lundock, Johnson, M Harrison, Reid, Parmeley, King.