By: Gary Jacob|
Where: Las Cruces, NM
Search by Keywords|
Search by Track
Search by Date
Las Cruces, NM --
March 3-4 -- Veteran modified racer Christy Georges drew the pole for Saturday's preliminary 20 lap feature for the Stock Cars and she led wire to wire, fighting off a strong challenge from both Mark Morris and Jay Rosales at The Speedway of Southern New Mexico. Her victory in the Barnett's Harley Davidson sponsored mount gained her the pole position for the $1,500 to win finale on Sunday for the track's annual Winter Meltdown race. Morris had started 4th and Rosales 7th. Northen New Mexico ace Billy Powell, 69 years old, ran fifth behind Frank DeMartino.
With this class offered a big purse for the March race for the first time, a 42 car field turned out. On the Friday practice and time trial night Shane Smith posted fast time with his 18.25 lap. Tony Hill from Cortez, Colorado was second fast at 18.34 and Johnny Maas from Fort Collins, Colorado third fast at 18.57. Also breaking into the 18's were Rick Ortega, Rick Gallardo, Morris and Marty Scott. The ten fastest were guaranteed second row starts in the five draw format heats on Saturday. The top two finishers in each heat advanced to Saturday's 20 lap preliminary A Main. Morris edged out Smith in the first heat. Hill raced to an easy win in heat 2 over local ace Rosales. Maas mistaked the white flag for a yellow flag and was passed by Georges on the final lap of his heat. Jack Skillin spun out of third late in this race. Powell won heat 4 ahead of Matthew Robinson and Ortega as Sherm Barnett spun out of third. F DeMartino won heat 5 from the pole with Gallardo second.
The top ten from the heat action redrew for their order at the front of the 24 car A Main with Georges and Powell drawing the front row. Georges raced into the lead over Powell, fourth starter Morris and F DeMartino. Hill threw a wheel on the first lap, but was able to limp to the pits without a caution flag. Rosales gained fifth on lap 2 and Scott fell from contention with broken steering. Top runners Maas and Smith both dropped out with flats after running over debris. Rosales took fourth from F DeMartino on lap 10 as both Powell and Morris were pressuring leader Georges. Working lapped traffic, Morris took second from Powell on lap 13 and Rosales was third on lap 15. Both Morris and Rosales were challenging Georges hard for the win over the closing rounds. F DeMartino ran fourth ahead of Powell, Bill Ewing, Robinson and Gallardo. That top 8 earned the front 4 rows for the rich Sunday A Main.
The top 14 finishers transferred out of the B Main that was checkered after 11 laps. Scott outdueled Ortega for that win with Ewing third ahead of Craig Alberson. Ralph Garcia spun out of 2nd early and Troy Scoughten broke a motor. On the final two laps, the field had to race around a spun S Barnett in the middle of turn 2. Eric Luchini won the 15 lap C Main ahead of Terry Herring, Keith Bridges and Skillin.
Summary Fast Time-Shane Smith 18.25 Heat 1-Mark Morris, Smith, Ralph Garcia, Troy Scoughten, Danny Ellis. Heat 2-Tony Hill, Jay Rosales, Marty Scott, Bill Ewing, Sal Ferrales. Heat 3-Christy Georges, Johnny Maas, Brian Mundell, Kerry Harris, Mike Ford. Heat 4-Billy Powell, Matthew Robinson, Rick Ortega, John DeMartino, Sherm Barnett. Heat 5-Frank DeMartino, Rick Gallardo, Craig Alberson, Bob Carpenter, John Pinkerton. C Main-Eric Luchini, Terry Herring, Keith Bridges, Jack Skillin, Michael Myers, Victor Colorbio Jr, Ferrales, Keri Alons, Mike Baca, Rick Rosales. B Main-Scott, Ortega, Ewing, Alberson, Carpenter, Harris, Perales, Ford, Ellis, Skillin. A Main-Georges, Morris, J Rosales, F DeMartino, Powell, Ewing, Robinson, Gallardo, Skillin, Ortega, Ford, Ellis, Alberson, Harris, Pinkerton.