DeLonjay making track championship foregone conclusion after another feature victory
QUINCY — Jeffrey DeLonjay moved closer to a second straight Adams County Speedway track championship Sunday night.
DeLonjay collected his seventh straight — eighth overall — feature victory in the 4-Cylinder division. Barring some sort of major meltdown over the ensuing two months, he should be able to comfortably clinch the championship well before the Sept. 24 end of points racing.
DeLonjay led the final eight laps of the feature, repeatedly turning back charges from Spencer Coats. Coats led the opening seven circuits before DeLonjay was able to power past him.
“Spencer had a great car, and I didn’t know if I could get him,” DeLonjay said.
The two rivals ran nose-to-tail the entire race — in one order or the other — and in a division known for its bump drafting and overall combative style there were no on-track incidents.
“It was a really clean race,” DeLonjay said.
Jeffrey DeLonjay now leads brother Jaden DeLonjay by 28 points (397-369) in the title pursuit. Realistically, for Jeffrey DeLonjay to lose the championship, he would need several extremely low finishes and/or DNFs, but through the first four months of the season he has never finished outside the top five in any feature.
If DeLonjay can finish off his back-to-back championship bid, he will be the first driver in the series to turn the trick since Kim Abbott in 2014-15.
Jeffrey DeLonjay and Coats won 4-Cylinder heat races. Counting heat victories, DeLonjay has 14 overall wins, which put him in place to attack more of the series records.
DeLonjay has an opportunity to establish series marks for feature wins and total victories. Austin Becerra, now a powerhouse in the modified division, won 12 features and strung together 22 overall wins in 2014, both high-water achievements in the series once called sport compacts.
Other feature wins Sunday night went to Jason Perry in the crate late models, Becerra in modifieds and Robert Cottom in stocks. The sport mods had the week off.
Perry led flag-to-flag in the 20-lap crate late main event, registering his series-best third feature win of the season over Tommy Elston, Denny Woodworth and Darrin Weisenberger Jr.
Perry utilized the high line to keep in command of a strong field in his rear-view mirror.
“I haven’t run that many laps on the top in 10 years,” Perry said.
Perry pulled within one point (626-625) of four-time defending crate late champ Woodworth for the series lead. Elston (616) is a close third. Perry and Jamie Wilson won heat races.
Perry also boosted his money-earned lead in the series. Perry ($4,900), Woodworth (4,585) and Elston ($4,525) are the cashbox leaders.
Becerra also posted a flag-to-flag feature victory, his sixth mod win of the season and seventh overall (he also won a sport mod main event earlier this year). Rounding out the top four were Dave Wietholder, Jacob Rexing and Mark Burgtorf.
Becerra was well in front of the pack most of the feature, but a couple of late cautions tightened the field.
“I really had no idea how close (Wietholder) was getting behind me,” Becerra said. “I had to get my rhythm back (after the cautions).”
Becerra and Rexing posted heat victories. Becerra, whose series points lead ballooned to 30 (598-568) over Rexing, is seeking a second straight modified title.
What is arguably Becerra’s most interesting pursuit between now and the end of the season is in the money-earned department. He has won $7,425, and is not only on pace to break his own series record ($9,035) set in 2022, but he could become the first non-late model driver to pocket $10,000 in a season. The last late mode driver to reach the figure was Burgtorf in 2015.
Cottom’s feature victory was a stock-best fourth of the season. Cottom also survived a couple of late yellows to ward off Beau Taylor, Rudy Zaragoza and Jake Powers.
“I think the car was working pretty good, but the track was changing (as the race progressed),” said Cottom, who led all 15 feature laps. “After the last caution, I really didn’t have a clue.”
Powers leads Kale Foster by 28 points (380-352) in pursuit of his second track title. Powers won the 2018 championship and finished second to Zaragoza a year ago.
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