Dirty Thirty: Full slate of trading paint on tap this week at Adams County Speedway
QUINCY — The Dirty Thirty is back, bay-bee.
We took some time off last week to take a closer look at the upcoming MARS late model special — and what a special it was, right?! — but now we’re back into the regular-season grind tied to the late models, modifieds, sport mods, street stocks and 4-Cylinder cars at the Adams County Speedway.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the usual collection of notes, quotes and anecdotes connected to the Broadway Bullring.
We have the usual five thoughts about each of the five classes, plus five other notes of interest concerning 8000 Broadway. It all adds up to The Dirty Thirty, and remember … Sunday night at is only a few days away:
• Lost in the shuffle and all the hoopla surrounding last Sunday night’s MARS modified action was a new track record when Josh Harris of Utica, Ky., posted a 13.716 qualifying lap. That translates to 79.235 mph, which erased Tyler Nicely’s 13.794 clocking (75.681 mph) set just last year. When Nicely turned his then-record lap, he surpassed Michael Long’s longstanding mark of 14.153 (73.765 mph) set way back in 2010. Nicely hails from Owensboro, Ky. Long is from Fowler.
• Jacob Rexing and Dave Wietholder are the only modified drivers with top-five feature finishes in both the series’ points races so far this season. They also lead in points with Rexing at 140 and Wietholder 125.
• Wietholder is nearing a major milestone. The veteran now has stockpiled 9,932 track points since the modifieds became sanctioned by UMP in 2009. At some point in the not-too-distant future, Wietholder will be the first mod driver to hit the 10,000-point mark.
• A second driver, Shawn Deering, should also reach the 10,000-point mark this season. Deering sits at 8,282 going into Sunday night.
• Austin Becerra is the early money leader among local drivers, not only in the modifieds ($1,550), but all series combined ($2,150). Becerra led 2022 modified money earners with $9,035, the top mark among drivers in all divisions.
• Since the track reopened in 2022, the sport mods have shown the highest average weekly car count of 21.44. That is just behind the 4-Cylinders’ 21.86 norm.
• The sport mods have an interesting streak working, showing no fewer than 13 cars in the pits for 23 consecutive shows, dating to April 2022. Eight of those shows produced car counts of 20 and above, including four of 30 or higher. No other series has been in double figures every week in that same time span.
• Speaking of the sport mods, they are averaging a track-high 14.7 cautions following last Sunday’s relative crashfest that produced 17 yellow flags. The series (and track) high a year ago were 19 cautions on Sept. 16. The sport mods had the highest weekly average in 2022 at 7.10.
• Tanner Klingele ($900) holds a narrow lead over Kyler Girard ($875) in series earnings. Adam Birck, who currently sits third in the cashbox department with $700, led 2022 money men with $5,810, slightly ahead of Klingele’s $5,620.
• Klingele is also the career leader in earnings since the series inception in 2011. The driver of No. 73x has won $27,481. Tony Dunker ($21,741) is second and Birck ($16,683) third.
Crate late models
• None of the local crate late drivers moonlighted in last Sunday’s MARS super late model race, which was understandable. And counting the May 14 rainout, the back-to-back weeks off were likely a welcome respite for the crate late drivers who have been struggling early in the season.
• Arguably the driver struggling the most so far is Tommy Elston, the 2022 runner-up in points to champion Denny Woodworth. Elston currently sits ninth in points and has yet to crack the top five in a feature.
• The early season surprise may be the performance of rookie Christian Miles, the 16-year-old who before this spring had never been behind the wheel of a late model in actual competition. Miles is one of the region’s most accomplished karters, but the transition to a full-bodied late model does not always work out as well as it has for Miles, who will enter Sunday night fifth in track points.
• Sixteen different crate late model drivers have run so far at the Bullring, which is double the number from a year ago at this time. By season’s end in 2022, 25 different crate drivers made their way to Quincy, a total that should fall some time in the first half of this season.
• Woodworth is the early season money leader in this division. The late model lawyer has pocketed $1,500, followed by Jason Perry ($850) and Sam Halstead ($700). Woodworth was the top money-winner last season with $8,050.
• A name to watch in this series is Beau Taylor, who was not on hand for the April 23 opener, but was in the May 7 lineup. Taylor figures to be one of the two top threats to Rudy Zaragoza winning a second straight title. Taylor won the 2019 championship (prior to the two-year track shutdown), and also rattled off 17 feature victories and a pair of money-earned titles over 2019-20.
• The other chief title contender will likely be Jake Powers, the 2018 series champ, who has looked strong early this season. Powers also has what is arguably the sweetest looking new ride in the series.
• The stocks hope to hit double figures in car count Sunday night for the first time this season. The series averaged 9.69 cars per show in 2022, and has been at 10 or higher just nine times in the last year-plus. Six of those double-digit totals were in the first seven weeks of the 2022 season.
• Powers is also the top money-winner at $650. Leremy Jackson ($375) is runner-up. Rudy Zaragoza ($5,325) cashed the biggest checks last season.
• Only three stock drivers have been involved in both of the two points features to date — Powers, Kale Foster and Brandon Boden.
• Track promoters Jim and Tammy Lieurance have informed that the 4-Cylinder cars will do double feature duty Sunday night, making up the May 14 postponement. The 4-Cylinders were the lone class that evening that was not able to run. Some late-arriving bad weather wiped out the 4-Cylinders moments after they had taken the track.
• The 4-Cylinders are averaging 33.5 cars over their last four shows, dating to the end of the 2022 campaign. The sport mods have the second-highest norm (28.8) over that same period.
• Jeffrey DeLonjay is not only the early season favorite to win a second straight track title, but could be in position to make a run at the series record for feature laps led. DeLonjay led the 4-Cylinders in laps led in 2022 (88) and led nine of the 15 laps en route to winning the April 23 main event. The only driver since the 2011 inception of the series to top 100 was Austin Becerra (165) in 2014.
• Jeffrey DeLonjay ($300) and Dyllan Bonk ($150) lead the division in earnings, but those figures only include the April 23 series opener. Sunday night’s two scheduled features should up those totals.
• Speaking of money earned, Kim Abbott ($7,280) finished No. 1 in 2022 and is also the division’s career leader at $18,465. No other driver in the 10-year history of the division has won more than $7,480 (DeLonjay).
• There will be an added treat Sunday night. “We’ll also have the A.I.R.S. series from Iowa on hand,” Jim Lieurance said. “They’re vintage cars.” A.I.R.S. stands for American Iron Racing Series.
• Weekly car count averages so far this season are led by the sport mods (20.3), followed by the modifieds (20.0) and 4-Cylinders (19.0). The 32 sport mods on hand last Sunday matched the series high from a year ago. The overall weekly average is 74.0, which is slightly ahead of last year (74.3) at this point of the season.
• The only scheduled off night (well, kind of …) between now and the end of the season in early October is Sunday, June 25. But that’s because the UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour will be in town on Wednesday, June 28. Track officials will use the off weekend for additional track prep and other items to get ready for the Hell Tour, which traditionally draws the largest turnout of the season.
• Austen Becerra became the first driver to win a feature in two divisions this year. Becerra, subbing for Logan Cumby in the No. 8c sport mod, took the checkered flag in that division last Sunday. That pairs nicely with the first-place trophy May 7 in the modified series.
• The next Kings of the Bullring specials will be June 4 (modifieds) and June 18 (crate late models). Feature winners will earn $1,000 in each of those events.
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