Saturday, Sept 4th RaceSaver Nationals Qualifying Feature winner is Joey Danley. ROC Win goes to Tyler Drueke.eagle
by Greg Soukup
Sunny skies and low 80’s greeted the large crowd for night two of the Ninth Annual IMCA Racesaver Sprint Nationals at Eagle Raceway Saturday afternoon. The temperatures cooled, giving the cars even better air to make horsepower and create fabulous racing as the track widened out and slicked off.
Those who hadn’t qualified on Friday ran 12 heats and 6 preliminary features to make their bid for a shot at the A Main, vying for a top 9 finish to earn a place in rows 4 through 6 for Sunday’s Big Dance.
There were no serious incidents in the preliminary action.
Trevor Grossenbacher took advantage of his pole position starting spot to grab the lead after the first lap of the IMCA Racesaver A Feature in the 35. Close behind were the 74E of Claud Estes, Tyler Harris’ 24, and Danny Wood in the 55W. Lap 3 saw a slowing of the action. Joey Danley had advanced from 7th and passed Wood for fourth on lap 4. Casey Burkham looped his 45B at the bottom of turns 1 & 2 as Monty Ferriera spun the 45 at the top of those turns. Danley passed Harris for third on the restart. John Carney II cracked the top 4 with 12 to go, putting the 74B into fourth. Danley and Carney both moved up one spot with 9 laps remaining, taking second and third respectively. Carney got past Danley briefly with 4 circuits left but Danley got a tremendous run the next time around and passed both Carney and Grossenbacher. Carney moved to second with 2 to go making the final top 4 Danley, Carney II, Estes and Grossenbacher. Also transferring to the big dance were Tyler Harris, Kevin Ramey, Danny Wood, Justin Stroup and Chad Wilson.
“I was beyond happy with that win! I really only hoped to lock into the top 9 to make the A Feature on Sunday. The car was really, really good. I was just kind of rolling around the first few laps and made it up to fifth. We got a yellow and that lined us all back up. We just picked them off one by one after that. I didn’t expect to catch Trevor! The whole top 5 were awesome cars and drivers and I’m still shocked that we got by them all”. I asked if he thought he could win Sunday night and he said “It’s going to be tough, starting 10th. We’re honestly going to be happy with a top 5. You’ve got Drueke and Martin on the front row, and those are tough guys even when they start way behind you. I’m sure they’ll be gone, but as I said we’ll be happy with a top 5. We’ll take anything better, but it will take a lot of luck for that to happen”. Joey’s sponsors include Empire Fencing, Russell Shoulders Race Engines, Nissen Hardwood Floors, The Wave, Clean Right Street Sweeping and Onyx Wraps.
The Modern Real Estate IMCA Sportmod A saw Adam Armstrong jump from the front row to lead lap 1 in the 6A followed by Brandon Spanjer’s 19XX, the 40 of Shawn Harker and David Johnson’s 97. Harker slowed and pulled to the infield on lap 9, moving the 18W of Cole Wayman up to fourth. Wayman used the restart to pass Johnson for third. Trevor Baker also passed Johnson with 4 to go to put the 25! Into fourth. At the checkers it was Armstrong, Spanjer, Wayman and Baker.
I mentioned to Adam that he’d only been to Eagle twice this year and won both times. He said “Yeah! Eagle’s good to me now. I’ve had some really bad luck here, and it’s nice to have that change a little bit. I’m happy with that! I started outside the front row, so that definitely helps. The track was good tonight. Roger did the best he could and stayed on top of it. He kept putting moisture back into it to give us something to race on. There was definitely multiple grooves. I started last in my heat race but was able to get up front and get the win. Eagle’s always got character no matter what, but I was pleased with it overall. It’s always fun to come here and race. I need to thank my Mom and Dad, my step-dad, my aunt Bonnie. A big thanks to my dad for building such great motors for me”. Adam’s sponsors include Jet Racing, Tracy Motorsports, Icon Pistons and Scat Crankshafts.
The Precise Racing Products Race of Champions capped off the night’s action. Jason Danley in the 4X, Danny Wood’s 55W, the 12 of Tyler Drueke and Mike Moore’s 69 were first back to the flag stand on lap 1. Lap 2 saw the yellow lights come on in the corners for the 18X of Logan Scherb who stopped at the top of 3 & 4. Jason Martin got past Moore on the restart and Drueke jumped past both Danley and Wood to grab the lead the next lap. Wood followed Drueke into second the next time around and the battle was on! Drueke went high, Wood went high. Drueke went low, Wood went low. In traffic they were taking turns with who ran where. Wood passed Drueke very briefly with 5 to go but Drueke battled back and held on to win. The top 4 were Drueke, Wood, Martin and Moore.
Tyler had said Friday night that during his run from the C to second in the A that the team never had time to do anything but check air pressures and fuel up. I asked if they had just rolled the car out of the trailer and went with what they had the night before. He related “No, we tried a few different things. It was kind of a test session where we tried to get aggressive. We were trying to fix a few issues that we’ve seen other cars having and that we had in our hot laps. The few things we tried didn’t fix it completely, but it was pretty close”. I told him I thought that Wood was going to get him a couple times. He said “I was telling everyone here that I have an autograph card from when he was here driving the Pepsi car with the World of Outlaws in like 2000 somewhere in the basement. I’m going to dig it out and bring it with me to have him autograph it again and put 2021 on there”. I then mentioned that he was second in Friday’s A Feature to start in the middle of row 1 for the Big Dance and took the Race of Champions tonight. I asked if he was ready for the challenge. He stated “We’re just worried about getting the car right. If we do that, and run second because we got outran well, we ran second. If our car is right, we’ll take whatever finish we deserve. I think though, that if we do things right, we have a very good shot at it!”. Tyler’s sponsors include Vahlco Wheels, Drueke Trucking and Ranch, Zoz Farms, Jeffres Trucking, Picadilly Ranch, Angel Energy Service, Johnson Farms, 402 Massage, King’s Auto Supply, TD Signs and Graphics, Agri Builders, True Trucking, Sardeson Racing, J&J Auto Racing, CSI Shocks, Speedway Racing Engines, Double Z Express and Gordon Electric.
Tonight’s action is the culmination of all the hard work put in by the teams and drivers that have done their best Friday and Saturday to try and make the final A Feature. There will be no heats for the IMCA Racesaver sprints, only preliminary Feature races to find out what 9 cars will make up the final 3 rows of the Big Dance where 27 fire breathing cars will take off 3-wide. All of them racing to find out who will receive the big check and championship belt. Along with those prizes will go the bragging rights for a whole year as King of the Racesaver Sprints!!
Front gates open at 4:30. Adult admission is $20, youths 6-12 are just $5 with children 5 and under free.
Pit gates open at 3:00 with pit passes being $35.
The evening’s support class will be the A1 Iron IMCA Stock Cars.
Hot laps kick off at 5:30 with racing beginning at 6:30.