Sandia Motorsports Park
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Results from Sandia Motorsports Park
by Race Author
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Having lost the 2005 track championship duel with Butch Reid St by just two points, Edgewood NM racer Robby Haaland battled from sixth starting to score a $3000 win in the Saturday afternoon 40 lap finale to the Asphalt Modifieds Southwest Nationals at Sandia Motorsports Park. The special event was promoted by racers Butch Reid Sr and Robert Shay and carried sponsorship from Action Alignment, Jackson Compaction, Coach’s Chassis, Action Hose, Firestone, Print Express and Galles Chevrolet. Haaland won his heat race and ran third in the Friday night feature, but was the big winner on Saturday. Former I-25 Speedway champion Greg Dickey from Colorado Springs CO earned $1500 for his second place run and 16 year Rodney Sanders from Happy TX completed his first ever weekend on dirt with a $1000 third place run. Sanders had made the A Main at the prestigious Winter Meltdown dirt track event in Las Cruces the previous weekend. Friday night winner Pat Bush from Tucson AZ won $900 for fourth and Sandia champion Reid was an $800 fifth. Barnett Tour champion Curt Barnett from El Paso TX got a ride in a local car and drove it to a $700 sixth. Track champion Andres Batista missed the Friday event for the mini sprints, but appeared on Saturday and raced to wins in both the heat and feature. Friday night winner Brian Perea ran second ahead of 14 year old Kenny Brewer. The Slug Bugs joined the Saturday action with Tony Abeyta capturing both the heat and feature. Kenneth Payne was second in both events. The richest pavement modified event ever in New Mexico was plagued by very cold and windy weather.
Sixteen modifieds signed in to open the show on Friday night. Haaland turned an outside front row start into a win in heat 1 with Dickey second in the Charlie Wilson car. Bush started 6th in heat one and ran third ahead of Barnett and Reid. Robert Kapinski crashed in heat one. Another I-25 racer from Colorado Springs CO, Shawn Johnson made a great run from 7th to capture heat 2. Returning to racing after a several year absence, Lee Gonzales ran second ahead of Rick Boelter. This is Boelter’s first season in a modified and his first time on pavement. Mike Sorenson was fourth and the Wide World of Maps sponsored Ryan Engelhardt from Austin TX was fifth. The 25 lap feature on Friday night had a six car inversion that put Bush and Boelter on the front row. Engelhardt was a scratch. The first of three yellow flags fell for a tangle between Shay and Sanders. Boelter broke for the second caution flag and a crash between Kevin Neuville and Shay forced a final yellow flag with three laps to run. Bush won from the pole with Barnett battling from 7th to get second. Haaland ran third ahead of 9th starting Reid and Johnson. Billy Johanneck from Arizona was 6th ahead of Dickey, Sorenson and Sanders.
The same 16 car field returned for Saturday afternoon’s action. Johnson won the first heat race over Bush, Sanders and Engelhardt. Dickey outraced Reid, Barnett and Haaland in heat 2. Pueblo CO racer Rick McComb broke a motor in Saturday’s hot laps to end his weekend. The main event had been advertised as 50 laps, but was cut to 40 due to concerns about the cars with smaller fuel cells making the longer distance. The feature saw an opening lap tangle between Haaland and Engelhardt. Haaland was restored to his third row start, but Engelhardt was sent to the rear. The race was only slowed four times for yellow flags. Haaland battled from sixth to get the rich win. Sanders led several laps from the pole before settling for the third place finish behind Dickey. Bush tried to make an outside line work on the 4/10 mile paved oval, but settled for the fourth place money ahead of Reid. A wheel locking tangle with Johnson limited Barnett to a sixth. Johnson was sent to the rear with just ten laps to run, but still managed a 7th. Sorenson battled from a first lap spin to get 8th and Gonzales was 8th ahead of Boelter and Johanneck. Shay broke on the final lap. Kapinski was sent off the track when he suffered major damage to his rear nerf in a tangle.
Five mini sprints appeared on Friday night, but only three were able to race in the heat and feature as Mike Martinez and J D Snyder from Pagosa Springs CO both scratched. Brewer won the heat race ahead of Perea and Jerry Higginbotham, but it was Perea on top in the feature action ahead of Brewer and Higginbotham. Seven cars appeared on Saturday with Martinez failing to return. The Snyder team could not fix their motor woes and failed to race either day. Batista easily won the heat race over Brewer and Perea. Batista then added feature honors ahead of Perea, Brewer, Jennifer Greenberg, Joe Monteith and Jerry Higginbotham.
10 of the older style VW’s raced in the Slug Bug division. Abeyta won the heat race over Payne and Jerry Weishulm. Steven Thacker was the only feature scratch. The 20 lap main was run with just one yellow flag, but only 6 of the 9 starters saw the checkered flag. Abeyta and Payne again ran 1-2 with early leader Kenneth Myers third ahead of 2005 point runnerup Robert Myers, 2005 third ranked J Weishulm and Laci Reynolds. Gerald Weishulm, Larry Reynolds and Ben Henderson all fell out during the 20 lapper.
Heat-Tony Abeyta, Kenneth Payne, Jerry Weishulm, Robert Myers, Gerald Weishulm.
Main-Abeyta, Payne, Kenny Myers, R Myers, J Weishulm, Laci Reynolds, G Weishulm, Larry Reynolds, Ben Henderson, Steven Thacker.
Friday Heat-Kenny Brewer, Brian Perea, Jerry Higginbotham.
Friday Main-Perea, Brewer, Higginbotham.
Saturday Heat-Andres Batista, Brewer, Perea, Joe Monteith,.
Saturday Main-Batista, Perea, Brewer, Jennifer Greenberg, Monteith, Higginbotham.
Friday Heat 1-Robby Haaland, Greg Dickey, Pat Bush, Curt Barnett, Butch Reid Sr.
Friday Heat 2-Shawn Johnson, Lee Gonzales, Rick Boelter, Mike Sorenson, Ryan Engelhardt.
Friday Main-Bush, Barnett, Haaland, Reid, Johnson, Billy Johanneck, Dickey, Sorenson, Rodney Sanders, Gonzales, Robert Kapinski, Rick McComb, Robert Shay, Kevin Neuville, Boelter.
Saturday Heat 1-Johnson, Bush, Sanders, Engelhardt, Boelter.
Heat 2-Dickey, Reid, Barnett, Haaland, Gonzales.
Main-Haaland, Dickey, Sanders, Bush, Reid, Barnett, Johnson, Sorenson, Gonzales, Boelter, Johanneck, Neuville, Shay, Engelhardt, Kapinski.