McBee Survives Multiple Cautions to Claim His Second Victory in the Midwest Modifieds at Electric City Speedway
With unseasonable amounts of snow and rain fall in Montana, Electric City Speedway has had its own battle with Mother Nature and a slow start to their 2011 racing season. After two weeks of cancellations due to rain the weather decided to cooperate for Saturday evening’s scheduled event. However, with the almost half an inch of rain Great Falls received on Friday the already oversaturated ground took a beating. By early afternoon on Saturday promoter Dan Mann was still unable to start packing in the track due all the water from the previous few days of rain. Concrete barriers in turn four had fallen flat onto the track as the ground gave way to the moisture. As things began to start drying out Richie Peterson from Apple Valley Backhoe Service was able to temporarily repair the damaged wall so racing could go on as scheduled.
The determination to race was strong and persevered over all the wet. Midwest Modified driver Ron Sasek said, “Right now we can worry about getting into the pit. We will race and then worry about getting out.”
As it came time for drivers to start arriving at the track the infield was fairly dry and Mann used the grader to move a majority of the standing water in the upper pit out of the way for parking. This still caused a dilemma as the upper pit has been designated for enclosed trailers and all open trailers have been told to use the infield pit area. Simplest fix was to inform drivers as they pulled in to switch roles for the evening. Those that usually park in the infield parked in the top to allow for drivers with the heavier tow vehicles and trailers to park in the dryer infield.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks got the honor of starting things out. During the heats Rich Wermling had problems and was the only car unable to finish. Dorn Jeske had a few fuel issues during the feature and brought out the caution as he was trying to make it into the pit. Sharid Lee suffered a broken tie rod. Chuck Fleming who led a few laps had to pull in for a right front flat. Once Casey Steffenson took the lead there was no looking back as at one point he was half a lap ahead of Pacer Popham who was in second. Pacer was reeling Steffenson in but ran out of laps.
During the WISSOTA Modified first heat Gary Hill, the previous event’s feature winner, was leading when he lost oil pressure. Hill was out for the rest of the evening. After two attempts at a good start in the feature the front row of Joey Price and Vernon Hill were sent to the back of the pack and drivers Tony Steward & Maurice Myre were moved to the front. During the initial attempt at a start Pat Wallace and Chad Johnson wreck in turn one. Johnson was unable to get back out onto the track. Tony Steward, Pat Wallace, and Joey Price had separate issues preventing them from finishing the race. It appeared Maurice Myre had the car to beat as he dominated the feature event but had to settle for second place. Mark Wermling came from the eighth place starting spot to work his way around traffic and passed Myre as they took the white flag.
The determination of the drivers in the Not So Pure Stocks was evident from the beginning of the race as Kory Wermling made his way to the front. Driver Cody Ryan took a hit that damaged the transmission and ended his evening. Larry Gonzales had two different spins and was victim of the cause two cautions and you are out rule. As Wermling appeared to be a shoe in for the victory track conditions and Patrick Harvie had other ideas. Harvie muscled his way through to Wermling and some rough racing ensued. Harvie came out successful and Wermling suffered a blown tire in the battle. Stephan Foley was unable to finish as he ended up just off the racing surface with two laps to go. Matt O’Connell was catching Harvie but was spun in turn 3 and though he kept it going was unable to catch Harvie. On the cool down lap Edward Freeman’s steering locked up and as he jerked it free he launched off the tires lining the infield on the backstretch flipping his car a couple of times. Freeman landed just a few feet from the nose of the Midwest Modified of Joey Price. Freeman walked away from the incident without injury.
The WISSOTA Street Stocks had uneventful heats, but fans were not disappointed in the feature as Kyle Jarvey suffered a left rear flat in turn four that dug into the track’s surface causing him to almost flip over onto his roof. Kenneth Hunter had some problems with his car and pulled off track just before Jarvey’s wreck. Beau Brown and Paul Lease battled with Warren Samoy in the final laps. Brown and Lease battled side by side and the win was set to be a great finish in the late laps. After a restart, less than desirable track conditions had Brown struggling for control. Lease was victorious.
With almost twice as many WISSOTA Midwest Modified as there were in previous weeks sixteen drivers set out for the opportunity to be victorious. Ron Sasek spun in turn one early in the race. A few laps later while attempting to pass Vernon Hill on the inside in turns three and four Sean McBee hit a rough spot in the track that had him shooting up into Hill. Paul Leach was outside of Hill at time of contact and fell victim to the craziness. Hill was out for the night and McBee was sent to the back for causing the caution. Leach was able to return to the track briefly but lost a driveline and was able to make it into the infield without incident. Jonathan Scraber spun in turn three collecting Dan Steber. Both drivers were able to continue. Turn three hosted the second multi-car incident as five drivers stacked up sideways. Joey Ray was sent to the back for causing the caution. Jerry Sangrey Jr. and Joey Price wreck bringing out yet another caution. The black and yellow crossed flags appeared letting drivers know any further cautions would result in the offending driver being sent to the pits. Jeramy Myers was the first to receive the penalty. Drivers were informed the 20 lap feature would be shortened to 15 as they hadn’t completed even 5 laps. With five laps remaining Jake Tacke spins bringing out yet another caution. Marty Harvie, who had been losing oil all night, finally lost the battle and broke down in turn three. After the early race penalty of going to the back Sean McBee survived the many wrecks and cautions to maneuver his way back to the front claiming his second victory in three races for the class.
Not So Pure Stock
Heat 1: JJ Johnson, Matt O’Connell, Carl Sangrey, Marilee Woyth-Brinkman, Robert Hoffman, Larry Gonzales, Edward Freeman (DNF)
Heat 2: Kory Wermling, Cody Ryan, Patrick Harvie, Jeremy Ivie, Stephan Foley, Brian Chaon
Feature: P. Harvie, B. Chaon, M. O’Connell, M. Woyth-Brinkman, E. Freeman, J. Ivie, R. Hoffman, S. Foley (DNF), K. Wermling (DNF), C. Sangrey (DNF), JJ Johnson (DNF), L. Gonzales (DNF), C. Ryan (DNF)
Heat 1: Paul Lease, Beau Brown, Warren Samoy, Troy Weninger, Ron Mattern, Bryant Kruckenberg
Heat 2: Marvin Gonzales, Kenneth Hunter, Nick Hunter, Kyle Jarvey, Michael Price
Feature: P. Lease, B. Brown, W. Samoy, N. Hunter, M. Gonzales, R. Mattern, T. Weninger, M. Price, B. Kruckenberg, K. Jarvey (DNF), K. Hunter (DNF)
Heat 1: Dan Steber, Vernon Hill, Sean McBee, Marty Harvie, Kelly Blixt, Travis Cushman, Jonathan Scraber, Joey Ray
Heat 2: Paul Leach, Zach Olson, Beau Brown, Jeramy Myers, Ron Sasek, Jerry Sangrey Jr., Joey Price, Jacob Tacke
Feature: S. McBee, B. Brown, D. Steber, K. Blixt, R. Sasek, T. Cushman, J. Ray, M. Harvie (DNF), J. Tacke (DNF), J. Myers (DNF), Z. Olson (DNF), J. Sangrey Jr. (DNF), V. Hill (DNF), P. Leach (DNF), J. Scraber (DNF), J. Price (DNF)
Heat 1: Chuck Fleming, Sharid Lee, Jake Tucker, Pat LaMere, Kevin Scott, Mike Pistelak
Heat 2: Casey Steffenson, Pacer Popham, Josh Aho, Tony Steber, Dorn Jeske, Rich Wermling (DNF)
Feature: C. Steffenson, P. Popham, R. Wermling, M. Pistelak, J. Aho, P. LaMere, K. Scott, C. Fleming, J. Tucker, S. Lee (DNF), D. Jeske (DNF), T. Steber (DNS)
Heat 1: Jody Kropp, Tony Steward, Paul Donnelly, Joey Price, Chad Johnson, Gary Hill (DNF)
Heat 2: Mark Wermling, Maurice Myre, Vernon Hill, Paul Leach, David Azure, Pat Wallace
Feature: M. Wermling, M. Myre, J. Kropp, P. Donnelly, V. Hill, P. Leach, D. Azure, J. Price(DNF), P. Wallace (DNF), T. Steward (DNF), C. Johnson (DNF), G. Hill (DNS)