Racing on Thursday Night as Electric City Speedway Hosts a Prelude to the Downpour
As racers were arriving at the track on Thursday afternoon some were wondering if we were getting a downpour that would halt the night’s Prelude to the Downpour events. Rain came down in sheets briefly before 4:00 p.m. So that drivers and fans wouldn’t have to choose between either attending a race on a Saturday night or the Downpour Festival. Downpour is a home-grown, Free Christian Music Festival in Great Falls, Montana. We are staffed by volunteers, and our desire is to share the gospel with non-believers while breaking down church walls and barriers.
On hand for the evening were the Not So Pure Stocks, WISSOTA Street Stocks, WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds and WISSOTA Super Stocks. The only caution that flew during the heats was in the second of the Midwest Modifieds. Flagman Johnny Ray wasn’t happy with the start and called off the first lap to set the field back up to try again.
During the intermission period WISSOTA Midwest Modified driver Jeramy Myers in his 24 and WISSOTA Super Stock driver Dolan Sevalstad in his 24c battled in a best of three “grudge match”. “Grudge matches” consist of a one lap dash to the checkered with different starting positions each time. Starting on the inside of the first lap Myers was leading through turns one and two, but Sevalstad claimed his first victory with a clear lead. Switching starting positions Myers was able to finish just shy of Sevalstad. For the final lap Myers was positioned in front of Sevalstad and remained that way to a victory of his own. With a 2-1 final score Dolan Sevalstad was declared the winner of the “grudge match”.
With the heats and intermission special race in the books the Not So Pure Stocks took to the track for their feature. After scratching the event due to mechanical problems, Bill Handel was in position for front row seats on the infield backstretch to most of the action without having to dodge any of it. With four laps complete, Carl Sangrey hits the wall coming out of turn two and stops on the backstretch just across from his pit. Cody Ryan was working his way through the field, but had to pull off the track for overheating. When his crew and Handel, who was pit next to Cody, were able to pull the hood off it was discovered that Ryan had lost a belt.
While the excitement was going on in Ryan’s pit to assist him off of the pit lane, a battle was going on in the race between JJ Johnson and George Grubb. Grubb would get under Johnson in the corners and as they were making their way on the straight stretches Johnson would retake his position putting Grubb to his outside. After a few laps Grubb lost control coming out of two and clipped the back end of Johnson’s car. Though George attempted to get the car under control, there was nowhere for Patrick Harvie to go and he fell victim to the incident. Grubb went up on his left side tires and continued to roll down the backstretch. Harvie had no choice but to hold on as his car was basically stuck under Grubbs for the entire roll. Johnson’s night was cut short as this incident had him spun and into the infield tires at the entry to turn three. The race was red flagged as track officials assisted Grubb out of his car and off the track. He was a little shaken, but okay. Harvie had to pit for repairs and was able to rejoin the field at the restart.
Kory Wermling had worked his way from an eighth starting position to the lead by the time any of the flipping action had taken place. As the event resumed, Wermling didn’t let his lead go and claimed yet another victory this season. This was Kory’s seventh victory in fourteen races.
The WISSOTA Super Stocks were on their best behavior for a second week in a row. Though Clay Irwin led in the early laps, Pacer Popham and Dolan Sevalstad worked their way around him. In a close battle for a couple of laps, Popham overtook Sevalstad for the lead and finished his race in front of the field. Though Jake Tucker, Bob Feist and Mike Pistelak were unable to finish the event, they were able to pull off without causing a caution. The race was another green to checker finish for the Super Stocks.
The WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds held their first caution on just after the start as Aaron Liscum, in mid pack, had a spin in turn one. Paul Donnelly had to pit for a left front flat. In short time Donnelly rejoined the field at the back for the restart. Ron Sasek and Jeramy Myers had a tangle that sent Sasek to the back for a restart. Jerry Sangrey Jr. pulled off during this caution because of a sick motor. This race was all Joey Price. Starting from the pole, Price worked his way through lapped traffic and a bid from Paul Donnelly to claim his first victory in the class. Donnelly had worked his way up from restarting fourteenth for his second place finish.
Finally the WISSOTA Street Stocks rounded out the evening with a few cautions and old faces in attendance. Mike Anderson of Havre, Montana had taken last season off and had no intention of running this season but when he came to support fellow competitors from Deer Lodge the previous week he couldn’t resist the pull of the horsepower. Another old face was Tommy Miesmer. Getting into a Not So Pure Stock a few weeks earlier, Miesmer went out and found himself a Street Stock to drive. The first caution came out when Michael Price got crossed up in turn one. Paul Lease slowed up to avoid but there wasn’t enough time for Beau Brown to. He ended up spinning Lease and causing some damage to his car. Brown pulled into the pits and was done for the evening. On the restart, Ron Mattern lost control in turn two and spun in front of the field. The final caution of the evening flew when Mike Anderson got into Paul Lease as they were entering turn three. Lease went around. Out maneuvering and outlasting for a second week in a row, Paul Lease was victorious as he worked around Marvin Gonzales and Nick Hunter as the final laps wound down.
This next week is going to be a busy one for the speedway as it hosts two of three nights of the NSA Sprint Shootout. Drivers from CA, OR, WA, Canada and Montana meet for Montana Speed week on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 for their first night. Taking Thursday off racing will resume at Gallatin Speedway in Belgrade on Friday, August 19, 2011 and close out the shootout back at Electric City Speedway on Saturday, August 20, 2011. Contact the track for advanced tickets.
Not So Pure Stock
Heat #1 – Tim Doyle, Cody Ryan, George Grubb, Casey Durand, Patrick Harvie, Larry Gonzales
Heat #2 – Kory Wermling, JJ Johnson, Carl Sangrey, Bill Handel, Shannon Cote, Greg Azure
Feature – Wermling, Doyle, Azure, Harvie, Durand, Gonzales, Cote, Johnson (DNF), Grubb (DNF), Ryan (DNF), Sangrey (DNF), Handel (DNS)
WISSOTA Super Stock
Heat – Pacer Popham, Clay Irwin, Chuck Fleming, Dolan Sevalstad, Sharid Lee, Pat LaMere, Jake Tucker, Mike Pistelak, Bob Feist
Feature – Popham, Sevalstad, Irwin, Lee, LaMere, Fleming, Pistelak (DNF), Feist (DNF), Tucker (DNF)
WISSOTA Midwest Modifieds
Heat #1 – Aaron Liscum, Kelly Blixt, Paul Donnelly, Joey Price, Ron Sasek, Chuck Bowley, Jake Tacke, Tim McCune (DNS)
Heat #2 – Marty Harvie, Joey Tinker, Sean McBee, Chris Hill, Jeramy Myers, Michael Shure, Jerry Sangrey Jr., Joey Ray (DNS)
Feature – Price, Donnelly, McBee, Harvie, McCune, Liscum, Blixt, Tinker, Tacke, Myers, Sasek, Bowley, Shure, Ray (DNF), Sangrey Jr. (DNF), Hill (DNS)
WISSOTA Street Stock
Heat #1 – Marvin Gonzales, Ron Mattern, Beau Brown, Nick Hunter, Troy Weninger (DNF)
Heat #2 – Paul Lease, Mike Anderson, Tom Miesmer, Michael Price, Jim Davis Jr., Ron Weber (DNF)
Feature – Lease, Gonzales, Hunter, Anderson, Miesmer, Weber, Mattern, Davis Jr., Price (DNF), Brown (DNF), Weninger (DNS)