Wet and Wild

 

Rain, rollovers, and three wide finishes combined for what was perhaps the best night of racing in years. Gallatin Speedway hosted the sprint cars and although rain threatened the entire night the crew squeezed in an entire show and nobody left with a frown.

 

First on track for the main events were the sprint cars and Joe Ramaker started on pole with Phil Dietz to his outside. On the initial restart, the 98 of Ramaker jumped out to a nice lead but Billings racer Phil Dietz stayed just a few feet behind him. A red flag waved for a terrifying crash for Trevor Kirkland and Chip Roe tumbling end over end but both drivers were okay. The green flag waved again and the sprints put on a great show. The lead three drivers of Joe Ramaker, Phil Dietz, and Brock Lemley of Peterson Racing separated themselves from the rest of the pack. It looked to be a runaway as Ramaker hugged the tires and built a lead that seemed insurmountable. Lapped traffic was now right in the front of the leader and Lemley knew it was his chance to steal the lead and going into corner 3, he succeeded and finally wrestled the lead away from Ramaker. Ramaker continued having problems with the lapped cars as he keeps dropping like a rock in the running order (Eventually Ramaker pulled off the track with mechanical issues). Lemley had a straightaway lead and as he took the white flag something happened and the car slowed. Lemley knew his night was over and pulled to the infield. Lurking in second was none other than Phil Dietz, never giving up and grabbing the first sprint car feature of Gallatin Speedway’s young season. Brent Kronfuss crossed the line second, David Hoinness in third. Heat race winners included Trevor Kirkland and Brock Lemley.

 

Super Stocks were taking the track now and Dave Hyde was leading them to the green flag with Kevin Scott to the outside. Both drivers had a terrible first week and looked to rebound and perhaps grab their first win of 2012. On the start Hyde got the lead, and slid up inches in front of Scott retaining the lead. Scott immediately turned up the heat, looking high and low, but both Hyde and Scott got a huge surprise when John Lighthizer got a massive run and slid under both drivers to take the lead. Kevin Scott wanted none of that, and got a run underneath Lighthizer for the lead. Back in fourth position Mark Rieker was slicing and dicing the field to work his way to the front and eventually worked up to second position. Catching the leader is one thing but passing is another. The top five or six cars swapped positions lap after lap and no position was a sure thing. A caution flag waved, and once everything was sorted, Dave Hyde once again had the lead, Mark Rieker second, Kevin Scott in third Dan Guenther in fourth and last week’s winner, Justin Rieker was in fifth after starting the race from the eleventh position. The green flag waved and a “Rieker Train” formed on the outside line. Mark Rieker challenged Hyde on the cushion, and flew by stealing the lead. Justin Rieker saw what his father had done and turned on the afterburners taking the race for second three wide, and ripping second place away. The laps were winding down, the race for the lead was raging, and a father son duo were the stars. Mark Rieker was the leader and Justin Rieker was challenging. The challenger was now the leader as Justin slid underneath Mark and ran away from the field. The white flag waved and nobody was catching Justin Rieker as he took his second victory in two weeks at Gallatin Speedway in 2012. Mark Rieker held on for second, Ty Clemens in third, Jeremy Meirhofer fourth and Dan Guenther rounded out the top five. Carmi Wells and Jeremy Meirhofer won the first heat races of the night.

 

Wissota Modifieds had the most exciting finish of last weekend between Jeremy Meirhofer and Erin Shane with Shane coming away victorious. but that might as well have been a hundred years ago. This week Jeremy Meirhofer started on pole and redemption was at the front of his mind. Kasey Brown started to the outside, and as the green flag waved Brown rocketed to the lead, and tried to separate his 21 modified from the pack. Meirhofer settled into the second position, but the race for third was anything but settled. Joey Price, Jody Kropp, and Maurice Myre raced three wide, none of them backing off and somehow these veterans made it through the raging fight with Joey Price coming away with third and now challenging Meirhofer for second. Erin Shane, in fifth position, started to make his way to the front. The top three cars were like an old fashioned Stretch Armstrong. Brown would stretch the lead out, Meirhofer and Price would reel him back in. The race for fourth on the other hand now had the spotlight as Erin Shane, Maurice Myre and Emory Wells raced three wide with Erin Shane winning that battle too. Shane then passed Price for fifth and set his sights on future rival Jeremy Meirhofer. Due to lapped traffic Brown’s assault on the field was over. Erin Shane had snuck around Meirhofer and was challenging Brown on the low side while Brown ran very high. Shane stole the lead and for the second week in a row, tried to check out. The leaders were in heavy lapped traffic now and the white flag was in hand. Kasey Brown moved to the low line and made up time to make the lead battle a 3 car race. Coming through the last corner nobody knew who would win. Kasey Brown, Erin Shane and Jeremy Meirhofer were side by side by side. The three men crossed the line 3 wide virtually in a tie. The winner was announced and Jeremy Meirhofer got his first career victory in a Wissota Modified, Erin Shane squeaked out 2nd position, Kasey Brown third. Emory Wells finished fourth and Chad Johnson fifth. Erin Shane and Chad Johnson had won their heat races earlier in the evening

 

After everyone caught their breath the night was still not over. Three races, and three great finishes but the street stocks were not to be outdone on this night. Ron Webber started on the pole with Ron Imberi to his outside. Webber started incredibly fast, but Dwayne Fowler started faster. Fowler started in the third position, and was now challenging for the lead and although Webber had it, Fowler would not give up. Webber developed a lead and now Fowler and Paul Lease tried to run him down. When they finally caught him Fowler challenged high, but Lease showed more muscle and slipped by low. Paul Lease now had the lead while Webber and Fowler raced hard for second. As laps wound down the Deer Lodge drivers worked their way up when a caution came out. Lease’s huge lead was erased, Dwayne Fowler was hungry in the second position, and last week’s winner, Beau Brown was in third. Paul Lease got the best restart of the night and retained the lead while Beau Brown and Dwayne Fowler raced for second. Brown came towards the back of Lease and gave him a little bump. Brown challenged low and now Dwayne Fowler tried to “Git R Done” on the high line. the race for the lead was once again three wide. The race was once again winding down and the race was also, unpredictable. After another caution the players remained the same. The white flag waved and within the last two laps, Fowler, Brown, and Lease all lead. The checkered was in hand and Paul Lease edged Beau Brown by inches, Dwayne Fowler in third, Nick Hunter in fourth and Kenneth Hunter in fifth. The cars came across the scale and unfortunately for Lease, his car was ten pounds light so Beau Brown would win his second race in a row at Gallatin Speedway. Dwayne Fowler, Dan Bowlin, and Kenneth Hunter won their heat races.

 

\Dru Brown

 

 

 

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