Fito Gallardo tops 25-car USRA Modified field

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May 10, 2014  |  by Ruben Mireles

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- A weekend a lot of mothers wont forget, because they went to the dirt track on Saturday night on Mother's day weekend! The Southern New Mexico Speedway put on a show for the fans of Southern New Mexico, as it was the 2014 season opener for the Barnett Harley Davidson USRA Western Modifieds, Hornets, Bombers, Mini Sprints, and the Southwest Late Models presented by Indy Screen Print. Plus it was race number two of the season for the USRA Street Stocks.

A brand new class added during the off season to get more fans into the sport was the bombers, and boy did they put a good show! Seven bombers checking in for competition, at the beginning it was a battle for the lead with Mike Mays in 88, and the 2mild of Steven McGuire. Mike Mays would lead the race, but Steven McGuire would challenge him on the bottom of the speedway. With 5 laps in Steven's gears popped into neutral!?! Mike Mays would jump to a whole straight away lead. Sean Privette would try to catch up to May's but it was hard with how hooked that Micro Machine, Penny Brownwood, Fast Stop, The Shop #88 was. Mike Mays who killed in the Hornet class back in 2010, and 2011 with his brother Gary Mays, and Cory Brownwood, also Mike Mays who always runs good in the 200 Lap Enduro races, would win the first bomber race of the 2014 season!!

John Demartino dug his heart into his own pocket and pulled out some cash to bump up the purse for the Slime sponsored Mini Sprints main event. Now the Mini Sprints only having four check in due to just adding them to the schedule on a late notice. The Slime Mini Sprints coming out, and man it was a nail biting race, and a standing ovation finish! At the green Jerrad Warhurst started on the pole, and let Derek Demartino drive his back up car. Derek would start outside pole position. At the green the killer in go cart racing; Derek Demartino would smash the gas pedal and take off!! Now the main event was only 10 laps, so Jerrad said "I'm not going to lose to by back up car", so Warhurst found the gas pedal and made a recovery. With three laps to go the fans would go nuts because Jerrad Warhurst was side by side with Derek Demartino for the lead!! Warhurst would have a good run on the the exit of turn four but just couldn't complete the pass. On the final lap Jerrad had a great run off of four and Derek was slowing down!! Derek Demartino's chain fell of the motor but still won the race by inches!!!! Popcorn flew all over the grandstands as the fans went nuts!! But it was a "Dynamite" season opener for the Smile Mini Sprint's.

The racing action was good, so the CSR Garage Hornets had to keep it going. On the first lap of action Todd Froats in L750 would spin on the first lap, but we stayed green. Ben Ives your 2013 defending Hornet Track champion would have the lead until Friday nights winner at the El Paso Speedway Park Rudy Tarin would take it away in the exit of turn two, with two laps in the race. Rudy would run away, but Ben Ives was not going to let Rudy slide by just like that. Ben would challenge him for the lead. They were side by side!! Ben would get him, but a red flag came out!!! Dalton Carabajal pulled into the infield on lap 3 then a red flag came out for Dalton on lap 4, after hitting the infield wall full speed!! During that 10 minute red flag, Ben Ives was brain storming to figure out how he was going to get around that fast 28t of Rudy Tarin Jr. At the restart it was a "Hammer down" strategy for Ben. Rudy would try to hold of Ben but he was to fast. Ben would win the season opener for the CSR Garage Hornets.

Representing three states; New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona in the 20 lap main event for the Southwest Late Models presented by Indy Screen Print was good!!! Billy Roy Harris, and modified legend driver Scott Logston would start in row one. Billy Roy Harris would try to lead the opening lap, but spun out in the middle of 3 and 4. Logston would run away. Eric McNutt would get to second quickly. Dave Deetz and James Laing would battle for the 3rd spot, and would also try to tag team Eric McNutt for the runner up spot. Eric would hear Dave in the high line coming after him, but Dave was smart to let go of the gas and let Eric McNutt hear James Laing coming in the bottom. So Laing had a run going into turn 3 and McNutt blocked James by coming to the bottom and Dave saw the door open in the high line of turn 3!!! Dave would go in like a ninja and take second for just a breath, as he overshot turn 3! Jonathon Ortega had no place to go so he went nose climbing on that 12 of Dave Deetz, plus Nita Deetz who also had no place to go hit the 22 of Ortega. So a pile up in turn three that didn't let Dave, and Nita be able to continue in the main. Now it was hands down for second. Laing finally got around Eric McNutt. James Laing from Tucson, Arizona would try to catch up to Logston, and was for a couple of laps there at the end. but Logston would run away! Scott Logston would win the main event for the Southwest Late Models presented by Indy Screen Print.

A night of full throttle entertainment continued with the USRA Street Stocks. Justin Lasiter, and Noah Hollingshead put a show! Noah Hollingshead would show the way with Justin Lasiter all over him for the lead. But Lasiter could not use the bottom of the speedway to get around Noah for the lead. Hollingshead caught up to lap traffic down the back straight, Justin was ready to bust a move. Noah taking the bottom and then Tamra Pierce went to the bottom and blocked the 3H of Hollingshead!! Justin would take the lead! Noah Hollingshead had nothing left up his sleeve. Justin Lasiter would win the main event for the USRA Street Stocks.

Twenty-Five Barnett Harley Davidson USRA Western Modifieds checked in for battle, and was it a "Fire Cracker"!! At the beginning it was a Gallardo Show! It was the M16 of Rick Gallardo showing the way with Josh Gallardo in second, and Fito Gallardo in third. Fito would wheel himself to the lead. Christy Georges was tired of it being a Gallardo show, so she would work her self around Rick Gallardo, and Josh Gallardo. Royal Jones did the same. Royal played "Monkey see, monkey do" as he just followed Christy for a while. Later into the main event, Fito was gone. until it came down to the wire. with 4 laps to go it became a yellow flag fest. Gallardo on restarts had nothing to worry about until Royal Jones, and Christy Georges was starting to read his moves on the restarts. Fito would just use the bottom, Christy was to tight for the high line, Jones just had no launch. Fito Gallardo would escape, and would win the 2014 season opener for the Barnett Harley Davidson USRA Western Modifieds!!

The Southern New Mexico Speedway is going to need some repairs, because we blew the roof off the place, even though we don't even have one!! A good night on a special Mother's day weekend event. What better can a mother get than that. The Southern New Mexico Speedway would like to thank all the fans, and drivers that come out and support the speedway. Tell your friends, family, workers, and everyone else you know to come on out this Saturday night for the return of the ASCS 305 Winged Sprint Cars.