Martin masters Southern New Mexico Speedway for USAC/NMMRA Shootout victory

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July 11, 2015  |  by Walker Akers

It was almost as crazy as a Wild West gunfight tonight at the Southern New Mexico Speedway because after getting rained out last night, every single driver in the house was looking to take their shot at glory. Over 30 non-wing 360 sprint cars where in attendance and not one of them had a doubt in their mind that they could win tonight. Of course they can’t all win and with that many men looking to finish in victory lane, it makes for a crazy show!

The B main event for the 360 Non-Wing USAC and NMRA shootout would start the night and things got hectic from there. B-Main events come when there are to many cars to run in just one main event race for the big money. Only 22 cars are normally allowed to start an A-Main event so with 32 cars in contention tonight that means that 10 cars are going home without even having a shot at it all. The first 16 cars in the A-Main are automatically chosen from how they did in passing points from their respective heat races. That leaves us with the 16 cars whom will take the green flag for this B-Main event of only 12 laps. The top 6 of the B-Main are the only cars to transfer to the A-main and they complete the field of the normal 22 cars for that feature event.

The 20Z of Rick Ziehl holds the pole for the B-Main but the 37 of Joshua Jackson is the notable here as he won his heat race by a mile but neglected to go to the weigh scales after the race and was disqualified. Joshua starts last in the B-Main but is looking fiery after winning the heat.

On the start it’s the 20Z darting ahead early but they weren’t nose and nose at the cone like the rules say so we will have a complete restart. The 00 had darted low early but he goes back to row 2 again for the complete restart. Lets see who took notes for round 2!

Things will get heated in the next 12 laps as we have 5 more cautions that will take out the 5 and send the 00 to the rear of the field. Rick Ziehl will hold off the 13S of Stevie Sussex for the win and will lead this one from flag to flag every single lap but 12 cautions definitely kept him on his toes. The 2, 7,17, and 37 also make it into the A-Main with 3-6th place finishes. Now even though only 22 drivers are normally starting the A-Main it seems we have a little change up as the 45 of Jason Grady and the 38 Micheal Fanelli will get the promoters provisional picks tonight and they have an extra shot at the money! That promoters pick will make things very interesting up front as the 45 was running great in the B-Main until mechanical issue and the 38 always has the potential to make these races the best they can be. Both those drivers may be starting in the rear but expect them up front by the end of this one.

Now, after the excitement of the caution filled Non-wing B-Main event we get back to regular scheduled races with the USRA X-Mods!! The X15 of Rick Hall was very strong in his heat race and is the man to watch in this one as he starts right up in the front. When the green flag drops it is hall taking out early but just as in the Non-Wing B-Main we have a caution before one lap is even complete. The 44D of Troy Phillips has gone spinning into the front stretch as 17 X-Mods come hauling around for 20 laps.

Restart this one completely and the X15 is going to finally complete that first lap. However, this time the X15 didn’t jump so far ahead and the 3 of Dickie Gorham is all over that back bumper. The X15 is doing his best of holding off the 3 but only three laps complete and caution waves for the J17 of Rivera who just spit out a drive shaft down the back stretch.

This restart is going to have the X15 and the 3 jumping way out on the field again but now they are finally going to complete some laps and battle hard without interruption from caution. That is for 8 laps anyways because with 11 to go the 33 will slam the 07 hard and into turn 2 the 07 has absolutely no control of that car. Caution for the third time and the X15 is going to have to work those skills again.

The 82 of Sherman Barnett is now running third and boy oh boy is he looking sharp around the speedway tonight. Sherman is looking so sharp that when the green flag drops the X15 and the 3 wont be able to pull away so easy this time! The top 3 go nose to tail and this one just heated up about 50 degrees.

As the top 3 battle the 33 of Justin Allen has found his line and here he comes to make it a four way battle for the lead. Only 8 laps to go and the 33 has caught the 82 completely and along comes the 9 of Jimmy Ray right there with him! Those 2 drivers seem to have just found the groove to work with and around Sherman they go just like it was a breeze.

With 5 laps remaining the X15 and 3 battle for first while the 33 and 9 are duking it out for third. The have taken a little gapping between the pairs now but it wont matter because just as they past the flag stand with 4 laps to go the 7C of John Carney will spin in turn 3 bringing out the 4th caution of the night for these X-Mods.

Rick Hall will get his X15 machine the absolute perfect restart and away he goes. The 33 and 3 are stuck to fight it out for second as he just dominates the track for the last 4 laps because tonight it was the Rick Hall show in X15. This is ricks second win of the season. Dickie Gorham in 3 put in a valiant effort but tonight just wasn’t meant to be and he will take home a well deserved second place. Justin Allen fought hard to get up front and finishing 3rd is a good accomplishment for him. Jimmy Ray in 9 will round out your top 4 for USRA X-Mods.

We take a small break the high flying break neck speeds to bring you Southern New Mexico Speedway Hornets racing! A total of 6 of these beasts have showed up tonight and they will run a full 12 laps around the speedway. The 28 of Brenda Carr won the heat race with a little bumping early on and she will do the same thing here in the main. A little rough from Brenda but no black flag and we look back to the other drivers where the real action is coming from. The action is coming from the 74, 287, and 13 whom are all battling their hearts out for second.

They three drivers will battle the entire 12 laps allowing Brenda Carr to Check out and completely dominate this Hornets race. She comes all the way from Truth or Consequences and earns another win at the Southern New Mexico Speedway. The 74 holds off the 28T of Rudy Tarin Jr. for second and the 13x of Benny Pena will finish fourth.

USRA Street stocks are always an intense class here at Southern New Mexico and even though only 10 have arrived tonight thy will definitely not disappoint. With the 3000$ to win, 40 lap main event next weekend for the street stocks, it seems that most of the drivers have decided to stay home and save their cars. Luckily for us some of the best drivers this season have still showed up to showdown and we will not be left disappointed after this one.

The start is going to have the 74, 3H. and 750 all to lead early as they go 3 wide early for the lead! The 74 leads the group at the line but the 3H of Noah Hollingshead has come from 8th all the way to second after just one and a half laps and it doesn’t look like he plans on stopping there.

Hollingshead is knocking on the door and into turn 3 he is going to kick that door down because coming out of turn 4 he has darted to the inside and will lead at the line for the third lap! The 3H jumped to the front and as this pace it seems like he never plans on looking back because after 6 laps he is so far ahead of the field second place probably cant even see him without looking out the side window. The 3D of Rudy Munoz is in second but it’s the 0 of Lloyd Turner is is all the way to third after starting this race dead last!

10 laps in with only 5 to go and Lloyd Turner finds his groove and blows by the 3D but now he has t is blistering fast up in front.

IF you looked away you missed it because somehow Lloyd Turner grabbed another gear and has caught the 3H with 2 laps to go!! This will be a drag race to the finish as both drivers are known for being consistent and clean.

Into turn 3 its Turner diving in way to hard! He will smack the 3H hard but it seems he has a right front flat and he will have to leave the racing surface even with only 1 lap to go. The 3H stayed ahead of Turner after that hard hit which was a complete accident and luckily for Hollingshead, the 3d has caught him but doesn’t have room to pass him. With the white flag waving and the 0 having to pull from the speedway for that flat tire, the 3H has an easy finish and man did he put in a blistering race for that win! The 3D of Rudy Munoz takes home a great full second place with the man George LaRose bringing home the podium in third.

Mini Sprints are the smaller version of our Non-Wing 305 sprint cars except tonight the Mini’s are running the wing. Ive been told that the mini’s are a little too interesting to try and race without the wings so tonight we keep them on and go racing for 15 laps! It is the 4S of Spencer hill to the lead early and he will lead the first two laps until trouble for the 35 down the front straight and we have caution number 1 in this one. The 4S was racking there but the 1 of Will Gonzalez was giving it everything he had from that second position.

When they restart it is a clean jump for the 4S and we go back to racing. The top two of Spencer hill and Will Gonzalez are gapping way out over the field and finally getting some solid green flag racing completed when caution flies again with 9 to go! Spencer has to be getting tired on these restarts and this one is going to show it as Will Gonzalez is going to fly by on the outside.

Will Gonzalez must have felt like a champion out there tonight because the next three laps he is going to gap the field and had there not been a caution on lap with 5 laps to go Will Gonzalez would have absolutely dominated this race. But! That isn’t how dirt track racing every really works out and so caution as we are 10 laps in with 5 to go.

On this restart the 4S is back in business and if you blink you missed it because he is in the lead and going going gone. The 4 wont even look back and the victory is all his tonight. Spencer hill lead those last 5 laps of the restart and will take home the hard fought caution filled win! The 1 of Will Gonzalez led some soid laps but cautions kept him from the win and he will take home the great driving second place finish. The 11T of Thereon Flack rounds out the podium and what a great finish from him.

IT IS TIME!!!! For the USAC/NMRA Shootout at Southern New Mexico and boy oh boy are they ready to duel! 24 cars will jump on track tonight and fight for the big money but they also fight for the pride and as they do 30 circuits around things are surely guaranteed to heat up quickly! The 50, 37, 19, and 16 are all winners from the heat races but unfortunately for the 37 he missed the scales after his win and was forced to forfeit his win. The 37 qualified in the B-Main so luckily he is still in the running tonight he just has a lot of work to do if he wants to win this one.

The top 16 cars starting will be the drivers who made it in solely on passing points from their heats and the next 6 are those drivers who finished inside the top 6 in the B-Main event. Now those of you are who good at math know that 16+6 is only 22. So why will 24 cars start this main event you ask? Well that is thanks to the promoters provisional who gave two free passes out of the B-Main to two drivers who hadn’t made it in yet. The lucky drivers tonight are the 45 and the 38 and both these drivers will start on the very last row but they are happy to be in the show.

This is a 30 lap main event and the 27 of Nick Auito will start on the pole but just to his outside is the MAGIC MAN Mike Martin in the Number 16 car. Magic man was one of the winners from the heat and he was on a rail out there! The track has packed down now and lets see if he can do the same thing here.

Things got a little too heated a little to quick out there as the green flag waves but into turn 1 the 74B is going to do a complete frontflip and the track goes red to make sure he is ok. The 74B of John Carney II is totaled and will leave the raceway but also under red the 17 car is done as both cars wont even complete 1 lap. It’s a complete restart and we are down to 22 cars already. Just as the track is going to go green the 19 of Andy Reinbolt is going to have a front end issue and he pulls it off. Not one lap complete and three cars gone. It got hot quick!

Luckily for the 16 he can finally complete 1 lap as the leader and he dominating way out on this one. Magic Man will lead lap 1&2 but here come the freight train 50 of Charles Davis with the 02 of Matt Rosi right on his bumper. Those two drivers are looking to real in the Magic Man and make this thing fiery hot.

The 16 is only 4 lengths ahead after six very quick laps but just as he crosses the line for the 7th lap, the 21tx has an issue in turn 4 and the car comes to a sputtering stop in the front stretch. Luckily for the 21Tx he has 60 seconds to fix that car and he will reenter the raceway just before the leaders take the green flag.

Mike Martin is up again after a clean restart but he will only have a chance to finish 4 more laps when the 77M will spin turn 4 and caution again. There are still 19 laps to go but the 50 is pounding on that door for lead. This restart isn’t go to be a complete gap out for the 16 because the 50 and the 02 have attached themselves to the rear bumper and those three will go nose to tail and blow the doors off the rest of the field.

Getting some solid green flag racing done and with 15 to go the 16 has finally gotten a little magic back to pull from the 50. The 2 is right on top of the 50 as they battle for second. That battle is intense and Mike Martin takes the opportunity to take a heavy lead once again.

The leader is cutting lappers like a warm knife through butter with 5 to go and it is the Magic Man Mike Martin Show up front. The 50 has held off the 02 for the last 10 laps while the rest of the field is scattered out throughout the whole racetrack.

Only 4 circuits remain for the 16 whom is almost a full straight away ahead now but it is never that easy in dirt track racing and caution flies! This one is for the 20Z of Rick Ziehl who was putting in a great run inside the top 8. One more restart for 16 and if he nails it this race is almost certainly his for the taking.

The 16 gets a very Magic restart but behinf him the 13S is sliding way up and over turn 2. The 13S is Stevie Sussex who started 18th and made it all the way to the 5th spot before that mishap. Luckily we stay green and Magic Mike Martin up front is set for smooth sailing for the win.

The 50 of Charles Davis and the 02 of Matt Rossi where in contention the whole race but at the checkered flag it is all the 16 of MAGIC MAN Mike Martin who leads flag to flag in this action packed speed filled NMRA USAC A-Main for the 305 Non-Wing Wingless Warriors! The 50 of Charles Davis shouldn’t be too disappointed with that second place finish as he was there in second every lap, there was just no beating Mike Martin in this one. The 02 will round out your podium in this spectacular Non-Wing sprint shootout.

After the race Mike Martin was calm and collected but getting his first win since last year had to feel great and here is what he had to say about his spectacular night.

How big of a win is this since you haven’t won since last year. Especially since you always run so great here at Southern New Mexico?
“Oh it’s a great feeling being back on top tonight. I was in second here at the Richard Griffin Classic last year when I had a tire go flat. We do always run really good here so I have just been waiting for that magic to come around so we could score a win. Tonight was the night.”

Why do they call you the Magic Man?
“Well its mainly because myself and this team we just always find a way to be at the races and to do really well in those races when we d make it. Whether its coming from the back or fixing a racecar just so we can come race, it always takes a little magic. The nickname really came from about 10 years ago one of my good buddies secretly had Magic Man put on my brand New Fire Suit for the Western World shootout and instead of sending the suit back I did really good in that race and my suits have said Magic Man since then.”

How was the track?
“The track was awesome tonight. It got really packed down and that is when I absolutely love to run these things. You have to drive the car so hard and be all over that wheel just to get anything done. It will wear you out but if you can handle it, it is the best time.”

When will we see Magic Man again?
“I will be here in November for the Richard Griffin Classic again and who knows we may even have a surprise in the making for that race. I cant wait to come back here to Southern New Mexico Speedway and get the win there just like I did tonight.”

Now after the races we tell everyone to go into the pits and talk to their favorite drivers, check out their cars and just enjoy the atmosphere. Tonight was a little different as Lorne Wofford had his BEAST of a two seater Wing Sprint car down in the pits and was doing rides for only 50 Bucks! That is one of the craziest things you will ever experience and if you have never been in a raceacar, the next time Lorne Wofford pulls out the two seater, you better hop on board because trust me. You wont regret!

If you did miss us this weekend join us next weekend for some more fun filled speed packed racing!
Gates open at 5:30
Racing starts 7:45
Don’t be late and bring an appetite for racing because there will be plenty of it!

NON-WINGED 360 SPRINTS - FEATURE FINISH
Pos Car # Driver
1 16 Mike Martin
2 50 Charles Davis
3 02 Matt Rossi
4 32B Brian Hosford
5 13G Dennis Giles
6 5 Tye Mihocko
7 77M RJ Johnson
8 13S Stevie Sussex
9 20 Shon Deskins
10 45 Jason Grady
11 7 Jesse Baker
12 7K Bruce St.James
13 37 Joshua Jackson
14 27 Nick Auito (DNF)
15 20Z Rick Ziehl (DNF)
16 38 Michael Fanelli (DNF)
17 19W Wes Wofford (DNF)
18 99.5 Derek Demartino (DNF)
19 2 Josh Shipley (DNF)
20 21TX Brandon Schure (DNF)
21 6 Robert Marfia (DNF)
22 19 Andy Reinbold (DNF)
23 74B John Carney II (DNF)
24 17 Stephen Spiak (DNF)

MINI SPRINTS - FEATURE FINISH
Pos Car # Driver
1 4S Spencer Hill
2 1 Will Gonzalez
3 11T Theron Flack
4 4 Jett Carney
5 167 Cory Taylor
6 3B Leonardo Borrego
7 22E Emily Haley
8 29 Kenny Alons
9 10 Bailey Holden
10 20 Ricky Holden (DNF)
11 27 Shane McNutt (DNF)
12 16 Kohl McCutcheon (DNF)
13 35 Joseph Gonzales (DNF)
14 5 Fabian Gomez (DNS)

USRA STOCK CARS - FEATURE FINISH
Pos Car # Driver
1 3H Noah Hollingshead
2 3D Rudy Munoz
3 44X George La Rose
4 97 Wyatt Loveland
5 42 Brent Dreyer
6 4T Timberly Swaim
7 74J Jason Josselyn
8 0 Lloyd Turner (DNF)
9 44JT Jaime Torres (DNF)
10 L750 Todd Froats (DNF)

HORNETS - FEATURE FINISH
Pos Car # Driver
1 28 Brenda Carr
2 74 Ben Ives
3 28T Rudy Tarin Jr
4 13X Benny Pena
5 24S Saul Delgado
6 62 Chino Barraza

USRA X-MODS - FEATURE FINISH
Pos Car # Driver
1 X15 Rick Hall
2 3 Dickie Gorham
3 33 Justin Allen
4 9 Jimmy Ray
5 52TX Paddy Rush
6 UNO Brian Kleine
7 07 Donavon Flores
8 7C John Carney
9 20A Alex Gonzalez
10 38 Hector Prigione
11 R41 Colton Sims
12 82 Sherman Barnett (DNF)
13 93 Gregory Gorham (DNF)
14 00 Stevie Gutierrez (DNF)
15 44 Christy Georges-Barnett (DNF)
16 44D Troy Phillips (DNF)
17 J17 Nicky Rivera (DNF)