2nd Annual Joe Herrera Memorial Race

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September 3, 2016  |  by Walker Akers

Non Wing Sprint cars have returned to Southern New Mexico Speedway and its USAC v NMMRA 360’s going toe to toe! The USRA Dirt Modifieds, Mini Sprints, Street Stocks, claimers, and The 2nd Annual Joe Herrera Memorial race for the 305 winged Sprint cars also joining the field tonight!

Modifieds were the first on the speedway tonight and The G17 of Fito Gallardo would come shooting off turn 4 on lap 1 and go straight to the front! No time wasted there for the G17 and Gallardo going gone. The 85 of Adams would move to the low side of the 9 and the 85 into second. Jammin Jimmy Ray putting his 9 machine into the top 3 but many cautions would keep drivers on their toes in this one. The J17 and the 111 where the best entertainment in this race as they battled back and fourth for the top 4. Jake Gallardo would finally get past the 11 and a bunch more cautions would allow him to pick off the next two drivers quickly with good starts. Jake would finally steal the second spot away with 6 to go but his dad, the G17 was so far ahead it would be almost impossible to run him down. The J17 would come close as the laps ticked down but not enough time tonight and not wanting to wreck his dad, it was Fito Gallardo taking the win! The J117 of Jake Gallardo second with the 85 of Ralph Adams third.

Mini Sprints was a quick 15 lap main event as the 25D of Devon Amos would be all over Ken Ruble in this one quickly. The 3 of Ruble holding steady but not enough room to hold off the 25D who found the rails tonight. Devon Amos would go to the lead with 6 to go and never look back. All the way from Rio Rancho, it was Devon Smith showing the field how to get it done around the Southern New Mexico Speedway. The 3 of Ken Ruble holds onto second with the 167 of Cory Taylor rounding out the top 3.

Sun Valley Hardware Street Stocks would be an easy race to call tonight as from the beginning it was obvious who the victor would be. The 0 of Lloyd Turner started at the very back and after a couple yellow flags in the first lap, the 0 of Lloyd Tuner would lead lap 2 cleanly at the line! Going from 8th to 1st in less than 2 laps and Turner would not be stopped. With 9 to go the 44Jt of Jaime Torres was on the move and headed for the bumper of the 0 but even lapped cars couldn’t slow the 0 down enough. The 44JT would stomp on the gas in the final three laps but couldn’t make it happen tonight as the 0 of Lloyd Turner drove an amazing race and clean sweeping the weekend! Jaime Torres holding onto a second place finish with the 10 of John Diamond back into third!

It was finally Sprint Car time! The 2nd Annual Joe Herrera Memorial race and the Border International Truck 305 winged Sprint cars would run 25 laps in this one and rocking and rolling as soon as they hit the speedway. After 2 bad starts the 12 of James Mosier leading the 40x of Don Grable to the green. Mosier would hold onto the lead for the first 5 laps of this one but Don Grable was into the gas hard coming out of turn 4 and with a little slip from the 12 the 40x of Don Grable took the lead with 19 to go. The 40x and 12 would pull from the field just a little but the battle for third had all eyes as Royal Jones and Derek Demartino swapped positions back and forth. A caution with 16 to go would shake things up and Derek Demartino moved his 99.5 into third on the bottom side of the 131 and the 12 now had company for 2nd. The 40x and 12 would have smooth sailing the rest of the race as the laps clicked down but Demartino would have a handful of Robert Herrera in the 9. Herrera on a charge but Demartino wouldn’t be an easy get around. With 4 to go Herrera had faded just enough for breathing room but the 99.5 pulling off into the infield in a hurry and his night was done. The 40x was now way ahead of the 12 and the 9 was even farther back but 2 to go and Herrera trying to give it all he had to get around into second. It wouldn’t happen and pulling way ahead in this one was the 40x of Don Grable! The 12 of James Mosier with a stellar finish in second and the 9 of Robert Herrera right behind him.

Claimers would be an easy call tonight as the 037 of Leo Lamb would lead lap 1 just as he did in the heats and never look back. Lamb was on a drive tonight and the real action was going on behind him. The 24 of Shane McNutt was driving through the field from the very rear and with only 12 laps he had some work to do. Leo Lamb would drive a consistent race up front though taking yet another win at the Southern New Mexico Speedway. Shane McNutt would drive around almost the whole field for second in this one and the 7 of Sean Privette rounding out the top 3.

USAC v NMMRA 360 Non Wing Sprint Cars are ready to duel it out in the desert. This would be a 30-lap match of skill as RJ Johnson looked to clean sweep the weekend. It would take only 3 turns for RJ to find his groove because coming out of turn 4 the 77M was hooked up, moving and grooving down bottom! RJ Johnson would lead lap 1 in this one after a spectacular dive to the bottom side. The field would be on the gas as well as they chased down RJ the man with a plan but nobody getting there after a couple cautions and 20 to go. Chargin Charles Davis Jr would be right on with 18 to go and lapped cars coming up quick! Davis would run right with RJ for a long while but Charles Davis doesn’t come to run second and he would have company from the 02 of Matt Rossi real quick. Davis would move it to the middle in turn 1 to get RJ but absolutely nothing there and here comes Rossi! The 02 of Rossi would have him beat with 8 to go! The yellow would come out just before the checkered flag flew and we would have a green white checkered on our hands as RJ Johnson fought of the 02 and 50! The last two laps, RJ Johnson would show us the reason he is known so well and as the checkered flag waved it was RJ Johnson not only going flag to flag in this one but clean sweeping the entire weekend!! The 02 of Matt Rossi was right on him for awhile but just had nowhere to go to get underneath. The 50 of Charles Davis JR put on a show for the fans and third will have to do tonight.

If you missed the action tonight then don’t be a square and show up next week! The Border International Truck 305 winged Sprints will return for the 3rd weekend in a row as the season is slowly coming to an end. Gates open at 5:30 with racing at 7:45! Don’t be late.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
USAC Southwest Sprint Car Series (co-sanctioned by NMMRA)
2nd Annual Joe Herrera Memorial/Border Tour
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Saturday, September 3, 2016

HEAT RACE #1: (8 laps) 1. Rick Ziehl (#20Z Ziehl), 2. Brian Hosford (#22B Weber), 3. Charles Davis Jr. (#50 Massey), 4. Tye Mihocko (#5 Mihocko), 5. Michael Fanelli (#2 Fanelli), 6. JR Bonesteel (#0 Bonesteel), 7. David Dykes (#04 Dykes), 8. Ted Schlote (#29 Schlote). NT

HEAT RACE #2: (8 laps) 1. R.J. Johnson (#77M Michael), 2. Matt Lundy (#98 Lundy), 3. Mike Martin (#16 Martin), 4. Chris Bonneau (#78 Bonneau), 5. Shon Deskins (#20 Deskins), 6. Nick Rael (#73 Rael), 7. Dillon Tanner (#11W West), 8. Caleb Saiz (#52NM Saiz). NT

HEAT RACE #3: (8 laps) 1. Matt Rossi (#02 Rossi), 2. Landon Cling (#54 Cling), 3. Randy Smith (#26 Smith), 4. Robert Marfia (#24 Marfia), 5. Matthew Cardenas (#7M Cardenas), 6. Bill Waltman (#09 Waltman), 7. David Burns (#37 Burns), 8. Dennis Gile (#13 Gile)

FEATURE: (30 laps) 1. R.J. Johnson, 2. Matt Rossi, 3. Charles Davis Jr., 4. Dennis Gile, 5. Matthew Cardenas, 6. Tye Mihocko, 7. Michael Fanelli, 8. Shon Deskins, 9. Dillon Tanner, 10. Brian Hosford, 11. Mike Martin, 12. Ted Schlote, 13. David Burns, 14. Chris Bonneau, 15. Robert Marfia, 16. Rick Ziehl, 17. JR Bonesteel, 18. Landon Cling, 19. Caleb Saiz, 20. David Dykes, 21. Bill Waltman, 22. Nick Rael, 23. Randy Smith, 24. Matt Lundy.

Lap Leader: Johnson 1-30.
Hard Charger: Gile (started 23rd, finished 4th)