Gallardo, Scott, Lasiter among Short Track Shootout winners

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March 19, 2017  |  by Ruben Mireles

The Inaugural Short Track Shootout presented by Shaw Trucking closed with an exciting Sunday afternoon of racing. Fans from the southwest enjoyed the exciting racing from the USRA Stock Cars, USRA X-Mods, Legends, USRA Modifieds, and Late Models. With big money on the line and the sun shinning bright on the race track, it didn't effect the excitement from the race track at all.

Thirteen Sun Valley Hardware USRA Stock Cars showed up for action and the man with the plan Donovan Flores started on the pole with Cortez, Colorado racer Tony Hill to his outside. The exciting front row didn't upset. Hill who won night one and Flores who won night two battled for the lead with the company of Victor Colobrio and Jaime Torres. An exciting top four was four wide for the lead at times. Tony Hill would take the lead from Flores on lap seven until Jed Smith spun to draw a caution. On the restart Donovan Flores would take the lead again and run away. Tony Hill wouldn't have the same momentum to keep up with the fast flying 07 machine. Travis Sutherlin who started tenth came up to third on lap eleven of this fifteen lap main event. Sutherlin was flying and gave runner up Jaime Torres some competition. While Torres tried holding off Sutherlin Donovan Flores ran away and would win the finale of the Short Track Shootout in the USRA Stock Car division.

Track prep took place right before the Jack Key Auto Group USRA X-Mod main event which called for a good main event. Rick Hall giving the drivers seat to Johnny Scott for the weekend on his Rick's Performance Center, A.O.S Racing #x15 machine. Johnny Scott and Sherman Barnett shared the front row, but one thing Johnny didn't share was the lead. Johnny took off to lead the first two laps until the first caution flew. Shane Helton would spin out causing Justin Allen, and Mingo Jauraqui to hit and destroy their right front control arms. Both drivers would park it for the day. On the restart Johnny Scott again did what he did this whole weekend; dominate. Jimmy Ray would run second to Scott and almost found some magic on the bottom, but couldn't capitalize. The "Ice Man" Jesse Haynie started twelfth and came through the field like a rocket! On lap ten he would move into the top five, and lap seventeen Haynie found his way to third! All Haynie had to do was catch up to Jimmy Ray, and Johnny Scott, but Noah Hollingshead and him clashed down the front straightaway! An absolute heartbreak for "the Ice Man" Jesse Haynie who started twelfth and came to third and had to go to the back for the insolvent rule. With four laps to go Haynie had some daylight with three cautions coming out before the finish and was able to pass some cars. It still wasn't enough for Haynie as he would settle with an 8th place finish. Johnny Scott on the other had would win the $1,000.00 to win Jack Key Auto Group USRA X-Mods main event.

New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, and California twenty-five lap Shaw Trucking Late Model main event was a good one for Don Shaw! Twenty-sixteen was an awesome first time appearance to the Southern New Mexico Speedway for Don Shaw as he dominated the Winter Meltdown three day weekend, but this year was a little different. Shaw in the final night of the Short Track Shootout had zero wins into the weekend, but changed that in Sunday's finale of the Inaugural Short Track Shootout. "Superman" Don Shaw would start on the outside of Las Cruces racer Xavier Ortega. At the start Don Shaw took off! James Laing spun in turn's three and four to draw an early yellow on lap two. Don Shaw wouldn't let that drag him down, and did the same process after Xavier Ortega spun on the same lap. It was a green flag run for two laps until Rick Ortega spun on lap four. It was a green flag run to the end. Jake O'Neil would race his way to second on lap nine, but couldn't catch Shaw. Lap fourteen called for lap traffic. Don Shaw would finally see some sheet metal from Jake O'Neil! Jake tried the bottom with lap traffic all around them, but couldn't get the job done. With lap traffic calming down, Don Shaw would drive away and leave the Land of Enchantment with a Late Model victory to close the Short Track Shootout.

Dusty Riggs wanted another shot to capitalize after Saturday night's performance. Riggs started on the pole in Sunday's Casa Nissan Legends $1,000.00 to win main event. Riggs lead the first green flag run until a caution flew on lap three. Riggs would hold on at the restart, but a red flag would fly as Junior Esquivel would turn into a fireball entering turn three. Justin "Faster" Lasiter would drive Dave Smith's back up #11dl machine for the weekend, and took the lead away from Dusty Riggs on the restart. Lap four to the checker was all owned by the Alamogordo racer. Lasiter would stay strong through three cautions, and would win the sweet $1.000.00 pay day in the Casa Nissan Legends of the Southwest division.

A pair of Missouri racers shared the front row in the thirty lap $5,000.00 to win USRA Modified main event on the finale for the Short Track Shootout. Scott Drake, and Terry Phillips made it interesting at the start as Phillips lead lap one, but Drake answering the phone call on lap two. A good battle for the lead between them took place with Lucas Schott joining the party. Lucas Schott would lead six laps until lap traffic allowed Jacob Gallardo to get around him for the lead! The field would catch their breath after a caution flying for Rick Gallardo who went flying off turn three after losing his steering. On the lap sixteen restart Jacob Gallardo ran away from the field and reached lapped traffic again. This time Johnny Scott showed a little bit of sheet metal, but it wasn't enough as Jacob Gallardo would end the weekend on a positive not. Gallardo would bank the $5,000.00 pay day to close the Inaugural Short Track Shootout.