Auto City Speedway
Auto City Speedway Results 9/10/2022
It was a full night of exciting racing which including double point’s night for all divisions as the Auto City Speedway Championships were decided this past Saturday night.
An added bonus to Saturday night was the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club (M.A.R.F.C.) were in attendance for their fan club night. Board members in attendance were, club president, John Jackson and also Nancy May, Jennifer Naylor, Rusty Dagget and David Howe. More about that a little later in the article.
The weather was iffy and Mother Nature did let us know she’s still around and could ‘dampen’ the racing at any given time. Qualifying started the night out for the three divisions racing on the ¼ mile starting with the All American Trucks (ATT) series. Once the seventeen trucks were qualitied, it was the #067 of Josh Delong getting fast time with a 17.31 and Dan Shamel’s #47 a couple ticks off with a 17.33.
The Herald Pure Stocks followed and about mid-way, Mother Nature gave us a brief ‘garden shower’. After waiting out the shower and getting the track dried up, it was Nick Johnston, driving the #66 of Bryan Thompson’s car, getting the top spot with a 16.23 and Bryan Thompson, driving Nick’s #7, getting second fast quick with a 16.28.
The new division this year being the A.C. Warriors finished up qualifying with Midlands Mike Schmidt topping the field of sixteen competitors with a 16.84 followed by first timer at Auto City, Keith Hazel in his red #1 with a 16.97.
As the tradition of every race night, it was time for the invocation and National Anthem. Once completed, it was on to the heat races to start the night.
First up were the Herald Pure Stocks. The #34 of Mark Martinez and the #C7 of Josh Connell brought them to the green. Martinez did jump to an early lead. There was a spin by John Puckett in his #51 on the backstretch in which Tim Kirby caught the passenger’s side of his #81 car on Puckett’s front end to get a nice torn up passenger’s door. After the yellow and back to racing, the #5 of Andrea Baxter worked her way up to get past Martinez for the lead. Once they completed the eight laps, it was Baxter for the win followed by Bruce Dutton Jr.’s #19.
The second heat race had Andrew Burton #05 and Randy Clayton Jr. #12 leading the way to the start. Clayton Jr. did get an early lead, but had mechanical issues about midway which gave the lead to Burton. When the checkered flew, it was Burton getting the win with the point’s leader going into the night, Jim Harden in his #25H.
The All American Trucks heat races were next. It was one of the rookies this year, Gage Clayton’s #20 (who was having mechanical issues throughout the night from the start of qualifying) and Christopher Bush’s #4 leading the way to green for the first of three heat races. As the top two battled, the #81 of Brannon Cudd worked his way up and past both to get the win with Clayton holding onto second. The second ATT heat race had the #J21 of Walt Dalrymple Jr. and Ryan Cudd on the front row. Dalrymple Jr. jumped to the lead and did not look back getting the win over Jim Cudd’s #1.
The third ATT heat race had the #21 of Greg Long Jr. and Zack Lopez leading the way. Lopez did get an early lead, but the likes of Dan Shamel’s #47 and Josh Delong’s #067 did work their way by Lopez to finish one two and Lopez third.
The A.C. Warriors were next and in the first of three, it was the #53 of Daegan Clayton and the #2 of Emily Clayton bringing them around. When the checkered flew, it was Silas McCaslin’s #12 getting the win over Emily and Daegan.
In the second heat race, it was two first timers to Auto City, the #7X of Josh Shiver and the #10TK of Brad Treichel on the front row. When the eight laps were completed, it was the #11 of Jack Bill getting the win with Jeffery Asmus’s #14 second.
The third and final heat race had the #83 of Troy Deuscher and #23 of Leroy Whitaker leading them round. When it was all said and done, it was fast qualifier Mike Schmidt in first with Gerald Persails Jr.’s #80 in second.
Now it was time for the M.A.R.F.C. board members to come out and present a special helmet bag to an acknowledged driver of their choice. That chosen driver was Gerald Persails Jr. who drives the #80 A.C. Warrior car.
After the presentation and photos, it was the Kiddie Stock race for the kids.
Once that was completed, it was onto the feature races for the night. First up was the thirty-five lap feature for the Herald Pure Stocks. Leading the thirteen competitors to green was the #25H of Jim Harden and the #54 of James, J.T. Clayton. As the green flew, it was J.T. getting the early lead. Within a couple laps, it was the #66 of Nick Johnston and #12 of Randy Clayton Jr. spinning simultaneously bringing out a yellow and the #66 getting a flat. Clayton Jr. did ‘tap’ (taking responsibility for their spin) and showing the sportsmanship of the drivers in this class. Once back to green, it was J.T. getting back to the lead with Jim Harden battling to get the top spot. There was another yellow on about lap five. Again, once getting back to racing, J.T. took the lead and started to distance himself from Harden and other notables of Bryan Thompson, driving the #7, Andrea Baxter #5 and Nick Johnston #66. When the checkered flew, it was J.T. Clayton, Jim Harden, Bryan Thompson, Nick Johnston and Andrew Burton #05 respectfully. With Jim Harden’s second place finish and other acquired point’s this night, it was enough to get him the 2022 Championship for the Herald Pure Stocks. It was Harden’s first Championship in his racing career.
Now up was the A.C. Warriors twenty-five lap feature. It was the #55 of Anthony Duvernois and the #47 of David Smith leading them to the green. They did have to do a restart after not completing one lap. When they did get to racing it was Smith getting a quick lead with Duvernois and Persails Jr. following. On the second lap, the #33 of Rod Nettleton and the #23 of Leroy Whitaker came together giving Nettleton a flat and Whitaker having to be towed off the track. Once back to green flag racing, it was the #80 of Persails Jr. jumping to the lead, but by lap six, it was Smith back to the point. Within a couple laps, fast qualifier Mike Schmidt’s #53 made his presence known and battled with Smith for the lead. As those two battled, it gave Keith Hazel in his #1 machine to work his way up into the top three. Once the checkered dropped, it was Schmidt, Hazel, Smith, Persails Jr. and Duvernois in that order. With the third place finish for David Smith, it gave him enough points to get the first 2022 Championship for this division.
The All American Trucks were now set for their thirty-five lap feature for the eighteen drivers. It was the #22 of Brian Dougherty and the #S23 of Josh Shaw leading them to the green. Dougherty got the early lead and Zack Lopez #18 and Greg Long Jr. #21 got by Shaw as all were battling for position. By lap five, Anthony Richardson in his #422 got by all and was leading the way. While all were jockeying for position, Dan Shamel and Josh Delong had worked their way into the top five. By lap eight, Shamel got by Richardson. Lapped traffic was starting to play into the challenges. With Shamel trying to distance himself, Delong did also get by Richardson. By about lap fourteen, Shamel got blocked behind some of the battling lapped trucks and that gave Delong a chance to catch and pass Shamel. As the laps clicked off and the checkered flew, it was Delong, Shamel, Richardson, Jim Cudd #1 and Greg Long Jr. #21 finishing in that order. With Delong’s win, it clinched the 2022 Championship for him and it was his seventh Championship in this division. During the interview, Delong confirmed this was his last year racing and will be retired for the 2023 season.
The A.C. Figure 8, fifteen lap race was next up for the thirteen drivers. As Paul Rigda III’s #43 and Darren Burton’s Purple #422 took the green, it was Rigda jumping to the lead for the first lap, but as they crossed the start finish line, Darren Burton was battling with a few other drivers and he ended up flipping the Purple #422 truck on its roof. A red flag was displayed and once the safety crew got to him, he climbed out giving fist pumps in the air to the crowd who cheered seeing he was OK. Once back to green it was Anthony Richardson driving his Silver #422 getting by Rigda. Andrew Burton did work his way up through the field as well as J.D. John Doorenbos in his #B57 both getting by Rigda. When the checked flew, it was Richardson, A. Burton, Doorenbos, Rigda and Mark Martinez in that order.
The last race of the night was something new, a School Bus figure 8 race with trailers attached for eight laps. As the busses took the green, trailers were already being flipped just from driving around the figure 8. Sparks flew and there were a few really close calls at the intersection. When it was all said and done, it was J.T. James Clayton in the Green Machine bus followed by his brother Randy Clayton Jr. and Jim Harden. That completed the championship season for the points divisions, but there is still one more event, the Witches Night Out Candy-Rama Maximum Destruction with an autograph night. All the MAX D you can handle will end the 2022 season. The 2022 Championship “Breakfast of Champions” will be happening October 23rd and tickets are available to the public to attend. All advance ticket purchases must be completed by October 15th. There will be NO tickets available at the door.
Check out all the details for that event at www.autocityspeedway.com or our Facebook page and “We’ll See You at the City”.
Submitted By: Sharon Fischer