Results by Randy Adam

Results by Randy Adam

 
 
Auto City Speedway Results 5/1/21
 
Well after a year of the Auto City Speedway being silent and having their gates closed due to obvious reasons, the 2021 year has started out on a good note. This past Saturday, Auto City Speedway opened up for the 2021 season with a “Muffler Man of Michigan Maximum Destruction” night with guidelines in place.
The day started off with a bit of a chill and threatening skies. Mother Nature was certainly letting the City know she still around. As the afternoon started to turn into evening, the skies cleared up, sun came out and winds died down a bit to create a perfect setting for opening night.
It was nice to see the pits filling up with a full variety of competitors, some who have not been there in quite some time.
Things of course were a bit different, but some things remained the same as you will see.
The gates opened at 3:30pm and racing was scheduled to start at 6:00pm, but was delayed a bit to get the fans in after being temperature checked and cleared.
Qualifying was one change for this season and beyond as Auto City Speedway is now using an electronic computerized system referenced as ‘transponders’. The format has changed as well for qualifying, being groups of cars go 8 laps and the official qualifying time is the fastest of those 8 laps. With that being said, it was an Auto City Speedway past champion returning to the track, Davison native, the “Buzzsaw”, Lonnie Saumier Jr. (#M15) getting the top spot with a 15.94. Added note that two Pure Stock drivers were not able to compete due to mechanical issues, one being the 2019 Champion, J.T. James Clayton (#54) and first timer at Auto City, Mark Palmer (#85).
The All American Trucks sponsored by Muffler Man of Michigan were next to qualify and it was the 2019 Champion, Josh Delong (#067) taking the pole with a 17.93.
With qualifying completed, the first race on the schedule was the Lipstick Ladies division for 8 laps. With a bran-new yellow racecar and number representing her son (#66), it was Barb Boone getting the first win in the 2021 season.
Then it was the Herald Pure Stocks turn for 30 laps. It was good to see some past competitors attending as well as a fourth generation rookie driver, 16 year old Lyssa Williams (#97), who coincidently ended up starting on the front row along with Michael Hayes (#12) who was supporting a new black and silver paint scheme. There was an invert of the field which put them on the front row. When the green flag flew, it was Michael Hayes taking the early lead coming out of turn two. Going into turn three and coming out of four, John Puckett (#51) got to the inside of Williams and they both squeezed up with Williams getting into the wall creating a caution. Puckett was able to drive off, but it was not so for Williams as she was towed off. Also, unrelated to the accident, but oddly at the same time, Chad Lamson in his Silver Bullet (#888) had an axle bearing fail, which caused him to lose the drivers rear tire and put him out of the race.`
When they got back to green flag racing, the competition was challenging.  Andrew Burton (#05) and Hayes exchanging the lead with Bryan Thompson (#66) and Jason Spencer (#55) pacing them from behind.
But at the halfway mark, it was the Buzzsaw working his way into the lead, followed by Hayes and Spencer. As they crossed the finish line at the end of the 30 laps, it was Lonnie Saumier Jr. getting the win, with Hayes, Thompson, Spencer and Bruce Dutton Jr. (#19) following respectfully.   
The Muffler Man of Michigan All American Trucks 30 lap feature was up and seventeen trucks would be taking the green. It was Josh Shaw (#S23) and Danny Smith (#06) leading them around to the start. Smith took the early lead, but at the halfway mark, it was Paul Rigda III (#43) battling his way to the lead. Following close behind was Smith and Delong. As they worked getting through lapped traffic, Delong did get by Smith for second. Delong was on a mission and got to the tailgate of Rigda for the last 5 laps. Coming out of turn four, Delong powered around Rigda for the win putting Rigda in that second position with Smith coming home third.
The Auto City Figure 8’s pulled out on the track for their 15 lap feature. Previous 2019 Champion, Chad Lampson had to resort to borrowing a ride (#11 truck) from Ryan Cudd. After the 15 laps were completed, it was Tony “T-Bone” Williams (#97) getting the win with Andrew Burton (#05) second and Lamson getting third.
Now it was on to the Maximum Destruction part of the show starting with the Chain Gang 12 lap race with a standing start. After all was said and done, it was the team of puller, Justin Pepitone (#032) and pullie, Gerald Persails Jr. (#80) getting the win over the #067 team of Delong and James Rifki.
The first of two Flag Pole races was next up with the cars taking the track first with 22 competitors for 10 laps. Once the checkered flew, it was Kenneth Mcnarney (#006) getting the win.
The trucks took to the track for the second Flag Pole race. After an interesting first lap with some drivers not knowing the exact route, things settled down and it was Josh Delong in his destruction truck (#067) taking the checkered.
The Push Race was next. Muffler Man of Michigan did add to the purse to sweeten the pot. It was again, the team of Pepitone and Persails Jr. getting the win over the Delong/Rifki team.
The relatively new I-75 race was on the schedule tonight as well. This race is where competitors have to race while adhering to school busses on the track using their emergency lights to control the pace (i.e. when the lights are on, drivers cannot pass the busses who are driving at a much slower pace). This race always creates some chaos and it did not let any hopes down this night either. Charlie Boone (#70) broke a ball joint which turned him around on the front stretch with his driver’s door facing oncoming traffic. A red flag was thrown as to get Boone and his car off the track. When the racing got back to green, and all the starting and slowing stopped, it was Anthony Richardson (#422) maneuvering to the lead for the win.
The competitors for the 50 lap Enduro were now pulling out of the pits and with 28 vehicles ready to start from a standing stop. A guest flagman, Darren Burton had the honors of waving the green for the start. Everyone was bobbing and weaving trying to get up to the front. Once things started what seemed to be a fast pace bee’s nest, it was Delong (#067), Rigda (#43) and Ryan Cudd (#11) finishing in the top three positions.
The 6 lap Skid Car race was on the docket next and talk about a fast, slow motion fun race, this was it. Every competitor had gracefully spun out at least once and more for some. It made for an interesting race to say the least, but when the checkered flew, it was Bill Simpson (#421) getting the win.
As the infamous School Bus Figure 8 was now going to happen for 10 laps, Mother Nature was nice enough to add a perfectly timed drizzle which helped with dust control right before the start. When the green flag dropped for the seven busses, the race was on. Starting in the front and not looking back, it was J.T. James Clayton in the Bond of Brothers bus getting the victory followed by Paul Rigda III and Darby Christensen.
The final race of the nice was the 10 lap Figure 8 Trailer Race. Have to give this a WOW factor. Within the first lap or two, there were trailers destroyed and debris scattered throughout, but not from intersection collisions, it was from just wildness. Vehicles hitting the big tires in the turns sending one truck airborne coming down and sitting at the start of one of the straightaways. As things were winding down, Josh Delong seemed to have the race under control until his trailer swung back and forth and the rear axle caught one of those tires sending the boat he was hauling and pretty much most of the trailer it was on, including the axle, everywhere. Many experienced the same demise with their trailers. Then the checkered flew and Josh pulled to the finish line on the front stretch only to find out he was not declared the winner due to his axle missing. So the win went to Anthony Richardson (#422) who still had his trailer intact.  
Over all, it was a fun, exciting night of racing with the fans enjoying Auto City Speedway being open again.
Next Saturday, May 8th, is the “Invasion of the Modifieds” with a full racing program, racing starts at 6:00pm. Check out all the details on upcoming events at www.autocityspeedway.com and “We’ll See You at the City”.

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