It was a perfect day for racing Saturday as the Paved Oval season came to a close for this year and next year as well. It was announced that the Paved Oval Program would be suspended until at least 2018. Low car counts and lack of fan support seem to be the reason.
This day produced some great racing and the crowning of a champion or two.
Nine Factory four/Cruisers were entered running 2 heats and one main to share an announced $300 purse. Patricia Gallegos checked in late and had to start at the back but soon went to the lead and won both her heat and main.
Ashley Gantt came into the day leading in points in the A Mod Division. Gerald Haste was second 107 points behind with Andrew Fowner in third 440 behind the leader. Gerald Haste was sure he had the car that could overtake the leader and win the championship but his transmission didn't agree. He was not able to answer the flag for the heat and Ashley's 4th place finish left her 134 points ahead of second place and 334 ahead of Fowner.
In an act of sportsmanship common in the racing world, Fowner turned his car over to Haste for the Main Event to try and make up points. Haste is taller than Andrew and the car was strange to him causing a first lap spin and yellow. Haste spun again a few laps later and had to take a careful approach because 3 spins and you are out.
On lap 2, Gary Smith went heavy into the 4th turn wall. He was shaken but not hurt. He was able to exit the car on his own power and help the wrecker remove the heavily damaged car from the track.
Young Cameron Morga took the lead from the green and held it all the way to the checker to collect a $500 bonus for the win.
A fierce battle developed in the last few laps between Morga, Dustin Tilbury, Ashley Gantt and Andy Fowner. Tilbury came across in second and Gantt third. Gerald Haste finished 5th giving Ashley Gantt a 140 point lead and the Championship.
Congratulations to the 2016 A Mods Champion Ashley Gantt. She joins her mother in that elite club of female Champions in a premier racing division. Brenda was the 2002 Late Model Champion at Sandia Motor Speedway.
Factory 4 results will be posted when available.