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Keeping Pace

Matt Hein wins the Diamond Cup weekend

Matt Hein picked up the win in Day 1 racing at Meridian Speedway for the ASA NSRA Tour. (Photo courtesy NSRA) (The Spokesman-Review)
Matt Hein picked up the win in Day 1 racing at Meridian Speedway for the ASA NSRA Tour. (Photo courtesy NSRA) (The Spokesman-Review)

The ASA Northwest Sprint Car Racing Association ran a two-day event last weekend in Idaho and will highlight an upcoming race night at Spokane County Raceway.

Scott R. Cedergreen, ASA/NSRA media relations

Meridian, Idaho -  May 30 - Matt Hein opens the 2009 American Speed Association/Northwest Sprintcar Racing Association championship season the same as he finished the 2008 season at Meridian Speedway.  

Under mostly sunny skies and abnormally hot temperatures in the 90s Hein started out his season qualifying fourth quick on Friday and second quick on Saturday.  While demonstrating his competitiveness in his heat races each day Matt saved his best for each night’s main event. 

 Starting fourth in the Friday night 40 lap main event Hein started his relentless move forward from his fourth starting spot in the nineteen car field with a six car invert.  By the completion of lap one Hein moved to third place moving Sierra Jackson back to fourth, then taking second place away from Cory Lockwood on lap four.  Hein then spent the next fifteen laps working on the leader, the 7v of Cody Veenstra.  

Lap nineteen brought out the caution flag for Greg Middendorf spinning in turn one on his own.  On the restart Hein went right to work on Veenstra passing the 7v on lap twenty taking the lead.  For the next fourteen laps Hein stretched out his lead over the entire field until on lap thirty-four Sierra Jackson impacted the third turn wall, the car coming to rest on the drivers side with the main wing against the wall bringing out a red flag.  

On the restart Hein attempted to leave the field far away in his rear view but the 18 of Chris Ratterree had found the sweet spot in his car moving forward from his sixth starting position passing Jeff Montgomery, Sierra Jackson before her crash, and Cory Lockwood moving into second and was closing quickly on Hein.  With only six laps left Ratterree ran out of laps for a duel with Hein.  

Hein took the checkers followed closely by Ratterree, then Lockwood, Montgomery, Justin Mack, Veenstra, Matt Mansell, Andy Alberding, Dave Parrie, and Jeff Bird rounding out the top ten.


Interviewed after the main event Hein stated, “My car was the best it had been all day.  We made a lot of changes to it so it would handle on the outside.”  When asked what those changes were Hein replied, “Ah can’t tell ya !”  What better way to have a winning car than to find secrets in the handling that competitors don’t know.

Sierra Jackson on her 3rd turn impact with the wall stated, “I was trying to pass Cody Veenstra on the outside and then he came up behind a lapper and moved to the outside and I jumped his right rear tire.”

Saturday, the magic belonged to Jeff Montgomery.   Hein qualified second, finished well in both his heat race and dash but didn’t quite have the magic of Friday night.

Again Cody Veenstra led the field down to the green with Hein starting in fifth place.  In turn one of the first lap Hein got real loose causing the field behind him to scatter as best they could.  The red flag came out as four cars couldn’t get out of the way quick enough.  The worst of the four that had to retire was Jim Brock ending up on top of the turn one wall backwards.  Greg Middendorf, Cameron McLean, and a favorite to win Chris Ratterree had to retire due to excessive damage to their cars.  A complete two by two restart was required with the first five remaining the same.  The first two rows ran side by side for nearly two laps before starting to sort out.  Jeff Montgomery started to move forward from his third spot dispensing with Jim Todd by lap four.  Next in his sights was the leader Cody Veenstra.  On lap ten Montgomery made the pass for the lead.  Hein was having a fight with Alberding giving up his fifth spot to Alberding in the initial laps but recovering fifth after a spirited battle for the spot over three laps.  Todd having started second gave up second to Montgomery on lap three, then third to Lockwood on lap four, and Hein on lap five. 

The only incident was the #76 of Andy Alberding on lap 26 coming to a stop out of turn four.  A caution ensued to remove Alberding from the track and back to green the field went for the remaining laps.  Under the green Montgomery simply left the field far behind taking the checkers on lap 50 with only five other cars on the lead lap.

Hein could not find the sweet spot in his car having to settle for fourth place.  Lockwood did get around Veenstra to take over second but did not have anything for Montgomery.  The 33j car was the class of the field Saturday night.

By virtue of Hein’s win Friday and fourth place finish Saturday night his two day points total was just two points over Montgomery for Matt Hein to claim the overall victory and the custom made diamond ring for which the Diamond Cup is named.

Of special note Matt Mansell won his B-Dash both days and in doing so presented his trophies to a young child picked from the grandstands each day.         


19 cars

A-Main (40 laps):  1. 98h Matt Hein, 2.  18 Chris Ratterree, 3.  99r Cory Lockwood, 4.  33j Jeff Montgomery, 5.  17 Justin Mack, 6.  7v Cody Veenstra,  7.  14 Matt Mansell, 8.  76 Andy Alberding, 9.  26p Dave Parrie, 10.  55 Jeff Bird, 11.  44 Todd Coleman, 12.  05 Jim Todd, 13.  26c Cameron McLean, 14.  4 Greg Middendorf, 15.  5 Steve Freeman, 16.  25z Greg Ochs, 17.  25j Sierra Jackson, 18.  37 Jim Brock, 19.  13.  Dave Quick.

Heat 1 (8 laps):  1.  14 Matt Mansell, 2.  4 Greg Middendorf, 3.  7v Cody Veenstra, 4.  98h Matt Hein, 5.  13 Dave Quick, 6.  25z Greg Ochs.

Heat 2 (8 laps):  1.  33j Jeff Montgomery, 2.  76 Andy Alberding, 3.  17 Justin Mack, 4.  99r Cory Lockwood, 5.  44 Todd Coleman, 6.  5 Steve Freeman.

Heat 3 (8 laps):  1.  25j Sierra Jackson, 2.  55 Jeff Bird, 3.  18 Chris Ratterree, 4.  26p Dave  Parrie, 5.  37 Jim Brock, 6.  05 Jim Todd, 7.  26c Cameron McLean.

B-Dash (4 laps):  1.  14 Matt Mansell, 2.  26p Dave Parrie, 3.  26c Cameron McLean,  4.  44 Todd Coleman.

A-Dash (4 laps):  1.  25j Sierra Jackson, 2.  98h Matt Hein, 3.  33j Jeff Montgomery, 4.  18 Chris Ratterree.

Qualifying:   18 Chris Ratterree 11.796, 33j Jeff Montgomery (Canada) 11.848, 98h Matt Hein 11.855, 25j Sierra Jackson 11.938, 99r Cory Lockwood 12.058, 7v Cody Veenstra 12.203, 05 Jim Todd 12.204, 17 Justin Mack 12.12.236, 13 Dave Quick 12.319, 26c Cameron McLean (Canada) 12.406, 44 Todd Coleman 12.415, 14 Matt Mansell (Canada) 12.464, 26p Dave Parrie 12.507, 76 Andy Alberding 12.517, 4 Greg Middendorf 12.525, 55 Jeff Bird (Canada) 12.631, 5 Steve Freeman 12.667, 25z Greg Ochs 12.854, 37 Jim Brock 13.964.


19 cars

A-Main (50 laps):  1. 33j Jeff Montgomery, 2.  99r Cory Lockwood, 3. 7v Cody Veenstra, 4.  98h Matt Hein, 5.  05 Jim Todd, 6.  44 Todd Coleman,  7.  17 Justin Mack, 8.  55 Jeff Bird, 9. 14 Matt Mansell, 10.  26p Dave Parrie, 11.  25z Greg Ochs, 12.  5 Steve Freeman, 13.  13 Dave Quick, 14.  76 Andy Alberding, 15.  25j Sierra Jackson, 16.  18 Chris Ratterree, 17.  26c Cameron McLean, 18.  4 Greg Middendorf, 19.  37 Jim Brock.

Heat 1 (8 laps):  1.  44 Todd Coleman, 2.  26c Cameron McLean, 3.  25z Greg Ochs, 4.  05 Jim Todd, 5.  17 Justin Mack, 6.  25j Sierra Jackson.

Heat 2 (8 laps):  1. 76 Andy Alberding, 2. 98h Matt Hein, 3.  33j Jeff Montgomery, 4.  5 Steve Freeman, 5.  26p Dave Parrie, 6. 13 Dave Quick.

Heat 3 (8 laps):  1.  55 Jeff Bird, 2.  7v Cody Veenstra, 3.  18 Chris Ratterree, 4.  99r Cory Lockwood, 5.  4 Greg Middendorf, 6.  14 Matt Mansell, 7.  37 Jim Brock.

B-Dash (4 laps):  1.  14 Matt Mansell, 2.  26c Cameron McLean, 3.  76 Andy Alberding,  4.  4 Greg Middendorf.

A-Dash (4 laps):  1.  17 Justin Mack, 2.  18 Chris Ratterree, 3.  99r Cory Lockwood, 4.  98h Matt Hein.

Qualifying:   18 Chris Ratterree 12.046, 98h Matt Hein 12.055, 17 Justin Mack 12.057, 99r Cory Lockwood 12.146, 33j Jeff Montgomery (Canada) 12.230, 05 Jim Todd 12.260, 7v Cody Veenstra 12.321, 26p Dave Parrie 12.372, 25z Greg Ochs 12.451, 4 Greg Middendorf 12.476, 76 Andy Alberding 12.540, 26c Cameron McLean (Canada) 12.633, 14 Matt Mansell (Canada) 12.670, 13 Dave Quick 12.672, 44 Todd Coleman 12.678, 55 Jeff Bird (Canada) 12.719, 5 Steve Freeman 12.843, 25j Sierra Jackson 12.914, 37 Jim Brock 13.681.

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.