John Dillon started in the tenth position and quickly made his way to the front leading the most laps en route to the win. Zan Sharp’s chances of victory faded at lap 60 when he cut a tire and had to pit losing two laps in the process. Lynn Hardy’s night ended on the hook after contact with a spinning Bruce Quale in turn four.
Courtesy: Derrick Shannon, RMCS Public Relations
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (May 26, 2009) John Dillon out of Eagle, Idaho scored his second career CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series victory Monday at Rocky Mountain Raceways located outside Salt Lake City. Dillon started in the tenth position and quickly made his way to the front leading the most laps en route to the win. Craig Bell from Kuna, Idaho was second followed by teammate Dave Minegar of Boise in third. Jeff Jefferson making his first career series start was fourth with A-1 rookie candidate Jonathon Gomez rounded out the top five finishers in the 100-lap event.
Dave Minegar scored his 21st career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award with a quick lap of 15.216 seconds around the 3/8-mile paved oval to lead all qualifiers. Zan sharp, Lynn Hardy, Thane Alderman, and Jonathon Gomez rounded out the top five qualifiers.
Kelly Bettridge and Steve Jones started on the front row for the race after the full field was inverted. Jones led the early laps until around lap 30 when his brakes started to fade. Mitch Dickinson spent a few laps at the front but turned the lead over to Dillon before the halfway mark.
While Dillon was out front dicing through traffic, quick qualifier’s Minegar, Sharp, Hardy, and Alderman put on a clinic coming from the back and making their way inside the top ten by the midway point of the race.
Sharp’s chances of victory faded at lap 60 when he cut a tire and had to pit losing two laps in the process. Hardy’s night ended on the hook after contact with a spinning Bruce Quale in turn four.
Over the final 30 laps Dillon held point but faced significant challenges from Minegar and Bell. Minegar and Bell exchanged positions several times thrilling the crowd as the duo ran fender to fender over the closing laps. While the top three battled. Jeff Jefferson silently ran in the fourth with James Wulfenstein running fifth.
At the stripe, Dillon took the checkers first followed by Bell, Minegar, and Jefferson. Gomez was able to get around Wulfenstein to take home fifth with John Newhouse sneaking by Wulfenstein for sixth at the stripe. Joe Miller finished 8th followed by Mitch Dickinson, and Dan Koyle rounding out the top ten.
“We had a lot of fun tonight and a great car on the long runs,” Dillon said. “When that last caution came out with 19 to go I thought it was going to be tough holding off Bell and Minegar. The car was nearly perfect and we were able to keep those guys behind us. The crew did a fantastic job and it feels great to win.”
Finishing second was Craig Bell. He and the crew changed everything on the car after qualifying. “Catching Dillon was fun but passing him was going to be difficult and he drove a great race,” Bell said. “I had a lot of fun racing Dave (Minegar) over the final laps. This series is awesome and I am sure the fans got their monies worth tonight. We changed the car after qualifying and the changes really worked and I am so proud of the team and Pat Minegar (owner) for giving me the equipment to be competitive. “
Two-time and defending series champion Dave Minegar was the high point’s winner for the night after finishing third. “In this series it is all about qualifying well and finishing at the front.” Minegar said. “We did that and we are happy with a top three. I thought I had something for John and Craig but we lost the brakes mid way through the race and that affected the line we drove. All in all a great race.”
After starting his first RMCS race and finishing fourth, Jeff Jefferson liked the action on track. “The invert really is cool and these guys are some of the best racers around,” Jefferson said. “We were just a bit off but we’ll work on it and get ready for Magic Valley. I had a lot of fun and can’t wait to mix it up with those guys again.”
The next race for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, June 6 at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho for the running of the annual Pepsi “125”. For all the latest news and information regarding the series log onto www.rmcsracing.com.