Speedway races go well until final event

Up until the final race of the night at the Hayden Speedway's Sport Stock Shoot-Out, the biggest worries for Justin Gallegos were the bloodthirsty mosquitoes.

"Everything was fine until the IMCAs," the Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association president said. "Then it became a nightmare."

With 16 cars starting in the main event, it took 12 cautions to finish a 15-lap race. It took four cautions alone to get the first two laps recorded. When Steve Harris crossed with the checkered flag -- an hour and fifteen minutes after the start -- there were seven cars remaining on the track.

"Guys want to win the race on the first lap," Gallegos said. "With that many cars there has to be patience and there wasn't any early on."

Drivers have different thoughts on why the accidents happened.

"That track is rough right now," said Dan Skroch, a Pro Stock driver. "I had an open track and I was fighting to keep control. I can't imagine being able to keep control with a crowded track like the IMCA class."

Gallegos agreed that the newly expanded track is a work in progress but didn't think that the oval had much to do with the problems.

"You can blame it on everything," he said. "But 90 percent of the time, it's the driver. Every lap of a dirt track involves adaptation to the track conditions. The younger guys haven't learned that"

Despite the long, drawn out final race, there were four other main events that went off relatively smoothly.

In the featured class of the night, Sport Stock, Ed Hatch won both the main and the heat race. Hatch led most of the race and held off the Orange 01 car of Earl Hammond the last couple laps.

The Street Stock class had some early rubbing between Dean Dare and Ed Thacker. Dare was able to fend off the early bumper busting and took the win in the main to keep the overall lead in the season point standings.

In the main event for the Super Streets, Troy Goodson and Nate Hitz, collided early, leaving Hitz disabled and Goodson with a big hole in his right front fender. Zack Allen took an early lead after the first yellow. Goodson raced his way back into second and overtook Allen right before a caution slowed the race with three laps remaining. Goodson held off Allen the final three laps for

the win.

The Pro Stock main featured a battle of bumper-to-bumper racing from start to the finish.

Skroch and Casey Delp ran one-two most of the race with Skroch leading until the final two laps. After fending off a move from Delp on almost every turn, Skroch went low and Delp went high on the 18th lap.

"I knew if I made a mistake he was going to get me," Skroch said. "I'm out there to win every race, but that was still a fun race with him on my tail the whole way. Those Rock Springs guys always make it an interesting race."

Delp flew past Skroch as the white flag was thrown and raced on to the win.

The final Pro Stock race was without Gregg Kolbaba, who won the heat race but after he crossed the finish line ran into a spinning Vicki Gallegos. In one of the few argued moments of the night, Kolbaba said that Gallegos should have been penalized for the wreck. The race board, minus the president, who also is the husband of the driver in question, decided that Gallegos wasn't at fault.

The next race at the Hayden Speedway will be the Super Street Sprint July 12.

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