Adjustments make for smoother race night |

Adjustments make for smoother race night

Hayden Speedway

David Pressgrove

After each race at the Hayden Speedway, the officials of the Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association meet to evaluate how the next race can run smoother.

After a long Saturday night of yellow flags on July 27, several changes were evident at the next race, the Pro Stock Powerhouse, Saturday night.

“Things went much smoother because of the adjustments we made after the last race,” said YVARA President Justin Gallegos. “There were a lot fewer yellow lights and it kept the action going.”

The adjustments that Gallegos spoke of included an additional stop light at the third turn of the track, qualifying heats for the main event and better communication between everyone involved, including judges, flaggers and officials.

“A majority of cars that ended the night early had to do it because of blown engines,” Gallegos said. “Compared to the last race where most of the car damage was done by another car, we were pretty happy with the results.”

In addition to pre-race changes, race officials had to make an unexpected adjustment during the races as they realized that there was no tow truck at the track. After a minor delay during the first wreck, Loren Hochhalter of RSC Rental, volunteered his truck and towrope to be the makeshift wrecker for the night.

“Not only did RSC donate the portable lights and water pump they became the tow truck,” Gallegos said. “Without RSC there would be no Speedway.”

The Pro Stock class was the featured class of the night and after two cars didn’t make it to the main event, there were four remaining.

During the race, Frank Schaffner’s No. 44 car left the track on a towrope bringing participation down to three. Gallegos’ vehicle, sans power steering, was slowly circling the track, turning the event into a two-car race.

Dan Skroch and his No. 78 truck were dominating Casey Delp and his No. 2 car from Rock Springs. With two laps remaining, Skroch’s night came to a premature and disappointing end. His truck started smoking and he pulled it off the track shortly before he could finish.

Gallegos and Delp were the remaining cars on the track when the checkered flag went up for Delp. Although Gallegos was still on the track and Skroch wasn’t, Skroch had finished more laps and took home second place.

With his third-place finish Gallegos and his fluorescent green and black No. 18 car clenched the Pro Stock championship for the 2002 season.

Nate Hitz also wrapped up the Super Street title with his win in the main event. Finishing behind Hitz was Matt Jensen.

Other top finishers in the main events were Ed Thacker, first, followed by Dean Dare in the Street Stock class, Scott McKinney in first and Drew Muzik taking second in Sport Stock, and Paul Peterson, first, and Steve Harris, second, in the IMCA Modified class.

The final race of the season will be Aug. 24 and the other four classes remaining to be settled will come down to the Harvest Cup.

“With each race being worth double points, the winner of those classes are up in the air,” Gallegos said. “It will be exciting because the whole bracket can change upside down from sixth to first.”

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