Tires cause trouble at Hayden Speedway
The Street Stock Scramble was more like the Terror on Tires Saturday at the Hayden Speedway.
Every main event had at least one vehicle leave because of tire trouble.
The drivers that kept the rubber on their rims prevailed in all four classes.
H.D. Craig won the survival of the fittest in the IMCA Modified class. Eight cars started the main event and four were still on the track when the checkered flag came out.
“It was a tough night on cars, especially tires,” Craig said. “I saw that there was going to be a problem so I upped the tire pressure. It was one of those nights where you have to slow down to go faster.”
After holding off Josh Nye the final eight laps, Craig won his third main-event title of the summer. He said that his experience at the speedway helped.
“I could read the track and I knew these conditions,” he said. “After nine years, there’s still luck involved but you learn what to expect and predict what needs to be done.”
Luck wasn’t on the side of several drivers Saturday.
Michelle Powers went through five tires in the Street Stock race. Her pit partner, Phil Goodwin lost two tires in the Mods and called it a night.
“We must have went through at least 10 tires tonight,” said Scott Heizer of War Racing (Powers’ and Goodwin’s team). “The track was tough on cars tonight because it was a bit dry. We thought it was going to rain.”
Street Stock points leader Samantha Johnston was another driver down on her luck in the main. Johnston went to the pits with a flat and was unable to get back on the track in her allotted caution laps. Johnston reentered the race and passed the entire field, but she was still three laps back. Race winner Jason Musser didn’t know Johnston was behind in laps.
“I thought she got back on the track in time and that she took the lead,” he said. “We spent all week trying to get faster, and we got the win but it looks like we still have some work to do. It’s too bad we didn’t have a chance to actually race.”
In the Mini Stock Class, Carolyn Gochee left the track with tire trouble with five laps remaining and never returned. Gochee’s exit gave Matt Hoffman an easy ride to victory in the main.
In the Ultra Minis Shawn Morgan raced the final five laps on a flat.
He was black flagged for driving with the tire while Ed Hatch held off the rest of the drivers for the win.
Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association President Jaceson Van Grandt said he thought the track’s conditions changed once it cooled down and that played a role in the tire trouble. “Once the track started to dry and cool off, adjustments should have been made,” he said. “But if tire problems were the biggest safety hazard that means we had a good night.”
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