Veteran gets first Hayden Speedway win
HAYDEN –here are drivers who say that winning a race or a track title at the Hayden Speedway isn’t their No. 1 goal. But you can’t blame Jeff Duncan for wanting to win.
“I hadn’t won a main event race in six years,” he said. “Things finally worked out for me.”
Duncan won the Street Stock class Saturday night at the Mini Stock Mayhem races.
He earned his first race in a closely contested final 10 laps. Street stock points leader, No. 63 Samantha Johnston, was hot on Duncan’s tail during those final 10 laps. The two drivers exchanged the lead three times, including twice within two laps when Johnston took Duncan on the inside of the fourth turn and he returned the favor the next time around.
It was the third time in as many races that a different car won the main event in the Street Stocks.
“(My win) adds another factor to this competitive class,” Duncan said. “There are some good drivers and cars in the class.”
Duncan switched from racing IMCA Modified to Street Stock this season. He initiated himself into the Street Stocks by wrecking his No. 3D car on the first night. The second race night his brakes never worked in the main event and he had to pull out.
Saturday he made up for his first two attempts.
“I like these cars because you can just hammer out the dents,” he said. “They’re tough cars and it’s a tough class.”
Just like the Street Stocks, the IMCA Modified class is starting to look like it will be competitive every night. Last week’s winner, H.D. Craig, had car trouble in the heat race and week-one winner Gregg Kolbaba was leading in the main event when things went poof. Smoke billowed from his car on the final turn of the 12th lap and he had to be pushed off the track.
Kolbaba and Craig’s absence gave Josh Anderson, Maedgen Baucum and Phil Goodwin even more incentive to race. And race they did.
In the final 10 laps there were six lead changes, and all three racers took the lead at one point. The third turn ate up several leads.
“If you hit (the third turn) wrong you slid up the wall,” Anderson said. “You had to set up the turn just right or you would lose it.”
Anderson managed to find control of the track conditions on the final three laps and he pulled away for his first IMCA win.
“I hate to see those guys (Craig and Kolbaba) go down,” he said. “We want everybody out there racing.”
In the featured class of the night, Mini Stock driver Carolyn Gochee emerged as a possible challenger for Matt Hoffman, who had dominated the class early. Gochee won the heat race in her pink No. 3 car and led the first five laps of the main. But Hoffman passed her and never trailed again after the sixth lap for his third win in the main event.
Herby the Love Bug and his driver, Scott McKinney looked to be getting closer to full strength. Herby was given a new set of front tires and McKinney was able to rest his injured arm for six more days. Last week McKinney could only use one arm to drive.
He used both arms Saturday, and although he was hurting after the race, he felt better because he won both the heat and main races in the Ultra Mini class.
In the Super Street class there was a familiar scene with Troy Goodson’s orange No. 25 car well out front while the rest of the cars raced for second place. Goodson has owned the Super Street class at the Hayden Speedway.
Doug Skroch and Zach Schaffner raced shortened races in the Limited Late Model class races. Skroch won both races and joined Goodson as a 2004 track champion to win Saturday.
“This year is starting to come around for the track,” Yampa Valley Auto Racing Association president Jaceson VanGrandt said. “We had a good turnout from the crowd and drivers.”
The cars will be back for the Ultra-Mini Shootout this Saturday.
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