By Bill W
July 15, 2010 – Kaley Gharst won at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa on Thursday night, and in turn, put himself on top of the all-time feature winners’ list with a total of 15 series win in his short career. The 22 year old driver from Decatur, Illinois also recorded a win in June at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa.
Gharst started the 25-lap main event on the outside of row one, and took the immediate lead ahead of pole-sitter Bobby Mincer and heat and dash winner, Jamie Veal. Ryan Jamison, who had struggled in his heat race utilized the bottom to move into fourth by the second lap.
The race went non-stop and by the midway point, Gharst was entering lapped traffic and a torrid battle for second, through fifth was on between Mincer, Jamison, Veal and Donnie Steward.
With lapped cars utilizing the high side of the banked 1/4 mile, Gharst had to find his way through traffic. Jamison advanced to second and challenged the lead before taking the point on lap 16. Three laps later on open track, Gharst was able to shoot back around Jamison for the lead for good. Veal was able to grab the runner-up spot with two to go.
Gharst struggled in the dash, but rebounded. “We struggled a bit early in the night, but the car was working well early on in the feature,” he said. “The top was working well, and we were good up there in clean air. I tried the bottom a couple times, but couldn’t get anything going down there.”
Gharst talked of Jamison’s pass for the lead. “I don’t know what he was getting a hold of down there, but he got me. Once I cleared the lapped cars, I was able to get up top and get back around him. It started taking rubber a car length off the cushion and I finally found it with a few laps to go.”
The Plath Motorsports #14P team grabbed their second win in 2010 with the Sprint Invaders. “John (Plath) wasn’t here tonight, but he comes to the shop and works on it every night,” said Kaley. “Randy (Plath), Nick (Breuer), Lucas (Glasgow) and my dad chipped in tonight. All I had to do was hit the throttle and hold on.”
Veal’s second place finish was the Aussie’s best yet in the States. “At the start we were a tad tight, but by the end it took a bit of rubber and I came down a bit,” he said. “We had a good car. It was a track that reminded me of home. I think we had one of the fastest cars tonight, so we’ll keep our head up and go to the next one.”
Jamison’s third place run came utilizing the low groove for 25 laps. “I set up for the bottom, because the top was smooth and I figured a lot of people would be up there,” he said. “We had the bottom nailed, and that’s how we drove by them all. We were able to lead it for awhile there, but some rubber came in up high and Kaley was able to get back by us late. We had a good run. We probably don’t let it all hang out in the heat, because the feature is what pays. To finish first, first you must finish.”
Mincer was fourth ahead of Russ Hall, who faded far back in the field at the drop of the green, but recovered for sixth. Steward. Ben Wagoner, Matt Sutton, Justin Parrish and Mike Houseman Jr. rounded out the top ten.
Next up, the Ideal Ready Mix Sprint Invaders head to the Peoria Speedway in Peoria, Illinois on Sunday, August 1.
Ideal Ready Mix 25-lap A main Finish (started): 1. 14P, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (2) 2. 35AU, Jamie Neal, Warrnambool, VIC, Aust. (3) 3. 51J, Ryan Jamison, Mediapolis, IA (11) 4. 15, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (1) 5. 45c, Russ Hall, Pleasant Hill, IA (5) 6. 16HD, Donnie Steward, West Burlington, IA (4) 7. 84, Ben Wagoner, Emden, IL (9) 8. 3, Matt Sutton, Macomb, IL (6) 9. 4J, Justin Parrish, Oquawka, IL (10) 10. 68, Mike Houseman Jr., Des Moines, IA (7) 11. 38, Seth Wilke, Burlington, IA (13) 12. 99, Jimmy Davies, Oquawka, IL (8) 13. 9x, Bart Andrews, Mediapolis, IA (12) 14. 40, Andy Huston, Roseville, IL (14). Lap Leaders: Gharst 1-15, Jamison 16-18, Gharst 19-25. Hard Charger: Ryan Jamison.
Golden Eagle Distributors – Budweiser of Burlington Heat Race #1 (8 laps, top three to Dash): 1. Jamie Neal (1) 2. Russ Hall (2) 3. Matt Sutton (4) 4. Mike Houseman Jr. (3) 5. Ben Wagoner (7) 6. Ryan Jamison (5) 7. Seth Wilke (6)
CenPeCo Lubricants Heat Race #2 (8 laps, top three to Dash): 1. Bobby Mincer (2) 2. Kaley Gharst (5) 3. Donnie Steward (3) 4. Jimmy Davies (7) 5. Justin Parrish (10) 6. Bart Andrews (6) 7. Andy Huston (4)
Huston Land Improvement of Roseville, IL Shake-Up Dash (6 laps): 1. Jamie Veal (1) 2. Donnie Steward (2) 3. Russ Hall (5) 4. Matt Sutton (4) 5. Bobby Mincer (6) 6. Kaley Gharst (3)
Rod End Supply: Mike Houseman Jr., Andy Huston
Saldana Racing Products: Matt Sutton
Weld Racing: Justin Parrish
Hepfner Race Products: Seth Wilke
Brake Man: Bart Andrews