By Bill W
– August 23, 2010 – “Showtime” Kaley Gharst led the Sprint Invaders points going into Saturday night at the 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa and he proved why, by winning the first of two features, and coming home fourth in the second. The Decatur, Illinois driver posted his fourth win of the year with the series, driving the Plath Motorsports #14P.
The draw for heat races had gone well lately, but not on this night. “I have been drawing very well, but my luck ran out in the draw on Saturday,” says Kaley. “Fortunately, we started on the outside of row three, and got a good start there. We were up to third at the start, and worked our way up into the lead.”
The win in the heat qualified him for the Dash. “Our draw for the dash was fifth, and we ended up fourth,” says the 2007 Sprint Invaders champion. “The redraw worked in our favor again, and that put us on the pole for the first feature.”
Track conditions changed immensely during the night. “The track was pretty dusty there in the heats and dash,” says Kaley. “There wasn’t a whole lot to get a hold of. We made some pretty big changes from hot laps to the heat race. They tilled it before the features, and that gave us some bite on the top and bottom. We loosened it up before the first feature.”
The racing surface provided two good grooves for the drivers, and Kaley took the lead for good on the second go-around of the first of two 20-lap main events. “We were able to start up front in clean air, and that is always big,” he says. “We raced with Ben (Wagoner) for a lap or two there before we got out front.”
Kaley adjusted to where the car felt right on the track. “Our plan was to run the top, but the bottom worked well the first couple of laps,” he says. “So I just stayed there, and it worked out for us. The car was really good and I have to thank our crew for that.”
The win came despite several restarts for cautions. The second feature didn’t provide that many opportunities to bunch the field for Kaley, who started 15th. “We really needed the number of yellows we had in the first one to make it to the front in the second one, but that didn’t happen,” he says. “I think there was only one yellow, and it was towards the end.”
Still, it was a good run to earn hard-charger honors up to fourth. “We got really spaced out there, but that is part of it,” says Kaley. “We still came up to fourth, so that was pretty good for us.”
Points were probably the last thing on Kaley’s mind, but he was able to increase his lead in the standings with two strong runs. “You just want to be consistent on a night like this,” he says. “You can’t really think about points, you just have to go out and try to finish up front.”
Keep an eye on Kaley’s progress this week and beyond at www.KaleyGharst.com!
If you would like to receive Kaley’s weekly releases, send an e-mail with the subject line “Kaley” to email@example.com.
Kaley and car owners Randy and Lori Plath would like to thank Sebastian Powder Coating and Sandblasting, Holtkamp Truck and Trailer Repair, Nelson’s Catering, Pieper Inc., Lange Chiropractic, Rockstar Graphics, Scott Performance, Midland Performance and GPC Race Products.