From Bill W.
July 19, 2011 – It wasn’t quite “From the outhouse to the Penthouse”, but it wasn’t far off. On Friday, July 8, Kaley Gharst found himself upside down in his heat race and scrambling from the back of the B, only to miss the feature at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. Last Thursday night, he redeemed himself and the rest of the Plath Motorsports #14P by leading from green to checker at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa. It marked his 19th career win with the Sprint Invaders.
The Decatur, Illinois driver started outside row two in his heat race and cruised to a second place finish. “The track was pretty good there,” he says of the banked ¼-mile oval. “We were able to run the top and the bottom, and we even got through the middle. Second got us into the dash.”
Starting third in the dash, Kaley asserted himself and moved into an early lead. From there, he pulled away for the win. “We had a decent draw, and the car was decent,” he says. “We changed the bars and shocks for the dash to try to get the car working well on the bottom. It was the right move.”
Randy and John Plath and Lucas Glasgow made preparations for the main event. Kaley had rolled the number one to put himself on the pole. “We aimed for the bottom,” he says of the team’s strategy for the feature. “The cushion was getting up to the lip on top, and we were more consistent on the bottom. There was a good chance of going over the ledge.”
Up front, Kaley set a rapid pace, and a few cautions left an open track in front of him. “I started thinking about (other drivers) laying rubber down from the middle to the top of the track with all those cars running around there,” he says. “I don’t know if any was laid, but we were good down on the bottom.”
There was no need to move from his current racing groove. “We were good from the start there,” says Kaley. “Towards the end, with all the yellows, I think the tires sealed up a little bit. We had a little bit of tire spin, but we were able to hold on and get the win.”
Kaley was thankful for the work the team put in during the week. “I have to thank Randy, John and Lucas for getting the car all put together after Donnellson,” he says. “Without their hard work, we wouldn’t have been out there.”
Donnellson had been no fun. “It was a big letdown to do that at a track we’ve been so good at,” says Kaley. “We got upside down there and we just weren’t able to transfer from tenth in the B. We had to watch that one from the stands. It was good to be standing in front of them Thursday at Tipton.”
With the Sprint Invaders running Friday in Bloomfield, Iowa and Sunday in Peoria, Illinois, Kaley hopes to catch some 410 action at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on Saturday. “We’re going to shoot for three nights,” he says. “We’re looking at Knoxville’s weather to make sure, but that’s the plan right now.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, Winters Performance Products and GPC Race Products.