By Bill W
– July 8, 2010 – Kaley Gharst competed in two events last weekend, one in the family 410, and one in the Plath Motorsports #14P with the 360 Sprint Invaders series. Eighth and fifth place finishes were turned in at the Jacksonville Speedway in Illinois on Friday, and the West Liberty Raceway in Iowa on Saturday. This week, the Decatur, Illinois driver will try to get two events in (Mother Nature willing) with the Invaders at the Bloomfield Speedway and the Lee County Speedway in Iowa.
The 2nd Annual Leon Smith Memorial saw a strong field of cars assembled at Jacksonville on Friday night aiming for $2,500 to win. Starting towards the tail of the field, Kaley would finish fifth in his heat. “We drew bad, and then I made it worse by jumping the start of the heat race,” he says of being sent towards the tail. “That put us back even further.”
The first lap of the feature saw chaos. “We got caught up in a first lap crash and bent some stuff in the front of the car,” he says of the family #44G. “We had a bent nose wing and some other stuff going on.”
Jacksonville rules saw him retain his starting spot inside row five. With a one-lane track, he maintained an eighth place finish. “We were able to get going,” says Kaley. “It was similar to the track we saw the week before with the Sprint Invaders and it took rubber early. There just wasn’t an opportunity to move forward. We couldn’t complain about ninth after that.”
At West Liberty on Saturday, Kaley maintained his third place standing in Sprint Invaders points. “It was a nice track,” he says of the big half-mile. “It was wide from the beginning and had a top and bottom and a middle too. We changed some things with the fuel to the motor after hot laps.”
Kaley struggled to fifth in the heat. “The (fuel) change hurt us in the heat,” he says. “The motor just wasn’t running well. So for the feature, we went back to where we were in hot laps. We had been overheating too, so a radiator change solved that one.”
Starting outside row five, it took awhile, but the 2007 Invaders champion plugged his way forward. “At the beginning, we weren’t doing a whole lot,” he says of his run. “We came on after a while and got by a few cars. We were able to come out of there with a fifth place. We were looking for a little better finish, but I think we found out some things with the motor.”
Kaley is eager to get back to Bloomfield tonight for the Invaders date there. He swept both 2007 events at the big 3/8 mile. He is also excited to get to the Lee County Speedway tomorrow, where he leads all Invaders in wins there over the years with four. “I think we’ve got things solved with this new motor, and hopefully, we’ll have things good to go for this weekend.”
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.