By Bill W, Danny Howk photo
June 7, 2011 – A pair of good runs at the Knoxville Raceway have the Mark Burch Motorsports #1m team and Chad Humston confident heading into another weekend at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World”. A special Friday show last weekend saw a sixth place finish, followed up with a Saturday podium run.
Forty-one cars, including many of the 410 regulars were racing Friday night in conjunction with the Masters Classic. Group qualifying saw Chad time in third in the stout contingent. “It wasn’t too bad with the field we had there,” he says. “Everything was working well. It was a good night.”
Starting sixth in the third heat, Chad knew he had to make the top four to qualify for the main event. A late caution gave him the opportunity. “Sometimes the yellows come out when you need them and sometimes they don’t,” he says. “On Friday, in the heat, we definitely needed it. We were running behind Gregg Bakker, and I just got a good restart. We carried the momentum by him. We just needed to get in the show at that point.”
The Giltner, Nebraska native posted inside row four for the feature, and came home sixth. “It wasn’t a bad run at all,” says Chad. “We had some great race teams out there, and we went forward. Anytime you can move ahead, you need to be happy. We could have bettered ourselves a bit, but we weren’t too disappointed with the run.”
With an upped purse on Saturday, 30 360’s towed in and Chad emerged from qualifications with quick time. “It was definitely hitting on all cylinders,” he says of the Wolfweld chassis powered by Burch. “Mark was out of town (family commitments of the dance variety), but we were on the phone with him all night. Glenn Freeland was helping us out, and he and Marvin (Brees) had things figured out.”
It seemed fellow Nebraska shoe Ryan Roberts was close by at all times, on the track and off. Chad would finish second to Ryan in the heat. “Roberts and I were talking before the heat race, and the field looked pretty good,” says Chad. “It worked well for both of us. The key for us was a good start, and we got that. It just worked out well that I got a good run off of turn two.”
Chad seemed to gain steam as the 20-lap feature wore on. He maintained a spot in the top five most of the way. “When you get fast time and the invert is six, you have nothing to complain about,” he says. “Jon Agan was running really well. After looking at the tape, I realized he started behind me. He was wheeling it around there and had it going.”
There was plenty of racing behind Agan, the leader. “We had some great battles back in the pack there,” says Chad. “We were three or four-wide for a couple of laps there with Matt Moro and Lee Grosz.”
A late caution helped Chad advance. “We weren’t 100% perfect, but I calmed down a bit when the cautions came,” he says. “I figured out what I needed to do on the track, and the restarts went well for us. It was another good caution for us.”
He would finish third behind Agan, and who else…Roberts. “We seem to be side by side wherever we go,” he says of Roberts. “I really can’t get away from him. It’s fun. I like racing with him. We had a shot at second at one time, but the driver of the #1m missed his line a bit in three and four.”
Chad, owner Mark Burch and the rest of the team will be aiming for Victory Lane at Knoxville again this Saturday with the World of Outlaws in town.
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Partner of the Week: Smiley’s Racing Products
Smileys Racing Products and Hoosier Tire Southwest have been in the racing business for 30 years in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Visit Smiley’s, either in Kennedale, Texas, at the showroom store in Mesquite, or at the racetracks. All employees at Smiley’s Racing Products and Hoosier Tire Southwest are directly involved with race teams either as owners, drivers, pit crew members, etc. What this means to you our customers is racing advice that has been tested on the track first, and then we pass our findings on to you our customers. From parts and tires to complete race cars, Smiley’s Racing Products and Hoosier Tire Southwest is ready to help you get to the checkered flag first. All aspects of our business can be seen at www.SmileysRacing.com. Click on catalog and put your information in and we will send you a catalog free of charge.
Mark Burch Motorsports
The mission of Mark Burch Motorsports is to be an innovator in the unrefined business of Sprint Car racing on dirt, while representing our sponsors and manufacturers in a professional and positive manner both on and off the track. It is our goal to develop and improve our winning spirit and carry on our winning tradition by utilizing the growth of close personal relationships throughout our organization. This pursuit of excellence is the fuel that feeds the fire of our souls.
Mark Burch Motorsports would like to thank the following Primary sponsors: Engler Machine and Tool, Inc., Wireless Amber Alerts, Wolfweld Chassis, OE Parts Megastore, Hoosier Tire Great Plains, Smiley’s Racing Products, Whitetail Paradise and Triple R Tire.
Mark Burch Motorsports would like to thank the following Associate and Product sponsors: Arrow Truck Sales – Kansas City, MO, Morgan Farms, Burnett Rock & Landscaping, Donovan Blocks, Diamond Pistons, Rod End Supply, Saldana Racing Products, MSD Ignition, Vortex Racing Products, King Racing Products, S&S Welding, Inc., Lee Power Steering, Gessford Machine, Diversified Machine, Inc., Afco, CV Products, Wulff Pumps, Schoenfeld Headers, Red Devil Brakes, Total Seal, Dyers Top Rods, Huggins Cams, Speedway Motors, Weld Racing, Harris Decals, Eckley Racing Engines, Goodridge and Shaver Wesmar Gear Drives.