From Bill W.
July 14, 2011 – Kaley Gharst and the Plath Motorsports #14P team made up for a tough night at the Lee County Speedway on July 8 by winning Thursday night’s Ideal Ready Mix Sprint Invaders feature at the Cedar County Raceway in Tipton, Iowa. It was the Decatur, Illinois driver’s second win in a row at the facility and 19th overall with the series, tops all-time.
Kaley earned the pole position after rolling a one following his Shake-up Dash win. A first lap spin by fellow front row starter, Russ Hall, collected Joe Beaver, who retired with a broken front end. Ben Wagoner, who was also collected, joined Hall at the tail on the restart. They would provide entertainment as the feature wore on.
Gharst used the low side to grab the lead early on. Two drivers were on the move. By lap five, Bobby Mincer (from 10th) and Ryan Jamison (from 14th), both former feature winners in Tipton, were in the top five. Larry Ball Jr. rode second ahead of Matt Sutton.
John Greenwood was running in the top ten when his right rear blew on lap nine, bringing a caution flag. Gharst led Ball Jr., Sutton, Mincer and Jamison back to green flag racing. Two laps later, Jamison would take fourth from Sutton.
Bart Andrews brought out the final yellow of the race with 16 laps completed. Wagoner and Hall had made their way into the top ten from the rear by now. Hall would hit the high side on the restart, and Wagoner would ride low. Soon both were battling with the fifth place car of Sutton. The trio battled tooth and nail all the way to the checkers, sometimes going three-wide on the ¼-mile oval in the battle for fifth.
In the end, Gharst proved he was the class of the field. Ball Jr. maintained second ahead of Mincer. Jamison was fourth, and Wagoner won the battle for fifth. Sutton, Hall, Jimmy Davies, hard-charger Matt Krieger and Justin Parrish rounded out the top ten.
“We watched the feature last weekend from the stands (in Donnellson),” said Gharst from Victory Lane. “To rebound was great. It was good to get back on a short track and get a win. The team had the car great all night. Towards the end, the car started to slip a bit, and I was afraid someone would catch some rubber above me.”
“We didn’t’ need the restarts,” said the second place, Ball Jr. “My tires were coming in after six or seven laps, and (Gharst) was coming on lapped traffic. I could feel the right rear tire start to drive, but then the yellow would come. He would drive away if it was just the two of us.”
“We made our way up from tenth to third,” said Mincer. “The car was good, and we could come up off of the bottom where we needed to be. I thought about catching the stuff in the center, but I decided that I had got to third where we were, so we stayed. It feels good. This is just the third night out in our car, and I think we’re gaining.”
Heats were won by Beaver, Sutton and Ball Jr. The next action for the Sprint Invaders will be at the Davis County Fair on Friday, July 22 at the Bloomfield Speedway in Bloomfield, Iowa.
Ideal Ready Mix A main (started), 25 laps: 1. 14P, Kaley Gharst, Decatur, IL (1) 2. 5J, Larry Ball Jr., Knoxville, IA (3) 3. 15, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (10) 4. 51J, Ryan Jamison, Mediapolis, IA (14) 5. 84, Ben Wagoner, Emden, IL (7) 6. 3, Matt Sutton, Macomb, IL (6) 7. 45c, Russ Hall, Pleasant Hill, IA (2) 8. 99, Jimmy Davies, Oquawka, IL (8) 9. 56, Matt Krieger, Burlington, IA (23) 10. 4J, Justin Parrish, Oquawka, IL (17) 11. 97, Blake Nimee, Oswego, IL (4) 12. 5JR, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (12) 13. 80x, CJ Houseman, Des Moines, IA (13) 14. 40, Andy Huston, Roseville, IL (15) 15. 10T, Tim Moore, Rock Island, IL (16) 16. 50P, Harold Pohren, Lowell, IA (19) 17. 18, Jami Lusher, Pekin, IL (22) 18. 79, Destini Clark, Bollingbrook, IL (21) 19. 9x, Bart Andrews, Ft. Madison, IA (18) 20. 1st, John Greenwood, Woodward, IA (9) 21. 2x, Pat Moore, Moline, IL (20) 22. 7, Dustin Whiting, Burlington, IA (11) 23. 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA (5) DNS – 53H, Matt Harms, Lacon, IL. Lap Leader: Gharst 1-25. KSE Hard-charger: Krieger.
Golden Eagle Distributing – Budweiser Heat one (started), 8 laps: 1. Joe Beaver (1) 2. Russ Hall (4) 3. Ben Wagoner (2) 4. Bobby Mincer (3) 5. CJ Houseman (8) 6. Tim Moore (6) 7. Harold Pohren (7) 8. Jami Lusher (5)
Huston Land Improvement Heat two (started), 8 laps: 1. Matt Sutton (2) 2. Kaley Gharst (4) 3. Jimmy Davies (5) 4. Dustin Whiting (1) 5. Ryan Jamison (7) 6. Justin Parrish (3) 7. Pat Moore (6) 8. Destini Clark (8)
CenPeCo Lubricants Heat three (started), 8 laps: 1. Larry Ball Jr. (4) 2. Blake Nimee (1) 3. John Greenwood (2) 4. Jamie Ball (3) 5. Andy Huston (6) 6. Bart Andrews (5) 7. Matt Harms (7) DNS – Matt Krieger
Ideal Ready Mix Shake-up Dash (started), 6 laps: 1. Kaley Gharst (3) 2. Russ Hall (5) 3. Larry Ball Jr. (4) 4. Blake Nimee (2) 5. Joe Beaver (1) 6. Matt Sutton (6)