By Bill W
July 25, 2011 – If it were up to Kaley Gharst and the Plath Motorsports #14P team, the Sprint Invaders would keep on going Fair racing. He won his second feature in a row with the series last Friday night at the Davis County Fair in Bloomfield, Iowa. It followed up a win a the Cedar County Fair in Tipton, Iowa the previous week. With action in Peoria, Illinois rained out Sunday night, the Decatur, Illinois driver will look forward to a busy week.
Kaley had won on two previous trips to the 4/10-mile Bloomfield Speedway, but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t change his strategy. He did just that to win his heat race from row two. “We had kind of planned on running the top,” he says. “I saw Tony Stewart get going on the bottom in the first heat, and then Larry Ball Jr. in the second heat down there. That made me change my mind about where I was going to run.”
The strategy paid off. “I was able to run the bottom there and just kept working at it,” says Kaley. “We were able to get the lead, and I felt good down there.”
The bottom was good in the heat, so why not continue in the Shake-up Dash? When Russ Hall was able to make a late pass on him for the win, plans had to change one more time for the main event. “We aimed for the bottom again in the dash,” says Kaley. “I was slipping a little more in turn two than I was in the heat. That’s where Russ caught us and got by. That made us change our game plan for the feature.”
The 20-lap main event saw Kaley start on the pole after Hall rolled the dice after the Dash. “We set it up to the run the top,” he says of the strategy going in. “The key was getting a good start and getting out in front of Larry. The other key was the dash draw. We got really lucky when Russ rolled the six.”
Kaley made it look easy with few hiccups. “We were able to get out there and set sail,” he says. “We did have trouble with a lap car there. I lost my momentum big time and missed the slide job.”
The two-time series champion got through that, and recorded his series’ high 20th career win. “I was lucky enough to hold on for the win,” says Kaley. “It started to lay a little rubber up in two about a car length off the cushion. We started finding that coming off the top and getting a good run into three.”
As usual, Kaley was complimentary of the Plath Motorsports team. “Randy (Plath), John (Plath) and Lucas (Glasgow) did a great job with the car again, and it feels good to win two of these in a row. The track was pretty good all night long. I look forward to coming back.”
Plans this week include a pair of Monster Energy™ Sprint Car Series Illinois Sprint Week dates at Spoon River Speedway south of Canton on Wednesday, and at the Tri-City Speedway near Granite City on Thursday. Peoria’s Sprint Invaders event will be made up this Sunday.
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.