By Bill W,Dennis Krieger photo
August 24, 2011 – Kaley Gharst was on the move on the “Night of the Twins” last Saturday night at the 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The Sprint Invaders featured twin features, and the Decatur, Illinois driver finished fifth and third in the events after passing a total of fourteen cars in the Plath Motorsports #14P.
Kaley drew inside row four for his heat race. With the top five transferring to the feature and some fast car in front of him, there was no time to waste. “We didn’t get the best draw and it was tough going back there,” he says. “The car was a bit loose hot lapping and we tightened it up quite a bit for the heat. It was a little tackier than we thought, and that left us a bit tight.”
After struggling outside of a transfer spot, Kaley was able to grab the final transfer late in the race. “We finally got going once we got our nose clean and got up through there,” he says. “We were able to get (Ryan) Jamison there with about two to go to get the last transfer. That put us deep in the first feature.”
Starting 14th in the first of two features, the two-time series’ champion worked his way forward into the top five. “We were just a little loose, but other than that the guys did great with the car,” says Kaley. “We got up to fifth, which wasn’t a bad deal.”
With an eye towards a win in the second feature, Kaley was soon dealing with a vibration in the right front tire. “The invert put us back in eighth for the second one,” he says. “We tightened the car up. It felt really good, but I got up on the cushion and packed the right front tire full of mud. It was just a handful after that.”
He muscled his way into the show position. After a great battle with Jamison and Bobby Mincer, he would settle for third. “Once we got to third, we were just hanging on,” says Kaley. “I was waiting for the laps to count down to be honest. It was a third place finish.”
Despite a DNF and a DNQ earlier in the season, Kaley is right there with the leaders in Sprint Invaders points heading into the last three shows at Quincy, Jacksonville and back at 34 Raceway. “It wasn’t a bad night getting a fifth and a third,” he says. “We’ll come back and try to win one next time.”
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.