Saturday a night of many firsts at Southern New Mexico Speedway

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June 16, 2018  |  by Sarah Q. Stevens

Jed Smith won the Sun Valley Hardware USRA Stock Car main event on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.
Jed Smith won the Sun Valley Hardware USRA Stock Car main event on Saturday, June 16, 2018, at the Southern New Mexico Speedway in Las Cruces, N.M.

I am sure that we all can agree that we all remember our first time to the dirt track. Some of you were just children, tagging along with your family. Some of us were older. Whenever the first time happened, we remember it. From the sounds, the smells, and the dirt on our face or in our hair. I am sure every driver can remember their first race. How it felt to put on their helmet for the first time. Saturday night at Southern New Mexico Speedway would prove to be just as unforgettable to our drivers.

With Mother Nature dumping some rain on the track earlier in the day; Dean Nesbit worked, farmed, and created a hammer down track. It was what they like to call back East “bad fast”. And what a way to welcome the return of the Wingless Warriors NMMRA 360 Non-Wing Sprint Cars. With 26 non wing sprint cars checking in, 26 Rancho Milagro USRA Modifieds, 13 American Documents/The Dent Works Super Trucks, 13 USRA Stok Cars, and 18 Claimers; it was a packed pit area. And some of the best racing in the desert Southwest.

Starting off the night would be the Claimers, with 2 heats. The first heat would a battle from the beginning to the end. With the 54H and new comer of Sean Privette taking the win. Followed closely by the 03 of Suezanna Bonesteel and 54G of Gabriel Ledesma. The 2nd heat would be won by the 55 of Dylan Miller with points leader Stefnie Smith in the 87S following behind and Art Davis in the 24B rounding out the top 3. Rudy Tarin III in the MR13 would lose a tire in his heat race, and find himself tireless once again in the A Main. Tire issues would plague the Claimer points leader Stefnie Smith in the 87s as well. She would have to leave the track twice during the A Main for tire issues. The Main event players looked a lot like the heat race. With the 54H of Sean Privette taking the lead early on with the 03 of Suezanna Bonesteel following close behind. They would swamp positions several times throughout the race. We would find the 24B of Art Davis, the 53 of Ryan Apodaca along with the 54G of Gabriel Ledesma running most of the A main in the top 4 or 5. It would the 54H of Privette taking the checkered flag for the win. However due to a disqualification in tech, it would be the 03 Suezanna Bonesteel in Victory Lane. Art Davis in the 24B would come in 2nd, Ryan Apodaca in the 53 3rd, Adam Burma in the 62 4th, and rounding out the top 5 would be Gabriel Ledesma in this 54G.

Next would be the USRA Stock Cars also with 2 heats. Winning the first heat in a commanding victory would be the 48T of Paul Telles, Jr.Once the 48T took the lead, he was out there on his own. Looking smooth and fast. The 2nd heat victory would go to the 777 of Pete Vargas. Battling hard to fend off the 74 of Jason Josselyn and the 171 of Jed Smith The Main would be an eventful one with the 21z of Mark Morris and the 07 of Donovan Flores splitting the 81 of Tyler Beiter on the back straight to take the lead and 2nd place. Slowing and steadily creeping through the field would be the 171 of Jed Smith. And as the laps clicked off and when he mattered the most he would find himself taking the lead from the 07 of Donavon Flores. And in his first ever Main Event win, would find himself celebrating on the front straight claiming the fence. The excitement was contagious as the crowd was cheering loud. We would venture to say that this is the first of many for Jed Smith.

The Wingless Warriors would take the track next in a series of 4 heat races. The first heat victor would be the 26 of Randy Smith. Smith would take the lead and not even glance back. As to be expected, we would see the 20z of Rick Ziehl take a commanding lead and victory in Heat 2. Unfortunately, in that same heat we would lose the 95 or Jonathan Burch and the 15 of Ricky Holden Neither would return for the A Main. Heat 3 would see the former NFL quarterback Dennis Gile in Victory Lane. And Heat 4 would see Matt Ziehl in his 36DD machine take the victory. There would be no B Main even with the 26 cars checked in for the main. Losing cars from the heat races, we would see 22 NMMRA 360 Non Wing Sprint Cars line up for 30 laps of dirty slinging, high speed racing. The 20Z of Ricky ZIehl would waste no time getting to the front and taking the lead. Making his way through lap traffic more than once even with restarts. He was on the rail and it didn’t seem that anyone could catch him or beat him. In the last 10 laps of the race, we would Colt Trehorn in his 48 machine come close and even pass the 20Z but it would be the 13 of Dennis GIle with 2 laps to go that would take the lead and come home the winner. In what appeared to be the theme for the night, his first ever A Main event. Colt Trehorn in the 48 would come in 2nd followed by the 7 of Shon Deksins, the 20z of Rick Ziehl and the 148 of Don Grable would round out the top 5.

The American Documents/The Body Works Super Trucks would be next with 2 heat of racing action. With a vote by their association, the rookies in their class would now be allowed to start where their points average had them starting. Previously, all rookies had to start in the back. This would prove beneficial to the 01 of Gary Melton who would come home the winner in heat 1. Followed by fellow rookie driver Bryan Christie in the 72. Heat 2 would go to the 22 of Devan Smith with Walton Kyle, Sr. coming in a close 2nd. On to the main. With only 13 cars, the Super Truck 15 lap Main Event would go green to checkered with no yellow flags. And it would be once again the 01 of Gary Melton taking the lead and holding on to it for the entire race. As the laps ticked off the excitement grew. Would this be yet again another first of the night? Could the 01 hold off the charge of the 82 of Sherman Barnett or the Uno of Brian Kleine. Henry’s excitement was echoed through the grandstands as we all were watching to see if the 01 would hold on. And he would. In his first ever Victory as a rookie he would win not only his heat race but the A Main in what was the 4th first time Main Event winner of the night.

With 26 Rancho Milagro Modifiieds checking in, it was slated to be a great night of racing for them. And we were not disappointed. Heat 1 would belong to the M16 of Ricky “Rocko” Gallardo. Heat 2 would go to his nephew the J17 of Jake Gallardo. Heat 3 would go to Jimmy Ray in his #9 machine fresh off a victory the night before in Lubbock. Heat 4 would belong to Christy Georges in the #44. Losing 1 driver who would not start the A Main the B Main was scratched and 25 Modifieds were lined up for the night’s 25 lap main event. We lost early in the race the R41 of Colton Sims to mechanical issues, the 07 of Donavon Flores would follow with a blown motor that appeared to have locked up completely. We would lose the 105 of Billy Johnson, the J17 of Jake Gallardo all to mechanical issues. It would be awesome racing up front with the J17 leading the race until his mechanical failure. As the J17 was slowing down to exit the track the 131 of Royal Jones would slide up and take the lead. And even with the late charge of his son Bumper in the 111, he would take the checked flag and his position as number #1 on the podium. Behind the 131 would be the 111 of Bumper Jones, the 9 of Jimmy Ray, the 99 of Terry Tipton and the M16 of Ricky “Rocko” Gallardo would round out the top 5. Clearly not the veteran Jones’ first win. But the first one as he mentioned in his post-race interview in a long time. It was a long time coming, and awesome to watch.

I am sure Saturday night being the first for so many, won’t soon be forgotten. We are excited to see new faces in Victory Lane. We know it is simply the first of many. Congratulations to all of our winners. Thank you to our crew and fans!! For full race results, please visit our webpage at snmspeedway.com, check us out on myracepass.com. Follow us on Facebook. And if you happened to miss the races and want to see it with your very own eyes, remember High Desert Video and Ed Frazier will have DVDs of this weekend’s races as well as any others for purchase. Be sure to check us out next weekend 06/23/2018 for the return of the PoweRi 305 Sprint Cars, the Hacienda Carpet & Tile X- Mods, the USRA Stock Cars, the Legends and Late Models. As always, gates open at 5:00 pm. Racing starts at 7 pm.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown.

NMMRA 360 NON-WING SPRINT CARS

Heat #1:
1. (2) 26 Randy Smith, Peralta, N.M.
2. (3) 48 Colt Trehorn, Albuquerque, N.M.
3. (4) 52NM David Burns, Santa Fe, N.M.
4. (5) 18 Asa Kesterson, Aztec, N.M.
5. (1) 88 Mike Ziehl, Tularosa, N.M.
6. (6) 24 Robert Marfia, Rio Rancho, N.M.
7. (7) 10 Gary Guinn, Belen, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (1) 20Z Rick Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (3) 148 Don Grable, El Paso, Texas
3. (6) 17J Jacob Johnston, Albuquerque, N.M.
4. (2) 38 Travis Oldfield, Albuquerque, N.M.
5. (5) 27 Nick Aiuto, Maricopa, Ariz.
6. (4) 15 Ricky Holden, Las Cruces, N.M.
DNS - 95 Jonathan Burch, Los Lunas, N.M.

Heat #3:
1. (2) 13 Dennis Gile, Glendale, Ariz.
2. (1) 2 Michael Fanelli, Rio Rancho, N.M.
3. (4) 7 Shon Deskins, Waddell, Ariz.
4. (3) 92 Dillon Tanner, Rio Rancho, N.M.
5. (6) 21TX Brandon Schure, El Paso, Texas
6. (5) 29 Ted Schlote, Peralta, N.M.

Heat #4:
1. (1) 36DD Matt Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 9 Robert Herrera, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (5) 42 Caleb Saiz, Albuquerque, N.M.
4. (6) 0 J.R. Bonesteel, Albuquerque, N.M.
5. (3) 9 Bill Waltman, Los Lunas, N.M.
6. (4) 45 Jason Grady, Flora Vista, N.M.

Feature:
1. (8) 13 Dennis Gile, Glendale, Ariz.
2. (6) 48 Colt Trehorn, Albuquerque, N.M.
3. (10) 7 Shon Deskins, Waddell, Ariz.
4. (2) 20Z Rick Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (7) 148 Don Grable, El Paso, Texas
6. (4) 42 Caleb Saiz, Albuquerque, N.M.
7. (9) 2 Michael Fanelli, Rio Rancho, N.M.
8. (18) 24 Robert Marfia, Rio Rancho, N.M.
9. (5) 9 Robert Herrera, Las Cruces, N.M.
10. (16) 9 Bill Waltman, Los Lunas, N.M.
11. (13) 18 Asa Kesterson, Aztec, N.M.
12. (3) 26 Randy Smith, Peralta, N.M.
13. (17) 88 Mike Ziehl, Tularosa, N.M.
14. (1) 36DD Matt Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (11) 52NM David Burns, Santa Fe, N.M.
16. (19) 29 Ted Schlote, Peralta, N.M.
17. (22) 10 Gary Guinn, Belen, N.M.
18. (12) 0 J.R. Bonesteel, Albuquerque, N.M.
19. (15) 21TX Brandon Schure, El Paso, Texas
20. (20) 38 Travis Oldfield, Albuquerque, N.M.
21. (14) 92 Dillon Tanner, Rio Rancho, N.M.
22. (21) 17J Jacob Johnston, Albuquerque, N.M.
DNS - 27 Nick Aiuto, Maricopa, Ariz.
DNS - 15 Ricky Holden, Las Cruces, N.M.
DNS - 45 Jason Grady, Flora Vista, N.M.
DNS - 95 Jonathan Burch, Los Lunas, N.M.

RANCHO MILAGRO USRA MODIFIEDS

Heat #1:
1. (1) M16 Rick Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (6) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (4) 28 Tom Georges, El Paso, Texas
5. (7) R41 Colton Sims, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (5) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
7. (3) X57 Richie Davies, Springerville, Ariz.

Heat #2:
1. (1) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 18 Henry Valdez, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (7) G3 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (6) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
5. (3) 32 Max Sadler, Springerville, Ariz.
6. (4) 23B Isreal Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (5) 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas

Heat #3:
1. (2) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (1) 65 Dustin Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (3) 85 Austin Adams, El Paso, Texas
4. (5) 3T Todd Harper, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 3 Tim Tharp, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (4) 6 Joe Lackey, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #4:
1. (2) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
2. (3) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
3. (1) 19 Donavon Ooley, El Paso, Texas
4. (6) 99 Terry Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
5. (5) 105 Billy Johnson, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (4) 39H Nick Herrera, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.

Feature:
1. (6) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (8) 111 Bumper Jones, Mesilla Park, N.M.
3. (5) 9 Jimmy Ray, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (13) 99 Terry Tipton, Duncan, Ariz.
5. (1) M16 Rick Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (9) 18 Henry Valdez, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (16) 28 Tom Georges, El Paso, Texas
8. (14) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
9. (12) 19 Donavon Ooley, El Paso, Texas
10. (25) X57 Richie Davies, Springerville, Ariz.
11. (15) 3T Todd Harper, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (19) 32 Max Sadler, Springerville, Ariz.
13. (21) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
14. (23) 6 Joe Lackey, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (10) 65 Dustin Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
16. (4) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
17. (22) 23B Isreal Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
18. (18) 3 Tim Tharp, Las Cruces, N.M.
19. (24) 39H Nick Herrera, Ruidoso Downs, N.M.
20. (7) G3 Fito Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
21. (11) 85 Austin Adams, El Paso, Texas
22. (2) J17 Jake Gallardo, Las Cruces, N.M.
23. (20) 105 Billy Johnson, Las Cruces, N.M.
24. (3) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
25. (17) R41 Colton Sims, Las Cruces, N.M.
DNS - 54 Carlos Ahumada Sr., El Paso, Texas

CLAYTON DONNELLY ROOFING CLAIMERS

Heat #1:
1. (9) 54H Sean Privette, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (6) 3 Suezanna Bonesteel, Rio Rancho, N.M.
3. (5) 54G Gabriel Ledesma, El Paso, Texas
4. (3) 53 Ryan Apodaca, Hatch, N.M.
5. (2) 33G Diana Gonzales, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (8) 22 Bella Davis
7. (1) 22X Robert Gannaway, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (7) 12C Carter Oakes
9. (4) 13M Kelly Moore, Radium Springs, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (6) 55 Dylan Miller, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (9) 87S Stefnie Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (1) 24B Art Davis, Deming, N.M.
4. (8) 8T Brianna Iglesias, Anthony, N.M.
5. (4) 12 Jared Latham, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (5) 22T Jamie Torres, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (2) 62 Adam Burma, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (7) MR13 Rudy Tarin III, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (3) 0 Robert Eddy, Las Cruces, N.M.

Feature:
1. (4) 3 Suezanna Bonesteel, Rio Rancho, N.M.
2. (5) 24B Art Davis, Deming, N.M.
3. (2) 53 Ryan Apodaca, Hatch, N.M.
4. (14) 62 Adam Burma, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (3) 54G Gabriel Ledesma, El Paso, Texas
6. (12) 22T Jamie Torres, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (1) 33G Diana Gonzales, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (11) 22 Bella Davis
9. (8) 8T Brianna Iglesias, Anthony, N.M.
10. (15) 12C Carter Oakes
11. (9) 87S Stefnie Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (7) 55 Dylan Miller, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (6) 12 Jared Latham, Las Cruces, N.M.
14. (13) 22X Robert Gannaway, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (15) MR13 Rudy Tarin III, Las Cruces, N.M.
DNS - 13M Kelly Moore, Radium Springs, N.M.
DNS - 0 Robert Eddy, Las Cruces, N.M.
DQ - (10) 54H Sean Privette, Las Cruces, N.M.

SUN VALLEY HARDWARE USRA STOCK CARS

Heat #1:
1. (5) 48T Paul Telles Jr, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (3) 81 Tyler Beiter, El Paso, Texas
3. (4) 8 Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M.
4. (7) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) 2 Rick Skillin, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (2) 14 Dawson Manicki, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (6) 32B Jason Privette, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (1) 777 Pete Vargas, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (2) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
3. (3) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (4) 21Z Mark Morris, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (5) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.

Feature:
1. (7) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (11) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (8) 21Z Mark Morris, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (10) 32B Jason Privette, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (5) 777 Pete Vargas, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (6) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
7. (2) 8 Mark Smith, Anthony, N.M.
8. (12) 2 Rick Skillin, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (9) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.
10. (3) 48T Paul Telles Jr, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (4) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (13) 14 Dawson Manicki, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (1) 81 Tyler Beiter, El Paso, Texas

AMERICAN DOCUMENTS & DENT WORKS SUPER TRUCKS

Heat #1:
1. (4) 1 Gary Melton, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (1) 72 Bryan Christie, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (2) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (5) 16 Dennis McMaster, Tularosa, N.M.
5. (3) 13 Scott Kinney, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (6) 74 Ben Ives, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (7) 5 Russell Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (5) 22 Devan Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (6) 6 Walton Kyle Sr, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (4) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
4. (2) L750 Todd Froats, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (3) UNO Brian Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (1) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas

Feature:
1. (4) 1 Gary Melton, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (8) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
3. (7) UNO Brian Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (10) 6 Walton Kyle Sr, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) 72 Bryan Christie, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (6) L750 Todd Froats, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (13) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
8. (9) 22 Devan Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (12) 5 Russell Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.
10. (5) 16 Dennis McMaster, Tularosa, N.M.
11. (3) 13 Scott Kinney, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (11) 74 Ben Ives, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (2) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.