I waited a long time for this one

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July 21, 2018  |  by Sarah Q. Stevens

Royal Jones in the 131 made his way to the Winner’s Circle tonight in the POWRi 305 Sprint Cars. And I waited a long time for it to happen. A few weeks back, while Ruben was out touring the country and announcing, Rue asked me if I would write the nightly recap stories. I said sure, no problem. Hoping that I didn’t leave anything out. Royal sent me a message one day, telling me he enjoyed the stories. Following up with, I guess I have to win one to have you write about me. Well tonight; in commanding fashion. Seriously commanding fashion, I get to do just that.

The Sun Valley Hardware USRA Stock cars would be the first to hit the track. With the extreme heat, and to make sure the track held up through tonight’s main events; the track was still a little wet and heavy when they made their way to the track. We would see the first yellow of the night come out early in heat 1. Resulting in both the 46 of Zach McCoy and 97 of Wyatt Loveland having to leave the track as they would come together. Heat 1 would continue with 4 driver’s left. It would be once again the 48T of Paul “Pauly T” Telles, Jr. coming home with the win. Bryan Bagwell piloting his 32B would come in a close 2nd with the 21K of Don Kleine rounding out the top 3. Heat 2 would find Shane McNutt coming home with the win in a solid race in his #24. Followed by Bryan Bennett in the #10, and Jason Josselyn would round out the top 3 in his #74 machine. The stage was set for the 20 lap main event, that would find Jason Josselyn out front fairly early in the race. The 74 would have a seemingly flawless run, hitting each and every one of his marks throughout the race. The always silent creeper of Donovan Flores would run a faster lap time the latter part of the race. In fact, it would be last lap in turns 1 and 2 where it looked like Flores would creep right around the 74 and win the race. What seemed like a slight hesitation, possibly a bobble of the car in 3 and 4; Jason would hold off Donovan for the win. It was an ending to Josselyn’s dry spell of wins. Once again, it was good to see him back on top and in the winner’s circle. Donovan would come in a very close 2nd in the 07. Bryan Bennett would have another strong showing bringing the 10 around to finish 3rd. And even though he had fallen a lap back. Due to the “lucky dog” rule in force, Jed Smith would gain a lap back on the last yellow and finish in 4th. With Pauly T coming in next to round out the top 5 for the night. Congrats to Jason and family on breaking the streak, to bring home the win tonight.

The Casa Nissan Legends would be next with their 2 heats. The first heat would look much like a typical off season go cart race with the 8 and rookie Aydan Saunders winning. Chelsea Scott in the 4 would come in 2nd with the 1 of Eli Woody finishing a strong 3rd. To continue the tradition of go cart racing, heat 2 would belong to the 1I of Daniel Blaeser who would hold off the 54 of Gunner Harris and the 11 of Lucas Ward to win the race. The Main event would be 20 laps for the Legends as well. With Daniel Blaeser getting his 1I machine out in front a little past the half way point. Eli Woody would remain a close 2nd or 3rd for the majority of the race. However, with one lap to go we would see Woody lose power on the back straight away to end his race before he could take the checkered flag. It was heartbreaking to see him race so hard to be right there, to ultimately not be able to finish the race. Gunner Harris in the 54 would end up edging out Cameron Sogge who was running the 11D for the night. David Smith would give up his ride for the night to give Sogge a chance to compete and not lose his points as the motor in the B52 was blown. Harris and Sogge would battle most of the race along with the 8 of Aydan Saunders for the runner up positions. Harris in the #54 would come in 2nd, Sogge would end up 3rd, Saunders would come home 4th and Lucas Ward would round out the Top 5 in his #11 machine.

The Late Models would take the track next. With only 9 competitors checked in for the heat race, it would be the #88 of Donnie Newcomb coming in first and taking the win. He would be followed by the #22 of Jonathon Ortega, and Christy Barnett in her #44 machine would round out the top 3 in heat race action. The Main event would gain competitor Sam Alonso in his #66 machine and we would start 10 late models for their 20 lap main event. The #3 of Javier Zapien Jr would take the lead and maintain it until the yellow would come out for the spun 612. On the restart Zapien would once again remain out in front until the #22 of Jonathan Ortega would get a run coming out of 4 and pass him right at the flag stand to take the lead. The battle between the 3 and 4th place cars would take place throughout. Ultimately, it would be Jonathon’s Dad Rick Ortega in his 24 machine holding off Christy Barnett in her 44 machine for 2nd place. Christy would come in 3rd. Javier Zapien Jr would follow in the #3 and Sam Alonso in his #66 would round out the top 5 without ever running the heat race.

With the format a little different tonight for the X Mods, we would see a staggered inversion. Separating across the 4 heats the highest in points average. Don Parra in his #7 machine would take home the win in Heat 1. With the Horizon City Monster Paddy Rush coming in a close 2nd in the 52TX. Heat 2 would belong to Justin Allen in the #33 with Duane Murphy in the 49M following in 2nd. Sherman Barnett would wheel his #82 and prove with a heat race win, that he still has it. Sergio Chao Sr., in the #14 would finish 2nd in heat 3. Nick Rivera would win heat 4 with in his 8N machine followed by Kevin Clark in the #38. 26 cars would start the A Main event for the USRA X Mods. Nobody said it was going to be pretty. And pretty; it definitely was not. It would take 3 starts to get the initial first lap complete. And unfortunately, the yellows wouldn’t stop there. The 30 lap main event would see its fair share of yellows and restarts. But it would be Justin Allen in the #33 avoiding trouble and taking the lead out of turn 4 from Nathan Smith right about the half point in the race. And he would maintain his lead and win the race. Nathan Smith in the #88 would settle in for a 2nd place finish. Paddy Rush in the 52TX would be moved to a 3rd place finish when the 22 of Jonathan Barcena would be DQ’d in tech for a faulty MSD box. Nick Rivera would edge out the 3J of Josh Cain at the line to take home 4th and Cain in the 3J would round out the top 5. From the front of the field to the back of the field there would be a lot of position swapping back and forth. Justin Allen maintained his lead holding off the #88 who was there most of the race with him. It was also nice to see Allen make his way back to the Winner’s Circle. Seemed almost like a night of redemption in every class.

They put the wings back on for this Saturday night’s racing action. With 16 POWRi 305 Sprint Cars checking it, we would see the #2 of Kohl McCutcheon take the win in heat 1 followed by the #27 of Cesar Fuentes. We had missed Fuentes the last couple of weeks of racing. It was good to see him back and having such a strong run. Robert Herrera would be victorious in Heat 2 with the 40x of Don Grable coming in 2nd. I joked at the end of the Sprint Car Main Event, that I bet Royal Jones was glad he let me set up his car for the night. In all actuality the set-up expertise would lay with Rick “Ranger” Manasco and Philip Dietz. Dietz is probably best well known for helping our fallen friend Jason Johnson with his #41 machine. And I am sure that Jason himself was as excited as anyone that the 131 would take home the win tonight. With the fastest times on the track for all but 1 lap, Royal took the lead and didn’t look back. There was a charge from the 40X of Don Grable on lap 22 where he was a mere 1 tenths second faster than Royal. But that would be the closest that to Jones that anyone would get tonight. Much like Jason Josselyn’s performance; Royal would run a seemingly flawless race . Even in avoiding what could have been disaster when the 665 of Roby Knight would spin right in front of Jones. Without even a hiccup, Royal would wheel that 131 right around avoiding Knight. Don Grable would have a strong finish in the 40x coming in 2nd edging out the 20Z of Rick Ziehl for the last 10 laps or so. Robert Herrera would come in 4th and Brandon Schure would round out the top 5 in his 21TX machine. It was good to see the 131 park it up front. And have Royal get out and Celebrate with his post-race dance that we have all come to enjoy and love. And knowing what this win not only means to Royal and his team, but Philip Dietz as well. It was awesome to watch. I know Jason was cheering extra loud tonight for the 131. I waited a long time for this one. And like it almost always is, it was so worth the wait.

It was good to have Ruben Mireles back in the tower with us. It was an amazing job by Dean Nesbit on the track. And kudos to all of our staff and fans. If you happened to miss any of tonight’s racing action. Or if you just want to have a collection of racing for the season, be sure to check out High Dessert Video and purchase a DVD or Blu-Ray of tonight’s action. It also comes with additional track radio commentary. Which might be extra entertaining since we had to throw a red flag and stop a legend race to get 2 cows off the track. You never know what you are going to see at the track on a Saturday night. And that’s what makes it the most entertaining and exciting place to be on a Saturday night. See you all next week.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
Southern New Mexico Speedway, Las Cruces, N.M.
Saturday, July 21, 2018

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

LUCAS OIL POWRI 305 SPRINT CARS

Heat #1:
1. (1) 2 Kohl McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
2. (4) 27 Cesar Fuentes, Juarez, MX
3. (2) 88 Mike Ziehl, Tularosa, N.M.
4. (7) 77 C.J. Hulsey, El Paso, Texas
5. (5) 21TX Brandon Schure, El Paso, Texas
6. (6) 49 Chuck Jackson, Albuquerque, N.M.
7. (3) 65 Richard Wilbee, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (8) 665 Robby Knight, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (2) 9 Robert Herrera, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (1) 40X Don Grable, El Paso, Texas
3. (3) 20Z Rick Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (4) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 97 Derek Demartino, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (5) 15 Ricky Holden, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (7) 3R Bob Faulhaber, Rio Rancho, N.M.
8. (8) 3S Sal Gomez, Las Cruces, N.M.

Feature:
1. (5) 131 Royal Jones, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (6) 40X Don Grable, El Paso, Texas
3. (7) 20Z Rick Ziehl, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (3) 9 Robert Herrera, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (10) 21TX Brandon Schure, El Paso, Texas
6. (9) 97 Derek Demartino, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (8) 27 Cesar Fuentes, Juarez, MX
8. (12) 15 Ricky Holden, Las Cruces, N.M.
9. (4) 77 C.J. Hulsey, El Paso, Texas
10. (14) 65 Richard Wilbee, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (11) 49 Chuck Jackson, Albuquerque, N.M.
12. (13) 3R Bob Faulhaber, Rio Rancho, N.M.
13. (1) 2 Kohl McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
14. (16) 3S Sal Gomez, Las Cruces, N.M.
15. (15) 665 Robby Knight, Las Cruces, N.M.
16. (2) 88 Mike Ziehl, Tularosa, N.M.

HACIENDA CARPET & TILE USRA X-MODS

Heat #1:
1. (3) 7 Don Parra, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (4) 52TX Paddy Rush, Horizon City, Texas
3. (6) 44JT Jaime Torres, Tortugas, N.M.
4. (5) 88 Nathan Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (1) 94 Justin Garrett, Deming, N.M.
6. (2) 8 Daniel Lozoya, El Paso, Texas
7. (7) 95 Clayton Donnelley, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (6) 33 Justin Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (4) 49M Duane Murphy, El Paso, Texas
3. (3) 22 Jonathan Barcena, El Paso, Texas
4. (5) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
5. (2) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (7) 82X Heath Grizzle, Drasco, Ark.
7. (1) 83 Mark Sosa, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #3:
1. (5) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
2. (2) 14 Sergio Chao Sr., El Paso, Texas
3. (1) 49 Tristin Gattis, El Paso, Texas
4. (6) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
5. (3) 18G Cooper Guffey, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (4) 18JR Ricardo Olague Jr., El Paso, Texas
7. (7) 20K Gage Duke, Ruidoso, N.M.

Heat #4:
1. (6) 8N Nick Rivera, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (1) 38 Kevin Clark, El Paso, Texas
3. (5) X777 Mike Rosales, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (4) 7C John Carney, El Paso, Texas
5. (2) 17 Rob Mosely, Los Lunas, N.M.
6. (3) 15X Sean Bowman, El Paso, Texas

Feature:
1. (14) 33 Justin Allen, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (9) 88 Nathan Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (6) 52TX Paddy Rush, Horizon City, Texas
4. (16) 8N Nick Rivera, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (15) 3J Josh Cain, Rio Rancho, N.M.
6. (7) 49M Duane Murphy, El Paso, Texas
7. (18) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (20) 17 Rob Mosely, Los Lunas, N.M.
9. (2) 38 Kevin Clark, El Paso, Texas
10. (12) X777 Mike Rosales, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (4) 7 Don Parra, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (19) 18G Cooper Guffey, Las Cruces, N.M.
13. (11) 82 Sherman Barnett, El Paso, Texas
14. (21) 8 Daniel Lozoya, El Paso, Texas
15. (17) 94 Justin Garrett, Deming, N.M.
16. (25) 83 Mark Sosa, Las Cruces, N.M.
17. (8) 7C John Carney, El Paso, Texas
18. (27) 20K Gage Duke, Ruidoso, N.M.
19. (13) 44JT Jaime Torres, Tortugas, N.M.
20. (10) 47 Mingo Jauregui, El Paso, Texas
21. (24) 95 Clayton Donnelley, Las Cruces, N.M.
22. (22) 82X Heath Grizzle, Drasco, Ark.
23. (1) 49 Tristin Gattis, El Paso, Texas
24. (23) 15X Sean Bowman, El Paso, Texas
25. (3) 14 Sergio Chao Sr., El Paso, Texas
26. (26) 18JR Ricardo Olague Jr., El Paso, Texas
DQ -. (5) 22 Jonathan Barcena, El Paso, Texas

ANTHONY SOSA ROOFING LATE MODELS

Heat
1. (2) 88 Donnie Newcomb, El Paso, Texas
2. (7) 22 Jonathon Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (3) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
4. (6) 49 Duane Murphy, El Paso, Texas
5. (5) 24 Rick Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (1) 911 Cliff Hansen, El Paso, Texas
7. (8) 3 Javier Zapien Jr., El Paso, Texas
8. (9) 612 Jose Saenz, El Paso, Texas
9. (4) 5M Eric McNutt

Feature:
1. (7) 22 Jonathon Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (5) 24 Rick Ortega, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (6) 44 Christy Barnett, El Paso, Texas
4. (2) 3 Javier Zapien Jr., El Paso, Texas
5. (10) 66 Sam Alonso, El Paso, Texas
6. (9) 5M Eric McNutt
7. (3) 88 Donnie Newcomb, El Paso, Texas
8. (1) 911 Cliff Hansen, El Paso, Texas
9. (4) 49 Duane Murphy, El Paso, Texas
10. (8) 612 Jose Saenz, El Paso, Texas

CASA NISSAN LEGENDS OF THE WOUTHWEST

Heat #1:
1. (2) 8 Aydan Saunders, El Paso, Texas
2. (4) 4 Chelsea Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (7) 1 Eli Woody, El Paso, Texas
4. (5) 48Z Zach Rodriguez, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 644 Tim Squire, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (3) 0I Hannah Blaeser, La Mesa, N.M.
7. (1) 24S Andy Squire, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (5) 1I Daniel Blaeser, La Mesa, N.M.
2. (6) 54 Gunner Harris, El Paso, Texas
3. (3) 11 Lucas Ward, El Paso, Texas
4. (7) B52 Cameron Sogge, Holloman AFB , N.M.
5. (1) 77E Eric LeCroix, El Paso, Texas
6. (2) 717 Teddy McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
7. (4) 77 Michael Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas

Feature:
1. (8) 1I Daniel Blaeser, La Mesa, N.M.
2. (9) 54 Gunner Harris, El Paso, Texas
3. (10) B52 Cameron Sogge, Holloman AFB , N.M.
4. (1) 8 Aydan Saunders, El Paso, Texas
5. (7) 11 Lucas Ward, El Paso, Texas
6. (11) 0I Hannah Blaeser, La Mesa, N.M.
7. (13) 24S Andy Squire, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (5) 1 Eli Woody, El Paso, Texas
9. (3) 48Z Zach Rodriguez, Las Cruces, N.M.
10. (2) 4 Chelsea Scott, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (4) 644 Tim Squire, Las Cruces, N.M.
12. (6) 77E Eric LeCroix, El Paso, Texas
13. (12) 717 Teddy McCutcheon, Alamogordo, N.M.
DNS – 77 Michael Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas

SUN VALLEY HARDWARE USRA STOCK CARS

Heat #1:
1. (5) 48T Paul Telles Jr., Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (4) 32B Bryan Bagwell, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (6) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
4. (1) 8 Jonathan Mitchell, Anthony, N.M.
5. (3) 97 Wyatt Loveland, Alamogordo, N.M.
6. (2) 46 Zach McCoy, Las Cruces, N.M.

Heat #2:
1. (1) 24 Shane McNutt, Las Cruces, N.M.
2. (5) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.
3. (3) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
4. (4) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (6) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (2) 777 Pete Vargas, Las Cruces, N.M.

Feature:
1. (4) 74 Jason Josselyn, Alamogordo, N.M.
2. (12) 7 Donavon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.
3. (6) 10 Bryan Bennett, Tularosa, N.M.
4. (5) 171 Jed Smith, Las Cruces, N.M.
5. (2) 48T Paul Telles Jr., Las Cruces, N.M.
6. (10) 777 Pete Vargas, Las Cruces, N.M.
7. (3) 24 Shane McNutt, Las Cruces, N.M.
8. (9) 97 Wyatt Loveland, Alamogordo, N.M.
9. (8) 8 Jonathan Mitchell, Anthony, N.M.
10. (1) 32B Bryan Bagwell, Las Cruces, N.M.
11. (7) 21K Don Kleine, Las Cruces, N.M.
DNS – 46 Zach McCoy, Las Cruces, N.M.