Valenti Continues Limaland Winning Ways
LIMA, Ohio – The 2012 racing season at Limaland Motorsports Park has seen a pair of drivers dominate the Budweiser Thunderstocks division like never before. Shawn Valenti and Jeff Koz have each won five features, equaling the 10 that have been contested so far this season.
This particular night of racing was interrupted for about ninety minutes with a wind/rain storm. Track officials and a number of drivers brought out their cars and trucks to dry out the racing surface. They did a superb job and the race card was able to resume during the heat races.
The Fricke Memorial Thunderstock Select is a special format race that builds to a ten lap showdown following a pair of qualifying eight lap shootouts.
In the final Select race, UNOH Racer Joel Ortberg led the field through the first three laps before surrendering the lead to Valenti and Koz.
As the checkered flag came out, it was Valenti that captured the Memorial race, adding to a feature win from earlier in the evening.
“I’m very thankful to win this race and to the Fricke Family for putting this on,” declared Valenti.
The Budweiser Thunderstocks 15-lap feature event proved to be a much more difficult challenge for Valenti as it appeared the division may have its first non Valenti/Koz winner for this 2012 season.
Through the opening seven circuits, UNOH Racer Dwight Niehoff, an undergraduate from Missouri, topped the field. Niehoff and Chris Douglas became entangled in an incident in turn four, bringing out the yellow flag. It put Niehoff to the tail of the field and Douglas out of the race with car damage.
Billy Siferd took over race leadership and eyed his first win of the season. Point’s leader Shawn Valenti was in hot pursuit and finally made a successful pass to the inside of Siferd with one lap remaining. Valenti then rolled to the first of his two conquests for the evening.
“We were just a little bit quicker than him (Siferd),” noted Siferd after the win. “Everyone is tough in this division and with the rain we had tonight it made it a fast race track.”
A highlight of the night was for a first time winner in the Elwer Fence Sprints 25-lap feature. Pole starter Hud Horton entered the evening at third place in the point’s standing, but without a coveted win. In fact, the Germantown, Ohio driver had never won a feature at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Horton mashed the pedal down and roared around the top of the track in a dominant fashion. He was torching the competition until an accident on lap eighteen involving J.R. Stewart allowed Kyle Sauder and Randy Hannagan to close the gap. It forced Horton to hold off Hannagan for a seven lap dash before he would earn the win.
Point’s leader Hannagan made a genuine threat to Horton getting up to his tail before lapped traffic slowed his progress. Horton held on through the last lap, took the checkered flag, and locked down his spot in the season ending King of the quarter-mile race.
“I had the brakes on some tonight as this track was so fast,” he humbly stated afterward. “It’s great to finally win here. I needed this because the only thing left to change was the driver in the seat of this car with me being out. Thanks to (owner) Ron French for sticking with me.”
In the K&N Modified 20-lap feature, the fast race track proved to be the perfect surface for veteran Todd Sherman. He went flag-to-flag and posted his third consecutive win in the division.
Sherman won last week when lapped traffic slowed the primary race leader Terry Hull with three laps remaining. It was a different story on this evening with the defending track champion Sherman never being threatened.
“The track was hammer down fast and I’m so glad the officials waited out the rain,” said Sherman after his fourth win of the 2012 season and 30th of his career at the track. “It made thing a lot of fun.”
He trailed Hull by 10 points in the Modified division standings entering the night of racing. Hull finished runner-up after starting in the ninth row. Fellow Indiana driver Jake Reufer crossed the finish line in third position, also for the second straight week.