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Hot summer night turns cool for Winters during Horsepower Heaven

Courtesy of Jim Short, Lucas Oil Modified Series

WEST VALLEY CITY – Maybe next year Scott Winters will have a routine night at Rocky Mountain Raceways. It hasn’t happened the past two years, but Winters probably didn’t mind too much last Saturday night.

The Tracy, Calif., resident had been a contender from the start of the 4 Wheel Parts 75 presented by GEICO – the Lucas Modified portion of RMR’s Horsepower Heaven event – and with 13 laps remaining he suddenly found himself in the lead after a little game of tit-for-tat took both race-long leader Kyle Tellstrom and race-long pursuer Dylan Cappello out of contention.

A few minutes later Winters found himself in the Lucas Oil Modified Series winner’s circle for the fifth time and unofficially on top of the Hoosier Tire West point standings after six of the 10 championship races.

It was poetic justice, in a sense, because last year Winters had gone into the series’ annual stop at the racy 3/8-mile oval as the points leader after six races and was running third with seven laps to go when he was caught up in an accident that left his Ferrari Farms STR Chevrolet badly damaged against the backstretch wall and pretty much ruined the second half of his season.

That race concluded with the closest and perhaps most dramatic finish in series history when Cappello and Austin Barnes slid across the finish line and Cappello got the win while the large crowd roared.

This time, before a gathering of about 8,000 that was the biggest crowd ever to see an event in the Lucas Oil Modified Series presented by LoanMart, Winters once again was running third as the race neared a conclusion. That gave him the best seat in the house when Tellstrom and Cappello had their tete-a-tete.

Cappello got in the first punch with bump-and-run pass of Tellstrom in Turn 1 on a yellow-flag restart. Then Tellstrom got under Cappello in Turn 4, Cappello went spinning into the infield and both drivers went to the rear of the field, as the rules mandate.

That gave Winters the lead and the engineer showed his appreciation for the charitable donation by holding off a determined Doug Hamm to win by 0.312 seconds. Taylor Miinch was third, local favorite Eric Rhead of nearby West Jordan, Utah, was fourth and pole-sitter Linny White was fifth, just ahead of Hicks.

It was a fitting end to a high-competitive event that started with 31 of the 33 entries separated by just half a second in qualifying. Cappello was the quickest, with a lap in 15.260 seconds. He pulled a 4 for the inversion, however, which put White and Tellstrom on the first row and Miinch and Cappello in the second row.

Tellstrom quickly took the lead from White on the opening lap and Cappello took second from White the next time around. The two leaders ran in that order while Winters, White, Miinch and Hamm battled for the next four spots.

Cappello made a strong bid for the lead at the halfway point, but Tellstrom seemed to be pulling away from the field when the night’s third yellow caution flag waved on lap 62. When the green flag was shown for lap 63 Cappello performed his bump-and-run. Then Tellstrom bumped Cappello enough to spin him, and when the yellow was show again you could almost hear Winters saying “Hey, look what I just found.”

In other action Saturday on the America First Credit Union Super Oval, Dillion Lawrence won the 25-lap K-1 Speed Super Stock race, going wire-to-wire to take the checkered flag. Lawrence finished ahead of Jayden Park Joe Bowen and Tim Richter.

Abbie Coburn won the 15-lap Jr. Stinger race, besting Parker Jones and James Jette for the victory.

Up next for the AFCU Super Oval will be an RMR Oval Racing Series competition on July 30. Racing that day will feature University Federal Credit Union Super Oval Sprints as well as Midgets, 4-Bangers, Sommers Auto Wrecking Hornets and Brandon Park Roofing F-8 Trains.

Daughter tops daddy in Pro Race Trucks family affair on AFCU Super Oval

WEST VALLEY CITY ‒ Hannah Newhouse probably wasn’t grounded for what she did Saturday night at Rocky Mountain Raceways, but the record will show that she did, in fact, run away from him.

Hannah, a Boise State University sophomore, won the 75-lap Pro Race Trucks competition on RMR’s America First Credit Union Super Oval, edging her father, John, in a hotly contested race.

Hannah Newhouse's No. 46 Boise State Pro Race Truck during Saturday's practice.

Hannah Newhouse’s No. 46 Boise State Pro Race Truck during Saturday’s practice.

Starting in the No. 8 position, Hannah Newhouse jumped three spots on the first lap. By the fourth lap she was already in third place. She briefly moved into second, but fell out. She climbed back into the No. 2 spot on lap 19, trailing only her father.

The two stayed that way for the next 17 laps until Hannah made a nifty move to get around her father on lap 36. And for a time, the Newhouse family dominated the top three spots. Hanna led the way, John was right behind her and brother, Mason, was in third.

The Newhouses went 1-2-3 for the next 44 laps until Mason went to the pits with motor issues.

Although her father was applying pressure in the final laps, Hannah held him off for her second consecutive victory.

John Newhouse finished second and Drew Reitsma took third.

Earlier in the season, the Newhouses finished 2-3-4 in a Pro Race Truck event on the AFCU Super Oval.

In other action on Saturday, Shawn Price won the 40-lap Maverik Modifieds race, besting Michael Haddenham and Nick Parker.

Skylar Sevey outlasted Donny Sevey and Kevin Neff in the 20-lap Mini Cups competition. Blaze Tucker won the 20-lap Jr. Stingers race, besting Chaz Groat and Karnee McCoy.

And in the Tucker Towing Double Decker race, All Powelled up took the checkered flag ahead of Jimmy John Freaky Fast and Hit N Run.

Up next at RMR, there will be Summit ET Series drag racing on July 15 and another Oval Racing Series competition on July 16.

Bryan Warf proves himself with checkered flag in Copper Cup Classic

Bryan Warf returned to Rocky Mountain Raceways and the Copper Cup Classic on Saturday, this time winning the prize he seemed destined to win a year ago.

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Following Saturday’s Super Modified race, Bryan Warf poses with the Copper Cup trophy along with Rockette and Sydney Tyacke, Miss Utah Nationwide 2016.

Warf, who won a Sprint Car race on the America First Credit Union Super Oval on May 30, dominated the 40-lap Copper Cup race, taking the lead on the first lap and powering his No. 91 Super Modified to the checkered flag without ever getting passed.  He hit a top speed of 106 mph and his best lap on the 3/8 mile oval was a sizzling 12.626 seconds.

In qualifying, Warf set two RMR track records: he hit a top speed of 108.941 mph, and recorded a 12.392 second lap time.

If it seemed like Warf raced like he had something to prove, it’s because he did.

In 2015, the Meridian, Idaho resident fired out in front of the pack just as he did on Saturday.  However, last year’s race had a shocking finish.  Coming around turn one on the final lap, Warf’s motor betrayed him, conking out with the end in sight.  Jim Birgis, who had been trailing Warf on the final lap, cruised in for the victory.

This time Warf would not be denied the big Copper Cup trophy, although it’s a good bet he held his breath as he drove around the final lap.DSC_2663

Luke Johnson finished second, Joey Payne came across in third and Rich Castor Jr. took fourth.

In other action on Saturday, Mel Andrus won the 25-lap University Federal Credit Union Winged Sprint race, hitting a top speed of 99 mph.  Lonnie Adamson finished in second place and Nick Pepe took third.

Stacy Jensen won the 20-lap Crate Sprints race, besting Bob Massie, who took second place, and Don Massie finished third.

In the 20-lap Midget race, Michael Daniels took the checkered flag followed by second-place finisher Jeff Kelley and Chuck Groat, who came across in third place.

The Plum Crazy car won the 10-lap Brandon Park Roofing F-8 Trains race, finishing ahead of Zombie Slayer and Shake, Rattle N Roll.

Up next at RMR is a July 9 Oval Series event that will feature Pro Race Trucks, Maverik Modifieds, Mini Cups, Jr. Stingers and Tucker Towing Double Deckers.