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Andrus races UFCU Sprint Car to checkered flag in July 30 Oval Racing Series event

Veteran racer Mel Andrus didn’t record the fastest speed during Saturday night’s University Federal Credit Union Sprint Car contest at Rocky Mountain Raceways, but he still managed to take the checkered flag thanks to patience and timing.

Mel Andrus’ No. 3 University Federal Credit Union Sprint Car in action on July 30.

Andrus, who came into Saturday’s race ranked No. 5 in RMR’s UFCU Sprint Car point standings, hit 99.8 miles per hour on the America First Credit Union Super Oval. He took the lead on lap seven and never relinquished it. He drove hard around the oval, grinding out the 25 lap contest ahead of Kyle Bergener, Nick Pepe and Lonnie Adamson, who finished fourth.

Andrus cross the line less than a second ahead of Bergner, who entered the day ranked No. 2 in the point standings.

In other action on the AFCU Super Oval, Chuck Groat maintained his lead in the Midget point standings, winning Saturday’s 20-lap race ahead of Michael Daniels, who finished second, and Jeff Kelley, who t
Mel Andrus’ No. 3 University Federal Credit Union Sprint Car in action on July 30.ook third.

Groat, Daniels and Kelley rank No. 1, 2 and 3 in the point standings.

Kevin Winders earned the victory in a 4-Banger class that had 11 cars make the start. Winders briefly held the lead on laps No. 5 and 6, but didn’t take the lead for good until lap. No. 17 of the 20-lap race.

Mike Sivak took second and Scott Cook came across third.

Jeremy White won the 30-lap Sommers Auto Wrecking Hornets race, outlasting Tyler Green and Skyler Douglas.

Finally, in the 10-lap Brandon Park Roofing Figure-8 Trains race, Shake, Rattle N Roll took the flag, well ahead of Plum Crazy and Plum Nutz.

Next Saturday, RMR will host another Oval Racing Series event. The featured classes will be Shoq Wave Late Models, Maverik Modifieds, Mini Cups, 4-bangers and Tucker Towing Double Deckers. Also on tap are a pair of Jr. Drag Racing Series events on the Young Kia Drag Strip (Aug. 3 and 6). The drag strip will also host the Midnight Drags with Salt City Drift, on Friday, Aug. 5.

A motocross race is also scheduled for Aug. 5.

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.