EL PASO, Texas -- It was a gathering of racers to say the least as drivers from El Paso, Las Cruces, Mesilla Park, Hobbs, Deming, Tucson and Odessa prepared to do battle on the 3/8-mile clay oval just east of El Paso, Texas, on Friday night, Aug. 12. With the track rolled in, the night was set to begin as the USRA RHS Modifieds headlined the night’s action.
Mercedes Harris took the early race lead as Royal Jones shadowed her on the high line to take second. Challenging on the inside line, Jones made several unsuccessful shots until finally pulling off the slide job before the caution waved with three laps in the books. On the restart, Harris fell to third as Jacob Gallardo took over second.
Going after Jones, Gallardo was not be able to steal away the race lead as Harris nearly spun. Able to save the car by bouncing off the passing Bumper Jones, everyone stayed clan and green.
Twenty-one laps to run and Gallardo slow to a stop as Stormy Scott, who had taken away third and now second, began to run down Royal, but Scott had to contend with Bumper.
Into slower traffic, Bumper got the run into the second spot using slower cars to ultimately get the run on his father for the race lead. Using slower cars as picks, the top three hustled high and low as Scott battled hard with both Royal and Bumper. Taking second, Scott worked on running down Bumper as the field raced into the final 10 laps where they again began using lapped cars to their advantage as the leaders raced three wide with lapped traffic in almost every corner for several laps before the caution waved with seven to go.
Back to green, the battle for second got choppy as Royal went for the slide job but with neither driver giving an inch, Royal's rear bumper got hooked on the front bumper of Scott, nearly sending both drivers off the track. Unhooked and on the gas, Scott continued on as the car on the move was Jake O’Neil.
After showing up late from Tucson and having to start at the tail end of the 21-car field, the contact between Scott and Jones left the door wide open for O'Neil to jump from sixth to third.
Inside five laps to go, Bumper was now focused on making smooth laps in hopes of fending off Scott, but one last caution for the spun Sherman Barnett brought the field back to the side-by-side restart.
Three laps to go and the restart was called off as drivers were not ready to go, allowing for a clean restart and Bumper was on his game as he rolled away for the win with Scott, O’Neil, Jimmy Ray and Holly Jones rounding out the top 5.
The USRA RHS Modifieds had three heats that went to Harris, Scott and Rick Ortega.
Up next at the El Paso Speedway Park will be the return of the USRA Western Flyer HotMods on Friday night, Aug. 19. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with racing getting underway at 7:45. Admission will be $10 for adults. Kids ages 11-15, members of the military, seniors, law enforcement personnel and university students getting in for $7 while children 10 and under get in for free.
The El Paso Speedway Park is located 6.5 miles east of Loop 375 off Montana Ave. Turn left on KRAG to the first paved right. For more information including turn by turn directions lot onto http://www.epspeedwaypark.com and like us on Facebook.
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American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series
El Paso Speedway Park, El Paso, Texas
Friday, August 12, 2011
USRA RHS MODIFIEDS
Heat #1: 1. Mercedes Harris; 2. Royal Jones; 3. Holly Jones; 4. Bumper Jones; 5. Fito Gallardo; 6. Philip Houston; 7. Austin Adams.
Heat #2: 1. Stormy Scott; 2. Sherman Barnett; 3. Jimmy Ray; 4. Gregory Jenkins; 5. Chad Falco; 6. Alex Gonzalez; 7. Donavon Ooley.
Heat #3: 1. Rick Ortega; 2. Christy Georges; 3. Jacob Gallardo; 4. Brian Clark; 5. Kevin Clark; 6. Roger Owens.
Feature: 1. Bumper Jones; 2. Stormy Scott; 3. Jake Oneil; 4. Jimmy Ray; 5. Holly Jones; 6. Philip Houston; 7. Mercedes Harris; 8. Royal Jones; 9. Gregory Jenkins; 10. Austin Adams; 11. Alex Gonzalez; 12. Kevin Clark; 13. Donavon Ooley; 14. Roger Owens; 15. Chad Falco; 16. Sherman Barnett; 17. Rick Ortega; 18. Christy Georges; 19. Fito Gallardo; 20. Brian Clark; 21. Jacob Gallardo.