Full Moon was Big Winner at Dominion
Full moon racing took the spotlight at Dominion Raceway Saturday night and the fans saw 18 cautions, 2 red flags, two wheels to leave their cars, intense side by side racing, 2 green, white, checkered finishes, a first-time winner, and altercations in the pits. Most would say that’s just normal Saturday night short track racing when the temperature starts to rise with Summer right around the corner.
The Late Model division had twin 60 lap features that were only for national points and they did not disappoint with 2 different winners and one driver finishing second in both. The race saw four of the 18 cautions of the night with the first one coming on the very first lap, setting the tone for the evening. The feature saw Tyler Hughes and Philip Morris fender to fender for the first 22 laps until both got involved with a lap car with 38 laps to go. Hughes got the worst end of the deal ending up riding the outside wall on the front stretch finally coming to rest in turn one, effectively ending the first part of the evening for the Row 6 racing team. “I felt like I had a shot to beat Phillip for the first time and we had a really good car, and I just chose the wrong lane. Went to go around a lap car, Phil got shoved to the bottom, I went to go to the outside and went up into the marbles and took down the outside wall. Just a mistake on my part,” Hughes said afterward. Once the green flag dropped to resume racing, Morris drove away for the victory followed by Jeff Oakley and Mike Ganoe.
The second feature saw Zach Wells and Michael Munley start on the first row after the invert, and just like race one, we didn’t have to wait long for a caution. Two laps, two cautions, and once racing stayed green, Ganoe was out front with Oakley reeling him in on every lap. While Oakley was catching Ganoe, Hughes was a man on a mission guiding his backup car from the back of the pack and setting his sights on Oakley and the lead. Hughes finally caught Oakley and it led to intense side by side and bumper to bumper racing for the last half of the race. The fourth and final caution came out with nine laps left setting up what would be a five-lap sprint to the checkered. Hughes jumped out to the lead on the restart, but Oakley was right there and bumped him causing Hughes to get loose and allowing Oakley to regain the lead. Hughes would go to the high side and the two would battle side by side for the last two laps with Hughes beating Oakley to the stripe by mere feet, dropping Oakley to second for both features.
“I just wanted to rebound in race 2 and just have a decent car and I didn’t know if I would have a chance to win or not,” Hughes said. “Overall, a good run for us and I was surprised we could get the win”.
In the MN Upholstery UCAR division, the cautions and craziness picked up right where the Late Models left off and even intensified throughout the race. Five cautions, two of which took place even before the first official lap, helped to dwindle the field from 14 cars that took the green, to only five running at the end. The field lost three of the 14 cars in one incident when Ryan Pritt and Cameron Ruggles were battling for the lead. There was an altercation in turn one which sent Pritt careening into the outside wall. Jon Pritt, not too happy about the move by Ruggles, took a “shot” at Ruggles with his car, causing the track to send him to the pits for the remainder of the race. Ruggles would later lose a wheel, sending him into the wall and effectively knocking him out of the race as well. Once the dust settled, Blaine Schumann rolled into victory lane for his first ever win and Kris Kurtz was also able to avoid all of the chaos to finish third overall and first in the import class. Mark Miller started last in the field but was able to keep his nose clean and stay out of trouble and drove his car to a second-place finish.
The modified division saw Chris Johnson roll into victory lane with the brothers Humblet, Chris and Jimmy, finishing second and third respectively. Renno Marchetti held off a furious challenge by Gary Burke in the final laps to take home the checkered in the Dominion Stock division, and Aaron Donnelly won for the first this year in the Dominion Racer class feature. The mini modified class, the only feature to go caution free on the night, saw Jon Carte come home first followed by Keith and Joe Riley.