I-55 race report 2003-05-03

Pevely, MO (May 3, 2003) A night with three photo finishes kept fans on the edge of their seats during the feature events. In the U.M.P. Late Model division, Tim Ratajczyk appeared to be on his way to an easy win as he took off from his front row...

Pevely, MO (May 3, 2003) A night with three photo finishes kept fans on the edge of their seats during the feature events. In the U.M.P. Late Model division, Tim Ratajczyk appeared to be on his way to an easy win as he took off from his front row starting spot and pulled away from the rest of the field. However, a caution on lap thirteen bunched up the field. Ratajczyk again opened up a comfortable lead by driving around the very bottom of the track. But in the final five laps Kevin Gundaker found a fast line and reeled in Ratajczyk. Gundaker pulled past Ratajczyk on the final lap as they went down the back stretch, but Ratajczyk found the faster line though turns three and four and drove along side and just ahead of Gundaker at the finish line. Mark Oller quietly moved up and took the third spot. Brian Wolfmeier took the fourth spot by edging out Danny Haynes who took fifth.

The U.M.P. Modified feature event had Scott Weber, Ray Walsh and Rusty Griffaw battling the entire twenty laps for the lead. Weber and Walsh roared around the top of the track, scraping the wall with their rear quarter panels lap after lap, while Griffaw would pull along side them around the very bottom of the track. You could have put a blanket over the three cars as they came across the finish line and took the checkered flag. Weber held on for the win, Walsh was second and Griffaw third. Tom Ratajczyk came from near the back of the pack to finish fourth and Rich Whaley took home the fifth spot.

Todd McGraw took home his second win of the season in the AARA Sportsman division. However, Scott Stuppy drove up from the back of the field made it the closest finish of the night. Both cars stopped on the front stretch after the feature as they each thought they had won, but it was McGraw by a nose. Ed Lowry had his best run of the season and finished third, David Bardin came back after a hard crash last week and was fourth. Last weeks winner Paul Bauman was fifth.

The Dwarf Cars made their only scheduled appearance this season at I-55 Raceway and U.M.P. Late Model driver Danny Haynes stole the show as he took the win. Ron Wick made an impressive run, as he started twenty-first and finished second. Troy Jacobs was third.

The AARA Wannabee feature was won by Joe Gruhala as it was cut short when Sharon Hoffman had a scary crash at the half way point. Contact between several cars going down the back stretch sent Hoffman's car into the inside wall near the opening to the pit area. The roof had to be cut away from Hoffman's car to get her out safely. However, after treatment on the scene, Hoffman refused to be transported to the hospital and appeared to be alright.

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Series Stock car