DeBenedetti Makes It Two Years In A Row At Northwest Modified Nationals Saturday, June 18th saw Medford, OR hot shoe Jon DeBenedetti taking $10,000 to the bank as he raced to his second win in a row of the premier western Modified race, the 6th...
DeBenedetti Makes It Two Years In A Row At Northwest Modified Nationals
Saturday, June 18th saw Medford, OR hot shoe Jon DeBenedetti taking $10,000 to the bank as he raced to his second win in a row of the premier western Modified race, the 6th Annual "Shipwreck Beads Northwest Modified Nationals" at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA this weekend.
Following his A-Feature win worth $1,000 on Friday night DeBenedetti, who started Saturdays 40 lap feature event from the outside second row position, moved to the lead with a back straight pass of Eddie Martin on lap 21 for the lead and never faltered on his way to the $10, 000 winners check.
After embracing every one on his team, DeBenedetti's first words were, "Oh, this feels good, man! I have to thank my team. They gave me a great car."
Asked about the pass for the lead, DeBenedetti replied, "I was just trying to be patient. First Alan (Sharpensteen) pushed up early in four and I got under for second and then when Eddie pushed up unexpectedly in two, I just took advantage of it. It just happened."
" I quit looking at the (lap) board on lap 24 and worked on staying in front. I didn't know what kind of lead I had but I knew I somebody was close behind me."
Martin, from Stillwater, OK, thought he had a chance to regain the lead with five laps to go when a slower car spun in front of the leader in turn two and again when the yellow flew with three laps to go.
"Jon's a good racer," said Martin, "but I'm disappointed to run second. I thought I might have a chance on that last yellow, but the lapped car between us kept me from getting a shot at the restart"
While the top two drivers were mostly in the clear the last third of the event, the battle for third through sixth had the fans on the edge of their seats many times.
Sharpensteen, of Amarillo, TX worked hard to keep Ryan McDaniel of Marysville, CA, Zimmerman, MN veteran Ron Jones and Brian Cass of Livermore, CA behind him with contact between all cars occurring more than once.
"The car just wouldn't work on the bottom so I went to the top," commented Sharpensteen, "but it made it harder to hold position." I had a good time and it was a lot of fun. I hope to be back in the future."
It was a good weekend for the D&M Performance team out of Dumas, TX with teammates Martin, Sharpensteen and Jones bringing in three of the top five positions and over $11,000 in winnings.
The B-Feature event went to Jones over Andy Claiborne of Fort Scott, KS. Jones took the lead when two-time Northwest Modified Nationals winner Kellen Chadwick of Oakley, CA spun on the last lap while leading. Chadwick had gained the lead on lap nine when then leader Mark Wauge of Eugene, OR pulled off the track with mechanical problems.
Dustin Jenks of Chico, CA took home the C-Feature win with Duane D'Amico of Yakima, WA winning the D-Feature.
The top six positions of the A-Feature were set by the finish of a six-lap dash run by the top six drivers in qualifying points.
With 67 cars on hand, DeBenedetti's Friday A-Feature win came early in the morning when rain delayed racing for over two hours. Starting to fall as the second of 14 qualifying heats was finishing and lasting for nearly an hour, it then took another hour to get the track back to race-able condition.
Other winners for the night were; B-Main - Kellen Chadwick; C-Main -- Ron Jones and D-Main -- Scott Dorie of St. Helens, OR.
The C-Feature event had a very scary moment when a four-car crash at the finish line resulted in the fuel tank of Altus, OK driver Bobby Smith, Jr.'s car rupturing. Fuel poured onto the track and then ignited to engulf the cars of both Smith and Greg Dineen of Aberdeen, WA.
Both drivers had just exited their cars and the fire crew quickly extinguished fire, but the large amount of water needed to douse the fire caused additional delay time to the program.
Thursday night's qualifying event was washed out by the rain shortly after time in qualifications were finished, forcing all driver to qualify Friday for Saturday's all main event night.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Heat Winners -- Round One (Straight up by qualifying points)
H-1 Jon DeBenedetti; H-2 Ron Possinger; H-3 Duane Cleveland; H-4 Kellen Chadwick; H-5 Mark Wauge; H-6 Ryan McDaniel; H-7 Alan Sharpensteen.
Heat Winners -- Round Two (Complete inversion by qualifying points)
H-1 DeBenedetti; H-2 Bobby Smith, Jr.; H-3 Leroy Lawhead; H-4 Ron Wilson; H-5 Dennis Silva; H-6 Glenn Vincent; H-7 Sharpensteen.
Fast Time - Jon DeBenedetti -- 16.323 - New Track Record
D Main - Scott Dorie, Justin Holt, Chris Murphy, Kevin Beerbower, Dan Wolfard, Gary Morris, Duane D'Amico, Mike Long, Randy Nielson, Curt White, Richard Sjogren, Greg Greer, John Pierce, Scot Weldon.
C Main - Ron Jones, Mark Allison, Glenn Vincent, Jesse Williamson, Craig Moore, Dwayne Hornbaker, Jeff Foster, Scott Dorie, Shawn Dorie, Josh Muller, Rich Zuvich, Kenny Miller, Dustin Jenks, Bobby Smith, Jr., Greg Dineen, Dave Duste, Jr., Aaron Sheelar, Holt.
B Main - Kellen Chadwick, Monte Bischoff, Randy McDaniel, Jones, Mark Wauge, Scott Miller, Leroy Lawhead, Jeremy Ritchey, Chris Sayler, Allison, Chuck Harrell, Jerry Severson, John Skinner, Brian Poppa, Paul Stone, Graham Cook, Tom O'Gorman, Joe Carr.
A Main - Jon DeBenedetti, Alan Sharpensteen, Eddie Martin, Ron Possinger, Dennis Silva, Brian Cass, Ryan McDaniel, Tim Balding, Gus Cooper, Randy McDaniel, Jason Kocks, Bischoff, Dave Byrd, Duane Cleveland, David Addamo, Marcus Aue, Chadwick, Derek Ofenham, Andy Claiborne, Jones.
Saturday, June 18, 2004
Dash -- Martin, Sharpensteen, Silva, DeBenedetti, Possinger, Cass.
D Main -- D'Amico, Jeff Thomas, Long, Nielson, Greer, Sjogren, Weldon. C Main - Jenks, Williamson, Skinner, Sheelar, Foster, Moore, Hornbaker, Wolfard, Miller, Scott Dorie, Thomas, Morris, Zuvich, D'Amico, Shawn Dorie, Holt, Beerbower.
B Main - Jones, Claiborne, Jenks, Ofenham, Allison, Harrell, Williamson, Poppa, Skinner, Lawhead, Sayler, Miller. Sheelar, Chadwick, Severson, Wague, Richey, Stone.
A Main -- DeBenedetti, Martin, Sharpensteen, Ryan McDaniel, Jones, Cass, Jenks, Kocks, Balding, Cooper, Randy McDaniel, Williamson, Possinger, Silva, Allison, Byrd, Ofenham, Harrell, Cleveland, Poppa, Claiborne, Aue, Bischoff, Addamo.