Winter Meltdown opening night a family affair

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March 11, 2016

Its been far too long since racecars made some dust in the desert here at the Southern New Mexico Speedway but tonight the dust drought ends as we bring 2016 in right with the Winter Meltdown!! USRA modifieds are chompin at the bit to get around tonight and it was a family affair, as the father son duo of Jake and Fito Gallardo would battle all night with the newly formed Scott Brothers racing team of Johnny and Stormy Scott. Casa Nissan Legends cars, USRA Street Stocks, and Southwest Late Models also joined the action tonight as the pits where packed with cars.

Legends cars started the night in 2016 kickoff fashion as the green flag dropped for 15 laps of three wide fun. It would be a caution-less main but that didn’t mean there wasn’t a bunch of close calls. Mike Zuloaga would jump his 902 out early but 3 laps in the 37 of Dusty Riggs was charging into second and not goin anywhere but forward. It would take him only 3 more laps to catch the 902 and with a dive bomb into turn 2 it would be Riggs putting that 37 machine back where it belonged, in the lead. The 902 would stick around for a few laps but the 77 of CJ Hulsey wouldn’t let those two get away that easy. Only 5 laps left on the board and the top 3 where on their own out front. The 37 would get away again but with one to go here comes Hulsey with an incredible drive down the back. The 77 would charge the inside but at the line it’s the 37 of Dusty Riggs putting her in victory lane for legends on night 1 of the 2016 Winter Meltdown! CJ Hulsey held it together for second down by a length and “The Nice Guy” Mike Zuloaga strong as always had third locked in.

Late Models would have a few more cautions than the legends cars but boy oh boy is it good to see these Southwest Shaw trucking Late Models back at it again. Scott Logston would start where he left off the 2015 season as he sits on the pole to lead lap 1. The 42 of Don Shaw would rocket into second on the start with Christie Georges Barnett looking for another great season moving herself to third already. Superman Don Shaw would go high side hustle down the back and through 3&4 to take the lead after a full 4 of 25 laps. 19 to go and the 42 gets into the back of a lapped car! Good save there but its Logston sailing by back into the lead. Logston will lead 2 more laps before Caution #1 on the night will fly. It’s a single file restart as 18 cars remain on the track. Georges will let Logston know she means business as they tussle three wide on the restart! It’s Superman back to the front but one complete and Caution #2. 16 to go and it’s a little cleaner restart this time as the 44 goes to second. 13 to go and Fito Gallardo would slide his way into third, workin on second. Fito would get around the 44 clean but 10 laps to go and Don Shaw had the 42 way out. Clean Air would give the J17 a shot at the lead but no need because caution again. A stellar restart for the 42 would give him the lead, as Flyin Fito Gallardo was busy battling with Christie again! 5 to go and the top 5 are pushin the cushion to the max! Fito Gallardo to far back to put a move down for the lead but Don Shaw is makin it look easy out front with 2 to go. Before the white flag flies it’s a yellow for trouble turn 2. It’s gonna be a Green White Checkered for the win! The 744 moved into third just before that yellow so the 42 Shaw has double trouble from Fito and Scott now. The 42 will blow the doors off it on the restart again but as he comes all the way around to take the white its big trouble for the 44 Georges-Barnett as she looses an entire rear wheel! The leader took the white and this one is over!! Don Shaw in the 42 would be Winter Meltdown Night Number 1 winner for the late models!! Fito Gallardo held onto a strong second and Scott Logston brought home a solid third.

Its Sun Valley Hardware USRA Street Stock time!! 20 laps around tonight for these howlin monsters and it’ll be wild. 3 laps in and the 0 of Lloyd Turner would bring out caution #1 as he lost a wheel. The 131 Mark Lord would lead us back to green with the 00 Shawn McCarty and 36 Jason Ziehl movin hard. Two more complete and the 36 is looking strong but trouble turn 1 and around he goes! He will go to the rear but with 15 laps left e would make the most of it. On the restart it was the 74J of Jason Josselyn and the 44Jt of Jaime Torres splitting the 00 to take it three wide into turn 3! The 131 with a little stumble and after going 3 wide it’s the 00 to the lead from the middle! The 44JT and 74J will split again but this time it’s the 131 as they both go by. Inside 10 laps to go and its caution again. The 00 was puling away but has his work cut out for him now. Delaware side by side restart this time and the 00 better watch out cause the 74J and 44Jt have been making sandwiches out of these guys tonight. The 74J will slip on the restart but he is married to that high line and around Torres he goes into second. These to guys are ready to go toe to toe all season once again. It’ll be 6 laps of Cat and mouse for these two drivers and the 00 will check out. Only 3 laps left and the 44Jt will finally clear the 74J all the way but not enough time to get all the way to the 00 after battling for second for so long. The 44Jt will close but as the white flag waves it doesn’t seem possible. A hard charge puts him close for turn 3 but Yellow comes out and under white that means the race is over! The 00 of Shawn McCarty with a little break there as the 44Jt had another gear on that last lap. The 00 taking the win and the 44JT will have to settle for a second. Great run for Josselyn as well as he pulls that 74J into third place over Jason Ziehl. Ziehl with a great drive during those last 10 laps to bring it from the rear to top 5.

Winter Meltdown night 1, this is what we come for! This is why we stay! It’s a 30 lap main event of modified hustlin action and the 111 of Bumper Jones takes us to the green! The J17 of Jake Gallardo started 7 but he is charging hard! The 111 is looking to pull away but Jake already into second after just 3 laps! Trouble turn 2 will bring the field back together and it’s already a family Affair as Jake and Fito Gallardo start outside row 2&3! The heavy mover so far is Ricky Thornton who has already moved from 15th to 8th! Bumper on the gas quick but Gallardo’s holding tight. Only 6 laps in and Jake is nose and nose with Bumper at the line! Bumper will hold for now but it isn’t gonna be easy. Down to 20 to go and Jake is diving low into 1! It’ll stick this time and Jake will take over the lead! The top three of J17, 111, and G17 are moving and grooving but the 2S of Stormy Scott is back in the top 8 after going to the rear in the first caution!! Its 15 to go and the top 3 haven’t let up from each other! Bumper is riding Jakes rear bumper and Fito is riding Bumpers rear. No space in between the three and the Scott brothers are closing fast! Bumper goes slide job into 1 and the lead is his once again. But it wont last long because around Jake goes Flyin Fito and slide job back on Bumper! Fito leads at the line! Bumper and Jake get together hard down the back and there goes the right side of Jakes car! 12 to go and the 2S has made his way to 4th! The Scott Brothers are 4th and 5th with Fito and Jake Gallardo 1st and second! Bumper Jones is the only dog in this fight that doesn’t seem to have a backup, but something tells me he is ok with that. 10 to go and it’ll be caution for debris on the front stretch. Its Fito out front with Jake high row 2 and the Scott Brothers Racing duo holding down row 3. Johnny Scott in the 1st is going straight to third on the restart and looking to give the Gallardo’s a run for the money. Jake with a stellar slide job into turn 3 and to the lead he goes! 7 left. But be careful because here comes Johnny! The 20Rt of Ricky Thornton Jr is also by Fito into third! Only 5 laps remain and Fito grabbing gears because here he comes to third! Jake will pull away by about 10 lengths as the G17 pushes back against Johnny Scott one more time. The 1st holds off charges from the G17 and 20Rt but holding strong as 3 laps ticks across the board. The 20RT ad 2S of Scott will get by the G17 with only two left! Johnny Scott is close enough to make a move as the white flag waves but it wont be, as lapped traffic gets in the way. The J17 of Jake Gallardo will pick up exactly where he left off last season and bring home a big ole win for the 2016 season on Night 1 of The Winter Meltdown Classic!! The 1ST of Johnny Scott holds onto a solid second coming all the way from 22ND!! Its little closer for third as the 2S of Stormy Scott makes a move on the 20rt and grabs the third place! The G17 also goes low through 3&4 to take the 4th spot cleanly!! That makes the finish a Gallardo, Scott, Scott, Gallardo top 4! The 20rt of Ricky Thornton Jr will round out a solid top 5 night coming all the way from 17th.

Jake Gallardo was excited as always about tonight’s win. Here is what he had to say:

Does this feel like picking up exactly where you left off?
Well it really does feel good to finally be back here and take the win. Winning here feels good. Last season was good and hopefully this one will be too.

Have you been anywhere else yet this season?
Ya we raced in Louisiana a few weeks back and that was a really good race. I won the last race of the event on the final night and just felt good to be back in the car.

How was the track and car setup tonight?
The car was pretty good. A few issues we will have to work out to make it a little faster but in general the car ran great. The track felt slimy at first but that’s to be expected and it turned great the longer we ran. It was a good night.

If you missed the heart pounding, adrenaline pumping action of the Winter Meltdown Night 1 then make sure you come out for Night 2 on Saturday! Gates open at 5:30 and racing starts at 7:45!