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HEEEEEEEERRRRRRREEEEEEEEE’S JOHNNY

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June 22, 2019  |  by Sarah Q. Rosales

Much anticipated. Never disappointing. Johnny Scott made his way to Vado Speedway Park, in commanding fashion. Despite his recent retirement from dirt track modified racing-he hasn’t lost a thing. Including the inaugural USRA Modifieds race this Saturday at Vado Speedway.

Vado Speedway has been described several different ways since it’s opening night. Whether you think it is one of the best tracks in the country, my personal favorite the “diamond in the desert”, or just simply an over all amazing facility; this Saturday’s racing did not disappoint. Starting out with the racerwebsite.com Claimers class. We would have 9 Claimers check in for racing action. Some, it would be their very first night of racing action. Winning the heat would be Bobby Sandy out of Albuquerque, NM in his 51 machine. Followed closely by Deming’s Art Davis in his 24B car, and Gabriel Ledesma in his 54G. In fact, it would be a clean sweep for Sandy, as he would also bring home the win in the A Main Event. Las Cruces’ Charlie Park in the 3P would come in 2nd followed by the 54G of Ledemsa once again. As the season progresses, we look to seeing even more claimers make their way out to Vado. It’s always exciting to see new racers and their excitement. Especially at such a breath taking and overwhelmingly beautiful facility.
Next to hit the track would be the American Document & The Dent Works Super Trucks. In their first race of the season as well, with a couple of fresh new faces. It was refreshing to see some new faces at Vado Speedway Park. The first heat would be won by Mike Garcia in his #10 truck. I heard a rumor it was his birthday but did not confirm that information at the time of writing this. Happy Birthday if it was in fact your birthday Mike. What a way to celebrate. He would be followed closely by the familiar #6 truck of Walton Kyle, Sr. And it would be Jaime Bejarano in his 501-truck coming in a close 3rd. Heat 2 would pick up right where Southern New Mexico left off, with Christy Barnett in victory lane in her #44 truck. Todd Froats in his L750 would split the Barnett trucks coming in 2nd place, with Sherman Barnett following him in 3rd. I am not sure what we were ready for the excitement of the Main Event. It would start out with Christy taking the lead early and holding the field off. However, husband Sherman Barnett would battle up to a very close 2nd place behind Christy. In fact, he was a few tenths of a second faster than Christy on the last couple of laps. Closing battling with the #4 of Jason Privette in every corner. It would be close to the end of the race where Privette and Barnett would make contact. And Sherman would ride the front straight-away wall and land unable to continue right out of turn 1. Race Official and Flagman Eddie Billadeou would black flag Privette for the incident, indicating that he had time to lift-and did not. Sherman would tell son Curt on the track that he was about to win the race. I could hear him in my head with his contagious laugh right after. And based on the lap times, he stood a really good chance of getting by Christy in the remaining laps. It would be under that same yellow as cleanup was underway, that Christy’s truck would shut down. Several attempts to assist her with refiring the truck, were unsuccessful-and she would leave the track at the same time as husband Sherman. That would leave the door wide open and Mike Garcia would capitalize and never look back. Garcia would end up parking his #10 machine in Victory Lane with a ton of excitement at his win. Jaime Bejarano would park his 501 in 2nd place, with Josh Hammond in the #28 following him in 3rd, Walton Kyle would regain several positions after losing a tire and falling 2 laps behind to come in 4th and we would see Randy Doerhoefer making the long trip from Roswell round out the Top 5.

Even though this was their 3rd official race at Vado Speedway Park, each Miller Horse USRA Stock car race, is different from t he last. Whether the cars are rethinking set ups, the track changes, the driver’s are changing-we have not had an identical race yet this season. Heat 1 would belong to Gary Kerr Jr. from Odessa, TX in his #71 stock car. Mark Smith piloting his Dad’s 171 would come in a close 2nd, and Shane McNutt would round out the top 3 in his #24 Stock Car. Heat 2 would see front runners from the previous weekend, Peter Vargas in the #777 in 1st, with Bryan Bennett in the #10 coming in 2nd. Josh Reynolds would hold off the #74 of Jason Josselyn to finish Heat 2 in 3rd place. The Main Event would have veteran Donavon Flores in his 07, along with Vargas in the 777, and Josh Reynolds in the 3-unable to finish the race. The 171 of Mark Smith would pilot his car to the front and seem to flawless hit every mark in a fast and confident manner. Garry Kerr, Jr would follow behind and battle with Jason Josselyn and Brian Bennett for the follow up spots. Kerr would take home Silver in 2nd place. Josselyn would finish 3rd, Bennett 4th, and El Paso’s Ted Cain would round out the top 5 in his #29 stock car. Exciting racing, all night with these guys. Watching them try to figure out Vado Speedway has been interesting since the very first practice nights. It has proven to create new winners every weekend. I am not saying that Jed might want to give son Mark his 171 machine to finish out the season-but that kid sure looked fast in that thing.

35 Rancho Milagro modifieds would check in for their inaugural race at Vado Speedway. Heat 1 would belong to my personal prediction for who would win opening night in the modifieds-Bumper Jones in the 111. Odessa’s Philip Houston would win Heat #2 in his 71 machine. Jake Gallardo in the J17 would take the win in Heat #3. Up and coming hot shoe Carlos Ahumada, Jr. would win Heat 4 in his 65X USRA Modified. And Heat 5 would belong to the Toro Rock machine of Dustin Smith in his 65. B Machine racing action would see some unusual players trying to race their way to the main. The Top 8 that would move on would be Christy Barnett, Royal Jones, Jessie Hayne, Terry Tipton, and Gregory Gorham. The A Main would hit the track and fans would be on their feet as the traditional 4 wide salute, would come together perfectly. Jake Gallardo and Dustin Smith would start the 30-lap race on the front row. Johnny Scott would quickly move to the front from his 3rd place starting, position-and he was out and running. We would see through-out the race the shuffling back in forth of the J17 of Jake Gallardo, the 65 of Dustin Smith, the 65X of Carlos Ahumada, Jr, the 111 of Bumper Jones. Not to mention the battles a little further back with Josh Gallardo in the J16, father Rocko Gallardo in the M16, Royal Jones in the 131, Jimmy Ray in the 9, Robert Adams in the 50. All battling back in forth. Sadly, we would lose through normal racing attrition, a lot of those that were running close to the front. Johnny would take the lead and never look back. He would be unstoppable on restarts due to yellows. He would hold off several different 2nd place contenders. Ed McMahon played through my head in the first few laps of the race. I could hear him bellowing “Heeeeeere’s Johnny”. Once he took off and took the lead, it would take something extra ordinary to catch him. Jake Gallardo in his J17 would stay with him as long as he could. But Jake would have to settle for a 2nd place finish. He simply would not have enough for Johnny. It looked like Carlos Ahumada, Jr. would make a charge late in the race to overcome Scott. He would settle in for a 3rd place finish with Gallardo holding him off. Bumper Jones in his 111 would battle back and forth with the #50 of Robert Adams. It would be Bumper finishing in 4th. With Adams rounding out the Top 5. There would be some shuffling, some rubbing, and some phenomenal racing. It would be assumed that Scott would come in as the crowd favorite. And even with his victory Saturday night-as we have learned from the Stock Cars-he might not be back in the Winner’s Circle next time we see the USRA Modifieds.

We congratulate all the winners from this weekend. Once again, we strive to get better and better each week. We appreciate all that have been patient as we learn the ins and out of our beautiful new facility. We are working on speeding up all processes and putting on the best show possible. Truly making Vado Speedway the Diamond in the Desert. See you all next weekend.