Vado Speedway Park - Ziehl Nips Treharn in Closest Finish in Vado Speedway Park History to Win Non-Wing Sprint Thriller
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Ziehl Nips Treharn in Closest Finish in Vado Speedway Park History to Win Non-Wing Sprint Thriller

May 8, 2021  |  by Chris Stepan

The second visit of the season by the Lucas Oil POWRi 360 Non-Winged Sprint Cars to the Vado Speedway Park did not disappoint and provided the closest finish in the history of the 3-year-old facility with Rick Ziehl nipping Colt Treharn by a mere 0.0017sec in a true photo finish at the end of a very entertaining 25-lap event. Christy Barnett, Aydan Saunders, Ryder McCutcheon and Fito Gallardo also raced to victory lane in their respective divisions.

After qualifying races were complete, the Claimers were the first main event to take to the track with Steven Mathe sitting on the pole and pacing the field to the green flag. Mathe jumped to the lead, but quickly Jimmy Marta and Clint Berryman began to battle out front with Marta taking the lead in the early laps of the event. The lead was short lived however as 15th starting Daniel Sanchez Jr and 12th starting Ryder McCutcheon quickly raced their way to the front. Sanchez took the lead before the mid-point of the race and looked to be on his way to his third win of the season until he got loose and turned himself around in front of the field, causing another driver to pile into him, ending both their nights. Marta re-assumed the lead on the restart, but McCutcheon stole it away a lap later and raced off to his second win of the season. Jeremy DuBois raced into the top five late in the race and crossed the line in second with 16th starting Layne Sanchez third, Ray Abbott fourth and 14th starting Katie Seals fifth.

Sergio Chao and Rick Hall paced the USRA B-Mod feature field to the green flag with Hall taking the lead on the initial start, only to have a pair of early cautions fly, keeping the field bunched together in the early stages of the event. 7th starting John Carney, who was in line for the $700 7 for 7 promotion quickly raced his way into the lead and looked poised to take the bonus, but 13th starting Fito Gallardo had other ideas. Fito raced quickly into the top five with 15th starting Jake Gallardo in tow. Both the G3 and 18g were working well together on their way to the front and took over the top two spots before the halfway point of the race. 21st starting Greg Gorham was slicing his way through traffic as well and appeared in the top five with five laps to go. Fito was able to hold off Jake and cross the line with his first win of the 2021 season with Jake a close second. Gorham came home third with Dustin Smith and Carney rounding out the top five.

The Super Trucks were up next on the running order and after an early race battle between Todd Froats, Jim Wallace and Esteban Reyes settled down a bit, 13th starting Christy Barnett, 11th starting Rusty Bowen, 10th starting Brian Kleine and 12th starting Lloyd Duffey put on a great four-truck showdown for the lead over the second half of the 20-lap event. Barnett hopped to the top of the speedway with Kleine and Bowen down low and Duffey through the middle as they ran door to door lap after lap until Barnett was able to sneak out front in her #44. Christy was able to hold off the hungry pack of racers for her second feature win of the season in the Super Truck class. Bowen raced home in second with Klein, Duffey and Cliff Evrage rounding out the top five finishers.

Josh Jackson raced from his 10th starting spot in the Legend main event to the lead just three laps into the feature and looked as if he was going to drive off with an easy victory until 11th starting Aydan Saunders, 8th starting Eli Woody and 17th starting Peter Smith came knocking on his back bumper, making it a four-car race for the lead. Jackson and Saunders raced hard for the lead out front while Smith and Woody were both caught up in crashes in turn four, ending both of their nights prematurely. Jackson’s great run ended early as well as he spun his #37 at the flagstand while leading, relegating himself to the tail and handing the lead to Saunders. Aydan was able to hold off 14th starting Dave Smith for the win, while Jacob Masterson, Chelsey Scott and Drew Cassidy crossed the line with top five finishes.

The race of the night by far was the 25-lap Lucas Oil POWRi 360 Non-Winged Sprint Car main event. Colt Treharn and Caleb Stelzig brought the field to green and Treharn hopped out front early. Most eyes were on 8th starting Rick Ziehl, who won his heat race with ease earlier in the program and was quickly on the charge toward the front in the early stages of the feature event. Treharn, Stelzig and Spencer Hill battled for the lead early while Devon Amos threw his #41 in the mix for the top spot as well. Meanwhile, Ziehl was continuing his charge forward until a red flag flew for a JR Bonesteel flip in turn four. On the restart, Ziehl used the cushion to his advantage and blasted by Treharn into the lead and then the duo put on one of the best shows of driving skill that has been seen in quite some time. The lead duo raced side by side, inches apart, for the final 19 laps of the event, with Ziehl edging Treharn at the checkered flag in the closest finish ever at Vado Speedway Park by a 0.0017 second margin. Amos ran third with Caleb Saiz and Travis Oldfield in the top five.

Full results:

The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action this Saturday, May 15th with another Hot City Nights Promotion, where residents of Organ and White Sands will be admitted into the grandstand area for just $5 with valid id. The USRA Hobby Stocks will make their first ever appearance at the speedway as well, along with action for the Late Models, Super Trucks, USRA Modifieds, USRA Stock Cars and Legends. Pits open at 4pm with the grandstand opening at 5.

For fans not able to attend in person, all events held during the 2021 season at the Vado Speedway Park will also be live streamed online by PayPerView at

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit