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Ziehl Zooms Off with Non Wing Sprint Car Victory

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July 18, 2021  |  by Chris Stepan

Rick Ziehl won the 360 Non-Wing Sprint Car main event.

Rick Ziehl won the 360 Non-Wing Sprint Car main event.

Another Hot City Nights event was held on Saturday, July 17th at the Vado Speedway Park in Vado, NM and nearly 100 competitors were in action across the five division program.

After qualifying races were complete, the Claimer feature was the first to be run with 3rd starting Miguel Rincon taking the lead on the opening lap and looking as if he may race to his first career feature victory, but 12th starting Daniel Sanchez Jr. and 15th starting Ryder McCutcheon were quickly charging through the field on their way to the front. Both drivers were working hard to reel in the leader, but Rincon was up to the challenge and lead the first half of the event until a late race caution bunched the field and allowed Sanchez and McCutcheon to pressure Rincon for the lead and overhaul him for the first and second spots, which they were able to hold to the checkered. Sanchez raced to his 6th win of the season ahead of McCutcheon, Rincon, Cole Turner and Jimmy Marta.

Javie Chavez raced to victory lane in the Super Truck main event after starting 5th, racing to the lead, then being called for a jump start on a restart, being penalized on the next restart and racing his way back through traffic, to the top spot and racing off with the win over 11th starting Christy Barnett, early race leader Jim Wallace, Lloyd Duffey and Sherman Barnett. For Chavez, the win is his second on his rookie season in the division.

The 360 Non-Wing Sprint Car 25-lap feature was up next with Caleb Saiz and Caleb Stelzig sharing the front row, but it was 7th starting Rick Ziehl who stole the show as he raced from his fourth row starting spot to the lead early in the feature and held off multiple furious challenges throughout the event to race to the $1200 payday for his efforts. Ziehl ran around out front for the majority of the event, but the drivers behind him were three, four and sometimes five-wide at times using every inch of the Vado Speedway Park thrilling the crowd in the process. As Ziehl lead alone up front, 20th starting Colt Treharn blasted through the field and appeared in the top five as the laps wound down, eventually working his way into the second spot, where he would cross the finish line just head of Dustin Cormany, Travis Oldfield and Derek DeMartino.

Eli Woody paced the field to the green flag at the start of the INEX Legends main event, but all eyes quickly moved to 16th starting CJ Hulsey, who fell out of his heat race and was forced to start at the tail of the night’s main event. When the initial green flew, Hulsey put his #77 car to the top of the speedway and raced by the entire field with ease, appearing in second at the completion of the opening lap and took over the top spot a lap later. Once out front, Hulsey built a commanding advantage, while Dusty Riggs, Josh Jackson, Dave Smith and Zach Rodriguez were in a good battle for second until Jackson spun, colleting Rodriguez in the process and ending both of their nights. On the restart, Riggs tried to put pressure on Hulsey for the lead, while 19th starting Peter Smith was charging hard through the field as well. As the laps wound down, Smith raced by Riggs into second, but Hulsey was untouchable tonight as he raced to the victory. Smith came home second with Riggs, Smith and Woody in the top five.

Tim Tharp sat on the pole for the nightcap race for the USRA Modifieds and jumped out front at the start, looking for the clean sweep after a hear race victory earlier in the evening. Tharp lead the first dozen laps of the main, while Fito Gallardo, Jake Gallardo, Rocko Gallardo and Jimmy Ray were in a fun battle for the runner up spot just behind Tharp’s #3t. As Tharp continued to lead, the Gallardo clan, Ray and Royal Jones were all jockeying for top five runs with side by side action throughout. Philip Houston joined the mix as well just past the half way point, but multiple mid race cautions continued to change the complexion of the event, allowing Nick Rivera and Jonathon Ortega into the mix as well. On a restart, Jake Gallardo was able to overhaul Tharp for the top spot and set sail off as the new leader while Fito tried to track him down. Jake went on to the victory with Fito second ahead of Rivera, Ray and Ortega. 

Full results: https://www.myracepass.com/events/350865/races 

The Vado Speedway Park will be back in action this Saturday, July 24th with the track’s first Meet the Drivers Night of 2021. Fans will be allowed onto the frontstretch at intermission to meet their favorite racer. 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 www.WatchFYE.tv

For upcoming schedule information and tickets, visit www.VadoSpeedwayPark.com.