You could feel the heat last night at the El Paso Speedway Park for the Fourth of July races. Burning rubber on the track were the Southwest Late Models, Southwest Mini-Sprints, USRA Street Stocks and USRA Modifieds.
The Late Models kicked off the night with heat winner Jonathan Ortega taking the lead into the first laps. Rick Ortega was hot on his tail and pulled in front of Jonathan Ortega only three laps into the race. Rick Ortega was able to gain a hefty lead with a full turn between him and the rest of the pack. With eight laps left to go Sherman Barnett and Johnathan Ortega made contact in turn four bringing on the first yellow of the night. Once they got going again Rick Ortega took back his heavy lead and speed right into the winner’s circle.
Next up the Mini Sprints revved up with Theron Flack and Jerrad Warhurst going side by side into the first laps battling for the leader position. Flack was able to pull ahead but Warhurst was right on his bumper. With eight laps left to go Sal Gomez, the winner of the heat race, took turn two and flipped his car bringing the race to an abrupt stop with a red on the track. Once they got rolling again, Flack took back his leading position and put some distance between himself and Warhurst. The rest of the race was smooth cruising as Flack passed the checker flag first.
The Street Stocks laid down on the accelerator for the chance to win a $500 bounty. Any driver who could win beating out Jon McDaniel and Justin Lasiter would walk away with the bounty. If McDaniel or Lasiter won they would get an extra $100 on top of their winnings. At the start Gil Almanza took the lead, but not for long. Jason Ziehl pulled ahead of Almanza with Justin Lasiter pulling into second. After a yellow with 17 laps to go Lasiter pulled ahead of Ziehl and laid down on the gas. The restart is all Lasiter needed and he was able to put a full turn between himself and the other drivers. Another yellow, with nine laps to go, brought the pack back nose to tail. Lasiter held onto his lead but Troy Wells was able to get up close and personal with Lasiter for a few laps. Wells was not quite fast enough to pass Lasiter and steal the bounty, leaving Lasiter to get a total $350 in winnings.
Last up the Modifieds went four wide to celebrate Independence Day before tearing up the track. In the opening lap Royal Jones and Austin Adams went door to door with Fito Gallardo hot on their tracks. Jones was able to pull into the lead but Adams and Gallardo were not letting up on the gas. Gallardo passed Adams four laps into the race gaining on Jones. Gallardo was trying every turn to get around Jones, but Jones was not going to let him get a lead on him. Jones maintained his lead from white to checker flag.
Next week you won’t want to miss the return of the ASCS Winged Sprint cars, USRA Street Stocks, USRA Limited X-Mods and the Hornets. If you can’t wait that long to see some more dirt track racing head out to the Southern New Mexico Speedway tonight for the Famous Fireworks show and a fun filled night of racing.