POST RACE DQ GIVES HANLEY FIRST WIN by Jeremy Troiano
Great Race Up Front All For Not
The winning photos were taken and the trophy was handed out. But when the cars got to post-race tech, the #92 winning car was found to be 14 pounds too light, and even with the fuel burned off, that was too light for officials, and the win was given to Junior Hanley, his first win of the entire Speedweeks competition.
"They give you a pound (of fuel) a lap burn off," said Fritts. "Then they tell you that they will understand if there is a lot of caution flags. It is almost a judgment call. They are comparing us to what the other two cars are. They should have just topped the cars off before they threw anyone out."
It was a disappointing way to end a wonderful race between Fritts, Hanley and BJ McLeod. Hanely however, was not excited on how the race played out before the disqualification was announced.
"I couldn't get by that car in front of me" said Hanley, speaking of Fritts. "That car was 10 feet wide. He really used up the race track. I don't think he was driving it by himself. He must have had
It was a helluva race. Too bad it was all for nothing.
Mike Fritts took his Country Joe Homes Super Late Model, a car prepared by Dick Anderson, to the front for the entire 30-laps and held off a charging Junior Hanley for the win with a wide range of blocking moves and mirror driving.
a bunch of guys on the radio telling him where to go. He couldn't make that many moves by himself."
On several occasions, Hanley had a big run on Fritts, but Fritts would throw a block here or there and keep Hanley behind him. On one occasion, Hanley had Fritts passed completely, but the caution came out and Fritts was able to regain his position.
"I went low, he blocked low. I went high, he blocked high," added Hanley. I guess I might have done the same thing. If that is how he wants to win the race, then that is the way he can win it."
McLeod appeared to have the car to beat, but laid back to keep from getting involved in anything that was looking to happen between Fritts and Hanley.
"My car tonight was unbelievable," said McLeod. "I had the winning race car, just not the winning driver. I set there and followed them and thought they were going to wreck. I thought if I put one more car in that mess, we were going to wreck. I keep betting on them wrecking. I couldn't work on them because they were beating on each other so much. It didn't happen and I will take another third.
"That isn't the way I race, waiting on other people to wreck, but that is something you just do."
Fritts hopes to be back in that car that Dick Anderson was going to drive for both the Friday show and Saturday's 100 lapper.
"We will see what happens. I guess I have to wait and see how Dick (Anderson) takes being thrown out tonight," said Fritts. "This is the first time we ran the car. I am tickled to death with how it ran."
Third place is becoming a norm for McLeod.
It isn't the first time this week that a Country Joe Racing car has been disqualified after winning the car for weight issues. Joey Miller's Limited Late Model was disqualified after winning the feature on Tuesday night.
"I guess we are starting a new trend here at Country Joe Racing," said Bond Suss, crew chief for Joey Miller.
"Oh well, at least we still won the race," said Joe Miller, owner of Country Joe Racing. "Maybe they should start teching the cars before they take the victory lane photos."
Joe Miller (left) with driver Mike Fritts, thinks maybe post-race photos like this one should be taken after tech.
Wayne Anderson is leading the points standings for Speedweeks, but that lead took a hit on Thursday when Anderson crashed in turn one while battling for fifth place.
Freddie Querry made a return to the field for the first time since his big wreck on Monday night. Querry finished third after running second to Hanley for the longest time.
Opening night winner Donald Long's car was again absent from the starting field, the third night in a row Long hasn't competed.
Junior Hanley was the night' top qualifier for the fourth-straight day.
Kevin Cywinski made an appearance at Thursday night's show. He and Joey Miller are testing their ASA cars at Lakeland this coming weekend.
The night's biggest accident involved four cars, including Donald Chisholm and Randy Gentry. The cars were trying to avoid a spun lapped car when they were involved.
Junior Hanley finally had reasons to smile.
Jason Boyd won his fourth-straight Limited Late Model feature. The biggest news involved Joey Miller, who slammed the wall, nearly turning his car upside down, after being forced up high by the car he was racing. Miller said the will not fix the car and will pack it up early and not compete the rest of the week because of their position in the points.