Magic Valley Speedway            
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Sharp cuts through pack

By Linda Brittsan                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Zan Sharp was everywhere. He started off near the back of the pack, made his way up to second by the halfway mark but soon had to return to the rear of the field for a restart.

But it’s the last lap that counts and at the finish, it was Sharp who was there in front to capture the victory in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series main event race Saturday night at Magic Valley Speedway.

After starting ninth in a field of 13 contestants, Sharp caught up to leader John Newhouse at lap 37. Just 10 laps later however, both drivers were positioned towards the back of the field after contact with each other between turns one and two.
 
Right after the restart, a nasty collision on the backstretch involving then leader Lynn Hardy along with Thane Alderman and John Nesmith brought out the red flag to remove the wreckage. When the race resumed, just 26 laps remained in the event but Sharp managed to pass leader Bruce Quale within half that amount, eventually taking the checkered flag followed by Quale and a hard-charging Newhouse.

“I was kind of watching how the other guys were running and the weak spots of their cars and how they were trading off,” Sharp said from Victory Lane. “I was extremely confident we could do it, we just had to be smart and not get into any trouble in between them.” 

Sharp, a former RMCS champion is back competing after taking some time off from the series.

“I love being back out here and it sure feels good to start off with a win,” he added.

Quale gave it his all but was unsuccessful in his attempt to hold on to the lead.

“My spotter was telling me I was clear by five, then clear by three and I knew I was in trouble,” Quale said of Sharp’s advancement on the track. “The car handled for a little while after that restart but then it started going away. But Zan was good tonight.”

Steve Jones, 2010 RMCS champion, was out of the race at about the halfway point with mechanical issues.

In NASCAR Whelen All-American Weekly Racing Series action, TJ Woodhall led the Mr. Gas Late Models main event race leaving Jeff Pohlman and Bobby Latham III battling behind him. Pohlman was the eventually got around Latham, but he did not have quite enough to catch Woodhall and the driver of the No. 41 car went on to capture his first main event win of the season.

Jenna Quale led the pack from green to checkered flag for her first win in the Budweiser Super Stocks Series in just her second start. Allen Williams and Casey Pehrson rounded out the top three.

Others crossing the finish line first were Douglas “Tank” Brownfield with the Quale’s Electronics Hornets and Jay McDonald in the Jr. Stingers division, both with their first main event wins. Project Filter Street Stocks driver Kendall Woll captured his second main event win of year.

 

RESULTS:

RMCS:  1. Zan Sharp, 2. Bruce Quale, 3. John Newhouse, 4. John Wong, 5. Eric Rhead.

Mr. Gas Late Models:  1. TJ Woodhall, 2. Jeff Pohlman, 3. Bobby Latham III, 4. Enrique Contreras III, 5. Jeff Wade.

Budweiser Super Stocks:  1. Jenna Quale, 2. Allen Williams, 3. Casey Pehrson, 4. Enrique Contreras III, 5.  Kris McKean.

Project Filter Street Stocks:  1. Kendall Woll, 2. John Newell, 3. Chase Carraway, 4. Craig Nuthak, 5. Brandon Thomas.

Quale’s Electronics Hornets:  1. Tank Brownfield, 2. Robbie Ridley, 3. Aaron Pohlman, 4. Toef Leija.

Quale’s Electronics Jr. Stingers:  1. Jay McDonald, 2. KC Gillogly, 3. Jason Quale, 4. Brenden Radabaugh, 5. Alyssa Pearson