Spartan Speedway - June 20, 2008
MAURICE BITES THE DUST
Once again, Maurice Randall sets fast time and is the only driver to break into the 16 second range during qualifying with a quick 16.94 second lap around the 1/4 mile flat asphalt at Galesburg Speedway.
Maurice said "The car felt real comfortable in the heat race. Tim Phillips got to the front first and won while I made it up to third. There just isn't enough laps to get to the leader in these 8 lap heat races. But the car felt real good, I felt I had a chance to win the feature."
Winning the feature wasn't going to happen, though, as Maurice brought out the red flag for the very first time ever in his racing career. "Yeah, I haven't caused a caution all year long, so I figure if I'm going to cause a break in the race, I might as well do it good", he said. With just a few short laps into the feature, Maurice found himself on the outside of a three wide battle going into turn three. "That track was really dirty up there. I should have backed off and used a little more patience." Once the car got into the grit on the outside, it just took off towards the end of the front stretch wall. "I still don't know how I managed to miss the end of the wall, but somehow I got the car turned into an opening just before the end of the wall." His car left the asphalt and slid hard into a soft dirt pile on the outside of turn four. Some of the comments from those standing at the other end of the track near turn one was "It looked like the car got airborne and onto it's side, I could read the numbers on the roof", and "All you could see was a big cloud of dust as he left the track."
The flagman was very quick to respond as the red flag came out immediately. The entire field came around and stopped at the end of the backstretch. The safety crew and ambulance rushed to the scene, but before they could get there, the roof hatch of the #93 StreamNetRadio.com Dodge flipped open and all you could hear was a big cheer from the crowd as they knew Maurice was OK.
Maurice said to the safety crew, "Are the wheels still on it?" They said yes and asked if he wanted them to get him back on the track. Of course! Maurice was able to continue but was considerably slower due to damage to the right front suspension which hurt the handling.
"I just rode it out, stayed out of everyone's way, and finished with the hopes of maintaining my point lead." And he did just that. Second in the points Trent Jenson gained a little ground with his 7th place finish and sits just 15 points behind Maurice as the season begins to wind down.
Next up is Maurice's favorite track on the circuit, Springport Motor Speedway, on Saturday, August 16th. He has won both events there this year and hopes to make it 3 for 3.