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Grady Finds Grip and Wins at Sandia Speedway

Grady Finds Grip and Wins at Sandia Speedway

Albuquerque, NM (6/22/21) – Farmington, New Mexico’s Josh Grady took home the victory on Saturday night at Sandia Speedway for round eight of the Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series. The win marked Grady’s third of the year, and he continues to be the only Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA driver with multiple wins in 2021.

For the first time this year at Sandia, the summer heat was visibly taking a toll on the surface of the 3/8ths high-banked oval as dry slick conditions were imminent from the beginning of the night. Thirteen cars checked in for the evening, but one driver’s night was over before it got a chance to begin. Michael Fanelli, from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, pulled in to his pit area after hot laps and found a milky-white oil substance coming from his Michael Fanelli Motorsports No. 2. After a brief discussion, the team decided to pull the plug on the night of racing.

Two heat races were next on the card, and Heat 1 saw El Paso, Texas’ Don Grable jump out to an early lead. A caution would fly though on lap three as Josh Grady went for a spin cycle at the bottom of turn two. On the restart, Grable beat the field into the first half of the track once again but slipped the right-rear tire over the ledge on the second half, allowing Clint Miller to take the win over Caleb Stelzig and Devon Amos. Heat 2 had Albuquerque’s Spencer Hill lead all eight laps in route to his second heat race victory of the season as Caleb Saiz and Travis Oldfield rounded out the podium.

With the top four finishers from each qualifying race restacked, Amos and Hill were tabbed with the duty of bringing the field alive for 25 laps around Sandia Speedway for the A-Main. The track would prove to be tricky with little grip on the bottom and a razor thin cushion adorning the top of the speedway, just inches away from the lip of the banking.

The green flag waved and it was a drag race down in to turn one, with Amos edging Hill on the bottom for the lead on lap one. Hill was committed to the cushion, and the two began to create a fantastic battle for the lead until a caution waved for a car stopped on the topside of turn four. Due to visibility issues, drivers were told that the remainder of the event would see single-file restarts and the battle for the lead resumed on lap four. Amos would work the bottom in turn one and two, but a big run from Hill on the top opened the door for a slide job in turn 3, turning the lead to the driver of the SEH Motorsports No. 7D7. Another caution would wave with 17-to-go, and offered an opportunity to bunch the field together once again. On the restart, Hill went back to the cushion but that opened the door for his teammate, Oldfield, to grab the lead on the bottom.

The two-car battle quickly became a four-car battle for the lead when Saiz and Grady threw their names in the mix two laps later. The cushion was now pushed over the edge of the banking, but Grady would make it work as he nabbed the lead from Oldfield and began to put distance on the remainder of the field. One last caution flag flew with six laps remaining, but the restart wasn’t enough for anyone to challenge the No. 12J of Grady. Grady clicked off another quick set of laps on the top and went on to win his third race of the Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series season, this time advancing eight positions to lock in the hard charger award as well. Oldfield, Saiz, Hill, and Amos rounded out the top five across the finish line.

The drivers and crews with the Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series will now relax for two off weekends before returning to six consecutive weekends of racing, starting with Sandia Speedway on July 10th for the “Dynamite Dash” presented by Jackson Compaction.

# Name Hometown +/-
1. 12J Josh Grady Farmington, NM +8
2. 11w Travis Oldfield Albuquerque, NM +3
3. 1HA Caleb Saiz Albuquerque, NM +4
4. 7D7 Spencer Hill Albuquerque, NM -2
5. 41 Devon Amos Rio Rancho, NM -4
6. 92 Dillon Tanner Rio Rancho, NM +5
7. 58 Clint Miller Los Alamos, NM -4
8. 52NM James Hatch Rio Rancho, NM +2
DNF 0 JR Bonesteel Albuquerque, NM -5
DNF 21 Caleb Stelzig Albuquerque, NM -4
DNF 45x Don Grable El Paso, TX -3
DNF 4 Theo McCarty Hillsboro, OR -
DNS 2 Michael Fanelli Rio Rancho, NM -

Heat 1 (Results): 1-Miller.C 2-Stelzig.C 3-Amos.D 4-Grable.D 5-Grady.J 6-Tanner.D 7-Fanelli.M
Heat 2 (Results): 1-Hill.S 2-Saiz.C 3-Oldfield.T 4-Bonesteel.JR 5-Hatch.J 6-McCarty.T

Photo Credit: Dirt Track Syndicate

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