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Saiz Dominates in Vado

Saiz Dominates in Vado

Vado, NM (8/7/21) – Patience prevailed on Saturday night for the 2020 Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series Champion, Caleb Saiz, as he worked the bottom of the Vado Speedway Park to perfection to collect his second victory of the 2021 season.

Round 14 of the Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series brought teams to New Mexico’s newest racing facility just south of Las Cruces, New Mexico. This would be drivers’ last opportunity to find victory lane in the regular season down south, as just five races remain in the series. To start off the night, drivers were split into two qualifying heat races where passing points would help to determine the starting lineup for the feature event.

Heat 1 was kept exciting as Caleb Stelzig and Rick Ziehl worked the topside of the 3/8ths mile speedway. Although his leash was held tight, Stelzig would see the checkered flag first with Ziehl and Travis Oldfield in tow. Heat 2 would see Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Spencer Hill lead every lap in route to the win with Tucson, Arizona’s Nick Parker finishing 2nd and the blue deuce of Michael Fanelli rounding out the top three. Both heats went without a caution being thrown, and all drivers would transfer through to the main event.

A pair of 77’s would bring the field to life for 25 laps in the feature with Spencer Hill and Colt Treharn adorning the front row. As they barreled into the first turn, the door opened for Caleb Saiz on the bottom of the speedway. He would take control of the lead just as the No. 18 of Asa Kesterson made contact with the No. 9 of Robert Herrera and slid to a stop on the entry to turn one, bringing out the first yellow flag. Deemed as a completed first lap, Saiz now gained control of the restart with Travis Oldfield also sneaking by the No. 7D7 of Hill. After the restart it seemed as if the track was wearing away exponentially by the lap, and drivers saw themselves doing everything it took to make sure that they were on the bottom before the next corner.

With the dominant groove now apparent, contact was seemingly unavoidable as multiple cars would make contact throughout the field. The caution would wave once again on lap four, but this time it was for Craig Stringfellow who was stalled by the wall in turn three. Stringfellow re-fired, and another Delaware restart was in order with 21 laps-to-go. Once again, more contact occurred on the restart, and another yellow would wave with 16 to go for the No. 115 of Nick Parker who spun at the bottom of turn four.

Finally, a short green flag run would come to fruition and competitors were able to show who could have the most patience to stay in the narrow bottom groove. All seemed well until a major moment occurred on the front stretch as Derek DeMartino and Caleb Stelzig connected wheels with seven laps remaining, resulting in a violent flip for the No. 97 of DeMartino. The race was red flagged, and DeMartino gingerly made his way to the Vado Speedway Park safety team for further evaluation.

The restart gave the field one more shot at Caleb Saiz, but he would remain unchallenged and collect his second Lucas Oil POWRi NMMRA Sprint Car Series win of the year, and his first at the Vado Speedway Park in 2021. Travis Oldfield would beat JR Bonesteel to the line for 2nd, with Spencer Hill and Nick Parker rounding out the top-five.

“With all of the restarts, you just have to try to keep up with the racetrack and hope it’s not taking rubber some place,” explained Saiz. “At the same time, you have to take care of your brakes. I could feel them getting pretty hot, so that red actually helped us out. The track worked out for us tonight though and putting another win in the win column is great as we sure needed the boost. It has also been great representing the Arnold, Brown, and Burns family as well as everyone at Hal Burns Racing with the Hank Arnold Twister Tribute sprint car this year. Lastly, I can’t thank Hal Burns Truck & Equipment, Napa Belts and Hoses, Weise Auto Supply, SMI, JMS Telephone Company, Schaeffer’s Engine Oil, Performance Plus, FK Rod Ends, J&J Auto Racing, Hoosier Racing Tire, and Simpson Race Products enough for all their support.”

Results:
# Name Hometown +/-
1. 1HA Caleb Saiz Albuquerque, NM +2
2. 11w Travis Oldfield Albuquerque, NM +3
3. 0 JR Bonesteel Albuquerque, NM +1
4. 7D7 Spencer Hill Albuquerque, NM -4
5. 115 Nick Parker Tucson, AZ +2
6. 21 Caleb Stelzig Albuquerque, NM -
7. 77 Colt Treharn Los Lunas, NM -5
8. 2 Michael Fanelli Rio Rancho, NM -
9. 81 Devon Jobin Alamogordo, NM +5
10. 18 Asa Kesterson Phoenix, AZ +1
11. 20z Rick Ziehl Las Cruces, NM +5
12. 9 Robert Herrera Las Cruces, NM -2
13. 7x Troy Treharn Peralta, NM -1
14. 23 Craig Stringfellow Albuquerque, NM -1
15. 92T Tim Shallenberger El Paso, TX -
DNF 97 Derek DeMartino Las Cruces, NM -7

Heat 1 (Results): 1-Stelzig.C 2-Oldfield.T 3-Bonesteel.JR 4-Treharn.C 5-Saiz.C 6-Treharn.T 7-Jobin.D 8-Ziehl.R
Heat 2 (Results): 1-Hill.S 2-Parker.N 3-Fanelli.M 4-DeMartino.D 5-Herrera.R 6-Kesterson.A 7-Stringfellow.C 8-Shallenberger.T

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