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No time to relax at Cocopah Speedway as Round 3 in racing series takes center stage Saturday night
Generally, the first race after a major event is considered a chance to catch your breath.
But Greg Burgess says he might be going on oxygen, and he feels the fans might be doing the same thing this weekend when the 2013 Cocopah Speedway Racing Series resumes with Round 3.
Saturday night the track will be back in action for the first time since the conclusion of the three-night, Cocopah Speedway IMCA Winter Nationals presented by Sun Graphics, which attracted 62 Modifieds and 11 Sport Mods.
“I was thinking we might get to sit back, relax and watch our regular show with a cool beverage in our hand, you know, breathe easy and take in a nice show. But I don't think that's going to happen, at least not this week,” said Burgess, Cocopah Speedway's director of operations. “From what I've been hearing, these guys are anxious to get back on the track and go racing, all of them.”
Saturday night's show will feature the full series card of IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sport Mods, Pro-Stocks, Street Stocks and Factory Stocks.
The first of three scheduled Power Puff Derbies in 2013 is also on the card.
It will be the first time in over a month since the Pro-Stocks, Street Stocks and Factory Stocks have been on the track.
“That's what I'm talking about,” said Burgess. “Those guys want to get back to racing. They're a little hungry.
“And the Modified guys, well, they never change. They're ready to race at a moment's notice. I think they might be licking their wounds a little too after the Winter Nationals, and they really want to show everyone what they can do.”
In the Winter Nationals, Imperial's Lance Mari, the current IMCA Modified point leader in the Cocopah Speedway Racing Series, had the most success, qualifying for the “A” main all three nights, with a best finish of third during the Thursday night show.
In that same Thursday night show, Yuma's Keith Taber and Cody Grabbe finished 15th and 17th, respectively, while defending Cocopah Speedway Racing Series champion Duane Rogers, also from Imperial, finished 16th.
Yuma's Bobby Horton made it into the Friday night “A” main along with Mari, but both did not finish, and Mari made it into the $3,000-to-win, “A” main on Saturday night, but again did not finish.
“That was a high-powered show,” said Burgess. “We pretty much had the best of the best in the country here with us, which made it awfully tough for our drivers. I believe they all did the best they could under the circumstances. If any of our drivers went home embarrassed, there was no reason to.”
When the first green flag flies Saturday night, Yuma's Brett Simala will take the track as the Pro-Stock Division point leader after winning both season-opening feature events.
On the Street Stock level, Yuma's Dave Amos and Brawley's Steven Daffern are tied atop the standings, with 77 points each, although neither won a feature event during the two season-opening events.
In Factory Stock action, Yuma's Mile Morris has staked himself to the point lead on the strength of two feature event wins. Morris, however, also purchased himself a Sport Mod during the Winter Nationals, taking home the car formerly driven by Iowa's Jesse Sobbing, who won the IMCA Northern Sport Mod National Championship in 2012.
On the Sport Mod level, Ty Rogers, from Yuma, won both season-opening events, and has the series point lead in hand.
And Mari is actually in a three-way tie for the IMCA Modified point lead, but the drivers he's tied with, North Dakota's Marlyn Seidler and Iowa's Jason Briese, are both headed home after competing in the Winter Nationals. Or at least they should be headed home. However, both drivers were on hand at Arizona Raceway at ET Motopark in Apache Junction over the weekend, with Seidler taking one of the feature event wins. And the likelihood of the two showing up at the Somerton oval Saturday night is good.
“No matter how you look it, it's going to be a fun night of racing,” said Burgess. “I've said it before, I love watching our local drivers get after it.
“Plus, we have a Powder Puff race, which was a lot of fun to watch the last time we staged an event like this in December. I believe the drivers all had a good time, and I believe they will be a whole lot more serious about it this time around.”
SPARE PARTS: Cocopah Speedway is located at U.S. 95 and County 15th Street; the general admission gate opens at 5 p.m.; first race is at 7 p.m.; tickets are: adults — $10; junior (7-12 years old) — $5; adult military with ID — $8; senior (55 and over) — $8; children 6 years old and under — free (main grandstand); Skybox — $25; adult season pass — $325 (includes all events); senior season pass — $275 (includes all events); pit pass — $30 (per person); fans can get live racing lineups during the races and results afterward by going to www.cocopahlive.com; fans can also access live in-race scoring and lap times by going to mylaps.com; for more information call 344-1563 or go to www.cocopahspeedway.com.