USAC Western Sprint Car results and story from Altamont MotorSports Park


Hunt sets track record – wins feature in masterful Altamont drive – By Bobby Gerould – June 17, 2006 – Tracy, CA.

“It’s about driving to the ability of the car, and not driving over your head”, explained Tony Hunt from the winner’s circle Saturday night at Altamont Motorsports Park. Hunt had just won the 50-lap USAC Western Sprint Car feature event, on the paved half-mile, in thrilling fashion. He passed Mike Murgoitio on lap 48 on the back-chute to earn the win after methodically picking off car after car in a drive to the front from the eighth starting position.


“All the credit goes to the crew. They don’t go an hour of a day without thinking about making our car better”, said Hunt. The winning mount was the Alan Kaiser owned #4 Eagle with Bailey Brothers horsepower. The win was Hunt’s second of the 2006 season in the Western Sprint Car ranks.


Jeff Gardner, the 1998 USAC Western Sprint Car champion, jumped into the lead of the feature, from the pole, followed by Murgoitio, Brian McClish, and Bradley Galedrige. A Michael Trimble spin in turn one on lap ten brought out the first of only two caution flag periods. The second yellow flag of the race came three laps later when Matt DeMartini pounded the turn three wall, doing significant damage to the right front of his Ric Carr Racing #6.


The top eight cars were tightly grouped on the track from the restart on lap 14 through lap 25. The entertaining action at the front of the pack was being contested by Gardner, Murgoitio, McClish, Hunt, Jimmy Pelk, Galedrige, Kody Swanson, and Jo Jo Helberg. Three of the aforementioned top-eight, in the 22-car field, are rookie sprint car drivers!


By lap 26 Murgoitio’s pressure on Gardner was gaining intensity. The two momentarily separated themselves from McClish, and Hunt who were third and fourth. Hunt passed McClish for third on lap 32. Four laps later Gardner succumbed to the pressure of Murgoitio, giving up the lead to the Meridian, Idaho pilot. Murgoitio’s lead move came on the high side of turn one. Hunt passed Gardner for the runner-up spot on lap 37 on the back chute.


With ten-to-go, Hunt closed in on the rear nerf-bar of Murgoitio’s GM Land & Cattle #20. The two battled for eight laps before Hunt made the winning move on the back chute with a lap and a half left in the event. Murgoitio settled for second, with Gardner third. Swanson was fourth at the checkered flag and McClish completed the top-five. Sixth through tenth position fell to Galedrige, Trevor Cummins, Tony Iacobitti, Jim Kaiser, and Darren Rusconi.


For his work in advancing from 15th on the starting grid to a seventh place finish, Trevor Cummins earned the “Hard Charger” of the race award. Helberg, and Nick Rescino Jr. won heat races. Hunt established a new one-lap track record in time-trials with a 16.526 second clocking. That time equates to an average speed of 108.919 miles per hour.


The next event on the USAC Western Sprint Car schedule is a July 8, 2006 stop at Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton California.