By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Michael Long has this late model thing pretty well figured out.
Long, who at age 31 is already considered one of the finest modified drivers in Quincy Raceways' long history, has also taken to the big-bodied late models with relative ease.
Long won his third UMP Super Late Model feature of the season Sunday night -- the most of any driver in the series -- and said afterward it could be an interesting offseason. The two-time late model track champ admitted he will review all of his options when it comes to modifieds and late models for 2014.
"I like late models a lot. We'll have to see what the winter brings," Long said after his 2.748-second victory over new late model points leader Denny Woodworth. "Modifieds are still my first love, but the late models are fun to drive."
Long has taken to the power and grip of the late models.
"There's really not a whole lot of difference in the two," Long said. "I just haven't been able to do crap with my modified (at Quincy) this year. I (enjoy being able to) use all the (late model) horsepower."
In his brief late model career, Long has been in the No. 56 car owned by Jenning Brothers Racing of Northeast Missouri for 28 features, winning four. Only 14-time track champ Mark Burgtorf (6) and Dustin Griffin (5) have won more in that same period. Long finished sixth in 2012 track points despite missing two weeks. He currently sits third in points behind Woodworth and Burgtorf.
While Long's preferences for the 2014 season are far form certain, the rest of 2013 -- at least in Quincy -- is all but cast in stone. He'll only be behind the wheel of the late model.
"I don't think I'll be racing my modified here anymore this year," he said. "I'm going to save my motor for some of the bigger shows later in the season."
Long's victory on Sunday night saw him lead the final 23 laps. Woodworth had controlled the front for the first seven laps and looked like a good bet to earn his first win at Quincy since Sept. 5, 2011.
But the news was not all disappointing Woodworth, who moved into the series points lead. Woodworth, who won the 2010 track crown, is unofficially up on Burgtorf by 23 points (592-569). Burgtorf came to the track leading by 37 points, but broke down during hot laps and received only 10 "show up" points. Long (539), Ricky Frankel (523) and Clint Kirkham (521) form the rest of the top five in points.
Griffin, Frankel and Kirkham also rounded out the top five feature finishers.
Here's a look at the remainder of Sunday night's feature action:
Modifieds: Steven DeLonjay continued to move closer to a third straight track title with a flag-to-flag victory and has now led 70 of the past 75 feature laps. DeLonjay's ninth victory of the season leaves him one shy of becoming the first modified driver other than Long to win 10 or more features in a season, a feat Long has accomplished three times.
Dave Wietholder finished a well-earned second for the fifth time this season. Wietholder's car was severely damaged in a heat-race crash, and it was doubtful whether he would be able to extend his string of consecutive feature starts. Wietholder has now taken the green flag in 249 consecutive main events, a streak that also includes his runner-up showing in Sunday night's stock-car faeture. Wietholder had not raced a stock car since the 2008 season.
DeLonjay (738) and Wietholder (706) lead the points race.
Sport mods: Points leader Tony Dunker rallied past Tanner Klingele to win his seventh main event in a crash-filled feature that helped the sport mods equal their season high of 12 cautions.
Dunker went from last to first over the second half of the 20-lapper, eventually getting by Klingele, who had led for 10 laps, on a late restart. Dunker led the closing five laps and has now been on top in 92 of 201 feature laps this season. Jeff DeLonjay finished third.
Stock cars: Series points leader Abe Huls won his class-best fourth feature, but did not get the lead until the next-to-last lap. Huls' late charge, coupled with a rough eighth-place showing by defending champ and closest challenger Terry Houston, saw Huls' points lead grow to 379-364.
Brandon Savage's four-week run of finishing either first or second ended when he wound up third in a three-car run to the checkers with Huls and runner-up Wietholder.
Sport compacts: Laine Van Zant survived a last-lap, slam-bang exchange with Pat Dunker to win his third feature. Lost in Van Zant and Dunker's bang-bang battle for the lead was Kim Abbott slipping into second place and taking a 409-407 advantage over Dunker in the series standings. Austen Becerra (405) also is in the points mix.