By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Quincy Raceways inducted its third Hall of Fame class Sunday night, much to the delight of an appreciative crowd that provided several ovations.
Drivers Lonnie Carter, Dick Crane and Tom Long were joined by friends of racing Maroline Long, Bill Bair and Joe Gower in the class of 2013. Gem City Ford was also inducted as a long-time sponsor of the track.
Crane, the 1986 late model track champ, may have summed up the experience best. He addressed the crowd from in front of the start-finish line, saying, "You, the fans, are the reason we do what we do."
Carter, a two-time "B" modified champion at the track in the mid-1990s, said "it had been a long time" since he had navigated the tight corners at the Bullring, but the old track at 8000 Broadway will always be a home away from home.
"All of you are my family," he told the fans. "When we lost (our son) Chuck, you held me up and did not let me fall."
Chuck Carter was the 1993 "B" modified track champ and was leading the points in 1994 when he died from a work-related accident. Lonnie Carter went on to win track titles in 1995-96.
Long drew a large cheer for his simple, heart-felt response.
"I ain't got no speech, just ... thank you," said the driver who once strung together 13 consecutive top-10 points finishes.
Long is the mother of current modified-late model driver Michael Long and former modified driver Mary Kay Allen. When she accepted her Hall of Fame plaque, she looked at Carter, Long and Crane and smiled.
"I used to score all of the drivers -- and argue with them, too -- but that's what made it fun," she said.
On the track, only two classes were racing for points and those series leaders further padded their margins with just three weeks remaining on the schedule.
Denny Woodworth continued to motor toward his second late model title with a fourth-place feature finish behind Brendan Sheppard, Jason Perry and McKay Wenger. Woodworth holds a 95-point advantage (842-747) over Mark Burgtorf, who finished seventh in the feature after being sidelined with less than two laps to go with a flat tire.
In the modifieds, points leader Steven DeLonjay recovered from a nasty crash in the dash to finish second in the feature. DeLonjay had to start at the tail of a 21-car lineup, but climbed through the field during the 25-lap main event to finish runner-up to flag-to-flag leader Justin Reed.
DeLonjay has a 64-point lead (1,060-996) over Dave Wietholder, who blew an engine in the dash. Wietholder was able to borrow a car to run the feature, but a mid-race crash sent him to the pits in 14th place.
The sport mods, stock cars and sport compacts did not run for points.
Sport mod ace Tony Dunker won his seventh straight feature, the most in the modern era (since 1999) at the track and made it 29 straight weeks of finishing either first or second. Dunker's streak dates to mid-2012.
Abe Huls won his third consecutive stock car feature and fourth in the last five weeks.
Austen Becerra rolled to his fifth straight sport compact checkered flag. Becerra has led 54 of the last 60 feature laps.