Vortex Theory Falls Flat in Midget Roundup Opener at Garden City

The Wheatley Chronicles – Volume V, No. 21

Lonnie Wheatley, GARDEN CITY, Kan. (May 27, 2017) – Ol’ Darrell Waltrip’s infamous “Vortex Theory” was put to the ultimate test on the opening night of the POWRi West vs. RMMRA “Midget Roundup” at Airport Raceway on Saturday night.

While the theory held up remarkably well for quite some time as radar indicated otherwise, it finally succumbed to Mother Nature with the skies opening up as the second and final Midget “B” Main took to the 1/6-mile clay oval at 9:20 p.m.

As storms approached from the west, a robust field of 39 Midgets signed in for the night.  Heats proceeded as storms seemingly wrapped around Airport Raceway on both the north and south sides, with lightning flashing well to the east during “B” Main action before the rain ultimately kicked in and became too much too overcome.

Before action was halted, RMMRA season-opening winner Luke Icke picked up an impressive win in heat one before Missouri’s Kory Schudy moved past Hunter Fischer mid-race to top heat race two.  Oklahoma’s Matt Moore checked out to win heat three, while perennial RMMRA front-runner Keith Rauch topped a stacked fourth heat in which Grady Chandler slipped by reigning POWRi West champ Steven Shebester in the final corner to claim second right on Rauch’s heels.  Casey Shuman won the fifth and final heat race.

With two “B” Mains on tap, the trio of Wesley Smith, Brent Rees and Blake Edwards battled throughout for the win with Smith using the bottom to narrowly deny the high-riding Edwards at the stripe.

The balance of the event including the second Midget “B” Main and the Midget “A” Main along with Non-Wing Micro and 1200-Mini Sprint “A” Mains will be completed before Sunday’s full card with racing action getting under way at 6:30 p.m.

The Box Score (Unofficial Results)…

Heat One (8 Laps) – 1. 2-Luke Icke (1), 2. 69-Paul Babich (3), 3. 17e-Blake Edwards (2), 4. 84-Shawn Shapel (4), 5. 27-Zane Hendricks (7), 6. 22-Bobby Gorczyca (6), 7. 20x-Noah Harris (8), 8. 7-Troy Simpson (5).

Heat Two (8 Laps) – 1. 28-Kory Schudy (3), 2. 24-Hunter Fischer (1), 3. 4m-Michelle Decker (8), 4. 44-Wesley Smith (5), 5. 71-Zac Taylor (6), 6. 56x-Mark Chisholm (4), 7. 14-Tony Rossi (7), 8. 74-Zack Merritt (8).

Heat Three (8 Laps) – 1. 9-Matt Moore (2), 2. 5J-Jeff Crook (5), 3. 43-Ryan Oerter (4), 4. 89-Patrick Bourke (7), 5. 20-Collin Rinehart (6), 6. 22h-Holley Hollan (8), 7. 11c-Glenn Waterland (1), 8. 16-Ashley Oerter (3).

Heat Four (8 Laps) – 1. 27-Keith Rauch (1), 2. 00-Grady Chandler (5), 3. 82m-Steven Shebester (3), 4. 12-Chris Sheil (2), 5. 3-Brent Rees (8), 6. 47-Greg Schaefer (7), 7. 2h-Bob Harr (6), 8. 56y-Lee Lengle (4).

Heat Five (8 Laps) – 1. 32d-Casey Shuman (1), 2. 08-Cannon McIntosh (4), 3. 15-Carson Garrett (3), 4. 88-Dustin Weland (7), 5. 10-Lance Bennett (5), 6. 76-Mark Hamilton (3), 7. 4d-Robert Dalby (6).

First “B” Main Transfers: 44-Wesley Smith, 17e-Blake Edwards, 3-Brent Rees, 56x-Mark Chisholm.

Balance of Program including Second “B” Main and “A” Main postponed by rain to Sunday, May 28.


The Wheatley Chronicles brings insight and highlights from all variety of racing series throughout the nation in 2017 and beyond along with the Open Wheel Power Rankings on a regular basis.  Please send any comments, questions or advertising inquiries regarding The Wheatley Chronicles at www.sprintcarmania.com to Lonnie Wheatley at lonniewheatley@gmail.com.