The hometown kid, Gordy Gundaker won last night at the Gateway Dirt Nationals
25-year-old, Gordy Gundaker from St. Charles, Missouri won one of the two preliminary main events last night at the Gateway Dirt Nationals. He was awarded with a $5,000 check for the win. But, this race is more special than a check.
How did he get there?
In his heat race, Gundaker started on the outside front row. He nearly got run over in turn 1 as he was put in a four wide situation. Then, he nearly got run over in turn 2. There was a spin behind them resulting in a complete restart. He had to survive it all over again.
As the green dropped for the second time, Derek Fetter was turned at a 90 degree angle into the outside wall. Fetter started on the inside second row, Gordy was on the outside front row. Fetter slid behind the rear bumper of Gundaker by inches, nearly clipping him. Fetter went on the hit the outside wall and barrel roll into turn 1.
Give or take a few inches in the either of those situations and the result might have been drastically different. Instead, Gordy Gundaker survived the heat race. As they went green, his car rotated on a dime in turn 1 and he drove off the corner, under Hunter Rasdom.
It was a pass for the heat race lead, without contact. That was the only heat race pass anyone made for the lead, on the bottom, without contact.
The photos below are all from the heat race. Highlighting the multiple situations were Gundaker narrowly avoided a crash.
Gordy Gundaker started on the pole in the 20 lap main event. He drove off to the win.
Was this the most important win of your career?
“Absolutely, It doesn’t get much better,” Gordy Gundaker told RacingNews.co after his preliminary win at the Gateway Dirt Nationals.
“It doesn’t get any better than that. Unless we win tomorrow. Then, it might get better.”
In the the heat race, I noticed your car would rotate in the center better than any car in the field.
“We were good as soon as we unloaded. We could really get in the corner and get turned and have good drive off. You know, a lot of guys were fightin’ loose off. We haven’t had that problem yet.”
“It’s good, knock on wood. Hopefully, we can continue that into tomorrow. Just keep workin’ on our stuff and keep getting better.”
I’m pretty sure you’re the only driver in the entire field that made a pass on the bottom without making contact. But, you were certainly the only driver that made non-contact pass for the lead, on the bottom.
“Yeah, I don’t try to run over anybody. It’s just how I’ve always been.It’s tough racing out here. There’s not a lot of room but you gotta respect each others stuff.”
“You don’t have to necessarily run over each other to pass them. We showed that tonight.”
As Gordy Gundaker got the white flag, he father was on the infield. I don’t see Kevin smile too often and he covered his mouth to try and hide it. But, I caught him anyway.
10 minutes after the racing was completed for the night, Kevin Gundaker was back on the bulldozer to begin track prep for tonights finale of the Gateway Dirt Nationals.