By I-35 Track Announcer Mark Merrell
(Winston, MO) A beautiful star-lit evening provided the canvas for another edge of your seat, fun packed night of racing At I-35 Speedway, Saturday, June 8 for Casey’s Night At The Races.
Eight Divisions took on the high banked 3/8 Mile dirt track. The first group were the E-Mods. Casey Burnett started on the front row with Kameron Hanes. Justin Asher and Jeff Goepferich, Sr comprised row two, with Shaunie Lanning and Doug Brisbin In row three. Burnett held the early lead, with Hanes and Asher battling side-by-side for second, with Lanning and Jeremy Curless fighting for the 4th position. On the 3rd lap, Hanes went high out of turn four, and Lanning went low, with Burnett in the middle, for a three-wide run for the front spot. Hanes took the lead out of turn two, with Lanning challenging to his inside. As the pair raced out of turn four, Lanning ran to the front, and never looked back, earning her 2nd victory of the year.
Ron ‘Monkey Man’ Hill has been nearly unbeatable lately. With five wins to his credit, three of which were back-to-back, Hill was the car to beat. The trip to McCarthy Auto Group victory lane would not be an easy one for Hill, as Blaine Younts, Billy Spilman, Rylee Fuller, C J Turner, and Jason Carney were among the drivers right on Hill’s bumper. Hill started on the front row, outside next to Younts. Hill managed to grab the lead, with several drivers taking a stab at the leader to no avail, as Hill earned his 6th win, making it 4 trips to McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle this year In a row.
The Midwest Outlaw Vintage Racers were the next Series to take on the high banks. No stranger to victory lane, driver Dennis Fair kept a fast Ron Lefholtz, and Michael Lefholtz at bey for the win.
To say that Tommy Cordray has had a successful year thus far At I-35 Speedway in the Midwest Limited Late Models would be a huge understatement. Cordray had amassed six wins heading into Casey’s Night At The Races, but a challenger to Cordray in the early going of the race provided some exciting laps for the fans. Houston Johnson and Cordray comprised the front row, and the pair ran like a couple of wild horses on the loose as the green flag flew to start the race. After several laps of tight racing with Johnson, Cordray pulled away to his 7th win of the season.
The Sport Compacts are always fun to watch, and tonight would prove no different. Alvin Cooney and John Willard, in his 1/2 CR Batmoblie were the occupants of row one, with Franklin Reed and Richard McCaulley in row two, and David Miller III, along with Chris Lewis in row three, among the several drivers on the starting grid. Cooney led coming out of turn two on the first lap, but heading into three, Willard raced to the outside of Cooney, with McCaulley to Cooney’s inside, as the group went three-wide into turn four. McCaulley led lap one, with Willard to the outside, a very close second. On lap six, the pair were side-by-side for the lead. Willard raced by McCaulley heading to the finish line on lap 7, and ultimately into McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle, earning Willard’s 4th win this season.
Twenty two competitors lined up on the grid for the start of the Out-Pace USRA B-Mods fifteen lap feature. As the green flag flew, a three, and four wide battle ensued, for the lead between Dustin Miller, Tim Galvin, Tyler Cadwallader, and Shadren Turner. Galvin raced out the the group running into turn three. Turner and Miller were side-by-side for second. After a caution flag, the group raced into turn two. Miller went high, losing several position, as Chase Galvin roared into third behind Turner and the leader, Tim Galvin. As the field raced down the backstretch, several cars were collected in an incident, the worst of which was Sam Schuler, Jr, who ended upside down in the middle of the carnage. Schuler managed to climb out of his B-Mod after two Bridgeman Wrecker tow trucks worked in tandem to ease Schumer’s racing machine back onto all four tires. Tim Galvin stayed to the low line on the restart, with Turner up on the high side cushion. On lap five, Turner raced to Galvin’s outside, keeping his momentum out of turn four to the lead. Turner kept the front spot, earning his third victory of the year.
It looked like it would be a night of repeat winners for Casey’s Night At The Races. The American Racer Tires USRA Stock Cars proved that theory was incorrect, as a newcomer to I-35 Speedway would give last year’s track champion a great battle up front to the delight of the fans. Jeff Dixon, the afore mentioned champion, started inside row one, with Mich Ross to his outside. As the green lights winked on around the track, it was Ross to the front, with Tim Shields challenging to the inside for the lead, with Dixon in third. Soon, though, Ross was clearly in the lead, as Dixon and Shields raced next to each other for second. Dixon cleared Shields for second, setting his sights on the leader, Ross. Lap after lap, Ross held the lead by the narrowest of margins, as Dixon and Shields were literally nose to tail, lap after lap. After several looks and unsuccessful attempts on Ross for the lead, the trio raced across the finish line, as Ross secured the victory by a narrow margin, in just his first race this year at I-35 Speedway.
The last event of Casey’s Night At The Races featured the USRA A-Mods. Darren Shaw And Dennis Elliott started on row one. Elliott usually prefers the low side line, but starting outside row one, he had to hit the gas up high on the cushion to run by Shaw. Elliott did exactly that, executing the pass to the high side out of turn two, and into the lead. The pack was running three, and sometimes, four wide in Elliott’s rear view mirror. A late race incident collected several cars racing down the backstretch. Thankfully, no one was injured in the crash. After a red flag, and subsequent restart, Elliott held on for his second victory of the year, racing into McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle.
Next Saturday night, I-35 Speedway is proud to honor the late, Mike Tanner with the, Finish Strong Mike Tanner Memorial Race for the E-Mods, and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods, along with the Summit Weekly Racing Series USRA A-Mods, American Racer Tires Stock Cars, as well the Pure Stocks, Sport Compacts, and the MIdwest Limited Late Models.
I-35 Speedway Is Your Home For Dirt Track Racing At It’s Best!