Cool Temperatures And Hot Racing Fill The High Banks At I-35 Speedway
By Mark Merrell
(WINSTON, MO) The temperature was unseasonably cool, but the racing action at I-35 Speedway was hot as usual during Trenton Coca-Cola Bottling, C.A.R.B. Central Auto Racing Boosters, Night At The Races.
The American Racer USRA Stock Cars began the first feature of the evening, with a make up race from a rain out on July 20 earlier this year. Current points leader, Jeff Dixon started from the pole. Greg Keuhn was to Dixon’s outside, and Keuhn challenged Dixon as the race started for the front position. Dixon prevailed, earning his 6th feature win of the year.
The Show Me Vintage Racers were next on the bill. Mystery driver, Elmer Fudd started inside row three. Fudd raced quickly to the lead, passing Daniel Clevenger, Dan Schmidt, And Rocky Rhodes. Fudd captured his 5th win of the year At I-35 Speedway. Damon Clevenger finished 2nd, Daniel Clevenger 3rd, David Baldwin 4th, and Steve Hughes 5th.
In the E-Mod Division, the points battle at the top has become a two-person war between Matt ‘Maddog’ Dorrsom, and Shaunie Lanning. While consistently finishing in the top five, Lanning has amassed four feature wins coming into the night’s event. Dorrsom has been a force to reckoned with this season, as he has raced to McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle ten times this year. As the night’s race began, Bobby Lopez jumped to the front, with Michael Knight, and Ricky Bobby, close behind. Lanning was near the front pack as well, threading her way out of turn two, in a three wide battle, then, down to the apron in turn four. By the time the field flew by the front stretch, and into turn one, Lanning was in 2nd, closing on the leader, Bobby Lopez. Into turn two, down the backstretch, and into turns three, and four, the pair racing were side-by-side for the lead. Lanning had a half of a car length lead at the line, and by the exit of turn one, she had the front position. Just behind her, Lopez spun in turn two. The cars raced around Lopez, and remarkably, no contact was made in a great display of driving skill. Morrison moved into 2nd. On the restart, Ricky Bobby went by Morrison Into 2nd. By the next lap, Morrison went by Bobby to take the 2nd spot. At the drop of the checkered flag, Lanning raced to her 5th win of the year. Morrison has a great drive as well, finishing 2nd, with Jorden Dawson 3rd, John Ross 4th, and Brad Sheetz, who started on the 5th row, finishing in the 5th spot.
In the Pure Stocks, Rylee Fuller and Ron Hill have been at the top of the charts, with Fuller holding the top spot. As the feature began, Ron ‘Monkey Man,’ Hill had a very fast Blaine Yonts to his inside on row one. By the completion of the first lap, Hill showed the way with Yonts 2nd, Fuller 3rd, with Kristchon Hisel closing in fast on Fuller. Hisel got by Fuller, and took the 3rd position down the backstretch. Hill kept drifting high through each corner. Yonts was soon working inside of Hill challenging for the lead, with Hisel a close 3rd, Fuller and Albert Curtis in a battle as well. Curtis spun in turn two, bringing out the caution flag on lap five. On the restart, Hill and Hisel has a two car breakaway for the lead, running next to each other. Just behind them, Beau Wells was racing through the field toward the front of the pack, as was Chase Galvin, both of which started on the last row for the feature. Fuller was inside of Yonts, as the first two pairs were side-by-side, all running towards the front at the halfway point. Suddenly, Hisel pulled to the low side, slowing dramatically heading into turn three. As the field raced down the front stretch, several cars came together, including Wells, Galvin, and Fuller. Wells suffered a flat tire, and additional damage, with a great drive for Wells ending, as he nursed his racing machine to the pits. Galvin managed to drive away too, but went straight to the pits, ending his night. Fuller’s car remained on the track, and was towed away by Bridgeman’s Wrecker Service, ending her promising night as well. Hill stayed in front, taking his 10th feature win of the season. In the McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle interviews at the Trackside Bar & Grill following the night, Hill spoke of the handling of his car, stating that it was fast, but pushing in the corners, and that he was unable to adjust for the problem, thus thinking he might well lose the race. With just a few laps remaining, unexplainably, the problem went away on it’s own. Hill explained that a year ago to the day, his mother passed away, and was left wondering if perhaps, he had some additional, “help.” As he pointed this out, Hill’s voice broke a bit in emotion, adding emphasis on his win, and it’s timing.
The Sport Compacts lined up next for their feature. The 1/2 Crazy Motorsports Team, John Willard, and David Miller III, along with Drivers, Frank Reed, and Jeremy Larabee, pitched in to bring four bicycles to give away to some lucky youngsters at intermission, which they did, putting smiles on some very excited kids. The Trenton Coca-Cola Bottlers tossed fans cool logo items as well. As their feature began, David Miller III raced to the lead, with Willard 2nd. Reed and Mick made slight contact heading into turn three. Unfortunately for Reed, it ended his night, as he slowly pulled to the infield out of turn four. On lap two, Willard moved inside of Miller for third. Joseph Mick was right behind Miller, and was soon challenging for 2nd, with Christian Pease just behind the front group. Mick made an amazing move to the inside of Miller, and was inside Willard racing for the lead as the group raced through turn two. Willard kept the lead, as Mick moved back inside Miller in turn four. Willard had a couple of car lengths on Mick, as they went into turn one, with Miller just behind Mick in third, racing out of turn two. On lap six, the front three, Willard, Mick, and Miller ran towards turn three. Miller and Mick came together, resulting in a dramatic barrel roll for Mick, as his car went sideways and airborne, making two revolutions, before landing on it’s wheels. Mick quickly exited his car, obviously frustrated with the night’s result.
Willard went to the pit area for repairs. Miller was disqualified for the contact, pulling off of the track before the restart. Miller apologized, explaining the incident, and was obviously frustrated as well with the result. This put Christian Pease in 1st, with Larabee 2nd, and Willard in 3rd for the restart. Willard managed after serval laps to get by Larabee, but Pease kept them all at bey, earning his first feature win of the year At I-35 Speedway.
The Midwest Limited Late Models have been a growing field each week, with very talented drivers trying their hand at the first year Series for I-35 Speedway. Mike Taylor Jr, and Bobby Penney were on the front row for the start, with Gregg ‘Bandit’ Truelove and Tommy Cordray In row two. Taylor quickly raced to the lead as the green flag flew with Penney inches away in 2nd. Truelove was fast as usual. Racing toward the front, Truelove took an excursion off of the turn four cushion. The Bandit kept his foot down on the throttle, and with a huge fantail of dirt behind him, raced back over the berm, and onto the track, unfortunately bringing out the caution flag, putting him at the rear of the field for the restart. Paul Glendenning was very fast, and had moved into third, just behind the leader, Taylor, and Penney, with Cordray in 4th. Penney stated after the race that he wasn’t sure he had anything for Taylor. Penney made several attempts at Taylor with no results. On lap eight, Penney drove down inside Taylor in turns three and four. As the pair raced into turn one, and out of turn two, Penney took the lead, and the eventual win, his third of the season. Cordray finished 2nd, Houston Johnson with a great drive, 3rd. Remarkably, Truelove finished 4th, and Glendenning 5th.
The fastest race of the night was the longest for one driver in the Out Pace Products USRA B-Mods. As the green flag flew, Randy Ainsworth raced by a hard charging Chase Galvin for the lead, with Lonnie Hibner in 3rd, and Tyler Cadwallader 4th. By the second lap, Cadwallader was racing the low side next to Hibner. On the next lap, Cadwallader was inside Galvin coming out of turn four. By the end of the third lap, Ainsworth led, with Cadwallader 2nd, and Galvin 3rd. On lap six, Cadwallader, running the low line out of turn 4 went by Ainsworth as the field roared down the front stretch. Cadwallader kept everyone behind him to capture his 2nd win of the year at I-35 Speedway. The race went green to checkered flag in just seven minutes. In a post race interview, Cadwallader lamented, “That was the longest seven minutes! It felt a Lot longer than that.” Cadwallader’s last Win at I-35 came back on May 26, to which a confidant Cadwallader stated that he was, “relieved to get back to victory lane. They tell you once you get the first win, others will soon follow. It didn’t happen that way this year so far, but I’m really looking forward to the weeks ahead now.”
In the second feature of the night for the American Racer Tires USRA Stock Cars, Greg Keuhn started on the pole next to Donovan Nunnikhoven. Jeff Dixon and Gene Stigall were the occupants of row two. Everyone stayed side-by-side, racing in their original order for the first few laps, as the fans jumped to their feet. By lap three, Keuhn grabbed the lead, with Nunnikhoven 2nd, and Dixon 3rd. Nunnikhoven went to the high side cushion in turn two, and by the exit of turn four, he took the lead from Keuhn. Dixon followed the same line, getting by Keuhn for 2nd. Nunnikhoven kept the pack behind him, earning his first feature victory At I-35 Speedway this year.
The USRA A-Mods put on another exciting race. Lee Hibner and Dennis Elliott have raced for the win several times this year. Hibner’s racing machine has a ton of horsepower, and he prefers the high side cushion, while Elliott likes the low side apron, a skill that helped him win the I-35 Track Championship last year, and a third place finish in the USRA standings as well. Hibner started the night’s feature inside row one, with Elliott to his right. At the drop of the green flag, Hibner raced into turn one with a three car length lead over Elliott. Lap after lap, the pair went after each other. Tyler Hibner was not far behind the front in third, as Ed Noll battled with Tyler. Darren Shaw sped his way through the field from his starting spot inside row five. Ahead of him were brothers, Austin and Houston Johnson. Everywhere you looked, epic side-by-side racing was taking place. As the race moved quickly to the midway portion, Elliott was gaining on Lee Hibner for the lead. Elliott ran the high side cushion in turn three, and just by mere inches, his right rear tire slid over the berm. Elliott kept in foot on the gas, and with a fantail of dirt, put his race car back on the track out of turn four. Elliott did not lose his 2nd place position, but unfortunately he lost precious ground to Hibner. As the field took the checkered flag, Lee Hibner earned his 4th trip to McCarthy Group Winner’s Circle this year at I-35 Speedway. Elliott held on for 2nd, with Tyler Hibner 3rd, Ed Noll 4th, and Darren Shaw 5th.
Next week, I-35 Speedway will host Rick Bebee Heating And Air Conditioning Night At The Races, With A Special Visit From The POWRi Midwest Lightning Sprint Cars, Featuring The Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series A-Mods, Out Pace Products B-Mods, American Racer Tires Stock Cars, As Well As The E-Mods, MIdwest Limited Late Models, Pure Stocks, And Sport Compacts. In Addition, The Track Will Have A Dash For Cash For The Kids In Attendance For The Races.