By Mark Merrell
(Winston, Missouri) Cool temperatures chilled the night air, but a hot night of racing action thrilled the fans at I-35 Speedway. Several drivers raced to McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle for the first time this year, and a few added to their double digit feature win tally as well.
The Out Pace Products USRA B-Mods lead the features for the evening, with two B-Mains. Only the top two finishers would move to the A-Main. In the first B-Feature, Jayden Bears ran to the front of the field quickly, and held on for the win, with Nick Newton racing into the final transfer spot with his 2nd place finish. In the 2nd B-Feature, Matt Lent captured the top finishing spot, with Lonnie Hibner earning his way into the A-Main with his 2nd place finish, setting up the A-Main for the Out Pace Products USRA B-Mods latter in the program.
The Pure Stocks rolled out next. Ron Hill, Rylee Fuller, and Blaine Yonts are in a tight points battle for the track championship. Fuller started mid-pack, with Hill and Yonts at the front of the field. An incident occurred early, as Fuller was racing her way through the field, as she was caught up in the spin, the result of which, sent her to the back of the field for the restart. Yonts also faced the same fate not long after.
Conrad Kaufman and Brandon Dixon were right behind Hill, but he kept them both at bey, earning Hill his 13th feature win of the year. Brandon Dixon finished 2nd, and Conrad Kaufman 3rd. Fuller worked her way back through the pack in a great display of patience and skill, finishing 4th, with Shawn Huston 5th. Yonts also drove up into a 9th place finish in a great job of driving in the nineteen car field.
In the Show Me Vintage Racers feature, Elmer Fudd raced his way to the front of the field, and to McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle.
John Steenstry finished 2nd, Jeremy Turner 3rd, Damon Clevenger 4th, and Cole Trickle 5th.
The E-Mods were up next for their feature. Twenty cars lined up, with hopes of racing into McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle. Jessie ‘James’ Mulich ran quickly to the lead. Doug Brisbin, Bobby Russ Wood, and Chris Dishong were all putting pressure on Mulich for the top spot. Shaunie Lanning, leading the points in the series, was mired in the middle of the pack, along with Matt ‘Maddog’ Dorssom. Sensing the cushion at the top of the track was working well for her, Lanning began mowing down the field, passing several cars on the top side. Dorssom followed suit, and ran the same line, with success. Mulich was able to keep everyone behind him, earning his 3rd feature win of the year. Wood finished 2nd, Chris Dishong 3rd, Lanning 4th, Doug Brisbin 5th, and Dorssom 6th.
The Midwest Limited Late Model feature would be decided by a last lap pass for the win. Dennis Elliott ran to the lead, with Paul Glendenning In a huge battle for the top spot. Tommy Cordray, Colton Leal, Houston Johnson, and Gregg Truelove were among the several drivers all charging to the front. The race came down to two drivers, however, as Elliott was fending off Glendenning. On the final lap, Glendenning raced by Elliott, getting his first feature win of the year. Cordray finished 3rd, Colton Leal 4th, and Houston Johnson 5th.
The points chase for track champion in the Sport Compacts has come down to teammates John Willard, and David Miller III. Willard brought a, ‘new’ race car to the track for the night. Willard retired his, Underdog car earlier this year, as he ran to 55 wins in that racing machine. Willard has been racing his, Batmoblie a majority of the year, amassing eleven wins. The question would be if Willard’s new car would preform well. As the green flag flew, that question was soon answered, as Willard ran to the lead, with Miller in close pursuit, along with Frank Reed, and Jason Teel. As the checkered flag unfurled, Willard raced by for the win, his 12th of the year. Miller finished 2nd, Reed 4th, Teel 4th, and Mark Merrell 5th.
A very competitive field of twenty Out Pace Products USRA B-Mods put on a great race for the fans. Team Isaacs, including Ethan and Lucas, were looking for the win, as were, Shadren Turner, Chase Galvan, Daniel Harris, and many other drivers. One of those drivers was Jake Richards. In the early stages of the race, Richards led, with Ethan and Lucas Isaacs battling for 2nd just behind Richards. Turner and Galvan were doing the same. Richards managed to keep the huge pack of race cars behind him, racing to his first feature win of the year At I-35 Speedway. Ethan Isaacs finished 2nd, Lucas Isaacs 3rd, Shadren Turner 4th, Chase Galvan 5th, and Daniel Harris 6th.
Driver Jason Cummins had double duty, competing in the USRA Modifieds, as well as the American Racer Tires USRA Stock Cars. His first time at I-35 Speedway would prove to be a successful one. During the first lap, several cars were collected in an incident racing down the backstretch. Among those was pole sitter, Travis Neeley, who suffered a flat tire. Neeley ran to the hot lane, as his team made quick repairs, but the tire cost him several positions, having to restart from the back of the twenty car field. As the race progressed, Keith Simmons, who started inside row eight, was suddenly in the top three, battling lap after lap with Jeff Dixon. The pair continued the race for third side-by-side. Cummins stayed up front in the top spot, garnering his first feature victory of the year At I-35 Speedway. Shields finished second. Simmons and Dixon were next to each other at the finish line, with mere inches separating the pair. Race officials deemed Simmons the third place finisher, with Dixon 4th, and Travis Neeley, in an awesome display of driving talent, racing from the rear of the field, finishing 5th.
In the final feature of the evening, the USRA Modifieds lined up with twenty one racing machines hungry for victory lane. Josh Angst started on row one, inside, with Dennis Elliott to his right. The fight was quick on between Angst and Elliott. Running next to each other, lap after lap, fans rose to their feet. Suddenly, with just a few laps completed, Elliott’s car slowed heading into turn three, coasting slowly onto the apron of turn four, where he pulled to the infield, ending his night with a mechanical issue. Angst pulled away a bit from the field. Soon, though, he would find a new challenger for the front position. Tyler Hibner, running the high side cushion, was searching for momentum and speed. Lap after lap, Hibner began closing the distance between he and Angst. Suddenly, as if shot out of a cannon, Hibner raced by Angst out of turn two for the lead. Angst was not ready to let it go, and the two raced next to each other for several laps. Hibner secured the lead out of turn four with just a few laps remaining, as he kept Angst behind him. The win was Tyler’s first feature victory of the season at I-35 Speedway. Tyler’s dad, Lee Hibner started outside row five, and was mid-pack at the halfway point of the race. Lee hit the afterburners in the second half of the race, passing several very fast cars including Ed Noll, Chad Lyle, and Houston Johnson.
Angst held on for 2nd, Paden Phillips 3rd, Lee Hibner 4th, and Chad Lyle 5th. Houston Johnson was 6th, with Ed Noll finishing 7th.
Next Saturday racing returns again to I-35 Speedway, as the track will host Walker Dozing and Excavating Night At The Races, Featuring The USRA Modifieds, Out Pace Products USRA B-Mods, American Racer Tires USRA Stock Cars, As Well As The E-Mods, MIdwest Limited Late Models, Pure Stocks, And Sport Compacts.
I-35 Speedway Is Your Home For Dirt Track Racing At It’s Best!