By Track Announcer Mark Merrell
The heat Races where completed. The Little Buddies Power Wheels thrilled the crowd, and a huge contingent of Kaster family members from across the country hugged, took pictures, and talked about Larry, sharing racing memories. Everyone was ready for another exciting action packed thrill ride for the features. Everyone, that is, including Mother Nature.
The E-Mods began their feature with eight time feature winner, Matt Dorssom on the pole, next to Steven Makar. Legendary driver, Buz Kaster lined up next to Jeremy Curless in row two, with Leroy Morrison, And Shaunie Lanning the occupants of row three, and a host of drivers hungry for a win just behind the front of the field.
As expected, Dorssom ran to the lead, with Makar in 2nd. Kaster and Lanning were side-by-side for 3rd. Jesse Johnson spun early in turn two, bringing out the caution flag. On the restart, Lanning raced by Makar for 2nd. Makar battled back, running the high side, with Lanning on the low groove. Dorssom kept all the action behind him, and raced to his 9th feature win of the season. Lanning finished 2nd, Makar 3rd, Kaster 4th, and Curless 5th.
The Pure Stocks always bring the fans to their feet, and this night would prove to be no exception. Ron Hill brought out a cool new paint scheme. Starting on the pole position, with 8 wins to Hill’s credit, everyone knew the race would be a very competitive one. Jr Billings began outside row 1. At the drop of the green flag, it was Billings running the high side, taking the lead out of turn two, with Hill 2nd. Keith Jennings challenged Rylee Fuller for 3rd. As the group went into turn 2, Hill went high, and had to gather up his race car, as Fuller, Jennings, and Blaine Younts, who started inside row 3, raced by Hill. By the next lap, Billings continued with the lead, as a great race for 3rd between Fuller, Jennings, and Younts was unfolding. Heading down the front stretch into turn 1, Jennings was collected in an incident, shedding some debris. Hill dove to the inside of turn 1 to avoid the crash.
The restart put the field right behind the leader, Billings. Fuller raced into 2nd, as Younts and Hill battled for third. Fuller ran to the low side on Billings, as Younts and Hill raced side-by-side. Younts was a man on a mission, racing past Hill, and was soon side-by-side with Fuller for 2nd. Albert Curtis pulled off the track in turn 3 coming to a stop, but was not out of the racing line, bringing out the caution flag. Brandon Dixon was running to challenge Hill, as the field raced into turn 1 for the restart. Suddenly, with four laps to go, Billings went to the high side banking of turn 1, coasting to a stop at the top of turn 2, while his driveshaft was residing back near the entrance of turn one, resulting in a disappointing finish for Billings, after a terrific run. On the restart, Younts raced low into turn 1 to challenge Fuller for the lead, taking the top spot by turn three. Dixon and Hill were all racing in a pack just behind Fuller and the leader, Younts. On the next lap, Dixon went high into the second turn, as Hill ran by into third. The top four cars ran each other hard into the final two laps in a four car breakaway for the win. Younts raced out of turn 4 on the final lap, and into McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle, capturing his first career feature victory.
During a heat race for the POWRi Midwest Lightning Sprint Cars, driver Alex Davis was racing out of turn 2, when his Sprint Car drifted high out of the exit of the corner. The glancing blow sent Davis’s Car tumbling airborne down the backstretch, as the wing on the top of the racing machine flew in a separate direction. The wing cushioned the first impact for Davis, and its exit dissipated the energy of the crash, but the next impact to the roll cage surrounding Davis was certainly felt. The safety crew was quickly on the scene, as the red flag flew. Davis’s car was slowly put back on all four wheels, as a hush fell over the crowd, standing on its feet, waiting for word on the driver. The report came from safety officials that Davis was indeed okay, thankfully walking away from the incident, to the applause of the fans. Remarkably, Davis made repairs to his Sprint Car, and stated at the back of the field, with the exception of his wing, who was residing inside Davis’s race hauler.
Mike Tindell started from inside row 1 for the feature, with Jerran Falke to his outside. Tyler Murrey was inside row 2, next to Tyler Miller.
As the green flag flew, dramatically, lighting appeared as if on cue out turns 3 and four. Falke ran to the lead at the exit of turn 2, as cars were two, and three wide, shooting the gaps between cars, scrambling toward the front of the pack. Murrey ran into second, with Tyler Miller and the pack running nose to tail. Out of turn 2, Miller suddenly spun, and found himself facing the wrong direction, with the field racing toward him. In a great display of driving, everyone split around Miller as the caution flag flew.
On the restart, Falke led, with Tyler Murrey, Jeff Bard, and Kyle Jennings in 4th. Just behind them, Bobby Layne, who started outside row 5 was threading his way into 5th. The top four ran side-by-side, when Murrey made the move for the lead on the high side cushion out of turn 2. Kyle Lewis made the outside move as well, moving into 3rd just behind Falke, with Jeff Bard 4th, as Layne began filling up Bard’s mirror for 5th. Suddenly, everyone was side-by-side behind the leader, Murrey, battling for every advantage they could find. Bobby Layne and Kyle Lewis found themselves fighting for second. Bard slipped a bit out of turn 2, as Falke shot by. Layne went low inside Lewis in turn 4, running to 2nd, putting Lewis to 3rd at the half way point in the feature. With 3 laps to go, Murrey continued his lead with Layne 2nd, and Lewis third. Suddenly, racing out of turn 4, Lewis spun in front of the pack, as everyone split around Lewis, bringing out the caution flag. The distance Murrey earned on the other drivers was dissolved, as the field lined up just behind him for the restart, with Lewis at the rear of the field. Murrey and Layne broke away from the group heading into turn 1, as Layne hounded Murrey for the lead. Kenny Bowers spun inside turn 4, bringing out the caution flag. As the field rounded out of turn 3, lighting flashed across the sky in the distance behind the cars as they raced out of turn 4 for the restart. Somehow, Kyle Lewis had driven his way past several drivers, slicing his way like a hot knife through butter. Coming out of turn 2, with a couple of cars side-by-side, a narrow passageway opened, as Lewis shot his way between the cars into third, in spectacular fashion, thrilling the fans.
Murrey held the distance between he and Layne, capturing Murrey’s first feature win this year at I-35 Speedway, with Layne finishing 2nd, Lewis 3rd, Falke 4th, And Bard 5th. The winds were picking up dramatically as well as the caution flag flew. Radar indicted the same, and with a spectator, yet unfortunate display of continued lighting. With impending heavy rain and continual lighting, track officials, for safety sake, ended the night’s racing program with six features remaining, to be made up in the near future, with an announcement coming soon as to a specific date and time.
Next Saturday, July 27, I-35 Speedway will host Tompkins Industries Night At The Races, And The Annual Asphalt Racers Reunion, featuring the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series Modifieds, Out Pace B-Mods, American Racer Tires Stock Cars, as well as the E-Mods, Pure Stocks, MIdwest Limited Late Models, Sport Compacts, with a special visit by the Show Me Vintage Racers