By I-35 Track Announcer, Mark Merrell
After days of rain, and a washout for the regular Saturday night program, I-35 Speedway track owner, Mike Johnson decided to move to Sunday. The fans and drivers turned out in a big way, witnessing another night of thrilling racing action on the 3/8 mile high banked track.
Matt Dorssom has been strong since the racing season began in the E-Mods, capturing the first three races of the year. Shaunie Lanning has been consistent as well, finishing second three times, and a win. Dorssom started outside row one, and quickly raced to the lead at the drop of the green flag, running by a hard charging John Ross. Lanning began inside row 4, had her work cut out for her. Justin Asher, Jeff Goepferich, Leroy Morrison, and Jeremy Curless were very fast as well. Lanning threaded her way through the pack with hard fought battles between the drivers. Dorssom managed to keep everyone behind him, capturing his 4th win of the year, with Lanning 2nd, John Ross 3rd, Jeremy Curless 4th, and Jeff Goepferich 5th.
The Midwest Outlaw Vintage Racers were up next. Ron Lefholtz, no stranger to victory lane after two wins last year, started last on the field. Pole sitter Jack Simmons ran straight to the lead at the start of the race. Andy Wiles, who won the last MOVR event at I-35 Speedway was right there with Simmons. Lefholtz buzzed through the racing machines, and put on a great challenge for the lead. Lefholtz managed to get by Simmons for the win, the first of the year for Lefholtz.
Ron Hill, affectionately known as the, ‘Monkey Man,’ was looking for another win in the Pure Stocks. Hill won the first night out, and again on April 20th. Hill won his heat race, and looked to be the car to beat, although several new competitors had other ideas, including Wayne Brooke. Hill started from inside row one, with Blayne Younts to his right. Hill drove to an early lead, with Logan Headley, Brooke, Kory Rigsby, William Kenney, Albert Curtis, And Riley Fuller in close pursuit. Hill stayed up front, getting his third win of the year, with Brooke 2nd, Fuller 3rd, Curtis 4th, and Younts rounding out the top five.
The Midwest Limited Late Models put on a great show. Mike Taylor, Jr started on the pole, with Jon Melloway to his right. Tommy Cordray was inside row two next to Gregg Truelove. Cordray began the night with four feature wins, with Truelove and Melloway a win each.
Mike Taylor was very fast, running to the front, with Melloway, Truelove, and Cordray in a tight battle for the lead. Truelove showed a lot of speed, but his racing machine was showing smoke, which became progressively worse, eventually ending Truelove’s night. After some contact between the leaders, it seemed to be anyone’s race. Cordray fought his way to the lead, capturing his 5th win of the year, with Taylor 2nd, and Chad Fuller 3rd. Michael King and Melloway rounded out the top five finishers.
The last time the POWRi Midwest Lightning Sprint Cars visited I-35 Speedway, a last lap pass determined the winner, as Kyle Lewis went to the high side, getting by racing legend Bobby Layne for the win. Lewis started inside row two next to Jeff Bard. In front of them were Tyler Johnson on the pole, and Layne. As the green flag flew, Lewis raced to the inside of the pack, and took the lead heading into turn one. Lewis never looked back, after an early challenge by Layne, who had his hands full holding off Bowers. Lewis made it two wins in a row, as the POWRi Midwest Lightning Sprints are scheduled for another visit next Saturday.
Last time out, David Miller III brought his Sport Compact to McCarthy Auto Group Winner’s Circle. The week prior, Richard McCaulley was the victor, with John Willard taking two wins. McCaulley started inside row one, and was in the lead by the end of the first lap. Everyone was close behind McCaulley, including Joesph Mick, Willard, Miller, James Lemke, Franklin Reed, and Elijah Holt. Willard seemed to come out of nowhere, and was soon racing with Miller for second. After getting by Miller, Willard set his sights on the leader, McCaulley. Willard managed to get by McCaulley, scoring his 3rd win this year.
The Out-Pace USRA B-Mods lined up, and rolled out onto the 3/8 mile high banked track. Chase Galvin has amassed three wins in a row coming into the race. Galvin started inside row one, with Kerry Davis next to him. The pair raced lap after lap, side-by-side. While running down the backstretch, the pair got together, ending the night for Davis. Galvin was sent to the rear of the field, ironically, the position Tyler Cadwallader began his night. Randy Ainsworth and Dustin Thulin took the front, and battled back and forth for the lead. Cadwallader had been making his way toward the front, as was Galvin. Cadwallader managed to get by Ainsworth, inheriting the lead, and Galvin did the same, racing into second. As the checkered flag flew, Cadwallader held on for the win, with Galvin 2nd, and Ainsworth taking 3rd, Dan Herman 4th, and Todd Luke in 5th.
It’s never easy as a driver stepping aside to have someone else race your car, and conversely, jumping into another driver’s racing machine can be a daunting task. Nevertheless, Austin O’Neal stepped aside after being banged up a bit in an incident at another track the week prior, allowing Austin Johnson to take the controls of his KC Colors American Racer USRA Stock Car. Johnson won his heat race, and started inside row one, with last year’s I-35 Track Champion Jeff Dixon to this outside. Once the green flag flew, the pair put the fans on their feet, as they raced side-by-side continually, with no one giving an inch. Johnson was able to make the pass on Dixon, and drove to McCarthy Auto Group victory lane in his first time behind the wheel of O’Neal’s #1 Stock Car. Johnson stated after the win that O’Neal, and his father helped with the setup, which was already to Johnson’s liking, resulting in the win.
The USRA A-Mods took the track for the final feature of the night. Zack Sanders ran to his first win of the season the last time the race cars lined up. Lee Hibner was in front of him on the pole for the race this time. Houston Johnson was on the front row as well, with Richard Layne next to Sanders in row two. Hibner was on a mission, and grabbed the lead. Sanders was not far behind, and soon the pair raced side-by-side, putting the fans on their feet. After exchanging the lead several times by a few feet at the finish line, Sanders got by Hibner for the lead, and his second victory in a row.
Next Saturday, I-35 Speedway will host, Seeburg Muffler Night At The Races, featuring the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series A-Mods, Out-Pace B-Mods, American Racer Stock Cars, as well as the Pure Stocks, E-Mods, Sport Compacts, MIdwest Limited Late Models, with a special visit by the Show Me Vintage Racers, and POWRi Midwest Lightning Sprints