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Covert Takes Checkers at Port Royal Speedway March 25, 2017

Covert Takes Checkers at Port Royal Speedway

PORT ROYAL, Pa. – Polesitter Jason Covert took the lead at the start of the super late model main trailed by fourth starter Dylan Yoder on the first lap after Yoder made a two-car pass to get the spot.

Covert held sway with Yoder trying time after time to get into a position that could net him control but it took a restart on the 13th lap to get him the point.

He used the restart to bolt around Covert and take control before getting away with the lead.

However his mount began puffing smoke of some sort as he held the lead and that smoke turned terminal with nine laps to go when it forced him to roll to a stop on the track, wiping out a 2.119 second lead and handing over the point to third starter Kenny Moreland.

Moreland had wrestled second from Gary Stuhler on the 23rd lap with Covert having fallen back to fourth.

Covert got around Stuhler for second as he began to rebound with eight laps to go but as the race wore on to the finish it seemed that Covert was just too far away to make a serious bid for the win.

With two laps to go it still looked that way but just after taking the white flag Covert found enough muscle to pull alongside Moreland as the pair hit the first corner however Moreland had enough momentum to roll back into weak control in the second corner.

But Covert wasn’t done yet and he used the last two corners to race to Moreland’s inside again and the pair exited the fourth corner in a furious race to the finish with Covert edging ahead to the line, taking the win by an amazing .182 seconds.

Moreleand was second followed by Stuhler, Mike Lupfer and Gregg Satterlee.

Sixth through 10th went to Coleby Frye, Rick Singleton, Nick Dickson, Jeff Rine and Trent Brenneman.

Heats for the 32 late models went to Covert, Stuhler, Moreland in a last to first performance, and Yoder. Tim Wilson scored the consolation race.

For more news visit www.portroyalspeedway.com

King Conquers Mod Tour March 25, 2017

King Conquers Mod Tour

(Mercer, PA March 25, 2017): Rex King, Jr. dominated the 35 lap Chiller Thriller for the BRP Modified Tour at Mercer Raceway Park. It was the second year in a row that he claimed the first win at the Park.

Also taking his second victory in the opening event was Joel Watson in the UEMS Modifieds. Mike Pegher, Jr. and Max Blair fought to the finish in the Crate Late Model race, bringing back fond memories of their younger days when they were arch rivals at the Park. Rusty Martz was back in command in the Open Stock Cars.

For King, Jr. everything came together. “We had a good starting spot, the first half of the field took right off. I’ve raced here enough over the years, that I knew what I had to do.” He explained that he had to be cautious working past the lapped cars. “I was trying to keep it clean in traffic. This is a tight place, you never know what can happen.” In conclusion, he gave props to his crew, led by his brother, Russell, who was competing this night in the Crate Late Model division. “I haven’t touched the cars all winter. I’ve been too busy making babies and working, and trying to grow the business,” he said with a laugh.

Tyler Willard and Brad Rapp held the front row starting positions, with Rex King, Jr. and Randy Chrysler behind them. At the drop of the green, the leaders were side by side as they entered turn one, Slowly, Rapp began to edge ahead of Willard as they raced down the back stretch. His lead was short lived, however, as a caution in turn three for a multi-car crash stopped the action. Some heavy hitters were involved, including multi-time series champion, Rex King, Sr., former track champion, Lonnie Riggs, Mat Williamson, Mike Bowman, and defending series champion, Erick Rudolph. Only Bowman was eliminated from further competition.

On the restart, Rapp pulled away from the pack, but King Jr. was on the move into the second spot.

On lap three, King dove low into the third turn, and he powered into the lead. Cooter held control the rest of the way, despite two interruptions that wiped out his comfortable margin.

With King deftly negotiating lapped traffic, the battle was on for the second position. Rapp held it until lap 10, when Randy Chrysler came off the inside of turn four to take the position away. Rapp continued to dog the popular New Yorker the rest of teh way, but he could not regain the spot.

Behind them, J.R. McGinley and Garrett Krummert were getting after one another for the fourth spot.

Meanwhile, Rex King, Sr. and Erick Rudolph were working their way to the front, coming back from that early shunt in turn three. In the waning laps of the race, Rudolph slipped ahead of both Krummert and McGinley to snare the fourth spot.

At the checkers, it was King Jr. by two seconds over Chrysler. Rapp, Rudolph, and McGinley rounded out the top five. McGinley was the highest finishing Mercer Raceway Park regular. Krummert, King Sr., Rick Regalski, Lonnie Riggs, and Tyler Willard completed the top ten.

The heat race winners were Tom Glenn, Rudolph, and Riggs. There was no B Main, as all 27 cars were allowed to take the green.

For additional news visit www.mercerracewaypark.com

Sanders Sizzles In Sooner Showdown Finale March 11, 2017

Sanders Sizzles In Sooner Showdown Finale

Rodney Sanders reeled in his first win of the season with a dominating wire-to-wire effort on the final day of the 5th Annual Production Jars Sooner Showdown Saturday at the Southern Oklahoma Speedway.

The 2012 and 2013 USMTS national champion had not led one of the previous 545 laps of feature racing this season, but he made up for it on a cold and wet day in Ardmore, Okla., by leading all 50 laps of the main event Saturday to earn a $4,000 check and his 76th career USMTS triumph.

Although the 27-year-old from Happy, Texas, led comfortably for most of the 50 laps around John and Nikki Webb’s 3/8-mile dirt oval, things got tense with about 15 laps remaining when thick lapped traffic allowed Dereck Ramirez to close in on the rear bumper of the leader.

In fact, Ramirez nosed ahead at one point while Sanders was working the high side to pick off back-markers, but Sanders was able to shut the door and hold the spot.

After that, Sanders found a new line to his liking and pulled away from the pack over the final ten circuits.

As Sanders took the checkered flag, a melee occurred in turn four which brought out the yellow flag and the rest of the field was scored as they finished lap 49.

Ramirez, Chris Brown, Zack VanderBeek and Jason Hughes claimed the rest of the top-five positions while Clyde Dunn Jr., Stormy Scott, Ricky Thornton Jr., R.C. Whitwell and Ryan Gustin rounded out the top ten.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Hix Photography

Bronson Collects Winter Shootout Win March 11, 2017

Bronson Collects Winter Shootout Win

Cochran, GA – Kyle Bronson of Brandon, FL became the first repeat winner of the 2017 season on the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout for the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series with a $5,000 win at Cochran Motor Speedway on Saturday night March 11th. Bronson led the final four laps after getting by Riley Hickman, who had led laps 7-55, with a pass while racing amongst lapped traffic in his Brandon Collision/All Florida Real Estate sponsored Rocket Chassis #40B. The win makes Bronson the first two-time winner in 2017 on the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout for the NeSmith Dirt Late Model Series after picking up the Chevrolet Performance World Championship win at Bubba Raceway Park early this season.

42 entries made their way to Chris and Joni Martin’s 3/8th mile facility for the $5,000 to win event. Sunoco Race Fuels Pole Qualifying would determine the line-up for the 4 Chevrolet Performance Heat Races from which the top 3 finishers would transfer to the main event. Following Heat Races 2 RockAuto.com B-Mains would take the top 6 finishers from each to set the 24-car starting field. Loudon, TN driver Matt Henderson would top Sunoco Race Fuels Time Trials in his Terror Race Cars/Crowder Small Engine sponsored entry by setting a fast time of 14.685 seconds and putting himself on the pole of Chevrolet Performance Heat Race #1 which would determine the pole sitter for the feature event. Henderson would get out to an early lead and pick up the Heat Race win. Heat Race 2 went to fellow Tennessee driver Riley Hickman in the Hickman Manufacturing CVR. The third Heat Race win was claimed by Reddick, FL’s Devin Dixon in the Big Frog Motorsports/Dave’s Towing sponsored #58 Rocket Chassis. The fourth and final heat race win went to “Big Tree” Larry Harrod in his #27 Harrod Logging/EPA Photography sponsored machine. Two 15-lap RockAuto.com B-Mains would determine the final 12 starters for the main event. Commerce, GA’s 15- year old Payton Freeman picked up the win in B-Main 1 to lock his Freeman Plumbing/Price’s Septic sponsored mount in the big show. B-Main 2 win went to LaFayette, AL’s Chase Edge in the Edge’s Gas sponsored special.  

With the field set, the near capacity crowd at Cochran Motor Speedway roared to life when the green flag dropped for the 60-lap main event. The great fans at Cochran were treated to superb racing from the get go of the as the racing action was fierce and furious throughout the field, but especially so among the top 5 throughout the 60-lap feature. Matt Henderson would use his inside pole start position to jump out to the early lead heading into turn one, but the first of 6 caution flags would wave before the completion of lap 1 when contact between cars resulted in Jimmy Thomas #22 machine spun at the bottom of turn 4 setting up a complete restart. Once again Henderson was able to jump to a lead at the drop of the green flag, but Riley Hickman kept him in his sights. Hickman used the outside lane of the track to setup his assault on Henderson for the lead. After applying pressure and several failed attempts to clear Henderson, Hickman was able to get by him on the outside coming to complete lap 7. After secruring the lead the caution lights would once again come one as the #A19 Austin Trucking sponsored machine of John Ownbey slowed down the back straightaway.

Hickman settled into the lead for the restart and established a comfortable gap before caution would wave again on lap 10 for the spinning machine of Ryan Carter. Green flag waved again with fierce battles among the top 5 that would once again slow as one of the contenders at the front of the field, Larry Harrod, would slow with a flat tire on lap 12. Harrod would rejoin the field at the tail as the green lights lit with Hickman continuing to lead. Lap 17 would see the fifth caution when suspension issues would drop Walker Arthur’s Cecil B. Arthur Beef Farms machine from contention at the front of the field. Hickman again setup a lead as some of the most intense racing for position was taking place behind him amongst a contingent of Sunshine State drivers Whitener, Bronson, and Mark Whitener. The sixth and final caution would wave on lap 33 for Payton Freeman after his Freeman Plumbing machine slid to a stop off the top of turn 3.

The caution would stack the field up for what would be the final “dixie double file” restart. With Hickman out front he would once again take command of the lead with the fierce action continuing behind him. Slide jobs, lane swapping, and door-to-door action had the fans on the edge of their seat as laps began to wind down. Friday night’s winner and 18th place starter Mike Pegher Jr. looked as though he was going to join the party, but damage to the nose of his machine hindered his car’s handling dropping him from contention. The race among the top 5 got even better as lapped traffic was racing for position ahead of leader Hickman allowing the others to reel him in as laps wound down. Kyle Bronson and Whitener had used every possible line on the speedway to remain in the runner up position, but it was Bronson who was able to put his machine in position to pounce as he cleared Hickman on lap 55. From there it was Hickman who found himself among the battle for not only the lead but a top 5 finish. The race to catch Bronson would prove to be too much as they were able to keep him in their windows but not able to catch the driver who has now picked up the two largest paying events of the 2017 RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Season.

Thornton Throttles To Win In Sooner Showdown Opener March 9, 2017

Thornton Throttles To Win In Sooner Showdown Opener

The USMTS rolled into the Southern Oklahoma Speedway Thursday for the opening night of the 5th Annual Sooner Showdown presented by Production Jars, and Ricky Thornton Jr. walked out with his third win of the season.

The 26-year-old from Chandler, Ariz., garnered the Sybesma Pole Award and then led all 30 laps of the main event to earn the $2,000 top prize, but the win didn’t come as easy as his last one where he won by nearly a half-lap at the Greenville Speedway in Mississippi.

Five cautions dotted the first ten laps of the race which kept everybody in the 26-car field in contention for the first one-third of the race.

Thornton was able to stave off an early threat from Thomas Tillison Jr. as the battle behind him was intense from start to finish with Rodney Sanders, Ryan Gustin, Johnny Scott and Joe Duvall all trading blows in and around the top five.

While Thornton remained mostly committed to the lower and middle lanes of the semi-banked 3/8-mile clay oval, those behind him were continuously searching high and low for a faster way to catch the ‘Cactus Kid.’

Sanders pressured Thornton for the last half of the race, but even a sixth and final yellow flag waving with two laps to go could not give him the boost he needed to get his No. 20 past Thornton’s No. 20.

“Things have been really good lately,” Thornton said with a smile in victory lane. “I tried the top early because I really didn’t know where to go and Sanders just kind of went by me so luckily that yellow came out and gave us the lead back.”

The final yellow flag was good for Gustin too as he slid past Sanders to garner the runner-up finish, while Sanders Johnny Scott and Chris Brown rounded out the top five.

Points leader Cade Dillard came out of a Real Racing Wheels “B” Main to finish sixth, Jason Hughes was seventh, Stormy Scott passed nine cars to get eighth and Joe Duvall nabbed the ninth spot with his teammate, R.C. Whitwell, tucked in behind for tenth.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Hix Photography

Grabouski Gets Eighth Spring Nationals Win March 9, 2017

Grabouski Gets Eighth Spring Nationals Win

BEATRICE, Neb. (March 9) – The eighth time was every bit as good as the first Thursday night for Jordan Grabouski.

Grabouski won the opening night IMCA Modified feature at his hometown Beatrice Speedway’s Spring Nationals for a record eighth time, earning $2,500.

Kyle Brown, 13th starting Hunter Marriott, Jacob Murray and hard charger Dylan Smith rounded out the top five. Smith, a Spring Nationals winner in 2013, had started 18th.

Grabouski started inside the second row, passing Brown and Anthony Roth on his way to the front early on. He wasn’t challenged as the 30-lapper wound down.

“We had a lot of work to do before tonight. We’ve got a brand new GRT and being able to win tonight made all the late nights in the shop worth it,” said Grabouski, the defending and two-time IMCA national champion and already a 2017 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot candidate.

“I used to go to Spring Nationals every year when I was growing up and as a kid can remember drivers coming from all over to race here,” he added. “It’s kind of crazy that I could win this eight times. It hasn’t sunk in yet.”

Grabouski’s career-first Spring Nationals victory came in 2008.

For more news visit www.imca.com