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Thrash Rallies To Challenge Series Win March 31, 2018

Thrash Rallies To Challenge Series Win

By DAVID MILLER 

 

Special to The Dispatch 

 

Chad Thrash could have driven his 1C Super Late Model car even faster Saturday. 

 

But he didn't need to, even as Spencer Hughes battled him from the top-side for the final 10 laps of the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series race at Magnolia Motor Speedway. 

 

Thrash started eighth and first passed Hughes for the lead on lap 18, holding him off through lap-traffic for his first State Series win of the year. Thrash, who finished second in the State Series race last week at Whynot, has three podium finishes through four series races this year. 

 

"The car was phenomenal after we made a couple of changes after the heat race," Thrash said. "I was actually driving it slower than it needed to go - it could have gone a lot faster." 

 

Thrash stayed on the bottom of the track and quickly moved through the field, passing national racers Billy Moyer, Jr. and Tyler Erb - who has won two of four State Series races this year - before picking off Hughes. 

 

"Right there about lap 10, I felt [the bottom] latching up, so I knew that would be the place for me," Thrash said. "Luckily, [other drivers] didn't do it. I just stayed down there and was able to pick them off." 

 

Hughes finished second after starting on the pole. He has another runner-up and an eighth-place finish to his credit in his first season with Henderson Motorsports. Hughes said that, though he ran the top for much of the race, it wasn't as consistent of a line as he needed it to be. 

 

"It kept going away a little bit," Hughes said. "I never really ran the cushion ... I was just up there scraping. There toward the end of the race, I was better than Chad through (turns) 3 and 4, but he could get me pretty good on Turn 2. 

 

"It's nothing to complain about - it's our third race as a team, so we're definitely getting a lot better." 

 

Hughes looked to have made the move of the race on lap 30 when lap traffic bogged down the race leaders. Hughes shot through the middle in turns 1 and 2, splitting Thrash and lap-car Shelby Sheedy to take the lead. 

 

Hughes said he didn't second-guess the move at the moment, in part because he knew he could, "make it clean." 

 

Thrash said he knew Hughes would pull it off by "the way he drove in there so hard." 

 

"It was streaking rubber on the bottom, so I wasn't going to move," Thrash said. "[Sheedy] finally slipped up and let me get up beside him, and I knew, once I cleared him, if Spencer didn't come to the bottom, it was pretty much over with." 

 

Rick Rickman finished third and briefly held down second place. Rickman, who started seventh, said he feels good about his race program but hopes to improve qualifying numbers to turn a recent string of top 5s into wins.  

 

"I'm having to race my way up too much," said Rickman, who won the first Super Late Model race of the season at Magnolia. "We can be a lot better." 

 

Moyer finished fourth, while Neil Baggett took fifth. 

 

For additional news please visit www.cdispatch.com

Andy Bryant Takes The Checkers at I-35 March 31, 2018

Andy Bryant Takes The Checkers at I-35

Tompkins Industry night at the races marked the start of the 2018 season for I-35 Speedway, two weeks later than scheduled, but it did not disappoint. 

 
The USRA B-Modifieds would beat and bang all race long, a testament to the close racing. From the drop of the green flag, the B-Modified drivers showed they might have had a little cabin fever as the term three wide became a common occurrence, especially for seventh place starter Andy Bryant. Bryant used the low lane of the racetrack and quickly worked his way to the front of the field. Once Bryant found the lead, he began to set his pace. Behind him Daniel Harris and Cole Campbell battled side-by-side for second for several laps. Eventually both would have their issues and drop from contention. That opened up others to make their move into the top five. Ed Noll jumped on the opportunity and found the cushion, moving inside the top five all the way to second. After a late caution, Noll had one opportunity to challenge Bryant, but Bryant proved too strong. Bryant would take the checkered with Noll second. Early leader Kameron Grindstaff finished his strong run in third. Randy Ainsworth ran top five all race finishing fourth, while Jeremy Lile came from deep in the field to finish fifth.
 
For more news visit www.i-35speedway.net
Parker Jr. Wins at The Bullring at LVMS March 24, 2018

Parker Jr. Wins at The Bullring at LVMS

Jimmy Parker Jr. and Tyler Fabozzi split the 35-lap NASCAR Super Late Models races that bookended the evening's racing action. Parker Jr. edged Dennis Rock by 1.167 seconds in the first race to secure the 11th Bullring win of his career.

"It wasn't me, it was the machine," said Parker Jr., whose last Bullring win had come in 2010. "This was a three-year project (we started) three years ago, and we said we were going to put together the nicest race car we've ever got to play with. I just can't thank my guys enough. They make me look good.

"I feel like a 15-year-old kid all over again."

NASCAR Super Late Models 35-lap feature No. 1

  1. Jimmy Parker Jr.; 2. Dennis Rock (-1.167 seconds); 3. Scott Gafforini (-1.407); 4. Dezel West (-1.624); 5. David Anderson (-4.073); 6. Kayli Barker (-4.291); 7. Johnny Spilotro (-5.897); 8. Stan Mullis (-6.307); 9. Charlie Pike (-9.176); 10. Toni Breidinger (-1 lap); 11. Ray Hoffman (-2 laps); 12. Tyler Fabozzi (-11 laps)
 
For additional news visit www.lvms.com/bullring
Sheppard Notches Third Lucas Oil Win Of 2018 March 24, 2018

Sheppard Notches Third Lucas Oil Win Of 2018

PHENIX CITY, AL (March 24, 2018) – Brandon Sheppard piloted the Mark Richards Racing, Rocket Chassis House Car to his third Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season on Saturday night. Sheppard held off a hard-charging Scott Bloomquist en route to Victory Lane in the 21st Annual Bama Bash at East Alabama Motor Speedway.

Sheppard bolted to the lead at the start of the 50-lap main event before Don O’Neal took over the point on lap two. O’Neal maintained the lead until Sheppard forged ahead again on lap nine. Bloomquist moved ahead of O’Neal for second on lap 12.

Several restarts made the racing action wild and exciting as two, three, and four-wide battles ensued throughout the field. In the midst of the excitement, O’Neal managed to hold off Bloomquist until ten laps to go when Bloomquist retook the runner-up position. Bloomquist was gaining on Sheppard late in the race before a caution thwarted his efforts. Bloomquist’s New Direction Ag, Sweet-Bloomquist Race Car finished second for the second consecutive night as the three-time LOLMDS National Champion continues to gain valuable points.

“There is a lot of great competition on the Lucas Oil Series,” said the 25-year-old Sheppard who is a former series rookie-of-the-year. “I have only followed it once before, and that was two years ago. I was driving harder than I probably should have been. The track developed a black streak and that helped as I was leading. Overall, I can’t thank Mark Richards, Steve Baker and everybody at Rocket Chassis enough for giving me this opportunity. It’s a dream come true for me.”

“At the start of the race I knew the track was real slippery and the tire wear was no big deal. Once I felt it latch up a little bit in three and four I knew to back down out of it. Luckily it worked out for us. I want to thank my crew. They work hard all of time on the car, so I can stay at home with my family. I really appreciate their help it means a lot.”

Bloomquist was hoping for a longer stretch of green-flag racing near the end of the race. “Sometimes it goes fine and sometimes not. It kind of rubbered in three and four just enough where you couldn’t move much. I don’t think Don [O’Neal] picked up on that soon enough, but he [O’Neal] had some serious restarts no doubt. We’ve got our program going good right now. We are just going to keep on trucking and see what happens when we head to Batesville in two weeks.”

O’Neal had his best finish of the season with a third in the Peak Antifreeze and Coolant, Club 29 entry for Bowyer Dirt Motorsports. “That was a good race. Those restarts were something else. All-in-all it was good night for us. We struggled during Speedweeks and last night. But I think after tonight we know we can run up there with these guys. I wish we would have won this race. On the restarts at times, the bottom would be better and other times the top would be.”

Sheppard’s ninth-career LOLMDS victory came aboard the Andy Durham-powered Rocket Chassis is sponsored by: Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunter’s Honey, Ace Metal Works, Sallack Well Service, Keyser, Integra, and Sunoco Race Fuels.

Completing the top ten were Bobby Pierce, Hudson O’Neal, Darrell Lanigan, Josh Richards, and Earl Pearson Jr.,

For additional news visit www.lucasdirt.com

Scottie McDonald Gets Sprint Car Bandits Win at 105 Speedway March 24, 2018

Scottie McDonald Gets Sprint Car Bandits Win at 105 Speedway

Cleveland, TX: Thank you to the 24 Sprint Car Bandits teams and a great crowd that supported the first ever SCB series event at 105 

Speedway in Cleveland Texas last night! In case you missed last night's event, the series returns to 105 Speedway on Saturday July 7th and 
Saturday August 25th.

Here are the quick feature results and a picture of the winning car in the feature that was driven by Scottie McDonald ($2000), with Washington state 
native Seth Bergman ($1000) finishing in second. The feature paid down to $300 to start.

 
For additional news visit wwww.sprintcarbandits.com
Lucas Schott Wears King of America VIII Crown March 17, 2018

Lucas Schott Wears King of America VIII Crown

Lucas Schott delivered the most dominating performance to date at the King of America VIII Modified Nationals presented by Summit Racing Equipment on Saturday night, leading all 75 laps of the main event against a star-studded field at the Humboldt Speedway.

“This car was just flawless all weekend,” the 21-year-old from of Chatfield, Minn., said in victory lane. “I can’t thank Mike (Wedelstadt, car owner) and Riley (Hatfield, crew chief) enough for giving me this opportunity and all the work they’ve done to get us here.”

Schott snagged the lead from polesitter Jake O’Neil when the green flag waved, and except for the start of the race and several yellow-flag restarts that dotted the feature, that was as close as anybody would get to ‘Cool Hand Luke’ on a chilly night in Humboldt, Kan.

Schott remained just outside of O’Neil’s grasp for the first nine laps when the first of eleven cautions waved for fourth-starting Josh Angst’s mechanical breakdown just as the leader had reached the back of the field.

The yellow flag appeared four more times over the next four laps, but on each ensuing restart Schott was able to pull away to a sizeable advantage over the pack.

Meanwhile, R.C. Whitwell and Johnny Scott were locked in a heated battle for second place with O’Neil, Jason Krohn and Ricky Thornton Jr. close behind in a three-way tussle for fourth.

The race stayed clean and green for the next 25 laps until defending King of America winner Ryan Gustin spun directly in front of the leader. Schott swerved to avoid ‘The Reaper’ and barely kept his car off of the concrete wall in turn one.

Back under green, Thornton disposed of Scott for the second spot and Thursday night’s USMTS Hunt for the Casey’s Cup feature winner, Kyle Strickler, found himself inside the top ten after starting 23rd on the 28-car grid.

Schott continued to overpower his pursuers and picked off back-markers without incident, but Thornton was able to stay within four to six car-lengths of Schott with each passing lap.

The fifth caution of the main event came with just 16 laps remaining when Bumper Jones lost a rear wheel and was collected by Kent Arment and Non-Qualifiers Race winner Bobby Malchus. It was the first of six cautions that plagued the final stages of the contest.

Despite multiple opportunities to challenge Schott’s supremacy over the final dozen laps, Thornton was unable to keep up with Schott past the first set of turns. Even a two-lap green-white-checkered finish could not deter Schott as the 2016 USRA Modified National Champion sailed to a $10,000 payday.

For Schott, it was his fifth career USMTS triumph and biggest since pocketing a little more than $11,000 less than two years ago after winning the inaugural Grant Junghans Memorial.

Thornton, who started eighth, had to settle for a $5,000 runner-up paycheck while Johnny Scott fended off his twin brother and 2012 King of America titlist, Stormy Scott, for third-place money.

Rodney Sanders, who captured this event in 2014, rounded out the top five while 2016 winner Zack VanderBeek was sixth. Whitwell held on for seventh, Dereck Ramirez was eighth, Cody Skytland finished ninth and Austin Siebert completed the top ten.

Eleventh-starting Travis Saurer finished in the eleventh position as the last car running at the finish line.

Eighty-four different dirt modified drivers from 18 different states competed over the three days and nights at King of America VII.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Todd Boyd