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Richards Sweeps Prairie Dirt Classic Weekend July 30, 2016

Richards Sweeps Prairie Dirt Classic Weekend

FAIRBURY, Ill. – July 30, 2016 – Josh Richards completed the “Prairie Dirt Classic” sweep Saturday night in front of a packed house, winning the 100-lap finale at Fairbury American Legion Speedway. The victory was Richards’ 11th of the season and his 69th of his career in the series.

“To win this race at Fairbury, it’s one I’ve always looked forward to,” Richards said. “It’s cool to finally get one.”

Richards, starting 11th in the feature, worked his way to the top gradually. While he was in the pursuit of the podium, race leader Steve Casebolt – who led the field into the green flag – established himself on the top cushion of the 1/4-mile oval.

In the opening laps, Casebolt extended his lead to nearly four seconds, while the trio of drivers behind him spanned three-wide among the width of the track. On lap 15, Casebolt broke into lapped traffic – using the nose of his car to wedge himself through the field. Don O’Neal capitalized on the three-way battle, side-skirting the completion into second position. O’Neal used the bottom of the track for the majority of the race.

Tim McCreadie, who was one of the players in the three-car shootout, was able to break away from the other two. He challenged O’Neal for the runner-up spot. O’Neal had nothing for McCreadie, losing the battle. All the while, Richards gained enough momentum to challenge a fading O’Neal for the third spot; Richards eventually won the battle. Back-to-back cautions not only instantly diminished Casebolt’s 3.664-second lead, but his car experienced mechanical problems prompting the second caution. It took him out of contention as he could not finish the race.

Richards used the top groove as his route to the top, though in the process his No. 1 Valvoline/ Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car suffered some minor left-rear body damage. Illinois-native Bobby Pierce followed suit, riding the cushion with Richards. The nose of Pierce’s car ended up pitching the car airborne, causing another caution to regroup the field.

On the restart, Richards secured the top of the track, and McCreadie and O’Neal soon revisited their battle below him. Shane Clanton and his No. 25 Weldbank Energy/ Coopers Meat Packers Capital car entered the battle three laps into the halfway point of the race. Again, a three-way battle was to determine who would take second position. The battle lasted nearly 10 laps, but Clanton came out on top.

Following the battle, McCreadie fell back into fourth position with Dennis Erb Jr.’s No. 28E J.R. McBride Leasing/ McBride Mack Black Diamond nipping at his heels. With 40 laps remaining, Erb overtook McCreadie for third position; O’Neal lost enough momentum battling Richards, which left the door open for Erb and Clanton to pass him from both sides of the track. Erb was next to challenge Richards following the race’s final caution with 26 laps remaining, but he came up short.

“We just had one heck of a race at the end,” Erb said. “I have a lot of respect for [Josh] and these other guys out here. We all wanted to race hard, and we all want to win. But we have to go out there and respect each other, too. It could have went either way. We’re just happy to come home with second.”

Richards relived a similar fight for first from earlier this season at “The Dream.” Erb ended up passing Richards that night, winning the event. Richards evened-up the score at Fairbury.

“I’ll tell you, [Dennis] is one of the best guys in the country with these long races,” Richards said. “He paced himself around the bottom and I saw him a couple of times. The top was good early, and when you’re leading you’re sometimes a sitting duck. This track had not one preferred groove.”

Though Richards did not build a comfort zone between Erb and Clanton for the next 30 laps, the closest the two ever got to him was 0.498 of a second. Erb and Clanton battled briefly for the second spot, but Erb was able to keep Clanton at bay. From there, the podium did not change.

“The outside was treacherous,” said Clanton, who could not overtake Erb in the final laps. “It was overall a good weekend. Hopefully we can keep running consistent top five finishes, and the wins will take care of themselves.”

Jonathan Davenport, who won the non-qualifier, opted to forfeit the $2,000 purse to be added to the 100-lap feature. Dvenport finished 28th.

For additional news visit www.woolms.com

Schott Wins at Chateau Raceway July 29, 2016

Schott Wins at Chateau Raceway

LANSING, Minn.—The tale of the tape was tires, and Lucas Schott had just a little more left than Zack VanderBeek Friday night at the Chateau Raceway.

The racing surface began to take rubber in the United States Modified Touring Series main event, and right rear tires began to feel the strain around lap 30 in the 42-lapper.

Front-runners Cade Dillard and Jesse Sobbing lost theirs on laps 31 and 35, respectively, but the biggest bang came with just two laps remaining when race-long leader Zack VanderBeek saw his hopes shredded less than a mile from the finish line.

Lucas Schott, who shadowed VanderBeek throughout the race, inherited the top spot for the final restart and held on over the final two trips around the 1/3-mile oval to score his first win of the 2016 campaign and pocket the $3,000 winner’s paycheck.

Ninth-starting Jason Hughes came home second with Brandon Davis, Steve Wetzstein and Clayton Wagamon finishing third, fourth and fifth.

Masen Big Eagle was slated to start on the pole but mechanical issues forced him to miss the parade lap and start the race from the tail of the field but the Canadian worked his way back up to sixth by the end.

Dillard rebounded in the final dozen laps to take seventh, Jason Cummins was eighth, Greg Pfeifer claimed the ninth spot and Mark Motl rounded out the top 10.

For more news visit www.usmts.com

Photo courtesy of www.usmts.com/Buck Monson

Cozze Conquers Autodrome Drummond July 26, 2016

Cozze Conquers Autodrome Drummond

DRUMMONDVILLE, Q.C. - July 26, 2016 - It had been eight years since Frank Cozze had seen victory lane with the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds. Cozze proved on Tuesday night at Autodrome Drummond that he still has what it takes as he came from his 19th starting position to take home the win over Larry Wight and Mike Mahaney.

"When you're 60, any win anywhere feels good," Cozze said in victory lane. "I want to thank my car owner, all of my sponsors, and all of my guys. My guys have been faithful to me for many years. I'm glad they're here for this first one. My tire guy never misses a beat and I think that's why we've been pretty consistent this year. He's on the ball. So I want to thank all of those people who put their hard work into it. I'm glad to call them my team."

Billy Decker and Brett Hearn brought the 30-car field to the green. Once the green flag dropped, Hearn overtook Decker as Hearn pulled away to an early lead.

A restart on lap 21 saw Wight charging off of the bottom of turn two as he drove past Decker for the second spot.

Nineteenth starter Cozze was into the fourth position by lap 32 as he began to pressure third place runner, Stewart Friesen.

Hearn was running the outside lane as Wight patiently worked the bottom groove and reeled Hearn in to capture the lead on lap 35.

Wight caught the back of the field on lap 39 but was soon halted as the fifth caution of the night was brought out on lap 40.

On the restart, Friesen dove into turn two on lap 44 underneath Hearn and captured second spot.

At halfway Wight led Friesen, Hearn, Cozze, Decker, Tim Fuller, Peter Britten, Mahaney, Jimmy Phelps and Mario Clair as the top 10.

Cozze claimed second spot from Friesen on lap 53 then slowly dug at the bottom to gain ground on Wight as he pulled away from Friesen. Cozze threw it into turn three as hard as he could and was able to capture the lead coming out of turn four to then pull away from Wight on lap 64.

Wight was not giving up without a fight as tension built for that top spot. Cozze and Wight battled wheel-to-wheel for several laps.

Cozze again caught the back of the field on lap 73 as he had six car lengths over Wight. Using the top and bottom grooves to his advantage, Cozze sliced his way through lapped traffic.

The eighth restart of the night was on lap 80 as the crowd saw Cozze bring the field back to the green.

Cozze drove his No. 35 Adirondack Chevrolet Big-Block Modified to score his first Super DIRTcar Series victory since 2008.

Wight and Mahaney battled for second spot in lapped traffic but it was Wight who held on by inches for the second spot.

"We had a really good car," Wight said. "We fired early and were able to get the lead and not waste any time. I think Frank had a better car. He was able to get around us on the outside. Once he found the bottom it was hard to run him back down. This Bicknell car we just switched to this Friday hopefully can help us keep our momentum going."

Third-place finisher Mike Mahaney, who started in 11th, was ecstatic with his finish.

"We didn't have a very good redraw. To come up from 11th to third in a Series race feels good to me. This is our local big-block that we run every week. It's our first top three for me and it feels good." Mahaney said. "I want to thank everybody who helps me out. It's just me and my dad tonight, feels special to have that bond. To come up here just the two of us to Canada, it's special to me. I can't thank him enough."

Cozze's best finish at Autodrome Drummond came in 1995 when he finished in second place to Steve Payne.

"The last time I was here I was in a sprint car some years back but in the modified it's probably been since 2006 or 2007," Cozze said. "I think the last time we were here I got third, and was four pounds light at the scale.

"This track is about as challenging as you're going to get. I ran my butt off those 100 laps as best as I could. Tomorrow at Granby is a little bit different deal but I have a group of good guys and a good car. So hopefully we will be okay."

For more news visit www.superdirtcarseries.com

Photo courtesy of www.superdirtcarseries.com/Rick Young Photo

Weekly Winners 7/19/16 - 7/25/16 July 25, 2016

Weekly Winners 7/19/16 - 7/25/16

Congratulations to:

Tim Sears Jr. – Fulton Speedway

Daniel Smith - Hamilton County Speedway

Frank Cozze – Grandview Speedway

Rodney Sanders – I-80 Speedway

Eric Stanton - Marshalltown Speedway

Jason Trammell – Tazewell Speedway

Cory Probst - Arlington Raceway

Burl Woods – Tri State Speedway

Nick Meyer - Kossuth County Speedway

Darrel DeFrance – Hamilton County Speedway

Jordan Grabouski - Beatrice Speedway & Thunder Hill Speedway (pictured)

Jeff Babcock – Wayne County Speedway

Mike Laughard – Dog Hollow Speedway

Matt Billings – Brockville Ontario Speedway

Danny Johnson – Five Mile Point Speedway

Wesley Veal - Superbowl Speedway

David Smith - Buena Vista Raceway

Dave Zagaiski – Berlin Raceway

Coleby Frye – Selinsgrove Speedway

Matt Sheppard – Eldora Speedway

Cody Nielsen - Clay County Fair Speedway & Buena Vista Raceway

Tim Fuller – Eldora Speedway

Todd Boulware - Park Jefferson Speedway

Brandon Beckendorf - Jackson Motorplex & Farimont Raceway

Justin Weaver – Hagerstown Speedway

Stephane LaFrance – Cornwall Motor Speedway

Sanders In Seventh Heaven at Silver Dollar Nationals July 23, 2016

Sanders In Seventh Heaven at Silver Dollar Nationals

GREENWOOD, Neb.—As he had been in the last six main events at I-80 Speedway’s Silver Dollar Nationals, Rodney Sanders was the hottest driver on the track Saturday night.

But after two nights of racing in 100-degree weather, the 26-year-old native of Happy, Texas, couldn’t afford to be too hot.

Nevertheless, he had to contend with his teammate and girlfriend’s father, Jason Krohn, from start to finish.

"There wasn't much choice," Sanders said after winning the feature—his seventh straight in the sixth running of the crown jewel event for the United States Modified Touring Series. "I thought I might burn up my engine if I ran high on the track, but he was low and I had to find something to get in front and stay in front."

Sanders, the 2013 and 2014 USMTS national champion, led all but one of the 42 laps, but despite his pole start was never able to rest with Krohn breathing down his neck.

After winning the ten-lap dash earlier in the evening, Krohn drew the number two chip which put him on the outside of Sanders on the front row.

Sanders got the jump to take control at the start of the race, but Krohn showed him the nose of his machine dozens of times.

Krohn, who captured his first and only USMTS national championship crown in 2007 to end Kelly Shryock’s streak of eight consecutive titles, made his move with nine laps to go and slid up in front of Sanders to lead lap 33.

A restart on the next lap saw Sanders zip around the outside of Krohn to retake the lead.

Krohn stayed glued to Sanders’ rear bumper but never found a way to regain the top spot as ‘The Rocket’ sped to his seventh USMTS victory of the season and 71st of his career.

“This is my favorite track, and I love to race here," said Sanders, who collected $5,000 for his efforts.

Krohn crossed the finish line in second in his first start in 2016 with the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental.

Cade Dillard held off Jason Hughes for the third position with Johnny Scott charging from 14th on the grid to round out the top five, followed by Terry Phillips, Matt Dotson, Zack VanderBeek, Jeremy Rasmussen and Daniel Hilsabeck.

Following the event, track co-owner Joe Kosiski announced that next year’s 7th Annual Silver Dollar Nationals will award $10,000 to the winner of the USMTS main event.

With his finish Saturday night, Hughes wrapped up his second USMTS regional title of the season.

Behind Hughes in the final MSD Central Region points, Dillard climbed into second ahead of Jesse Sobbing, who blew an engine just 13 laps into Saturday’s finale.

Dereck Ramirez, Hilsabeck, Mike Jergens, Sanders, Scott, Joe Duvall and Tanner Mullens, VanderBeek, Cody Bauman, Brock Bauman, Stormy Scott and Ryan Gustin filled out the remainder of the top 15 in final points and assured themselves a place in this year’s Hunt for the USMTS Casey’s Cup powered by S&S Fishing & Rental.

For additional news visit www.usmts.com

Tim Fuller Conquers Return Of The Big-Blocks To Eldora Speedway July 19, 2016

Tim Fuller Conquers Return Of The Big-Blocks To Eldora Speedway

ROSSBURG, Ohio – After a 10-year absence the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds returned to Eldora Speedway Tuesday night as Tim Fuller battled through the field and claimed his second series victory of the year.

For Fuller, the win was his second big-block modified victory at the historic half-mile oval in Rossburg, Ohio since 2006.

‘I’m real happy,” Fuller said. “We won the last modified race here in 2006 and then Tony Stewart buys it and I get to win it. It’s really good – it’s a very special place.”

“I knew it was going to make the start of the race way better after I drew 12th. It actually opened up the racing and it made it where there was a bottom, middle, and a top. You could float all over this place. It was really a lot of fun.”

The win did not come without a little adversity at the front of the pack as several drivers battled for that top spot.

The initial start of the feature saw Dave Blaney and Erick Rudolph on the front row. Rudolph took an early charge into the top spot but was soon passed by Larry Wight on lap two. On lap 17, Bobby Varin took the lead over from Wight.

Fuller, who charged forward, and Wight, who looked to reclaim the top spot, diced through lapped traffic all over the track. Wight moved off of the top lane and to the bottom to get through lapped traffic as Fuller blew by on the topside to gain the lead.

A short time later, Jimmy Horton, who started 24th, moved into third place and worked to hold off Wight. He and Wight however made contact which forced Wight to the pit as Horton kept rolling.

Through the closing stretch, Blaney closed the gap on Fuller and was just about to pass him to retake the lead as the sixth caution of the night flew.

Blaney tried to make a charge on the final restart on the top side but Fuller pulled away.

Blaney said Fuller was just a little faster than him all night.

“He could maneuver around a lot better,” Blaney said. “He could cross the corner and catch the cushion a lot better than I could. The track was kind of greasy and I got hung up in the wrong lane. We weren’t the greatest but we hung in there.”

Horton, who finished in third, said he felt like he had the car to win but got into trouble in ltraffic.

“I don’t know what he was thinking but he took two good race cars out and we’re bent up pretty good,” Horton said. “That’s why we finished third and didn’t win it. We had to just hang on then because it’s all bent up. The front axle is pushed back and is out a little bit. No excuse though, we run the race and finished third, I’m happy with that.”

When the checkered flag fell, Fuller scored his second win of the season and kept his reigning title as the ‘Big E’ winner.

For more news visit www.superdirtcarseries.com

Photo courtesy of www.dirttrackdigest.com/Mike Mallett