With full bleachers and a pit full of the best drivers in the country I-35 Speedway would kick off the 2017 racing season in style. We would honor our Military and have Motor Racing Outreach Member Robbie Skipper deliver the invocation with Jamie King singing our National Anthem setting the stage for a great night.
E-Modified would take to the smooth fast racetrack first and see rookie Chris Mercer #13 charge out front and lead the first few circuits. Lap 4 would see the familiar #3D of Matt Dorssom slip by Mercer taking over the top spot. Mercer would not give up easily and move back past Dorssom on the high side as the two would battle side by side. Dorssom would eventually pull ahead taking heat race winner Randy Smith Jr #75x with him. Dorssom would not look back and not be challenged as he would pick up his first feature win of 2017. Smith would place a solid second with the ever present contender Matthew Lance #12x ending the night third. Mercer, in his first ever race, would hold off the challenge of other heat race winner Jim Masoner Jr to place fourth forcing Masoner to place fifth.
Charging to the track next were the always entertaining and fast growing Pure Stocks. 2016 Rookie of the Year Cody King #29 would use the high side to his advantage and take the early lead to never relinquish on his way to Victory Lane. King would be challenged every lap by heat race winner Jacob Grotewiel #11J who would finish the night second. Other heat race winner 99A Kerry Ayers would slip back in the pack then rebound back to the front for a solid third place run holding Conner Masoner #47x to fourth. CJ Turner in his #91 would round out the nights top five.
Sport Compact would buzz around the speedway and see Allen Anders #15A win both heat race and feature on the opening night of action. Shawn Kraft #12 would place second with Mackenzie Edson #3m third and Matt Carr #16m fourth.
Grand Nationals would see many different leaders as the front did not seem the place to be. Heat race winner Travis Walker #71 would take the early lead only go through the spin cycle in turn number two and hand the lead over to Donnie Brown #26. Brown would lead the next few laps until he would spin coming off turn four allowing Danan Knott #98 to grab the lead. Knott’s lead would be short lived as he would slide over the birm in turn three allowing Walker to regain the front and appear to be the car to beat. As the laps would wind down, Billie Hoover #97 would use the high side to pass Walker and pick up the feature win. Walker would place second with Brown third, Knott fourth and Chad Fuller #0R fifth.
With skill and perfection the USRA B-Modifieds would put on a show of epic proportions for all fans in attendance. Heat race winner Ed Noll #15 would set the pace taking the lead until looping it in turn number four to bring out the first yellow. Cody Brill #96 would charge to the front on the restart and lead every lap from there on out to see the checker first and claim the win. It was not easy for Brill as heat race winner Steve Clancy #12c would challenge but have to settle for second as this night belonged to the #96 of Brill. Randy Ainsworth #57 was the big mover and shaker of the race using the high line to perfection to finish and impressive third place on the night. Eddie Schwope Jr #91 would battle side by side and wheel to wheel with Mike Tanner #20T as both were in win contention all feature. Schwope would come home fourth with heat race winner Tanner rounding out the top five.
USRA Stock Car was low in number but very high in quality as they would take to the track. Heat race winner Jay Barnes #19 would take the early lead until Hall of Famer Dean Wray #77 would work his way to the lead. Wray would not be challenged and pick up victory number one of the 2017 season in the USRA Stock Car Division. Sam Scott #93 would battle Jon Boller Jr #20x and Barnes until Barnes would develop problems and be forced to retire from the field. Boller and Scott would continue to battle for the second spot until the 20x would also encounter mechanical issues and exit the track leaving Scott to place second. Third would belong to the always fast and consistent #33 of Mark Ronnebaum with Ron Hill #72 fourth. Jon Boller would round out the nights top five.
With a locked and loaded field the USRA Modifieds would take to the track and not disappoint with great side by side racing. Heat race winner Jesse Sobbing #99 would charge out front with the #11 of Darren Shaw close behind as the feature got underway. Sobbing would prove to have the setup for this night as he would lead every lap and do a super burnout in McCarthy Auto Group Winners Circle! Darren Shaw would end the night with a strong second place showing with 2016 Track Champion Dennis Elliott #29 working his way to third. Fourth place would see Wisconsin native and heat race winner Paul Niznik #42 work his way through the pack to place fourth with Austin Johnson #98 impressing with a fifth place finish.
I-35 Speedway would like to thank all the drivers and fans for a great night of racing action and family fun! I-35 Speedway would also like to welcome Jacob Blair to the Announcers Booth and thank him for the great job.
See everyone next week at I-35 Speedway where there is always more “Dirt Trackin at its Best”