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It was a “Barn Burner,” as they say, Saturday Night at the Lucas Oil Speedway.  The Transport Graphics Factory Stocks got things started off on what would be a wild night of racing action.

Ben Solberg was able to hold off a barrage of super fast racecars to pick up his first win of the season at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks.  Kenny Carroll battled it out late with Chris Darnell to secure a second place finish.

Chris Tonoli had the retro-mobile, 64 Chevelle flying tonight and just missed a podium finish. Chip Shaddox gets the hard charger award on the night as problems in his heat race placed him in rear of the field to start the feature.  Then a flat tire later in the race shifted him to the back again. However he battled back for a top 5 finish.

Randy Gilmore finished 6th and current points leader James Flood fought his way back to 7th after loosing a late race battle with the cushion between turns two and three.   Allen Thompson, Brent Bartgis and Alan Fugate rounded out the top 10.

Official Finish July 11th
(1) Ben Solberg (2) Kenny Carroll (3) Chris Darnell (4) Chris Tonoli (5) Chip Shaddox (6) Randy Gilmore (7) James Flood (8) Allen Thompson (9) Brent Bartgis (10) Alan Fugate (11) Gary Griffin (12) Brian Thompson (13)  Danny Maherin (14) Rick Cash (15) John Darnell (16) Chad Eckhoff (17)  Burl Woods (18) Timothy Mcmurtry (19) Bradley Gideon (20) Keith Webster (21) Chris Hawkins (22) Mike Bitner

Wow!  I’m not sure I can do much better then that describing tonight’s late model finish.   Matt Menzie gets his first win of the season by .006 of a second, thank goodness for the transponder system.

Evan Hubert, off his first win of the season a few weeks ago, battled it out with Menzie after a late race caution set up a green white checkered finish. The two ran side by side after the white flag, Menzie on top and Hubert just inches off his door panel on the low side.
With the checkered flag flying out of turn four it looked like Hubert might have made the pass but Menzie’s momentum up top brought the two back together at the line.  Javan Payne joined the two in the winner’s circle with a strong 3rd place finish.

Payne dominated his heat and ran hard all night long.  The number on the side of Payne’s hot rod was 25P, but it was the small number on his hood scoop that really caught my attention in the winner’s circle, 604.  That right, Payne becomes our first Late Model “crate motor” racer to finish in the top three.

J.D. Hubert finished fourth and Daniel Jessen round out the top five on the night.  Jake Williams was 6th, Kevin Kaiser 7th, and Harlen Kennedy of Wheatland, MO takes home the hard charger award in 8th.  Kennedy made his way into the top ten from a 14th place start.  Rex Merritt was ninth and Andy Kennedy finished tenth.

Official Finish July 11, 2009
(1) Matt Menzie (2) Evan Hubert (3) Javan Payne (4) J.D. Hubert (5) Daniel Jessen (6) Jake Williams (7) Kevin Kaiser (8) Harlen Kennedy (9) Rex Merritt (10) Andy Kennedy (11) John Fellers (12) R Peterson (13) Daniel Eckhoff (14) Olen Eckhoff (15) Toby Ott (16) Tommy Cordray (17) Bob Cummings

As if we hadn’t had enough excitement already, the Pitt’s Homes “A” Mods rolled out for what promised to be another amazing feature.   Jeff Cutshaw started on the outside the row one and looked to be the car to beat early.  But with Jessie Stovall, Steve Martin, Jason Pursley, Kris Jackson, and Johnny Fennewald, just to name a few coming, he was going to have his hands full.

Just a few laps before the halfway point Cutshaw actually did have his hands full but it was from a mechanical failure, not a hard charging competitor. A broken steering shaft left sent him out of control and into the front stretch wall just out of turn four.

The impact bounced him back into traffic and started a chain reaction that collected Johnny Fennewald and pole sitter Eric Hudson.  The extremely hard crash left all three completely entangled just below the flag stand.  Eric Hudson was cut out of his crippled Mod and sent to the emergency room at CMH in Bolivar complaining of neck pain.  Fennewald also visited CMH a bit later with a possible concussion.

I checked on both drivers around 1 a.m. this morning at the hospital. Eric Hudson was sore but in good condition and just about to be released.  Fennewald, was still in radiology but was reported to be in good spirits and there more for precautionary measures then anything else.  I will give you an update on his condition as soon as I hear any news.

Meanwhile back at the races, after the lengthy red flag period for clean up, Jessie Stovall cleaned up on the track so to speak.  Stovall gets his second win of the season at the Diamond of Dirt Tracks from a 10th place start.  Gary Clark finished second and Jason Pursley makes his second consecutive visit to the winner’s circle in third.

Steve Martin and Kris Jackson rounded out the top 5 with Rusty Dukes over coming transmission problems to finish 6th.  Kelby Taylor was back this week and takes home the hard charger award with a 7th place finish from a 17th place start. Tony Fatino, Nathan Vaughn and Josh Poe complete our top ten finishers on the night.

Official Finish July 11, 2009
(1) Jesse Stovall (2) Gary Clark (3) Jason Pursley (4) Steven Martin (5) Kris Jackson (6) Russell Dukes (7) Kelby Taylor (8) Tony Fatino (9) Nathan Vaughn (10) Josh Poe (11) Eric Lampe (12) Jon Sheets (13) Donnie Fellers (14) Daulton Greven (15) Jim Cihy (16) Tracy Wolf (17) Weston Finley (18) Jeff Cutshaw (19) Johnny Fennewald (20) Eric Hudson (21) Doug Crider (22) Dean Hensler

Next week, Saturday July 18th it is second and final appearance of the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models along with O’Reilly MLRA presented by Lucas Oil Products and our very own Pitt’s Homes “A” Modifieds.  For more information log on to www.LucasOilSpeedway.com

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