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Spoon River Speedway 35th season opener Saturday night had fans on the edge of their seats. With a large crowd on hand to honor the late Bud Welker and Kevin Bills along with a nice car count in all divisions to begin the 2018 race season, the racers put on some exciting racing on the high banked oval. The track was also collecting money to Strike out Cancer for Hannah. $4000 was collected from the fans, drivers and track to help out this little girl.
After heat races in all classes the Perkins Seed House Dirtcar Pro Late Models hit the track. Rudy Varacoua would start on the pole but as the green flag dropped Denny Woodworth would jump to the lead and never look back. Third place starter Brandon Eskew would try to ruin Woodworth in but would settle for second followed by Kyle McMahon, Sean Dray and Mavrick Piller. Heat wis went to Woodworth and Eskew.
Next out was the exciting Fulton Farm Service USAC/IMRA SpeeD2 Midgets. Chase McDermand would lead the field to the green. Third place starter Andy Baugh would jump out to the early lead followed by Shane Morgan and McDermand. On lap six McDermand while passing a lap car was forced high in turn one and rolled his D2 midget on its side bring out the first of two red flags on the night. After making sure the driver was ok the SRS crew rolled the midget back on all four wheels, then McDermand would fire it back up and continue restarting on the rear of the field. As the green once again flew all eyes were on McDermand as he had moved to the high side and was charging his way back to the front. McDermand would finally catch Baugh as they were coming for the white flag but the second red flag would fly as Jim Pacardi would roll his midget multiple times going into turn one. Luckly Pacardi was uninjured. The race would resume with one lap to go. Baugh would move to the high side in turns three and four to hold off McDermand to bring home the feature win. In third place was Morgan followed by Gedd Ross and Robby McQuinn. Heat race wins went to Morgan and McQuinn.
The most exciting edge of your seat race would hit the track next in the twentyfive lap feature event in honor of Bud Welker for the Zane’s Automotive Service Dirtcar Modifieds. On the pole was Derrick Carlson with Brandon Roberts to his outside. As the green flew Roberts would use the outside to jump into the lead. Third place starter Ray Bollinger and fifth place starter Mike Chasteen Jr would move into second and third right on Roberts bumper. These three would swap the lead back and forth with slidejobs, riding the burm and running the bottom. Late in the race lap traffic would come into affect as Bollinger would take advantage to bring home the victory. Roberts would settle for second followed by Chasteen, Josh Allen and Todd Bates who had there on battle throughout the race. Heat wins went to Bollinger and Chasteen.
The Farmington Locker E-Mods in honor of Kevin Bills would hit the track next in their twenty lap feature event. Pole sitter Kevin Morrow would jump out to the lead and hold it from start to finish for the feature win. Hot on his tail was fourth place starter Eric Bruce and sixth place starter Evan Fink. Bruce and Fink would swap second and third the entire race right behind Morrow with Fink finally passing Bruce to finish second. Bruce would finish third followed by fourteenth starter Dawson Cook and Kyle Girard. Heat winners went to Jake Montgomery and Mason Duncan.
The last feature of the night saw third place starter Mike Foster bring home the win in the Bartonville Express Lube Dirtcar Hornets. In the fifteen lap battle Kyle Walker and April Holt would battle it out for second with Walker finally holding of Holt for second. Ellie Vogel would finish fourth followed by Robert Deford Jr. Heat wins went to Brett Pratt and Jesse Nash.
Racing action returns to Spoon next Saturday night May 5th. Check out their FaceBook page or website for more information.