The owners of UMP Modified Team 242 and their driver, Canton's Richie Biswell, made the decision before the 2014 racing season to race for more fun and less stress, and to run less races but be better prepared for those they do. If their performance on the 2014 Spoon River Speedway Opening Night is any indication, they made the right moves, and will be a force to be reckoned with all year long.
Biswell dominated the 30-lap, $1,000-to-win Easter Egg 30 UMP Modified race to kick off the season, leading from green to checker and leaving no doubt as to which car was the track's fastest Saturday night.
"It's a long time coming", said the always fast, but often victim of bad luck Biswell in Victory Lane. "It felt good , the track was good, and I want to thank the guys on the crew." He also gave a nod to his late uncle Randy Test, who was instrumental in Biswell's career.
While Biswell pulled away with each restart, veterans Brian Lynn and Kelly Kovski waged a marvelous battle for second, Kovski running the bottom line and Lynn on his familiar high line. Zac Oedewaldt drove a solid race for fourth, finishing just ahead of his dad Zane, who rounded out the top five. Fairview's Dale Munson brought the Welker Racing M1 home in sixth, followed by Mike Brooks and Derrick Carlson. Steve Theivagt and Kyle Steel rounded out the top 10, Steel was an early front runner until a tire began to go flat and his handling went away.
In the UMP Pro Late Model Class, defending UMP National Champion Aaron Heck of Mt. Vernon picked up the victory over a smaller than usual but quality field of cars. Heck expressed his enjoyment of the high banks of Spoon River Speedway in Victory Lane.
"Man, I just gotta thank the Denneys for this race track," Heck said. "It felt like it was about 20 miles an hour faster than last year, and it was fast last year! The track is so smooth and you can run anywhere on it, it's just a great place to come. I thank my dad and my brother and my mom for helping me with this car, it was awesome."
Teenage stars Kolby Vandenbergh of Ashland and Logan Moody of Catlin took home second and third, with Hartsburg's Myles Moos fourth and Brad Denney fifth.
Kevin Morrow of Pekin held off Mark Anderson of Canton to win the UMP Pro Modified Division season opener, followed by Josh Allen, Josh Smith and Mark Ross. As it has in the past few seasons, that division looks to be as competitive as ever, and 2014 promises to be a thriller every week in Pro Mods.
Glasford's Kenny Butterfield made a familiar trip to victory lane by winning the UMP Hornet feature, ahead of Kole Jackson, Derick DeFord, Steve Jones, and Dallas Strauch.This Saturday is Autism Awareness Night at Spoon River Speedway, details on the Speedway's Facebook page, and promoter Brad Denney announced Tuesday he is increasing the purse in the Pro Late Model