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Allen Weisser was happy with his win in the Perkins Seed House UMP Modified Feature Saturday night at Spoon River Speedway, but he might have been happier with second place. The young star figured to finish second as he watched his dad Butch Weisser pull away to a big lead late in the 20-lap main event, and he would have been cool with that.
“I’d really have rather seen him win it, his car was so good, and I would have been happy with second” said Allen in the Husqvarna Victory Lane after he inherited the lead with only one lap to go when Butch Weisser’s car suddenly slowed on the back stretch of the 3/8 mile high banked oval and then disappeared over the top of turn 3 to avoid causing a pileup behind him, as mechanical failure in the rear of the machine cost the veteran a victory that was almost certainly his.
Butch Weisser’s machine was a powerhouse on the bottom groove all night long, pulling away at each and every restart following several early caution flags. But that ended on lap 19, allowing Allen Weisser and the rest of a flying field of Mods go by.
With the win, the younger Weisser stayed in the hunt for a high finish in the 2014 UMP Modified National Points race. Weisser entered the weekend 8th in the country, and with all drivers in the Top 15 now reaching the maximum total of 30 races to count in the points race, the goal for the drivers now is to continue adding wins and high finishes to replace lesser finishes in the point standings. The win earned Weisser five more points than a second place finish, so it was indeed a mixed bag of emotions for the team.
Mason City’s Brian Lynn again lived up to his “Flyin’ Brian” moniker, flying around the top side for a second place finish in the main, followed by Kewanee’s Ray Bollinger. Both of them are also in position for a nice season-ending UMP Payout, Lynn entered the weekend 15th in National Points, Bollinger 21st. Metamora’s Tommy Duncan continued a string of solid runs at Spoon River, finishing fourth just ahead of Canton’s Bobby Allen as the two dueled back and forth for a bulk of the race.
Modified heat races were won by Butch Weisser, Allen Weisser, and Bollinger. Bollinger set fast time in qualifying with 15.24 second lap, Derrick Carlson was second quick at 15.33 with his car sporting a sign announcing he had just found out he was going to be a father for the first time.
In the Monical’s Pro Late Model Division, the night belonged to Kolby Vandenbergh, who rolled away from the field in the feature after drawing pole position, and handily took home the main event. Vandenbergh, one of more than half the Pro Late Model field to remove their roof for “Topless Night”, the annual event that gives fans a chance to get a better view of the drivers while they work.
Vandenbergh’s car flawlessly flew around the speedway as he topped the field that included no less than eight of the Top 20 in UMP National Pro Late Model point standings. Vandenbergh started the night 12th in National points, but with 3 races “in hand”, and should move up in the standings in coming weeks. Nick Bauman – currently 5th in National points - set fast time in qualifying with a blistering 14.82 second lap and then finished 2nd in the Main, followed by Mount Vernon’s Aaron Heck (3rd in National points), Jose Parga and Brian Lynn. Heat races in the Division were won by Vandenbergh and Heck.
Mark Anderson returned to the Husqvarna Victory Lane for the first time in over a month by winning an exciting feature in the Farmington Locker Pro Modified Division. Anderson secured the lead on lap 3 with a daring move on the outside as he, Todd Bates (middle groove) and Josh Smith (inside) went three wide all the way down the backstretch, and all the way through turns 3 and 4, never once touching each other in a thrilling driving display that had the fans on their feet. Anderson got a run off 4 to grab the lead, then held off Bates and Smith the rest of the way, briefly surrendering the lead to Bates mid race on the front stretch, but getting back up on the wheel to regain control of the race.
“I was just too easy on it over in 3 and 4 on that lap,” said Anderson when asked about that brief loss of lead, “I have to keep driving it hard and not let up.” He said of the 3-wide pass for the lead, “I knew I had to get out front, because if Todd got out there he was going to be tough to pass with both of us running up high.”
Bates stayed on his recent roll, which includes four feature wins since June 1 and might have had more if not for three rainouts in July, finished second, followed by Smith, who later reported still having some issues with fuel pressure. Kevin Morrow was scored fourth and Matt Dobey earned his second straight top 5. Smith and Bates won the heat races earlier in the night.
In the Fulton FS UMP Hornet Division, Steve Jones made a slick final lap pass to beat Derrick DeFord to the finish line. The two evenly matched cars battled throughout the 10-lapper, and were side by side heading down the back stretch on the final lap, DeFord down low and Jones flanking his right side. DeFord drove it deep into 3, Jones let him by, then gathered up his orange #10J for a crossover move to the bottom. It worked, as he drew alongside in turn four and then won the drag race to the finish line.
DeFord was followed across by Dion Smith, Dallas Strauch, and Dave Lauritson. In the heat races, Jones and Smith were victorious.
Fans then settled in for a fireworks show from Promoter Brad Denney that had been on delay due to rain for two weeks, and the show did not disappoint, a grand finish to a solid night of racing at The Spoon.
Spoon River Speedway will run a two-night show each of the next two weeks, with Friday and Saturday night shows in all divisions. The featured promotion is the “2nd Annual Poker Chip Lottery”, a chance for drivers in all divisions to pad their payout. Details available at www.spoonriverspeedway.com.