After a week filled with cloudy skies and rain showers, and with the threat of more rain on Saturday, no one knew what kind of show, if any, would happen at Spoon River Speedway Saturday night.
“I was a little worried about the track being rough,” said Promoter and Track Prep ace Brad Denney during the intermission of the program, “I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time on it this week as I usually do…but it looks like it turned out okay.” That was an understatement, to be sure, on a night when two, three and even four-wide racing happened throughout the night on a smooth, multi-groove racing surface.
The night started with some fast qualifying laps in both the Monical’s Pizza Pro Late Model and Perkins Seed House Modified Divisions, highlighted by Allen Weisser’s 14.67 lap, the fastest Modified lap of the season, and a lap that barely edged out Kelly Kovski’s 14.68. Those laps were a precursor to the Main Event in the Division later in the night, as Weisser and Kovski battled at the front of the 20-car field for the first 13 laps, passing each other back and forth with well-executed slide jobs and crossover moves, until Kovski slipped up and over the high banks of Turn 3 while running second, ultimately ending his night and pursuit of Weisser.
Brian Lynn, on the top line, and Bobby Allen, deftly working the bottom line, moved up to be the next two to challenge Weisser, but could not get around the young charger they call “A-Dog”. With the win, Weisser added to his UMP National Points total. Going into the weekend, he sat 11th in the country in National points, right behind Kenny Wallace. (Weisser added another win Sunday night at LaSalle Speedway, and should be in the Top 10 when the new point standings come out later this week.)
Lynn held off Allen for second, with last Saturday’s winner Matt Goulden charging hard at the end to finish 4th. Goulden overcame a poor heat finish to win the B-main and earn his spot in the feature, where he drove to that 4th place finish from a 17th starting position. JD Beal rounded out the top 5, and Metamora’s Tommy Duncan finished 6th for the second consecutive week.
The win for Weisser, coupled with his third place finish the previous week, put him in the lead in the Poker Chip standings with 18. He can earn 38 of a possible 40 chips by winning the next two races, and then after the features on August 23rd, the poker chip lottery cash will be drawn for and given away. Goulden is next with 17 chips, followed by Kewanee’s Ray Bollinger and Duncan, each with 11 through two weeks.
Heat race wins in the Division went to Kovski, Allen Weisser, Lynn, and Allen. A field of 27 Modifieds raced Saturday night.
In the Pro Late Model Division, Aaron Heck was the class of the field, setting quick time at 14.68, winning heat 2 in dominant fashion (Jose Parga won the first heat in the division), and then leaving no doubt in the feature after securing the lead early in the 20 lap event. However, since Heck was not in attendance August 2nd, he earned no poker chips for the win. The 10 chips on the night went to second place finisher Nick Bauman, who leads the division with 19 chips through two events.
Brian Lynn finished third in the Quick Racing #4Q, giving him two Top 3’s in the two divisions he raced in Saturday night. Lynn was followed in the Pro Late feature by Braden Johnson and Tommy Sheppard, Jr.
Kevin Morrow returned to Husqvarna Victory Lane for the first time in over a month in the Farmington Locker Pro Modified Division feature, topping Josh Smith, Todd Bates, Josh Allen, and Kevin Schrodt. For Smith it was his second straight runner up finish, good enough to put him in a tie for the Poker Chip lead with Bates (1st last week to go with his 3rd Saturday), each with 18 chips. Allen’s back-to-back 4th place finishes puts him next in line in chips, with 14, tied with Morrow. Smith and Morrow won the heat races earlier in the night.
Derick DeFord is the only driver to have a perfect 20 poker chips after two events, as he won his second straight feature in the Fulton FS Hornet Division. DeFord held off Oscar Tipsword and Steve Jones for the win, the latter two swapping second and third place several times during an entertaining feature. Dallas Strauch finished fourth, ahead of Dave Lauritson. Tipsword won the Division’s heat race.
Spoon 6-Shooter Feature Winner goes to Marty Williams.
Two racing events scheduled for this weekend. Friday Night Spoon will play host to the AMA National Flat Track Series. Then on Saturday Night it will be Kids Backpack Night (Sponsored by Fulton County Farm Bureau) and also Meet the Drivers Night. The first 50 Kids are guaranteed a backpack from the Farm Bureau. Driver’s will also be donating and handing out backpacks.