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Allen Weisser drove his UMP Modified from 11th to 1st in the final segment of the annual “Quick Draw” event at Spoon River Speedway Saturday night to claim his second straight title in the unique event.
The annual event featuring the unique segmented format provided fans with plenty of passing and on track excitement in all divisions, and those races, along with the first visit from the Illinois Lighting Sprints and make up features in several classes from a June rainout provided everyone a full, entertaining night of racing on the smooth, fast, multi-groove high-banked speedway.
A twist to the event this year actually gave the drivers who won in either of the first two segments of racing a chance to “spin the wheel” to determine how many cars would be inverted for the following segment.
In the Zane’s Auto Service UMP Modified class, a great field of 22 cars signed in, and all 22 were put in the lineup for the first 15-lap segment. Unlike last year, when Weisser drove to the front in each of the three segments, there were three different winners this year. Brandon Roberts won the first 15-lapper, Ray Bollinger took the second. Bollinger spun “invert the field” for segment three, sending himself and the other top finishers to the rear of the third and final 15-lapper. That segment was the A-dog Show, as Weisser weaved through the field to take the lead on lap 10, meaning he averaged 1 pass per lap to get there.
Dave Weitholder parlayed three solid finishes to earn second place overall, with Roberts winding up third when the points were totaled. Bobby Allen and Brian Lynn racked up passing points and good finishes to bring home fourth and fifth overall, followed by Bollinger.
The Perkins Seed House Pro Late Model Division also featured three different segment winners: Evan Fink dominated the first 15-lapper, and Guy and Matt Taylor put on a whale of a show in the middle segment, with Guy eventually topping Matt. With the jockeying behind the winners, no less than four drivers…the three mentioned above, along with Jose Parga…entered the final segment tied. Parga dominated that final segment to take home the Quick Draw crown.
Guy Taylor ended the night second, followed by Matt Taylor, Fink, Nick Bauman and Brad Denney making up the Top 6.
The Farmington Locker Pro Mods had a difficult time getting through their first caution-filled 10-lap segment, but Kevin Morrow worked his way to the front and eventually topped the field to take an early lead in the overall race for the title. Mark Anderson drove to victory in segment two, using an unusual-for-him bottom groove last-lap pass to earn the victory. Four drivers had a chance to win the overall Quick Draw crown heading into the last segment, but they all settled for racing for third as Jeremy Morrow and Steve Passmore took off from the front of the field and never looked back, with Jeremy Morrow picking up his first win of any kind this year at the track after a perfect 10-lap sprint. Passmore finished second in the segment , and Anderson drove to third.
That third was enough to win the overall Division Quick Draw title for Anderson. Kevin Morrow finished second overall on the night, but might have been the happiest guy around after son Jeremy put his ride in the Perkins Seed House Victory Lane. Morrow and son, and their crew, smiled for the cameras of Security Photo before Kevin Morrow hustled over to Anderson’s car and congratulated the Canton veteran on his victory with a big smile and handshake.
Behind Anderson and the elder Morrow in the final totals came Kyle Girard, who finished strong in each of the three segments, Josh Allen, Floyd Jordan, Jr. and Passmore.
Derrick DeFord continued his season-long domination of the Fulton FS Hornet Division, winning the second and third segments on the way to the overall Quick Draw title in the class. Dallas Strauch picked up the win in Segment 1, and finished right on DeFord’s heels not only in Segment 3, but in the overall standings as well, his best finish of the year. Steve Jones wound up third in the overall standings, followed by Dave Lauritson, Brandon Gibbs and Charles Treadway.
Andy Baugh won the Lightning Sprint feature, besting a field of 12 in a clean, quick 20 lap event that had only one caution flag for a spin. The Lightning Sprinters did a nice job on their first visit the the big 3/8 mile oval, Gedd Ross and Austin Archdale finished behind Baugh in the feature, after both had earlier won their heats.
The night started with three makeup features from the June 20th rain-shortened event. DeFord in Hornets, and Parga in Pro Late Models picked up wins, as did Tommy Duncan of Metamora in the Modified make up event. Also, Josh Allen was summoned to Victory Lane later in the evening to get his official photos and trophy from June 20th, as he won the Bill Anderson Memorial for Pro Modifieds before the storm of that evening caused the power to go out at the track, ending that night’s racing.
The track takes next Saturday night, July 25th, off for the night, before returning to action August 1st with a regular racing card that also features the final Riding Lawn Mower races of the year, and August 1st will also be FFA Night and Fulton County Farm Bureau Night at the track. Go to the “schedule” tab at www.spoonriverspeedway.com to learn more about upcoming events.