BOONE, Iowa (Sept. – After seeing more yellows than he liked, J.D. Auringer struck gold in the Thursday Modified qualifier at the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Cenex.
Auringer worked his way to the lead from the sixth starting spot after a rash of early cautions, then kept Eric Dailey and Jerry Luloff in check following three restarts late in the 25-lapper at Boone Speedway.
“I was trying not to pay attention to the (leader) board,” said Auringer, who knew Dailey and Luloff were close behind. “I had to stay focused and that paid off for us.”
Dailey completed his run to second all the way from the 22nd starting spot. Luloff was third and inimitable defending champion Jimmy Gustin raced from 28th at the start to fourth.
Rounding out the top eight qualifiers advancing to the middle row of Saturday’s main event were Jonathan Snyder, 2009 champion Randy Havlik, early leader J.J. Wise and Don Hagan Jr.
Hagan started on the pole and got shuffled back in heavy traffic. He outran fellow Nebraskan and 26th starting Ricky Stephan for the final transfer spot.
Auringer was fast everywhere on the oval. Once past Luloff, Dailey could pull close but never mount a serious enough threat. Not afraid to try the extreme high line, Gustin was briefly in third before Luloff regained the position.
Thursday’s main event qualifiers have no shortage of main event experience on their side: Luloff will start his career eighth Saturday show since 1995, Gustin and Havlik both their sixth, Dailey his fourth, Auringer and Snyder each their third and Wise his second. Hagan is the sole first-time qualifier of the bunch.
The front eight in the outside row will be determined on Friday. Last-chance races add the final nine cars to the main event field early in the Saturday program.
Qualifying feature results – 1. J.D. Auringer, Waterloo; 2. Eric Dailey, Armstrong; 3. Jerry Luloff, Independence; 4. Jimmy Gustin, Marshalltown; 5. Jonathan Snyder, Ames; 6. Randy Havlik, Madrid; 7. J.J. Wise, Manley; 8. Don Hagan Jr., McCook, Neb.; 9. Ricky Stephan, South Sioux City, Neb.; 10. Nick Deal, Walnut; 11. Kyle Strickler, Mooresville, N.C.; 12. Dan Charles, Basehor, Kan.; 13. Todd Shute, Des Moines; 14. Dustin Kraklio, Durant; 15. Chad Porter, Madison Lake, Minn.; 16. Cale Sponsler, Grimes; 17. Randy Artz, Battle Mountain, Nev.; 18. Greg Cox, Altoona; 19. Daniel Hilsabeck, Waukee; 20. Kevin Stoa, Albert Lea, Minn.; 21. Wade Cross, Phillips, Neb.; 22. Jay Matthias, DePere, Wis.; 23. Kenny Stone, Belton, Texas; 24. Matt Meinecke, Madrid; 25. Jay Noteboom, Hinton; 26. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev.; 27. Adam Larson, Ames; 28. Jeff Streeter, Madera, Calif.; 29. Jeremy Jacobs, Luxemburg, Wis.; 30. Levi Nielsen, Mason City.
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