Richards and Stensland nab first wins, VanGenderen, McBirnie, Bennett and Moore repeat.Joyce Eisele
July 22, 2017
There was hot racing action to go along with the hot July weather at the Boone Speedway on Saturday night. Two drivers earned their first trip to the winner’s circle and four others made return visits.
Mike Kennedy stated fifth and had the lead at lap one of the 15 lap Mod Lite feature. Kennedy, who was driving the ride usually piloted by Randy Bryan, kept that lead until lap eight. That’s when point leader Bryan Zehm was able to make the pass for the lead, only to have Kennedy snatch it back at lap twelve. Meanwhile, Travis Stensland had been lurking close at hand in third place. Lap fourteen turned into the game changer, when Stensland was able to pass both Zehm and Kennedy for the lead. He was able to hold them off the final lap and score the win. Zehm finished in second, Kennedy held third place, Josh May was fourth and Joe Glick was fifth. This was Stensland first win at Boone this season.
Jake McBirnie scored his second feature win of the regular season in the 18 lap IMCA Northern SportMods. McBirnie started tenth, caught then leader Tom Egenberger at lap eight, and began to apply pressure. Egenberger continued to hold back McBrinie through two yellow flag restarts, and was looking to be on his way to his first win. However, McBirnie had other ideas. He swung to the outside of Egenberger and was able to make the pass with a lap to go. He then held that top spot to the flying checkers and the win. Egenberger held the runner up spot over Cory Pestotnik in third place. Australian Frank Packer, who is here for his annual visit while it is winter back home, took fourth place, and Curtis Veber completed the top five.
The IMCA Modifieds ran their 20 lap feature next. Kent Croskey took the point position as the race went green and was still leading at lap two when the race was red flagged. Eric Elliott took a violent barrel roll on the front stretch which immediately halted the racing action. A few anxious moments later, Elliott emerged from his mangled car, unhurt. When the action picked back up, Croskey still maintained the lead with rookie to the class, Cory Sauerman, pestering him. By lap four, Sauerman had taken command, and had visions of getting his first feature win at the speedway. Meanwhile, tenth place starter, Mike VanGenderen, had moved into the runner up position and now he was challenging for the lead. After a few laps running neck and neck, VanGenderen was able to get around Sauerman and take the top spot, holding it to the finish line and the win. Sauerman was second, Joel Bushore was third, Russ Dickerson fourth and Tyler Prochaska, fifth. This was VanGenderen’s second win of the season.
A first time winner came out of the IMCA Stock Car class. Rod Richards led the 18 lap feature event from flag to flag to get the win. Wayne Gifford made a last ditch attempt to slip by at the finish line, but fell short and had to be content with second place. Point leader Jay Schmidt finished in third place, veteran Kevin Opheim was fourth, and Donavon Smith was fifth. The race went caution free.
The IMCA RaceSaver Sprint 20 lap main event saw Michael Moore making a return visit to victory lane. Moore started ninth, and took command at lap eight. He then had to fend off the advances of Tyler Thompson, holding him at bay the rest of the race, for the win. Following second place Thompson, was Joel Thorpe in third, early leader Nathan Mills was fourth, and pole sitter Devin Wignall rounded out the top five. This marked Moore’s third win this year at Boone.
Finishing off the night’s racing action, was 12 laps of IMCA Hobby Stock competition. Shane Butler led the first handful of laps, until Solomon Bennett came calling…taking over the top spot. Bennett never relinquished that coveted spot the remaining way to the finish, and claimed the victory. Aaron Rudolph was the runner up, Tyson Overton was third, followed by fourth place Dustin Graham and Dustin Lynch in fifth. Bennett now has two wins in 2017.
Racing continues next Saturday night, July 29. It will be the final point night for the IMCA RaceSaver Sprints, while all other classes continue their point’s battle. Hot laps are 6:30, racing at 7:30.