Contact with a lapped car brought an early end to Brian Brown's night and Danny Lasoski took full advantage as the MOWA 410 Sprint Cars made a Sunday night visit to 34 Raceway near Burlington.
The twenty-seven car field had been whittled down to twenty through qualifying events with Lasoski earning the pole position by winning the Dash. The defending MOWA champion, and the winner the night before in Pevely, Missouri, Jerrod Hull started next to Lasoski on the front row for the 30-lap finale, but it was third-starting Brian Brown who would charge around the top groove to lead the opening lap.
Brown and Lasoski waged an interesting battle early on as they separated themselves from the rest of the field running opposite grooves on both ends of the 3/8-mile oval. The leader Brown would run the cushion through three and four and then dive to the bottom to enter turn one and stay low through turn two. Lasoski would do just the opposite running the top in one and two and his familiar bottom groove in three and four, and he was able to stay within five car-lengths of the leader as they entered lapped traffic.
That traffic was heavy and with the leaders switching grooves on each set of turns it was inevitable that somebody was going to get in the way, and soon. On lap nine as Brown came down the front stretch with Lasoski in hot pursuit, he drove around the outside of Jeremy Standridge and then aimed for his low entry into run one. But Standridge was still there and might have even been looking to head to the cushion in turn one and in the crossover Brown's left rear wheel hopped over the right front of Standridge. The crowd gasped as Brown's car rose up into the air although he was somehow able to keep it on all fours. Standridge was not as fortunate though as his #10S turned sideways and took a couple of barrel rolls before ending up near the top of turn one.
Under red flag conditions Standridge emerged from his car unhurt while Brown sat in turn two with a flat left rear tire. According to MOWA rules though he would not be allowed to return to the track after pitting to change the tire, so his night was finished.
Only thirteen cars remained for the restart and Lasoski drove away from Hull. With the traffic level now reduced the veteran did not have to tap into his extensive skills at working the lappers and he cruised the remaining distance to win his second career MOWA feature here at 34 Raceway. Hull increased his early season point lead with a runner-up finish while last week's winner at Jacksonville, A. J. Bruns finished third. Jim Moughan Jr. was fourth and Ryan Bunton was the big mover in the top five coming from row six to take fifth.
MOWA @ 34 Notes......The hot, dry, windy conditions sucked the moisture out of the surface, but Jeff Laue and his crew did everything that they could to produce a wide and racy track by taking the time to do some re-work both during the intermission and before the Sprint Car feature......Justin Springer's night ended during qualifying when he made hard contact with the front stretch wall on his second lap.....Jordan Goldesberry behind the wheel of the Plath Motorsports #14P had an interesting evening. In the first heat race he was challenging Danny Lasoski for third before spinning and having to restart at the rear. He was able to race his way back up to the fifth and final transfer spot though putting him into the Dash where he retired to the pits after the first few laps. His feature race ended too soon as well when he and heat race winner Brett Tripplet tangled in turn two on the second lap.....Ian Madsen made his MOWA debut tonight and was the fourth fastest qualifier. But while racing one spot out of a transfer in the first heat, he pushed it a little too hard off turn four and slammed the wall tearing the right rear wheel off of his #55. The crew was able to make repairs and Madsen returned to run the B-Main where he held off 15-year-old Paul Nieheiser for the fifth and final transfer position.....Matt Harms made a final turn pass for fifth in the second heat sending local favorite Ryan Jamison to the B-Main.....Former Knoxville Nationals Rookie-of-the-Year Geoff Dodge experienced radiator problems so he waited until after the parade laps to push off for the feature and ran just a lap before collecting his start pay.....The MOWA cars and stars return to action on Friday June 15th in Lincoln, Illinois, and they will be back at 34 Raceway on Saturday September 22nd.
Three divisions ran in support of the sprint cars with the Mod Lites pulling in from all over to build a 24-car field. Greg Rossell would lead early before fifth starting Mike Morrill swept past on lap three. Joel Huggins had started next to Morrill on that third row and following a mid-race caution he found his speed driving under Morrill for the lead with four laps remaining and he then held off one more challenge from him to score the win. Morrill was right behind in second, with Rossell next in third while Randy Bryant came home fourth.
Luke McLaughlin started in the second row, but was the leader on lap one of the 15-lap Hobby Stock headliner. Josh Tripp had started next to Luke and found the low groove to his liking making a pass for the lead on lap eight. The caution waved a lap later though when the two cars battling for the fourth position, Dane Fenton and Jake Wenig, got hooked together exiting turn four and they stopped on the front stretch. The delay to separate the two cars was not good for Tripp as on the restart McLaughlin got back around him and then eased away over the final five laps for the win. John Oliver Jr. passed Tripp late for second as the former leader fought off some rear suspension issues to salvage third. Matt Gavin and Vic Hastings completed the top five.
The Four Cylinders were wild and woolly tonight with plenty of three-wide action and a little rough driving as well. Daytona Fenton paced the first lap before Casey Mahaffey and Brian Mahaffey became the lead duo. Brian took over the lead on lap eight and was under heavy pressure from Nick Wilkerson before the caution waved for Fenton who had been spun out on the back stretch with just two laps to go..The restart was a wild one with drivers running all over the racetrack and Brian Mahaffey stayed ahead of the scramble to pick up the win. Billy Stanford muscled his way up to second at the checkers with Wilkerson taking third. John Whalen and Michael Grossman completed the top five.
Arriving a bit later than normal I only had a chance to say a quick "hi" to Kenny Dixon, Rich Adams and Jason Goble and as always the 34 Raceway crew headed up by Jeff and Amy Laue did a fine job of presenting a race program. I look forward to retuning to this fine facility again soon!
It is Memorial Day Monday night and it looks like this morning rain should be out of here in plenty of time for racing action tonight in Boone, Mason City and Bloomfield. Keep our fallen heroes in your heart as you enjoy the day and here's hoping that you are able to catch some racing action this evening.