BOONE – Thirty of the world’s best dirt modified racers lined up three-wide at Boone Speedway for the 39th Speedway Motors IMCA Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s edition of the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational – and after 30 laps, plus a few extra at the end, it was “Downtown” Kyle Brown celebrating on the championship stage.
Nick Roberts of Des Moines, John Campos of Keizer, OR, and Dakota Sproul of Hays, KS, led the three-wide field to the green flag. Roberts took advantage of his status as polesitter to set the pace, and jumped out the an early lead of about two carlengths at the flagstand to complete Lap 1.
But by the exit of Turn 2, Sproul was using the outside line and the extra momentum he carried through it to take a commanding lead. Brown also took to the high side early, moving up to fourth on the backstretch of Lap 2. By the flagstand, he was up to third, and still moving forward.
At the end of Lap 10, Sproul had a roughly 1.5-second advantage over Roberts, who was fighting hard to hold off Brown for second. Dylan Thornton of Santa Maria, CA, and Steven Bowers Jr., of Topeka, KS, rounded out the top five at that point. But at the flagstand completing Lap 15, Sproul suddenly lost a power steering belt and dropped to the infield, making the battle between Roberts and Brown a race for the lead.
At Lap 22, the leaders reached the back markers, making lapped traffic a new obstacle for Roberts and Brown and a hard-charging Thornton continued to challenge behind him. On the backstretch of Lap 25, Thornton showed his nose under the door panel of Brown as their battle for second heated up – as Roberts tried to contend with heavy traffic in front of him.
The first caution came out at Lap 28 when the radiator exploded on the hot rod of William Gould of Calera, OK, laying down a thick blanket of water on the topside of turns 1 and 2 right in front of the leaders. The top five at the restart was Roberts, Brown, Thornton, 16-starting Kollin Hibdon of Pahrump, NV, and Campos. Only 17 cars remained in the race at that point.
At the drop of the green on the restart, Roberts got a clean jump and immediately went back to the high line with Brown and Thornton battling for second behind him. At the exit of Turn 2, the leader had a five-carlength advantage over Thornton, who was followed by Hibdon, then Brown. But a quick yellow for Jared Baird of Norman, OK – who went too deep and slid off the top of Turn 2 – reset the field.
On the second restart, Brown elected to take the high side, and got a much better result. Roberts still pulled away at the drop of the green, but Brown quickly distanced himself from Thornton and Hibdon. Brown diamonded-off turns 3 and 4 to make a three-wide battle for the lead to the flagstand. Roberts won the 500-foot drag race to maintain his lead, but slide up into the fluff through turns 1 and 2 while Brown held onto the low line and shot out to the point.
Brown held on from that point to the checkers. Roberts was right on his back bumper at the finish, followed closely by Thornton. Hibdon and Clay Money of Penokee, KS, rounded out the top five.
The stock car and modified divisions also completed qualifying for the first eight rows of tonight’s “big dance” championship races with a pair of qualifying A mains each.
Zachary Madrid of Phoenix, AZ, got by outside polesitter Dan Drury of Eldora early and ran way from the rest of the field – then survived a pair of late cautions – to claim the first stock car A. The second qualifier went to Derek Green of Granada, MN, who started 15th and edged out Jeremy Christians of Horicon, WI, by .005 of a second at the checkers.
Riley Simmons of Susanville, CA, won the first modified A qualifier from the pole. Ethan Dotson of Bakersfield, CA, won the second modified qualifier from the seventh starting position. Click HERE for full results from MyRacePass.com.
(Photos by Nick Woolley/15 Below Photo [click HERE for more])
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