BOONE (IMCA) – Kelly Shryock won his 500th career feature race earlier in the season.
He won another of what has quickly become one of IMCA’s most prestigious events Thursday night.
Shryock led the last nine times round the track, catching race-long leader Dusty Van Horn on his way to topping the inaugural B & B Racing Chassis Stock Car All-Star Invitational at Boone Speedway.
Winning the newest event of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled By Casey’s was good for $1,000, plus another $225 in lap money and a powder coated chassis valued at $6,550 courtesy of B & B Racing Chassis.
“What can you say about winning a chassis race?” Shryock asked post-race. “Paul (B & B owner Burger) has been great in his support of the Stock Car division and with this race. Hopefully we can get it put together, come back to Boone and win with it again next year.”
Chanse Hollatz ran second the last three laps. Van Horn, 23rd-starting Dallon Murty and Jesse Sobbing rounded out the top five.
The field of 30 started three wide and Van Horn led the first 21 laps. Two cautions slowed the early going, the second of those on lap four when Travis Barker rolled on the front stretch.
After fending off Brian Blessington, Van Horn led by just his bumper over Sobbing when lap 10 was scored.
Sobbing and the eighth starting Shryock were in a scrap behind Van Horn at midway, but Shryock was able to set his sights on the leader once he’d taken over second on lap 17.
“I just had to be patient and wait for my car to come to my setup,” explained Shryock, winner of last year’s Sunoco Race Fuels Race of Champions. “We’ve never won the big one at Super Nationals in a Modified or a Stock Car but our team doesn’t give up, so watch out.”
Forty-two entries vied in two rounds of time trial qualifying on Wednesday that sent 25 cars to the All-Star field; the grid was completed by another five drivers who’d won sanctioned events paying $5,000 or more and who were competing at Super Nationals.
Eleven states were represented in the first B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational.
Later in the evening, the IMCA Modifieds put eight more cars into Saturday night’s championship feature. One of the lessons to be learned from Thursday Modified qualifying was not to ever doubt Jeff Aikey.
Tim Ward was pretty convincing, too.
A night after passing up a guaranteed seventh or eighth row spot in Saturday’s Big Dance at Boone Speedway, Aikey marched from 10th to win the evening’s first qualifier. He’ll start first or second in the middle row come main event time.
“I’m pumped,” a beaming Aikey said from victory lane. “I really think we have a shot at this.”
The all-time leader in career Super Nationals crowns with seven – six in a Late Model plus the 2018 Modified title – Aikey was on leader Justin O’Brien’s back bumper with five laps to go, took over the front spot before a lap 23 caution and then held on through a green, white, checkered finish.
O’Brien, J.D. Auringer and Troy Morris III rounded out the four transfer spots. Cayden Carter was disqualified from his transfer, and from the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational berth he’d earned earlier in the evening, for an illegal crate engine setup. It was later announced he had the wrong cam shaft for a crate engine.
Ward led the distance and was chased by first-time Super Nationals competitor Jeff Reay the last 19 laps in the nightcap. Caught up in traffic late, his margin of victory was a deceptive four tenths of a second. Cory Sample and two-time Super Nationals champion Richie Gustin completed the top four.
After a couple early cautions, Dylan Thornton set it on cruise and raced to the win in Thursday’s first Stock Car qualifying feature. Most of the excitement in the second qualifier at Boone Speedway came late, as Tom Berry Jr. and Brandon Czarapata led the 26th-starting Jeffrey Larson and 18th-starting Mike Albertsen across the stripe in a green, white, checkered conclusion.
Runner-up in his Wednesday Modified qualifier, Thornton was chased the distance by Trent Nolan. Former champion Damon Murty raced from 12th starting to third in just five laps and Donavon Smith earned his 15th straight Saturday start in the division, rounding out the top four.
“This is amazing. I just wanted to make the show,” he said. “This is a dream come true.”
Four cautions came out late in the second qualifier and contenders Chanse Hollatz and Justin Luinenburg were both among casualties.
Smith is the 2009, 2012 and defending champion; Murty won the 2018 crown and is a 6-time qualifier and Czarapata’s 13 career main event starts include the 2013 title. Larson qualified for the seventh time while Thornton, Nolan, Berry and Albertsen all are first-timers.
Top four finishers from both qualifiers advance to the middle row of Saturday’s Big Dance. Click HERE for full results from MyRacePass.com.
(Photos by Nick Woolley/15 Below Photo [click HERE for more])
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