EAST MOLINE, IL – The Z Man once again left his mark.
As he rocketed around the top groove of East Moline Speedway, Mike Zemo, Jr. knew the work he and his crew put into the Sidewinder Chassis all year paid off.
The Davenport, Iowa ace passed early leader Randy Bryan, Ames, Iowa, early and zipped to the Weekend Performance IMCA Mod Lite 25-lap special win and took home $1,000. It was win number eight at EMS against increased competition on this night.
“I was a little worried,” Zemo said in the Winners Circle. “I just knew the outside would be pretty good for me. I just hit my marks. It was really treacherous up there so hoping my experience would work.”
Thirteen cars took Joe Carleton’s green flag and the race was slowed just once by caution.
R.J. Gonzales had mechanical issues in his heat and started at the tail. He charged toward the front, taking second with seven laps left. He was unable to cut into Zemo’s advantage. Jon Padilla, Bryan and track champion Anthony Guss rounded out the top five.
“I had a new right rear (tire) on just for tonight to be safe and it was sticking really nice,” Zemo added.
One week ahead of the tribute race to his great career, Gary Webb just keeps winning. He passed his backup car with B.J. Jackson aboard on lap 15 and cruised to his third 25-lap win of the season and 522 for the career spanning over six decades.
Current national runner up Justin Kay suffered a flat tire on the opening lap after a car made contact with him, drawing a caution. He roared from the tail on the restart up to second ahead of Jackson, Matt Ryan and Dustin Edwards.
Travis Denning drew number two for the J&J Camper Sales IMCA Modified 20-lap start and paced every circuit for his fifth EMS win. Brandon Durbin started sixth and moved by Andy Nezworski late for second. Austin Blume and Brandt Cole followed.
Seventeen-year-old Logan Veloz held off a trio of challengers to win the 15-lap Legacy Corporation IMCA SportMod finale. Perry Gellerstedt charged from 12th starting to second at the checkers, followed by Brandon Jewell, Jacob Copley and Steven Spiker.
Pete O’Dell took his second County Waste Systems Street Stock 15-lap feature win, edging Austin Riggs, Rob Nylin, Nick Hixson and Mitch Current.
Drew Burk moved around Billy Stanford late to take the 12-lap Rudy’s Tacos IMCA Hobby Stock ender. Logan Gustaf, Dustin Forbes and Darrell Ward were next.
Jimmy Dutlinger won a fierce battle with Aaron Hitt to take the 12-lap Riverbend Pizza Place Sport Compact checkers. Track champ Cyle Hawkins, Josh Lane and Drew Wise followed.
A total of 83 cars were in the pits and the final checkered flag fell about 9:15 p.m. Click HERE for full results from MyRacePass.com.
Racing continues this Sunday Sept. 19 with a one-of-a-kind event. The Salute to Gary Webb IMCA Late Model special not only pays $2,000 to win, but pays tribute to the Hall of Famer’s 50-year career, which is still rolling. It also is Hall of Fame Night. Eight deserving individuals will be inducted for the 2021 class of the EMS Hall of Fame.
IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, IMCA Mod Lites, Sport Compacts and the Nostalgic Stock Car Racing Club also hit the quarter-mile oval.
The Hall of Fame ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Hot Laps are at 5:15 with racing to follow.
For more information, log on to the East Moline Speedway Facebook page or call 563-343-8250.
(Photo by Nick Jensen/Jensen Racing Photos [click HERE for more])
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