It was the return of USAC to the smallest track in NASCAR. The last time USAC made a visit here it was 1960. Winner of that race was Bob Wente, one of two drivers to win at the track in a midget. Wente went on to win several USAC midget races that season, at tracks from New Bremen Speedway in New Bremen Ohio to Dayton Speedway in Dayton, Ohio to Columbus Speedway in Columbus. On a side note, New Bremen and Dayton Speedway’s are no longer in existence. Wente was also the Midwest Region champion of the USAC National Midget Championship.
It was the first of hopefully many visits that the USAC Ignite Midgets will make to Lake County Speedway. This time the cars were just a bit faster. On June 22nd in 1960 the qualifying time was 13.78, faster than what they went in 1959 at a 14.28. Both were left in the dust on Saturday, as the fast time caught on the clock was a 12.3. That time was turned by Gage Walker in the feature. While it is unofficial, it was impressive. The field was full of young talent and it was on display all night. Ross Rankine and Gage Walker took wins in the heat races. It was Tyler Schullick taking the early lead from the pole, but was Ross Rankine taking over on lap two. Rankine would stay out front for the next twelve laps before Schullick found his way back around him. He seemed like he was well on his way to victory, until lap 35 saw Walker make a move under him going into turn three and into the lead on the exit of turn four. Walker went onto lead the final five laps and take his second win of the season. Walker was fresh off a win at Barberton Raceway Park on Friday, and both wins propelled him into the points lead.
In the Spee-D-Metals Limited Late Model division it was Keith Platz taking his second fast time in as many weeks. From that point on it was Josh way stealing the show. Way took the dash, heat, and pursuit races ,from the pole, holding off Duane Bates and Charles Durst to take the wins. Way kept the streaking going in the feature, leading all 20 laps for his first feature win in the division for 2012. It was not easy, but he held off Bates and Platz to take the win. Bates took second, Platz third, Durst fourth, and fifth was Bill Welch. Bates used runner-up finishes in the heat and feature to add to his points lead over Durst. His lead is now at 248 points.
In the Way’s Custom Welding Street Stock division it was Scott Scufka setting the fast time. Rodney Reynolds picked up where he left off after his feature win last weekend, by taking the checkered flag in the dash. Rick Tomcany was back in action, taking the first heat win. Jake Shipman took his fourth heat win of the season, by winning the second heat race. Tomcany was back in victory lane after winning the pursuit. He would accompany Mike Kieran on the pole for the start of the feature. Kieran got a great start and took the early lead, leading the first seven laps before the caution flew. On the restart, Josh Way used a great start to get around Kieran for the lead. He would jump ahead to a big lead and eventually the win, his second of the season in the division. Johnny Canter III was second, Shipman third, fourth was Mike Towne, and rounding out the top five was Bill Johnson. Way used the win to help cut into Shipman’s point lead, which is down to 126 points.
Joe March took his second fast time of the season in the Rob Moore Attorney at Law Figure Eight division. Joe Malek took his first dash win of the season, beating his brother Kevin for the win. Mike Davis captured his first heat win of the year, winning the first heat race of the night. Heat race number two was won by Randy Lette. Lette would beat Chad Davis for the win in the pursuit. Justin Bever led the twelve car field to start the feature. That field dwindled quickly after a lap two accident involving Kevin Malek and Jason Fuller in the intersection. Under the red flag, which was out to check on Kevin Malek, the hits continued. After the altercation concluded, and the dust settled, both Kevin and Joe Malek and Jason Fuller were out of the race. The field was lined back up and the field went back to racing. Chad Davis had the pole for the restart and used the wide open track in front of him to drive away, and on to his second feature win of the season. Mike Reed came in second, Mike Davis third, Bever fourth, and Randy Lette was fifth.
In the Sam and Tommy’s Factory Four division it was Matt Weigand with the fast time, the fifth time he has done so this season. Ben Call took the win in the dash race. Jimmy Bee won the first heat race of the night. His son Josh Bee would take the win in the second heat and Aaron Van Dalen took the third heat race. In the pursuit it was Bill McLendon taking the win, holding off Weigand. In the B main, it was Autumn Vanni and David Guynn bringing the field to the green. Guynn jumped to the early lead, seeking his first career win. He did not get much time to enjoy the lead, as Tim Cloutman made his way from the back half of the field to take over on lap five. Cloutman held on and keep the field behind him, even a late charge from Rocky Nails, to take the second win of his career and the season. Nails came in second, Joe Hutchinson third, Guynn fourth, and Mike Liddy fifth. Greg McCord and BJ Wollerman started front row for the A main. Both drivers were looking for win number one of the season. McCord got out front early and held off McLendon in the first half of the race. Charging from the back was Call, who seemingly had his number 47 Nissan Sentra hooked up in the feature. Right after the midway point Call took command and left the field behind for the win. It was his second win, first A main, of the season. Weigand took home second, McCord third, Kelly Horst fourth, and Jim Harkins rounded out the top five. Weigand used a runner up in the pursuit and feature to add to his point lead over Horst, which is now 227 points.
Mike Reed had another dominating performance to go with his dominate year in the Renegade Eight division. While he has had his ‘off’ nights, Reed has the most wins of any driver this season and almost has the lead in every race. Reed started the night out with a win in the dash race, his third of the season. Both Josh Way and Charles Durst have more, both with four. He then won the heat race, his fourth of the season. Mike Liddy is the only driver to win five heat races. Reed would win the pursuit for the third time this season. Only mike Davis has more pursuit wins, having won four. He was not done there, as he stole the show en route to his sixth feature win. Which is the most of any driver, Joe March is second with four wins. Ryan Brenner had a good night behind Reed, taking home runner up in the dash, heat, and pursuit. Reed extended his points lead over Allen Filkins Jr. to 132 points.
The staff and management at Lake County Speedway would like to thank the fans and drivers that came out to the races this past weekend. We would like to welcome everyone back for this coming weekend to be a part of our Think Pink Night, as we raise awareness for breast cancer and support the Susan G. Komen foundation. Grandstands will open at 4:00pm and racing starts at 6:00pm. Be sure to visit us Wednesday night for public go-kart rentals from 4:00-9:00pm at the track, click here for more details.
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