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Sunday, May 29, 2011
“Where’s Sal?” Answered at Dawson County Raceway

"Kennicutt's Night"--Jamey Kennicutt (15K) of Gothenburg picked up his first IMCA Northern SportMod A Feature win May 29 at Dawson County Raceway, and it was no easy feat. Among other drivers, he had to defeat yearly national contender Tyler Frye of Belleville, Kansas (55). This is a picture earlier in the night, when Kennicutt was also able to stay ahead of Frye in their heat race.

It didn’t rain Sunday at Dawson County Raceway, but the cool air was heavy with moisture, keeping the track moist and fast. Despite the sky lowering as the final races were running, all of the races were run. Jay Steffens of North Platte, Sal Hernandez of Columbus, Jason Wilkinson of Oakdale, and Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg kept the engines moist with fuel as they stuck their cars into victory lane.

Jim Mlady of North Platte paced the beginning of the IMCA Modified A Feature. Heat race winner Cole Hodges of Ogallala caught up with him, and the two went to battle. Before the half way point, Hodges was able to take the lead twice, only to see Mlady take it back with the preferred line. In a few laps, Hodges would drive off of corner one, about the same time the other heat winner, Wade Cross of Phillips, broke after an earlier incident. Cross would go to the pits while Hodges would go to the end of the line, allowing Jay Steffens to be they guy to line up behind Mlady. A lap after the restart, Steffens moved way up on the track to pass Mlady on the high side and led the last seven laps to his first win of the year. Mlady held onto second place. Scott Smith of Davenport finished in third place. Cole Hodges would come back to finish in fourth place, while Brooke Eilts of Grand Island rounded out the top five.

Years ago, then-track announcer Tom Lathen would often ask “Where’s Sal?” when Sal Hernandez could not be found on the track while racing in the old Bronco class. Both men moved out of the area, but Hernandez has since moved back to Columbus and is back to racing an IMCA Stock Car at Dawson County Raceway. Hernandez started on the front row of the A Feature along with Dan Walker of Eddyville, and the two battled for the lead. Hernandez would lead the first half of the race with Walker applying pressure all the way. On lap twelve, Walker came across the scoring line in first, but lost the lead again to Sal. Brandon Clough of Wallace passed Walker to become a player then slipped off the track, losing several spots. With a couple of laps to go, the caution came out, setting up a shootout. As Walker worked Hernandez, his motor started to overheat. The car could not muster enough power to deny Sal and his car the victory. Heat race and cash dash winner Cale Osborn of Cozad went from sixth place to third place in the final two laps. His brother Colton finished in fourth, ahead of Clough. The other IMCA Stock Car heat race was won by Casey Werkmeister of Maywood.

The IMCA Hobby Stocks ran a commendable feature race, starting and finishing sixteen cars that went fifteen laps without a caution. Tyler Andreasen of Grand Island nearly paced half of the race, followed closely by Tiffany Bittner of Norfolk. As she tried to get by Andreasen, Jason Wilkinson got by both of them in corner three on the eighth lap. Bittner would also get by and stayed in the tire tracks of Wilkinson, but could not get him out of the lead. Heat winner Andreasen would finish in third place. Chuck Ledbetter of Loomis had one of his best nights in a long time, winning his heat race and taking fourth place in the feature, keeping Lonnie Greuter of Grand Island at by for the spot.

Nineteen IMCA Northern SportMods hit the track for their twenty lap event. Vince Leibert of Lexington passed Kerry Jones of North Platte on lap two for the lead. Heat race winner Jamey Kennicutt found Leibert and passed him on lap five. Kennicutt would pull out to a nice lead when a lap thirteen caution put Colton Osborn and Belleville, Kansas driver Tyler Frye on his tail. The two would battle for position, then try to take the top spot from Kennicutt. Cautions every couple of laps would reset the field, with Osborn and Frye side-by-side. After the final lap eighteen caution, the field was aligned in single file, with Frye in second spot. A year ago this weekend, Kennicutt had a big lead in a Modified feature race that was nullified by a yellow and lost the lead, but this year is a new year, and IMCA was introduced to a new winner in the Northern SportMod division. It turnd out to be a very good night for the driver who had a broken transmission in his race car the night before and had to try four transmissions during the day Sunday before he found one that would work. SportMod guy Tyler Frye finished in second place. Heat winner Bryan Herrick of Curtis passed Osborn for third place. James Libra of Overton took fifth place. The other SportMod heat race was won by Dan Smith of Wichita, Kansas.

Racing will resume next Sunday night, June 5, at Dawson County Raceway. Joining the four regular classes will be the Outlaw Vintage Lite class. Racing that night will start at 6:30 p.m.

 
May 29 Results
IMCA Modified
Heat 1
21C-Wade Coss
13-Ethan Johnson
XII-Jay Steffens
 
Heat 2
34JW-Cole Hodges
50-Scott Smith
19J-Jim Mlady
 
A Feature
XII-Jay Steffens
19J-Jim Mlady
50-Scott Smith
34JW-Cole Hodges
29E-Booke Eilts
13-Ethan Johnson
41J-Jeff Linner
21C-Wade Coss (DNF)
2BA-Bob Aspenleiter (DNF)
19-Charles Stryker (DNS)
 
IMCA Stock Car
Heat 1
6C-Cale Osborn
24-Dan Walker
35JW-Casey Woken
 
Heat 2
24W-Casey Werkmeister
63-Mike Nichols
72H-Jim Hagan
 
Cash Dash
6C-Cale Osborn
 
A Feature
4C-Sal Hernandez
24-Dan Walker
6C-Cale Osborn
50-Colton Osborn
20B-Brandon Clough
77-Cory Dumpert
24W-Casey Werkmeister
29E-Brendan Eilts
35JW-Casey Woken
11K-Kyle Clough
72H-Jim Hagan
24B-Bob Chalupa
09H-Bob Hoing
57X-Scott Stoll
00-Sara Powers
51B-Brett Gartrell
57-Dan Stoll (DNF)
63-Mike Nichols (DNS)
 
IMCA Hobby Stock
Heat 1
5-Chuck Ledbetter, Jr.
95B-Tiffany Bittner
53E-Tyler Easterday
 
Heat 2
13T-Tyler Andreasen
52-Jason Wilkinson
R19-Larry Refior
 
A Feature
52-Jason Wilkinson
95B-Tiffany Bittner
13T-Tyler Andreasen
5-Chuck Ledbetter, Jr.
32-Lonnie Greuter
R19-Larry Refior
9A-Anthony Martin
80-Jim Rayburn
53E-Tyler Easterday
72H-Kevin Hagan
17-Terry Greuter
30pk-Ethan Kenney
93M-Christian McCance
21T-Troy Braddy
66-Tamie McCance
89-Michael Zerr
99-David Easterday (DNS)
 
IMCA SportMods
Heat 1
0-Bryan Herrick
7R-Vince Leibert
68-Craig Howard
 
Heat 2
92-Dan Smith
1X-Denny Egge
50-Colton Osborn
 
Heat 3
15K-Jamey Kennicutt
55-Tyler Frye
76-Ben Hobbs (DNF)
 
A Feature
15K-Jamey Kennicutt
55-Tyler Frye
0-Bryan Herrick
50-Colton Osborn
11-James Libra
4P-Rick Putnam
1-Ted Kutsch
76-Ben Hobbs
12J-Kerry Jones
3oz-Ozzie Romero
7R-Vince Leibert
11T-Tim Cooper
25-Natasha Coons
92-Dan Smith (DNF)
1X-Denny Egge (DNF)
68-Craig Howard
34-Matt Caudillo (DNF)
4DJ-Hunter Cantrall (DNF)
34B-Josh Bopp (DNF)

Source: Darin Racek

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