(LEBANON, Missouri . . .by Zack Morgan) Saturday’s balmy weather made for a perfect late Spring night of “Kickin’ Asphalt” stock car racing at Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Independence, Missouri native Joe Ross scored his first feature victory of the season, with some late race incidents taking out a few of the top contenders in the ASA Late Model feature division. Jason Otto, Rick Sharp, Mike Scott, Jimmy Poindexter and Ashley Deschenes also visited Monster Energy Victory Lane on ‘Wallace Family Night at the Races’. NASCAR star and 1990 I-44 Late Model champion Mike Wallace made his return to the Lebanon track to watch his daughter Chrissy in the Late Model class and son Matt in the Modifieds.
Wallace was in the house signing autographs and talking to fans, and participated in a ‘grudge race’ with his son and daughter in three of the track’s top Road Warrior division cars. It was a six lap dash, with wife and ‘mom’ Carla in the flagstand and the Wallace family starting three wide. Young Matt showed them how it was done, as he was able to come out on top. Thing’s got interesting when the race was over as all three cars were smoking the tires on the front stretch, to the delight of the large crowd on hand .
In the Late Model feature, Rolla’s Mike Slone jumped to an early lead with Jimmy Vanzandt of Springfield moving into second, both preferring the bottom groove. It was a single file race for most of the feature but with two laps to go Vanzandt was able to catch the leader and race for the lead going down the backstretch. Coming into turn three Vanzandt drove in hard on the bottom and made contact with Slone, causing both cars to spin out and sending both to the rear while bringing out the first yellow flag. Trouble would then find Nixa’s Robert Baltzell as his car spun into the front stretch wall on the re-start. With a “green-white-checkered” ahead, Joe Ross would be able to hold off Chrissy Wallace for his first victory of the season.
The mighty Modifieds would take to the track, with young Stephen Counterman taking the early lead and Jason Otto, Riley Sharp and Tyler Scott right behind him. All four cars would mix it up for the lead with Counterman still leading the way. With only a handful of laps remaining, young Counterman got loose in turn 1 and Otto took advantage, as that would be all he needed to get his second victory of the season.
The Sportsman class would race 12 laps for their feature, as Aaron Douglas looked to make it two wins in a row. Young JC Newell would take the early lead, preferring the top groove around the track. Newell would get loose coming out of turn two and fall back to fourth as Sharp took the lead, with Douglass second and Ozark’s Toby Harden riding third. Sharp checked out from the field and was able to return to Monster Energy Victory Lane for the third time this season.
In the 10 lap dash for the subcompact, 4-cylinder powered Chargers, John Sims brought the field to the green. Marshfield’s Gary Davenport took the early lead riding the topside, while previous feature winner Jimmy Poindexter was rolling around the bottom. Poindexter would take the lead on the half-way lap, and never look back as he would take his second trip to Victory Lane this season.
The Kansas City based OMSRA ‘Outlaw Mini Stocks’ would run their 12 lap feature raced, with Tiffany Stewart showing the way early. She would lead most of the race, while Ashley Deschenes and Kevin Hunt kept pace right behind her. On the final lap in the backstretch Deschenes would move up top, with Stewart in the middle and Hunt riding the bottom. They were three wide coming out of turn 4, with Deschenes winning the drag race at the flag stand and taking the fan-popular victory.
The Road Warriors went 10 laps, as Rogersville’s Mike Scott and Steve Shaw were racing side by side for most of the race. Shaw spun in the late going and that would pave the way for Scott’s famous ‘Bumblebee’ Chevrolet to make a return to Victory Lane.
Next Saturday’s ‘Kickin’ Asphalt’ show at Lebanon I-44 Speedway will be highlighted by the annual ‘Hillbilly 50’ race for Modifieds – a 50-lap special feature race – plus ASA Late Models, Sportsman, Chargers and Road Warriors, and a National Championship race for the Pro National ‘Baby Grand’ cars.
RACE RESULTS FOR June 11, 2011
HEAT 1 1) 16 Robert Baltzell Nixa HEAT 2 1) 93 Chrissy Wallace Concord, NC
2) 67 Jim VanZandt Springfield 2) 21 Ken Dickinson Lake Ozark
3) 77 Mike Slone Rolla 3) 10 Dale Roper Jr Fair Grove
4) 45 Chris Beaver Joplin 4) 27 Joe Ross Independence
5) 35 Steve Holt Strafford 5) 2 Grant Sharp Conway
6) 18 Jim Reaves Strafford 6) 7 Jeremy Manes Nixa
7) 69 Caleb Hall Lees Summit
FEATURE 1) 27 Joe Ross Independence
2) 93 Chrissy Wallace Concord, NC
3) 21 Ken Dickinson Lake Ozark
4) 10 Dale Roper Jr Fair Grove
5) 45 Chris Beaver Joplin
6) 35 Steve Holt Strafford
7) 2 Grant Sharp Conway
8) 77 Mike Slone Rolla
9) 67 Jimmy VanZandt Springfield
10) 69 Caleb Hall Lees Summit
11) 7 Jeremy Manes Nixa
12) 16 Robert Baltzell Nixa
13) 18 Jim Reaves Strafford
HEAT 1 1) 57 Tyler Scott Nixa HEAT 2 1) 5 Mike Coryell Lebanon
2) 26 Payton Lucas Fair Grove 2) 66 Terry Taylor Fair Grove
3) 1 Rocky Rash Elkland 3) 8 Jason Otto Richland
4) 15 Matt Wallace Concord, NC 4) 25 Stephen Counterman Fair Grove
5) 44 Kevin Blackburn Lebanon 5) 33 Riley Sharp Fair Grove
FEATURE 1) 8 Jason Otto Richland
2) 25 Stephen Counterman Fair Grove
3) 57 Tyler Scott Nixa
4) 33 Riley Sharp Fair Grove
5) 26 Payton Lucas Fair Grove
6) 66 Terry Taylor Fair Grove
7) 5 Mike Coryell Lebanon
8) 15 Matt Wallace Concord, NC
9) 44 Kevin Blackburn Lebanon
10) 1 Rocky Rash Elkland
11) 3 Brennon Willard Lebanon
HEAT 1 1) 7 Aaron Douglas Lebanon
2) 10 Rick Sharp Fair Grove
3) 1 Toby Harden Ozark
4) 83 JC Newell Stoutland
5) 63 Chuck Higdon Strafford
FEATURE 1) 10 Rick Sharp Fair Grove
2) 1 Toby Harden Ozark
3) 7 Aaron Douglas Lebanon
4) 83 JC Newell Stoutland
5) 63 Chuck Higdon Strafford