OSKALOOSA, Iowa (July 17) – Michael Long made short work of his competition Tuesday night, leading all 25 laps of the JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour main event at Southern Iowa Speedway.
The IMCA Modified win paid $1,000 and made Long one of the earliest qualifiers for the 2013 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. He’s also the eighth different winner in as many tour events so far this season.
Long raced from the fourth starting spot to the front before a rash of early yellows. Threatened early by point leader Richie Gustin, he held off those challenges to and through the final caution, on the ninth circuit.
Luke Wanninger got into the mix, passing Gustin for second after that restart. No one had anything for Long, however, and he won comfortably ahead of Wanninger and Gustin as the feature stayed green the last 16 laps.
Jay Noteboom advanced 11 positions to finish fourth and Mike Van Genderen was fifth. Hard charger Jeremy Mills was a plus 18 spots on the night and ended in sixth.
David Murray Jr., one of the travelers stopping at Oskaloosa prior to Thursday’s Harris Clash at Knoxville, was seventh. North Carolina visitor Kyle Strickler was 10th.
The top four finishers in each of the three heats went into the grandstands to draw for their starting spots.
Van Genderen, the promoter at Oskaloosa, drew an appreciative round of applause from partisan fans when he wound up with the pole.
Next up is the top paying event of the 2012 series, when the tour travels to Hancock County Speedway for the Thursday, Aug. 9 Night of 1,000 Stars.
That feature pays a minimum of $2,000 and potentially as much as $7,500 to win.
Feature results – 1. Michael Long , Quincy, Ill.; 2. Luke Wanninger , Grimes; 3. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 4. Jay Noteboom, Hinton; 5. Mike Van Genderen , Newton; 6. Jeremy Mills , Garner; 7. David Murray Jr., Oberlin, Kan.; 8. Mark Schulte, Delhi; 9. Mark Elliott, Webster City; 10. Kyle Strickler , Mooresville, N.C.; 11. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon; 12. Rich Smith, Davenport; 13. Andrew Schroeder, Keswick; 14. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, Ill.; 15. Jeff Conner, Panora; 16. Ronn Lauritzen , Jesup; 17. Jason Schoenberger, Russell, Kan.; 18. Dakota Hayden, Wilton; 19. Cayden Carter , Oskaloosa; 20. Jacob Murray, Hartford; 21. Greg Cox, Altoona; 22. Ray Cox Jr ., Maquoketa; 23. Scott Dickey, Packwood; 24. Wade Francis, Oskaloosa; 25. Tyler Cale, Donnellson; 26. Darin Duffy, Hazleton; 27. Jeremy Frenier , Fort Morgan, Colo.
1st heat (top four redraw) – 1. Long; 2. Duffy; 3. Hayden; 4. Greg Cox; 5. Lauritzen; 6. Frenier; 7. Dolan; 8. Francis; 9. Jacob Murray.
2nd heat – 1. Schulte; 2. Dickey; 3. Schroeder; 4. Wanninger; 5. Smith; 6. Connor; 7. Cox; 8. Strickler; 9. Waterman.
3rd heat – 1. Gustin; 2. Carter; 3.Elliott; 4. Van Genderen; 5. Noteboom; 6. David Murray Jr.; 7. Cale; 8. Mills; 9. Schoenberger.