For Immediate Release 6/3/2015 –
The young NASCAR Whelen All American Series driver in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Model division from Wildwood, Missouri turned his 2015 season around with a dominating victory Saturday night at the “High-Banks” of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway. Kyle Donahue was the 2014 NASCAR Missouri State Rookie of the Year but the win broke a small string of bad luck nights for the 15 year old hard charger in 2015.
Veteran Brian Brown set a quick pace at the start of the 30 lap Pro Late Model feature with Steve Holt and pole sitter Josh Woody door to door for second place. The caution waved early in the race on lap 2 for Holt and Woody as they spun in front of the field while racing for position. On the restart, Donahue pulled even with the leader Brown and later that lap took command of the lead while 2014 NASCAR Sportsman Champion Paul Jepsen pulled even with Brown. Donahue was taking full advantage and began to pull away from the pack. A lap 5 caution really seemed to change things up as defending champion Kaleb Allison made contact with Ken Dickinson while racing for 5th spot. Allison got sideways as Kevin Donahue got the worst of the incident and was collected in turn 1 with front end damage ending his night. Payton Lucas took a wild ride over the turn 2 banking as several others were ducking into the pits to repair damage. On the restart, Kyle Donahue left the pack to battle for second place as Jepsen was having an outstanding run while point leader JC Newell and Jimmy Vanzandt were swapping spots while Allison was carving his way back through the pack. With the last 25 laps caution free, Donahue kept the distance between him and the rest of the field. The battle between Jepsen and Newell stayed close until lap fifteen as Newell moved around to gather 2nd place while Jepsen had Allison on his back bumper. As the checkered waved, it was Donahue becoming the 4th different Pro Late Model winner in 4 features as Jepsen was credited for 2nd, Newell 3rd place while Allison and Vanzandt completed the top 5.
“My dad and the crew have really been putting time in the shop and tonight this Vanguard Ford was so easy to drive. I could move it anywhere on the track and it would work” said Donahue. “Now we have a lot of work to do to get Kevin’s car back together for next week.” Qualifying heats went to Brown and Kyle Donahue.
The Hoosier Street Stocks were the featured class with a 40 lap event that showed all others how to go green, white, and checkered in the caution free event. Les “Papa Drake” Mallard went fishing for his 2nd win of the season and dedicated the win to the memory of his late father-in-law.
David Jennings grabbed the opening lead from the outside front row quickly to set the pace. On lap 4, Aaron Wilke in his dark blue Mopar took control as Mallard and Zack Morgan quickly followed the leader. Wilke was trying to stretch the lead, but Morgan who was fighting a fever all day long took his Camaro into 2nd place and was staying close. As the race wore on, Wilke began to pull away slowly while opening-up a full straight away advantage over Morgan. By lap 18, Wilke began to lap traffic as current point leader Jordan Nisbett went 1 lap down with a right front tire going flat. Wilke was looking to go back to back in wins as the former Wisconsin resident was all alone. By lap 22 Mallard ran down Morgan for 2nd place as 9 cars remained on the lead lap. On lap 25 Wilke began to slow down as Mallard took the lead and Wilke went to the pits with engine issues. Morgan fell by the wayside 2 laps later while running 2nd moving Chris Johnson into 2nd place as Riley Sharp and David Douglas were coming up the leader board. As Mallard thought he was all alone, David Douglas moved into 2nd place by lap 32 and began to close down on Mallard. In the closing 5 laps, Mallard’s lead kept getting smaller as Douglas was on the move. With the checkered flying, Mallard took a very emotional win by holding back Douglas by 2 car lengths with Johnson, Riley Sharp and Lauren Buhr completing the top 5 all on the lead lap while early leader Jennings was 6th after the 40 lap event.
“This win is for my Father-in-Law who we lost in March.” said Mallard in victory lane. “We have a lot of great sponsors and several other people who have their name on the car. This win means a lot to me as we have been focused on this week.” Heat race wins went to David Douglas and Lauren Buhr.
Budweiser Modified action saw Ricky Icenhower take advantage of a lap 18 caution and made the winning pass on leader Stephen Counterman the following lap to take his 3rd win of the season. Defending track champion Counterman took full advantage of his front row pole spot and rocketed away with point leader Tim Swearengin quickly moving to 2nd place. Counterman was long gone until a lap 6 caution waved for debris on the track. When the green waved again Counterman was keeping Swearengin and Icenhower at bay while rookie Todd Lauvray was a solid 4th. With Counterman edging out front Icenhower moved around Swearengin on lap 11 as the top 3 pulled away. A lap 18 caution would change the outcome as Kevin Blackburn hit the turn 1 wall while racing for position. On the restart, Counterman moved up the track in turn 2 and Icenhower shot to the inside to take the lead. In the closing 3 laps Counterman closed-up ground but would settle for the runner-up spot behind the winner. Swearengin, Richard Lewis and Brian Lewis completed the top 5 as the Modifieds tune-up for next week’s 50 lapper. Qualifying heats went to Counterman and Icenhower.
The Sportsman feature saw a 4th different winner in 4 events as 2012 Sportsman Champion Little JC Newell pulled a double duty night to take home the win with a late race pass over point leader Aaron Douglas. Douglas wasted no time in grabbing the opening lead over Jake Piel. Newell, getting used to the heavier car moved into the 2nd place spot by lap 7 after a spirited battle with Piel. With Douglas setting a quick pace, Newell began to slowly close in. The caution free feature provided close racing as Douglas began to slow on lap 15 as Newell pulled up on his bumper. With Douglas trying to gather the speed back-up, Newell made the winning pass on lap 17 and then drove away to take the victory. Douglas was able to edge out Piel for 2nd place with Piel, JC Newell Sr., and Jim Fohn rounding out the top 5. Newell Sr. took the heat race win.
Current Coca-Cola Charger point leader Ben White shot to the lead on the opening lap after a 3 wide battle from his 5th starting spot and then held off repeated attempts from 2013 Champion Jimmy Poindexter the entire distance in grabbing his 2nd win of the season. The see-saw battle between White and Poindexter lasted the entire distance of 12 laps as the duo never even touched. While the race up front kept everyone watching, the 3rd place spot was just as good between Nik Taylor and Japheth Nisbett before Taylor secured the spot as Jesse Poindexter rounded out the top 5 in the caution free feature. Nik Taylor and Jimmy Poindexter captured the heat race victories.
This Saturday June 13th at Lebanon I-44 Speedway will be Budweiser Night at the races with the Ground-Pounding Budweiser Modifieds competing in a 50 lap feature along with full point shows for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models, Hoosier Racing Tire Street Stocks, Coca-Cola Chargers and Sportsman.
Grandstand and Fan Deck gates as well as Wild Side parking will open at 4pm and the racing action will start at 6:30pm. Grandstand adult admission is only $12, Seniors and Military are only $8.00 while Juniors ages 11-15 are $5 and kids 10 and under are FREE. Take advantage of the Family pack which includes 2 Adults and 2 Juniors for only $30.
Wild Side prices are $15 for Adults with discounts for Seniors and Military while Juniors are $8 and kids under are 10 FREE. You may also grab the 6 pack special as 6 Adults in the same vehicle are just $75 on the Wild Side.
For more information visit the website at www.i44speedway.net and be sure to like us Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Facebook for updated information on Missouri’s only NASCAR sanction facility and the only weekly asphalt track within 300 miles.
NASCAR Whelen All American Series Results for 06/06/2015
NASCAR Hoosier Racing Tire Street Stocks
Feature (40 Lap Special) 1) Les Mallard-Fair Grove 2) David Douglas-Lebanon 3) Chris Johnson-Lebanon 4) Riley Sharp-Fair Grove 5) Lauren Buhr-Neosho 6) David Jennings-Springfield 7) Nick Cherry-Springfield 8) Tony Johnson-Lebanon 9) Zack Morgan-Lebanon 10) Aaron Wilke-Bridgeton 11) Jordan Nisbett-Lebanon
1st Heat-1) Douglas 2) Wilke 3) C. Johnson 4) T. Johnson 5) Jennings 6) Cherry
2nd Heat.-1) Buhr 2) Nesbitt 3) Mallard 4) Sharp 5) Morgan
NASCAR O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models
Feature – 1) Kyle Donahue-Wildwood 2) Paul Jepsen-Rolla 3) JC Newell-Stoutland 4) Kaleb Allison-Mexico 5) Jimmy Vanzandt-Springfield 6) Kennie Dickinson-Camdenton 7) Josh Woody-Buckhorn 8) Brennon Willard-Sleeper 9) Payton Lucas-Fair Grove 10) Brian Brown-Strafford 11) Steve Holt-Strafford 12) Kevin Donahue-Wildwood 13) Terry Limberopolous-Cuba
1st Heat-1)Brown 2) Holt 3) Woody 4) Jepsen 5) Limberopolous 6) Lucas
2nd Heat.-1) Kyle Donahue 2) Vanzandt 3) Dickinson 4) Allison 5) Kevin Donahue 6) Newell 7) Willard
NASCAR Budweiser Modifieds
Feature -1) Ricky Icenhower-Fair Grove 2) Stephen Counterman-Fair Grove 3) Tim Swearengin-Springfield 4) Richard Lewis-Willard 5) Brian Lewis-Willard 6) Joe Bunkers-Harrisonville 7) Ron Hartford-Raytown 8) Todd Lauvray-Waynesville 9) Kevin Blackburn-Lebanon DNS-Adam Carmichael-Kansas City
1st Heat-1) Counterman 2) Lauvray 3) Blackburn 4) B. Lewis 5) Hartford
2nd Heat.-1) Icenhower 2) Swearengin 3) R. Lewis 4) Bunkers 5) Carmichael
Feature -1) JC Newell -Stoutland 2) Aaron Douglas-Lebanon 3) Jake Piel-Webster Grove 4) JC Newell Sr.-Decaturville 5) Jim Fohn-Eldridge 6) AJ Bowman-Lebanon
Heat -1) Newell Sr. 2) Fohn 3) Douglas 4) Piel 5) Bowman DNS-Newell Jr.
NASCAR Coca-Cola Chargers
Feature -1) Ben White-Rolla 2) Jimmy Poindexter-Willard 3) Nik Taylor-Bolivar 4) Japheth Nisbett-Rolla 5) Jesse Poindexter-Willard 6) Luke Oster-Linn Creek 7) Ethan Mathis-Edgar Springs DNS-Jary Hudson-Edgar Springs, Larry Hunter-Laquey
1st Heat.-1) Taylor 2) Jesse Poindexter 3) Oster 4) Hudson
2nd Heat.1) Jimmy Poindexter 2) White 3) Nesbitt 4) Mathis DNS-Hunter