By Dean Reichel
Graduates of area high schools for 2019 were welcomed to celebrate at Double-X Speedway Sunday night. Racers and fans turned out to enjoy the cool evening of races after many tracks across the state were forced to cancel their programs due to Mother Nature making her presence known on Saturday. With the help of some sunshine and a breeze on Sunday afternoon Kyle Wirts and crew were able to get the track into racing shape for the Sunday night event.
After a week off due to rain the previous weekend, the Super Stocks were the first to take the track in competition for a pair of heat races. Cole Henson utilized his front row starting position to take the lead on lap one and would carry the advantage for the duration of the event. Joe Miller would finish second, veteran Dale Berry edged his son Marshall Berry at the line to claim third. Second Super Stock heat saw Mark Davis leading the field to the green on the pole. However, Cody Frazon was not to be denied as he held even with Davis until turn three when he was able to clear the pole sitter and take the lead. At the checkered flag it was Frazon, followed by John Clancy in second, Mark Davis crossed the strip third and Brandon Hays was fourth.
The hobby stock class saw some new cars and drivers joining the evening competition. Kyler Girard and Jeremiah Wallingford brought the field to the green flag. Kyler Girard would take the lead at the start with Dakota Girard in tow. Heading to the white flag, Dakota Girard would make the pass and take the victory in heat one. Following him across the line were Kyler Girard, Chuck Coffey, Jeremiah Wallingford and John Canada respectively. Heat two saw Mike Schrader on the pole and opening night feature winner Kyle Smith. Schrader led the first three laps before Rick Girard made his way from the rear of the field to take over the lead on lap four. Following Girard under the checkered flag was Schrader, Smith, Isaiah Penton and Chris Kammerich.
360 Winged Sprint Cars have been a staple at Double-X since the beginning. In heat race number one it was veteran Randy Martin in the LCR#24 on the pole with Tyler Utz to the outside. At the green flag the two front row starters ran side by side with Utz taking a slight advantage. They would continue to duel with Utz remaining at the point. At the finish it was Utz, Tyler Blank with a last lap pass to claim second, Martin was third, Taylor Walton, Riley Kreisel and Timmy Smith would complete the racing order. Heat race number two saw Korey Bales pick up the win over Evan Martin. Ben Brown claimed third in the event, Kaitlyn Boland was fourth, Frank Brown finished fifth and Broc Elliott completed the field.
Feature races ran in the same order with the Super Stocks taking to the racing surface first. Cole Henson and Cody Frazon led the field to green with Frazon taking the early advantage. Henson would maintain second with Joe Miller and John Clancy both looking for a way to pass. Miller would make the pass for second on the low side of turn two on lap four and start to chase down the leader. Miller would gain ground in turns three and four on each lap but would come up just short at the checkered flag. John Clancy would finish a strong third with Cole Henson fourth and Mark Davis completing the top five. Completing the field respectively were Brandon Hays in sixth, Tyler Waters in seventh and Marshall Berry in eighth. Veteran Dale Berry was unable to make the call for the feature event.
The Hobby Stock division rolled out next with a mix of rear wheel and front wheel drive cars. Dakota Girard sat on the pole with Rick Girard to the outside. The feature lead was an all Girard show with the two front row starters wiring the field for the majority of the race. On lap ten leader Rick Girard made contact with a lapped car, however it was determined by track officials that the contact was the fault of the lapped car and the leader was placed back at the point. The remaining two laps continued the same as the prior ten with Rick Girard picking up the victory. Dakota Girard was second, Mike Schrader ran a strong third with Kyler Girard fourth and Chuck Coffey claiming fifth. Completing the running order in sixth through tenth respectively were Isaiah Penton, John Canada, Chris Kammerich, Kyle Smith and Jeremiah Wallingford.
The winged sprint car feature shaped up to be an exciting event with Tyler Utz and Korey Bales on the front row. Utz would lead the first two laps before Bales would take the point until sliding off of the top of turn two. On the restart Utz was back at the point with opening night feature event winner Tyler Blank in second. Utz would lead with Blank keeping pace, on lap 10 Blank would show his front wing to Utz on the low side of turn four and as Utz moved to protect the low line, Blank moved to the top shelf in 3 & 4 to make the pass for the lead. Evan Martin moved around Utz two laps later to take second and began to reel in the leader. Martin closed up to challenge for the lead on lap 22, but as he was working around the lapped car of Tyler Utz he slid over the berm in turn 1. Martin was able to keep his momentum and came back on the track as the yellow flag waved on for the stalled 75E of Broc Elliott. On the restart it was Blank, Evan Martin and Taylor Walton in the top three. On the restart Blank moved back to the low groove and held off Evan Martin to claim his second win on the season at Double-X. Taylor Walton was third, Riley Kreisel finished a good run in fourth and Ben Brown finished fifth. Randy Martin came home sixth, with early leader Korey Bales finishing seventh. Tyler Utz, after leading early, faded to eighth with Timmy Smith ninth and Kaitlyn Boland tenth. Broc Elliott and Frank Brown completed the finishing order.
Next Sunday night will be the 10th “Tribute to Jesse” Memorial race featuring the POWRi WAR non wing Sprint cars, the 360 winged sprint, super stocks and hobby stocks. Parking lot gates will open early for tailgating. This is always a special event for the Hockett family and we invite you to join us for this annual event to celebrate the lives of Jesse “The Rocket” Hockett and Daniel “The Wrench” McMillan. For more information check us out on Facebook or on the website. www.doublexspeedway.com Grandstand admission will be $15 and pit passes $30 for this special event.