Saturday Night Competition Heats up Plymouth Motor Speedway

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Saturday Night Competition Heats up Plymouth Motor Speedway

By: Anita Goodan

 

After two weeks of rain washing out racing at Plymouth Motor Speedway, drivers, fans and staff members were ready to get back to the track for more exciting racing Saturday, July 31.

 

The NRA 360 Winged Sprints visited during kid’s night at the track.  With the help of many sponsors, the nickel pitch had kids in different age group scrambling for coins at intermission between the heat and feature races at the Playground of Power.  

 

The Winged Sprints were the first to hit the track and a complete summary will be provided from the organization in the next couple of days. 

 

As for regular Features at Plymouth Motor Speedway, the Super Street Feature took off and had an abrupt red flag as drivers completed the first lap.  Pole-sitter Kyle Barger took off with a quick challenge from Ervin Turner.  The two drivers came out of turn four on the first lap battling for position and connected which continued through the start/finish line.  Turner’s car kept pushing straight while Barger’s car started turning right.  As the pair continued down the front stretch, Barger’s vehicle began to turn on its side.  That action caused the nose of Turner’s racecar to rise off the ground and catch the edge of the rear of Barger’s No. 16.  Both cars tipped over on their roofs.  The red flag was thrown and the track’s emergency team was quick to the scene.  Both drivers were able to get out of their cars and were checked by the ambulance crews. 

 

After the vehicle wreckage was removed from the track, racing resumed with John Rhoads (MentoneIndiana) assuming the lead.  He was soon met by Chris Hunter (KokomoIndiana) as he roared through the field from fifth to second halfway through the 20-lap Feature by using the top groove of the track to gain track position.  Hunter took the lead and was followed by Kody Conner who slowly made his way to the second spot by lap 16.  Hunter came out with the win, Conner came in second, while Rhoads was able to hang on to third for a podium finish. 

 

“You know when you race these guys it’s going to be clean,” said Hunter. “That was a great race with these guys.  I have an eleven-year-old car and it’s still winning races!”

 

Lee Hall (OsxfordIndiana) started in the fifth position in the Thunder Stock Feature, but was able to work his way past cars quickly to take over as race leader by lap 8.  Zakary Banta (BrookstonIndiana) tested Hall for first after a mid-race caution, but could not get around Hall’s racecar.  In the next few laps, Michael Roe (ScherevilleIndiana), who started on the pole but slipped in the racing order to fourth place, found his groove and was able to move his way back up to third by lap 16 of the 20-lap Feature to finish out the race. It was Hall with the exciting win, Banta in second and Roe in third. 

 

Hall stated in his post-race interview, “I have to thank my wife and all of my sponsors.  These guys are great competitors!  We were side-by-side at times and none of us touched each other.  It was a great race.”

 

The 600 Non-Wing Feature had competition for the top three spots throughout the contest with Braxton Hanft (WarsawIndiana) starting off the show on the pole.  He led throughout much of the race, but had to fend off Trey Johnson (WarsawIndiana) after several restarts.  Johnson started fourth and was able to overtake Nick Schaefer for second by lap 7, but Mason Hannagan (PittsboroIndiana) moved his way into the top of the running order.  Johnson was fighting for the top spot on the track as the laps were counting down, but Hannagan was able to stay out front.  In the meantime, Hanft was able to get around Schaefer for third on lap 11.  Despite some late-race cautions, Hannagan crossed the start/finish line a winner with Johnson in second with Hanft in third.

 

“This has been the worse year of racing for us, and we’ve been fighting issues all year,” commented Hannagan on his win.  “The track was really good and I was glad to tick off the last laps to get the win.”

 

Racing continues Saturday, August 7 with UMP Modifieds, 600 Non-Wing Sprints, Thunder Stocks and Front Wheel Drives, followed by the Season Championship scheduled for Saturday, August 14 with the UMP Modifieds, Super Streets, Thunder Stocks, Front Wheel Drives and 600 Non-Wing Sprints.  The gates open at 4 p.m., with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m. ET.  For more information, follow Plymouth Speedway on Facebook, @PlymouthSpeed on Twitter, or on our website at www.plymouthspeedway.net.

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