CORNING — Jerod Weston and Jesse Dennis have shown they are serious about the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point chase by visiting victory lane twice in the first two weeks of the season at the Adams County Speedway.
Both drivers finished second in their points chases last year and have demonstrated clearly they don’t want that to happen again.
Chat Mobility hobby stock driver Luke Ramsey captured his first career feature win in a 15-lap thriller that was never slowed by the caution flag. Ramsey, a 25-year-old from Bedford, started inside of the second row and took the lead on the first lap. Glenwood’s Tom Myers battled door to door with Ramsey and wrestled the lead away from him for three laps mid-race, but Ramsey was able to move back to the front and hang on for the win.
Defending champion Jeremy Purdy joined the race for the lead with about three laps to go, passing Myers on the final lap and settling for second. Myers finished third, followed by Andy Davison and Matt McAtee.
While the hobby stocks ran caution free, the Stalker Chevrolet b-mods had no such fortune. A multi-car mishap on lap number two retired four cars to the infield and created a long red-flag situation while crews removed damaged cars from the track. When racing resumed it was more yellow flags with no less than seven cautions interrupting the 15-lap event.
Nearly 40 minutes after he started it was Red Oak’s Jerod Weston taking home victory number two of the season, followed by Stanton’s Josh Sink, Prescott’s Josh Cooper, Cumberland’s Darrin Hardisty, and Des Moines driver Matt Webb. Weston’s win gives him a firm lead early in the 2014 point chase.
Only 10 Northland Oil pro-stocks made the call for their feature event, but what the field lacked in numbers it made up for in talent and door-banging excitement. Creston’s Kevin Sharp took his red number 2 to the front on the second lap and was never seriously challenged for the lead.
But the action for second, third, and fourth was furious with Brad Derry, Greg Miller, Tony Hardisty, and Joe Zadina all taking their shots at second and third.
In the end it was Sharp, Derry, Hardisty, Miller, and Jake Christensen in the top five with Zadina slipping to seventh following a last lap visit with the tires occupying the north berm.
When Poet Biorefining modified driver Jeff James lost his front brakes on the second lap of their feature race it took the ditch on the south end of the property to bring his car to a halt. After a quick wrecker-assisted removal from the ditch James was able to drive back to the pits, but his race ended early.
Up front it was the Jesse Dennis show as he charged from starting ninth to take the lead away from defending champion Brian Foote on lap number 10. Dennis used the very top of the race track as his preferred groove and nearly lost it all on the white flag lap as he went just a few inches too high into turn number one.
Saving himself from disaster he held on to lead youngster Cole Ferguson, a 16-year-old from Dexter, to the checkers. Ryan Peckham followed in third with Todd Van Eaton and Keven Parman rounding out the top five.
The evening’s final race saw 14 Coors Light late models take on a very fast track for a 25-five lap battle. Eight-time track champion Chris Spieker was on a rocket ship as he charged from eighth to the lead in just three laps and eventually opened a comfortable lead. A late race caution bunched the field and gave Omaha’s Justin Zeitner, recently returned from a shoulder injury sustained at I-80 Speedway, a shot at the lead, but Spieker held on to win by nearly a full second at the checkers. Jason O’Brien, Trent Jackson, and Leon Zeitner rounded out the top five.
The 2014 season is off to a roaring start with three consecutive races run in great weather conditions. Week number four will be on May 10 with a full night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action starting with hot laps at 6:30 and racing to follow.