CORNING — With more than 2 1/2 inches of rain falling on the Adams County Speedway in the 48 hours leading up to race time Saturday, it took extraordinary efforts by speedway staff to get the grounds in shape to race.
But some sunshine and warm winds helped and 79 cars were on hand for week number 10 of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Racing can’t get much more exciting than the show the crowd got to witness as 20 Chat Mobility hobby stocks took to the track for the evening’s opening feature. The top six cars spent most of the race within an arm-length of each other as they battled for position.
Veteran racer David Weeda led the pack with last week’s winner Andy Davison, Jeremy Auten, defending champion Jeremy Purdy, and Luke Ramsey all at his heels. Kurt Hansen, Tom Myers, and Patrick Pellman were in the mix too, just waiting for a chance to lead.
On the final lap Luke Ramsey was able to squeak ahead in turns one and two and hold on for the win by a margin of only .34 seconds over Weeda. Less than .03 seconds behind him was Davison, with Hansen, Myers and Pellman all finishing within two seconds of the leader.
Davison’s second place pushed him to the lead in the points with Ramsey just one point behind in second. Prior leader and defending champion Jeremy Purdy dropped to third, but is still just two points out of the lead.
It was 15 caution free laps when the Stalker Chevrolet b-mods took to the track for their feature. Blain Petersen appeared to be in position to capture his first win of the season until unfortunate timing with a lapped car caught him and opened the door for Shawn Kralik and Jon Plowman to slip by on the bottom.
Plowman and Kralik swapped the lead in the final laps before Plowman, for the sixth time in nine starts, cruised on for the win. Petersen slipped back past Kralik for second with Jerod Weston finishing fourth and Darrin Hardisty fifth.
The yellow caution flag stayed in its holster for the duration of the Northland Oil pro-stock feature, giving the large crowd on hand the unusual pleasure of watching back to back green/white/checker races. This week it was Brad Derry’s turn to shine, taking the lead from Jake Christensen on lap number three and never being seriously challenged as he drove a flawless race.
Tony Hardisty, who just last week had some on-track contact with Derry, tried to reel in the leader but was never able to get to his rear bumper, with Derry winning by over a second and a half. Greg Miller came from shotgun on the field to finish third with Christensen and Jason Rold rounding out the top five.
When 19 Poet Biorefining modifieds took the track for their feature, that previously inactive caution flag came to life. A single car spin on lap six resulted in the first restart, but it was the lap 13 incident that collected six cars, sending three of them, Kirby Stiens, Andy Miller, and Russell Stewart, to the pits for the rest of the race. Cautions on laps 16 and 17 lead to the final green, white, checker restart that extended the race one extra lap.
Up front it was Jesse Dennis, working his way from starting 10th to take the lead away from Eric Hanna on lap number eight. Win number seven in nine starts for the Corning driver came with an MSD ignition box under the hood that had been provided for him by track officials at the start of the evening as part of the track’s inspection routines.
Behind Dennis, Hanna and defending champion Brian Foote put on a tremendous side by side battle with Hanna finishing second, Foote third, and Josh Cooper coming home fourth after starting dead last in the field of 19. Todd Van Eaton was fifth.
A field of 15 Coors Light late models were on hand for the evening’s final race with Colton Leal and Dave Carlisle on the front row. With flagman Jim Tull still making his way up the ladder the field came out of four and smashed the gas down the front stretch. With a clean, even start Tull turned on the green light and let them go green.
A lap two caution brought out by JC Wyman and Jason O’Brien’s tangle brought the first restart with Chris Spieker out front. Spieker’s car stumbled on the restart, and the ensuing log jam on the front stretch ended with six cars involved and two cars, Carlisle and Justin Zeitner, done for the evening.
Further restarts on laps nine, 16, and 18 saw the field thinned until only seven cars remained on the lead lap with Spieker and O’Brien both on the track several laps down but racing for precious NASCAR points.
At the checkers it was Omaha’s Josh Krug picking up his first win of the season with last week’s winner John Hampel in second. JC Wyman, Fred Miller, and Paul Glendenning followed in third through fifth. O’Brien ended the evening with a three-point lead over Spieker in his quest to be a repeat champion.
The biggest purse of the season will be on the line as the Lucas Oil MLRA late models, along with Corn Belt Clash and Midwest Late-model Racing Association, will compete for the $5000 winner’s share of the Liberty 50 on June 28. Over 30 late models are anticipated along with a full field of NASCAR support classes.
Gates will open one hour early with grandstand adult tickets at $20, junior high and high school students $10, K-6 students $5, and a family pass priced at $50. All pit passes will be $30 for this special event.