Action Heats Up At Central Missouri
WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Near-perfect temperatures greeted drivers and fans at Central Missouri Speedway Saturday evening as the track kicked off its annual Labor Day weekend special events with the first of two straight nights of competition.
A total of 67 competitors checked in for competition among the five competing classes, which included 23 USRA Modifieds, 16 Street Stocks, 6 Pure Stocks, 10 ULMA Late Models, and 12 Lightning Sprints. All total, fans in the stands witnessed 16 events throughout the night.
USRA Modifieds headlined the evening with the first of two twin $1,500-to-win 35-lap feature events of the weekend and it was USRA National Point’s Leader Terry Schultz of Sedalia who powered his way to the front of the field to claim the night one main event. In Street Stock action, Brett Wood took his ninth feature win of the year while Jason Ryun of Kansas City, Missouri drove to his second-consecutive win in Pure Stock action. Non-sanctioned Lightning Sprints made their final appearance of the year at CMS a good one with Phil Heavelow picking up the victory while Jon Binning of Warrensburg captured the ULMA Late Model win.
Pure Stocks kicked off the evening with their preliminary heat race. Darrin Christy Started out the night with a heat race win ahead of last week’s winner Jason Ryun and Lee Scott to setup the main event lineup. Christy and Ryun started on the front row of the ten-lap main event with Ryun quickly shooting out to an early race lead. Christy hounded Ryun through the early stages as Scott’s night came to an early end with mechanical woes.
The entire race distance was the Fox and the Hound story as Christy pursued Ryun all throughout the race. Don Johnson stayed solidly in third with Leroy Morrison fourth. In the end, Ryun captured his second straight win in the Pure Stocks with Christy settling for second, Johnson third, Morrison fourth, Robbie Sullins fifth and Lee Scott sixth.
The Lucas Cattle Company ULMA Late Models took to the track next in two exciting heat races. Two-time track champion Jon Binning drove to the win in heat one ahead of Payton Looney and Michael Weir of Kansas City. In heat two, Lockwood, Missouri’s Dwight Niehoff claimed the win. The feature event lined up with Binning and Niehoff taking the initial green flag from the front row.
Early on, Binning set a torrid pace as drivers settled in for the 20-lap race. Niehoff never let Binning out of his sights and stayed close through lapped traffic with Looney running solidly in third. Some of the best racing came from Todd McCoin, Ryan Petersheim, and Lane Ehlert before the halfway point at lap ten. With Binning and Niehoff in lapped traffic, things got a little dicey for Binning as he left the door open for Niehoff in the closing laps. Off of turn two, the pair split lapped cars and Niehoff shot out front.
With just two laps remaining, Binning fought hard to stay with the new leader and maneuvered his way around the track on the low side with Niehoff in the middle lane. On the white flag lap, Binning found a fast line and pulled even with Niehoff on the back straightaway to setup up a final turn three and four sprint to the finish. Coming off of turn four, the pair were dead even with Binning ultimately narrowly outgunning Niehoff for his third win over the year during the caution-free event.
Lightning Sprints were next in the running order for two preliminary heat races. Beau Heavelow of Sibley, Missouri was victorious in heat one ahead of A.J. Tice and Mark Billings. For heat race number two, Phil Heavelow captured the win ahead of CMS veteran Bobby Lane and M.K. Billings.
The Heavelow’s owned the front row for the start of the non-sanctioned lightning sprint main event and from the drop of the green flag, Buckner, Missouri’s Phil Heavelow shot out to an early race lead with Beau Heavelow and A.J. Tice in tow. The drivers were on their A-game as the field raced through a blistering pace throughout the 20-lap main event.
Even through heavy lapped traffic and a lightning-fast surface, Phil Heavelow stayed comfortably in the lead ahead of Beau Heavelow. Tice stayed comfortably in third with Mark Billings in pursuit in fourth. As the laps wound down, it was evident something drastic would have to happen to keep Phil Heavelow from victory lane once again at CMS. In the end, Phil Heavelow captured his second-straight Lightning Sprint win in a race that ran caution free for 20 laps with Beau Heavelow finishing second.
Street Stocks made their way to the track for their two heat races as the exciting action continued. Heat race winners included Warrensburg driver Brett Wood ahead of Marc Carter and Jermiah Wilson in heat one and John Clancy out of California, Missouri over Bobby Raybourn and Brett Cox in heat two.
Brett Wood and John Clancy started the action for the Street Stocks in row one with Marc Carter and Bobby Raybourn just behind. Earlier in the night the Lightning Sprints and ULMA Late Models went green to checkers and it looked like the Street Stocks would do the same. Wood grabbed the early lead with Clancy and Carter in pursuit as the race ran caution free until lap 14.
With what was the one and only caution flag during the event waving over the field six laps shy of the finish, Wood again held point over Carter, Clancy, and Allen Perryman. Wood again distanced himself from the rest of the field as Carter and Clancy ran strong in second and third. Meanwhile, ninth-starting Jay Prevete had a successful return to CMS as he made his way into the top five. Ultimately, Wood was again too strong for the rest of the field as he captured his ninth main event win of the year.