Duncan Takes Atomic Blast Opener
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Cole Duncan took the lead from Jimmy Stinson on the 11th lap and soared into the twilight zone, picking up the $3,000 victory Friday night at Atomic Speedway and earning a spot in the Sprint Car Open Wheel Championships in October.
Duncan lapped all but the first eight cars in the process to kick off the Atomic Blast weekend.
At the start of the sprint car main pole-sitter Ronnie Blair flipped in turn three, tumbling off the wall three times on the first lap of the A-main. From that point on the race went green-to-checkered.
Piketon, Ohio driver Jimmy Nier, a former track champion, took the early lead over new pole-sitter Jimmy Stinson. Nathan Skaggs quickly filed in behind Nier, but the #22 of Cole Duncan started to come to life.
Duncan stoked the fire and clicked off laps, sometimes nearly a second faster than his competitors, over the mid-point of the race. The Duncan express steamed past Nier on lap nine, then never looked back. Jason Meyers, the two time former World of Outlaws Champion, battled it out hard with Jimmy Stinson, Danny Smith, and Caleb Armstrong for position. Former All-Star champ Chad Kemenah suffered mechanical woes early and went pitside.
Aaron Higgins, Kory Crabtree, and Todd Kane thrashed around the high-banks in another heated battle for position, while Stinson stonewalled Smith’s charge to the front. That battle came after Stinson and Meyers had rubbed wheels in a move the sent the California driver past Stinson for fourth.
Nier settled down in second well ahead of Skaggs and Meyers as small battles continued to unfold all around the track. Duncan remained the fastest car on the track, even in traffic as he put several high quality cars down a lap. Duncan’s superior charge saw veteran Todd Kane become his last victim with three other top runners within a couple car lengths of going down a lap as time run out and Duncan grabbed the checkered.
Many cars were turning laps in the 11 second bracket throughout the feature. Skaggs held off Meyers for third as Duncan blitzed to the checkered well ahead of the high flying Nier.
“Man, this is a lot of fun,” said Duncan in victory lane. “My parents and grandparents are here and I’m just glad to be here in victory lane. Dad ( Rodney Duncan) made a good call right before the feature. We thought about tightening it (the car) up, but kept it free for (turns) three and four. I could make it through there faster than anyone and that made the difference. Motor City is one of our biggest sponsors. I’d like to thank them and all my sponsors. This is just so cool.”
Claiming the win in the AMRA Octane Modified division with a lap 17 pass of Tanner Wilson was Greggie Oliver, Jackson, Ohio. Dean Boyd, Williamsburg, Ohio claimed the Racer’s Edge Street Stock main, and Kentucky driver Mitchell Fields won the C & M Racing Sport Mod main event.