Story & Photos by Dusty Wiegert
SALINA, Kan. – For most of the feature event Friday night at the Salina Speedway in the Long McArthur IMCA Modified division, it looked as if NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader would notch his first win at the track.
But he was inevitably denied with only a handful of laps left as Salina’s Corey Lagroon snuck past and powered away for the victory, his first of the season. Schrader, who started from the pole after a lucky pill draw by one of the Speedway’s younger fans, pushed up the track exiting turn 3 allowing Lagroon the room to get by as he got the car to stick on the bottom side. Schrader finished second with Tyler Frye and Danny Morrison rounding out the top four. Lagroon, Morrison, and Frye won the heat races.
Chris Kratzer powered his way to another feature win in the BSB Manufacturing NeSmith Late Model division. This time he came from a fifth place starting position to hold off Dusty Leonard, Daniel Smith, and Delbert Smith at the finish. Kratzer and Adam Popp won the heat races.
Chad Sterling drove to a big win in the Coors Light IMCA Stock Car division in a rare appearance to the track. Defending Champion Arnold Williams returned to finish second with Tanner Portenier and Scot Granzella following in the top four. Granzella and Nolan Remus won the heat races.
Ellis driver Dakota Sproul got his first taste of victory this season with a triumph from the outside pole in the M&H Motors IMCA Northern SportMod division. Veteran Rodger Peck made his debut count, finishing in the runner-up position. Rookie Brian Davidson finished third with Brenden Damon in fourth. Sproul and Shane Meeks won the heat races.
Another western Kansas to visit the O’Reilly Auto Parts Victory Lane was Damar’s Shay Simoneau, ending Mike Traskowsky’s streak in the Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stock division. Tony Slothower held off Traskowsky for second, while Eric Cross advanced thirteen positions from a seventeenth starting spot to finish fourth. Slothower, Cody Williams, and Traskowsky won the heat races.
The Bird Contracting IMCA Sport Compacts made their debut for the season with last year’s Rookie of the Year, Ashlyn Bird, picking up her first ever Feature victory, working past Josh Howard late in the races. Howard finished second with Bailey Glavin third and Alison Bird fourth. Ashlyn Bird also won the heat race.
Racing continues on Friday May 13th with the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Northern SportMods, Mod Lites, IMCA Hobby Stocks, and IMCA Sport Compacts in action.