Rold Captures Tradition Gold
Ninety drivers filed through the pit gates on a splendid early fall evening for the seventeenth annual NAPA Tradition at the Adams County Speedway on Saturday, September 20th. The event and its $26,000 plus purse pays honor to the cars and drivers normally considered support divisions at the speedway, but on this evening they are the stars racing for the big money.
Avoca’s Jason Rold took the honors this year winding his way through traffic and avoiding a myriad of caution flags throughout the event to capture the win. Doing things the hard way Jason started last in his heat race and fought his way up to the last position eligible to draw for a top twelve starting spot in the feature. Drawing tenth he steadily worked his way forward to fourth place by the mid-race break. Joe Zadina, who had taken the lead away from Brad Derry on lap number ten, looked to be unstoppable using the top groove of the track.
When Rold finally got around Derry to move into second with just six laps to go the scene was set for a thrilling ending. A caution with three to go stacked the field behind leader Zadina but Rold was able to roll by as they approached the white flag and held on for the victory. 2014 pro-stock track champion Greg Miller passed both Derry and Clay Mercer on the final lap to finish second with Mercer and Derry right behind. Creston’s Kevin Sharp finished fifth.
In the evening’s opening feature involving the B-mods the battle between Woodbine’s Jon Plowman, who already has eleven wins at ACS this season, and Red Oak hot-shoe Josh Most was worth the price of admission by itself. Most had the good fortune of starting inside of row two while Plowman started tenth. Most jumped into the lead from the opening gun, but by the midway point of the fifteen lap feature Plowman had moved into second
Slowed by a caution flag on lap number ten and again on lap number eleven Most was able to hold off the track and national champion and capture the $1000 winner’s purse. Plowman finished second, followed by Kody Havens, Jerod Weston, and Blain Petersen.
Josh Most also had his modified at the speedway and was dominating it that class too. Starting from the pole in his heat race he went on to win leading from flag to flag. Drawing the number two starting position for the twenty lap feature race again Most dominated leading every lap – except one.
As Most’s number 89 roared down the back stretch on the final lap the motor blew, releasing a large cloud of smoke followed quickly by flames engulfing the engine compartment. As the pack rolled by him he coasted across the finish line finishing eighth and eventually coming to a halt at the end of the front stretch.
Behind the leader it was Minburn’s Luke Wanniger and Corning’s Jesse Dennis who had spent the entire race swapping positions between second and third. Wanniger inherited the lead and went on take the win and the $1500 prize with Dennis in second. McClelland, Iowa’s Jeff Joldersma finished third with Brian Foote and Brad Bergren rounding out the top five.
When one of the nation’s top hobby stock drivers shows up to race at your speedway you expect your local boys to rise to the occasion, and that’s exactly what happened when four time IMCA national champion Shannon Anderson pulled his number 78 hobby stock into the infield.
Bedford’s Luke Ramsey has four wins at ACS this season and finished third in the point race. After winning his heat race Ramsey drew the poll position for the feature, with Anderson, who also won his heat, starting on his rear bumper. From the drop of the green flag it was Ramsey out front with Corning high-school senior Buck Schafroth falling into second place ahead of Anderson where he stayed for the first seven laps until Anderson moved into second.
It was on the restart after the mid-race five minute pit stop that Anderson was able to make his move around Ramsey to get the lead. Oskaloosa‘s Mike Hughes and Ramsey swapped positions between second and third in the second half of the race with Ramsey eventually following Anderson across the finish line. Hughes, Schafroth, and Kurt Hansen rounded out the top five.
The next event on the calendar for the Adams County Speedway will be the annual election of board members for the Fair and Racing Association that operate the facility on October 21. The 2014 awards banquet will be held at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic on Saturday, January 24th, 2015 with special guest hypnotist Rick Bultez.
Champions Crowned at ACS
Five track champions were crowned on a cool September evening that brought the 2014 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series to a close at the Adams County Speedway. The 17th annual NAPA Tradition next Saturday night, September 20, will bring the season to a close.
In the evening’s final feature race it was Chris Spieker and Jason O’Brien facing off for a winner-takes-all battle as they started side by side in row five, tied for the Coors Light late model point lead. By lap number six Spieker had moved to the lead with O’Brien close behind in second. For ten laps O’Brien tried to get around to the lead, but when contact was made coming out of turn two causing Spieker to spin and bring out the caution flag it was both drivers being sent to the back. Only three laps later the two had moved back to the front with Spieker hanging on for win number seven and another track championship. Sterling Perkins, John Hampel and Daulton Maassen rounded out the top five.
O’Brien came back just a few minutes later to win the late model King of the Hill by besting both Perkins and Maassen in the brackets.
There was no suspense in the Poet Biorefining modifieds as Jesse Dennis has the championship tied up several weeks ago. Dennis’ ten wins and fifteen top five finishes in sixteen nights were the class of the division. This week Dennis would settle for a fourth place finish as Jeff Wiggins and Keven Parman battled for the win. The race came down to a green – white – checker shootout which extended the eighteen lap feature one extra lap. While Parman had lead the bulk of the race from his outside front row start Wiggins had come off a dismal heat race performance and had to work his way from fourteenth to get the win.
Jeff James took home second place in the point battle behind Dennis, with Brian Foote third and Wiggins moving into fourth with the bonus points for the win propelling him ahead of Todd Van Eaton.
Eight time track champion Greg Miller dodged a bullet hanging on to capture the title while his car sat in the pits for the bulk of the feature race. Transmission problems sidelined him early in the race, opening the door for Joe Zadina to overcome the fifteen point lead Miller had carried into the evening. Zadina’s hopes for the championship went out the window with just three laps to go when he lost control trying to wrest the lead away from leader, and eventual winner, Brad Derry. The sad truth is that a second place finish for Zadina (who eventually finished seventh) would have provided the margin he needed to overtake Miller.
Derry picked up win number three for the season, followed by Tony Hardisty, Craig Garner, and AJ Miller. Hardisty and Derry ended the season third and fourth in points behind Miller and Zadina.
In the Stalker Chevrolet b-mods Jon Plowman ended one of the most dominating seasons ever seen at ACS by capturing win number eleven in sixteen starts. The win solidified his hold on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division 3 national championship. Plowman will join four other national champions in Charlotte, NC on December 12th for the awards ceremony.
Following Plowman at the checkers was Kody Havens, Blain Petersen, and Jerod Weston. Weston took home second in the division point battle with Josh Sink third and Petersen fourth.
Back to back championship trophies will now grace the mantle at Jeremy Purdy’s Bedford home following win number four this week. Purdy needed only to start the race to lock in the championship, but racing to win is in Purdy’s nature. Luke Ramsey lead the first half of the feature as Purdy worked his way to the front. The two put on a tremendous side by side battle with Purdy eventually pulling away to win by a margin of less than one second. Kurt Hansen, Andy Davision and Tom Myers filled out the top five. Davison, Ramsey and Hansen also followed Purdy in the point battle.
The 2014 race season will finish with a bang on September 20th with the 17th annual NAPA Tradition at ACS. One of the largest single-day shows in the state will feature stock cars and modified racing for $1500 to win while hobby stocks and b-mods race for $1000 to win. The racing starts early with grandstands opening at 4:00 o’clock and racing action at 5:30. See www.acspeedway.com for details.
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