Kalamazoo, MI. – After a long layoff, the stars of the NSTA Top Speed Modified Tour made their much-anticipated return to the World’s Fastest 3/8-Mile, Kalamazoo Speedway for the Turn One 50. Many of the best drivers from Michigan descended in droves for the first appearance of the Tour in the Wolverine State on the 2017 Kickin’ Asphalt Tour.
A fast-paced, action-packed schedule would give the touring stars little time to adapt to the tricky oval. 23 drivers posted qualifying times for the 50 lap feature. Beaverton, Michigan’s Travis Eddy was lightning quick during qualifying, setting fast time at 99.455 mph. After drawing a 10 inversion, he would be forced to claw his way to the front throughout the race to claim his rightful spot at the head of the pack.
Veteran driver Mark Bott, and three-time feature winner Chad Poole lined up on the front row. Poole would use the outside line to claim the lead for a pair of laps. Former Tour Champion Bob Sibila Jr. snuck into the lead on lap three, before falling into the clutches of Ohio’s Danny Jackson. Sibila would elect to restart on the outside line on lap eight, which would allow Jackson to snag the lead away for a six-lap stay up front.
When the yellow flag flew again, Jackson moved to restart on the inside, this time by his own choice, but the crafty veteran Sibila would not make the same mistake twice. He used his momentum on the outside to charge back to the lead on lap 15. While the leaders chased each other, fast qualifier Eddy was marching from 10th place to the front of the field. He would arrive to challenge Sibila in an exciting two-wide battle all over the track. Eddy was driving hard on the very bottom of the track, while Sibila was using the high line to maintain momentum.
After a lengthy battle, Eddy finally took the lead on lap 26 and began running away from the pack. Fending off challenges through several restarts, Mother Nature lent Eddy a helping hand. With four laps remaining a rain shower halted the event early, allowing Eddy to claim his first victory of the 2017 season.
Jackson recorded his best ever finish in the Tour with a second place finish. Turn One High Performance Steering Rookie of the Year points leader Loren Short also set a career high mark coming home third. Sibila faded at the end to come home in fourth, while pole sitter Bott claimed the fifth position.
The next event on the 2017 Kickin’ Asphalt Tour is the second straight race in Michigan on Friday July 14. The Turn One 75 will be the longest race on the schedule. The NSTA Modifieds will help christen a new era for Birch Run Speedway (formerly Dixie Motor Speedway) and the track’s new owners who are taking the helm of this historic speedway.
NSTA Top Speed Modified Tour Press Release. Photo Credit: RW Motorsports Marketing