OBETZ, Ohio -- The Broaster Chicken ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour returned to the Buckeye State capital for the first time since the 2003 racing season on a special Sunday afternoon, September 13th. The ICAR contingent invaded the 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked, circular shaped paved oval of Columbus Motor Speedway (OH) located southeast of Columbus in Obetz, Ohio for the running of the Jason Dietsch Trailer Sales 50 Presented by One Call Lawn Care. This event also served as the final Northern VS Southern Division combination race of the 2015 racing season.
This event also served as the Season Championship race for the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Northern Division who would end their 2015 campaign south of the series home base of Michigan in the neighboring state of Ohio. By taking the Green Flag, Clio, Michigan's Nick Clemens clinched the 2015 ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Northern Division Championship. As for the 50-lap main, Groveport, Ohio favorite, Tyler Nuckles took advantage of a rare opportunity to race at the track owned by his family and dominated the entire day en route to his first career ICAR triumph.
"This is such a great day. We don't get the chance very often to race here at home with all the family obligations to the track. But thanks to Jeff Miller and J.V.M. Enterprises for renting the track for this deal, we got to race and this day was absolutely perfect." The beaming 25-year-old relayed after climbing from his #57 AutoSmartsRadio.com / Hillary's Beauty Salon open-wheeled machine. "I was so excited when the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour was coming here. I couldn't wait for these guys to come here and to race against them. To beat them today, this is unreal." He added.
In addition to Nuckles' victory, Clemens officially was crowned the 2015 ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Northern Division Champion. The 31-year-old driver from Clio, Michigan in his #34 O'Guinn Family Funeral Homes / Superior Monuments ride needed only to show up at Columbus, with the absence of the second place team. "We've had such a good season. I wish we could've won one of these races, but a Championship speaks volumes in terms of how good we were all season long." The newly crowned champion stated after the race. "I can't thank everyone on this team enough for this title. My wife and I have a baby coming soon and this has been a tremendous year for us." He added.
Nuckles began his clean sweep of the entire day by sweeping both practice sessions and then winning the Economy Auto Parts Fast Qualifier award. After pulling a 10 for the redraw inversion, it would be 2013 Tour Champion, Tim Burkett and Two-Time ICAR North Feature Winner in 2015, Travis Eddy leading the field to Chief Starter, Weo Schweyer's green flag. Burkett jumped out to the led, but that would be short-lived as 2011 Track Champion, Shane Shirk drove past on lap three to take the lead. He brought Nuckles, who started eighth, with him and the battle was on for the led.
It took Nuckles until lap six before he was able to drive around Shirk to take over the top spot as the partisan hometown crowd stood up and cheered as he crossed the stripe as the new race leader. Nuckles, who was making only his second career start in the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour made no mistake the rest of the way as the Buckeye State driver would pace the field the rest of the way en route to the emotional victory at the track his family, led by his Mother and Father, Cindy & Jeff Nuckles as well as his Uncle, Jerry Nuckles run on Saturday nights sanctioned by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series during the regular season.
Eddy would finish second in his #78 Howe Racing Enterprises ride after starting in the same position. The 25-year-old son of former seven-time ASA National Tour Champion, Mike Eddy was also the highest finishing driver representing the ICAR North contingent. Shirk completed the podium finishers in his #2 Maplewood Tree Service ride for a career high showing in the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour for the Springfield, Ohio driver. The 48-year-old veteran was also making his first ever ICAR appearance at a track other than Winchester Speedway and was rewarded with a career high showing at his home track. Grove City, Ohio driver, Chad Pendleton began his double-duty day at his home track by finishing fourth in his #15 One Call Lawn Care machine. The 34-year-old track regular would later finish 11th in the headlining ARCA/CRA Super Series race, the 2nd Annual Bud St. Amant 125 Presented by his primary sponsor, One Call Lawn Care.
Current ICAR Southern Division points leader, Brian Nester extended his points lead in his quest for his first career ICAR Championship by completing the top five in his #11 Burkett-Nester Racecars entry. The 40-year-old from Hamilton, Indiana needs to only take the green flag in the season finale at Winchester Speedway and the all-time career leader in most statistical categories in Tour history will win that long sought after first championship.
Burkett would finish in the sixth position as Six-Time Track Champion; Terry Humphrey recorded a seventh place effort in his ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour debut. 1998 Tour Champion, Jeff Lane finished eighth as Damon Breedlove earned the Allstar Performance Hard-Charger award with his 19th to ninth place run. Clemens completed the top 10. Donny Matteson Jr., earned the M.P.H. Promotions Rookie of the Race award as the 2015 ICAR North Rookie of the Year title is to be determined by ICAR Officials and will be announced soon.
Earlier in the afternoon in Economy Auto Parts Qualifying, Nuckles out-timed the 23-car field with a lap measured at a 14.360 which equals out to 83.565mph. The overall Modified Track Record remains a 14.085 set by 2011 Track Champion, Shane Shirk.
The final race of the 2015 racing season for the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour will see the Southern Division teams end ICAR's 27th season overall with the most prestigious Modified race in the country; The famed Run for the Gun 50 Presented by Genuine Broaster Chicken is part of the 44th Running of the Winchester 400 Weekend. The ICAR South contingent will be in action during the traditional weekend on Friday-Saturday, October 9-10th at the legendary 1/2 (0.500) mile high-banked paved oval of Winchester Speedway (IN). The Entry Form is available and Due at the ICAR Home Offices by Wednesday, October 7th to avoid having to pay the late entry fees.
For more information about the rest of the 2015 racing season within Broaster Chicken ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour, long on to the series website located at: www.topspeedmods.com You can also follow along on the Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/TopSpeedModifieds and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/ICARModifieds Finally for more information about Winchester Speedway, the host track for the final event of the season for ICAR, go to: www.winchesterspeedway.com.
-ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Press Release. Photo credit: