Current NASCAR O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Model point leader JC Newell had to work hard to earn what is being called the most exciting and competitive Pro Late Model feature in the history of The Lebanon I-44 Speedway by taking the lead from Brian Brown on the 29th lap of the 30 lap feature to grab his 4th feature win of the season.


The Speedway has hosted many great features on both dirt and asphalt, but this was a feature for the record books on Caddy Shack Golf Cart Night at the Races.


Veteran Brian Brown brought the 16 car field to the green along with Payton Lucas. Brown quickly grabbed the opening lead as 4th place starter Jimmy Vanzandt quickly followed along with defending Missouri State Champion Kaleb Allison. By lap 3 the 2014 NASCAR Missouri State Rookie of the Year Kyle Donahue moved into 3rd spot as Brown had Vanzandt putting on heavy pressure for the lead. By lap 5, the top 4 had pulled away from the 2 wide pack beyond for 5th spot. The only caution flew on lap 6 as Joe Ross spun and Scotty Allen got caught up in the accident with both cars suffering front-end damage. On the restart, Brown pulled by 2 cars but Vanzandt reeled him right back as Donahue found Allison working the outside lane while Brennon Willard moved to 5th. The battle behind the top 5 included Paul Jepson, JC Newell, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway point leader and 2007 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year Willie Allen who started 13th, Lucas, Steve Holt and Ronnie Hartford in a very tight pack.


While Vanzandt was keeping the heat on leader Brown, Allison moved to 3rd on lap 9 and pulled even with Vanzandt which allowed Brown to pull to his biggest lead at 2 car lengths. The intensity continued as drivers kept swapping spots while Brown was keeping Vanzandt at bay as Jimmy was putting on more pressure. As the feature hit lap 20, Brown was keeping Vanzandt behind him while Allison kept sneaking on the outside lane followed by Donahue, Newell, Allen, Willard, Jepsen and Hartford in the pack. With 5 laps remaining the race up front really turned around as Donahue moved even with Allison while Vanzandt again went for the lead. Out of turn 2, Newell shot to the low side and went from 5th to 3rd and then pulled even with Vanzandt for 2nd place. Brown again pulled away by an extra car length as Newell shot to 2nd place on lap 27 as Allison and Vanzandt made a little contact with both drivers keeping their machines under control. Newell set his sights on Brown and finally made the winning pass as the duo came for the white flag. Newell crossed the line with a 4 car length win, his 4th of the season while Brown, Vanzandt, Allison, Willie Allen, Kyle Donahue, Willard, Jepsen, Hartford and Steve Holt completed the top 10 as 13 of the 16 starters finished on the lead lap.


“I never had to work that hard for a win in my career as we did tonight” said Newell.” When the caution came out we couldn’t get going so I was hoping for at least a top 5. I lost my spotter on the radio with 4 laps to go and we got really lucky going from 5th to 3rd as the hole just opened-up. Brian really had a good car tonight and Vanzandt was so strong. I have never been in a feature like this tonight and to be honest, it is a blur right now.” Runner-up Brian Brown was both happy, but dejected.” We lost brakes around lap 10 and I had to ease the corners just a bit. Jimmy really had a fast car, but we were a bit stronger in the corners. To be honest, I don’t remember at all my spotter saying anything as I was focused on hitting my marks.” “When JC was coming I asked how many laps left, I was just hoping we could keep enough corner speed to hold him off, but it wasn’t enough.”


Like Newell, Brown said the feature was a blur as everything was happening so fast and quick as the top 10 in race times were just separated by .3 tenths of a second. Qualifying heats went to Brown, Jepsen and Willard.


“I have been fortunate enough to see several thousand short track races in my career and that was honestly the best short track race I have ever seen” said I-44 General Manager Kevin Greven. “I am not usually one to make statements like that but the feature was a 24 lap wreck that just never happened. Those drivers were 2, 3 and 4 wide multiple times during the feature and they all did an incredible job of keeping their cars under them and off of each other”.


Defending Budweiser Modified Champion Stephen Counterman took the lead on the opening lap from his 4th place starting spot and never looked back in grabbing his 3rd win on the season in a feature which saw attrition eliminate several front runners. Rodrick Icenhower gave up his 2nd place position as the caution flew on lap 3 due to a cut tire and sheet metal damage but made repairs and returned. Caution waved again on lap 4 as Ricky Icenhower and Richard Lewis made contact ending both drivers night. Current point leader Tim Swearengin moved into 2nd and was giving chase to the high-flying Counterman as Chris Johnson was moving quickly into 3rd, but slowed on lap 8 and pulled-in with engine problems. While Counterman was dominating the field, Swearengin would retire with a blown motor on lap 12 as Rodrick Icenhower moved into 2nd and racing local Fort Leonard Wood soldier Todd Lauvray into 3rd as he was making his final start of the season. Counterman was untouchable with the win as Icenhower, Lauvray, Brian Lewis and Kevin Blackburn completed the top 5. Rodrick Icenhower and Counterman took the heat race wins.


Hoosier Racing Tire Street Stock driver Zack “The Z-Man” Morgan took the lead on lap 2 from Shawn Schmidt and left the field to battle for 2nd place as he captured his 3rd feature wins of the season. Schmidt grabbed the opening lead as Morgan and point leader Jordan Nisbett were quick to follow. Morgan took the car to the low side and shot around Schmidt and never looked back leaving a very tight battle for 2nd place. Action slowed only once for a single car spin bunching the field-up. On the restart, Morgan again pulled away as Nisbett, Michael Juergensen, Steve Shaw and Rick Sharp battled while George Buhr was charging. Juergensen and Nisbett kept things interesting as Shaw was lurking in the shadows and early leader Schmidt pulled out on lap 8 with mechanical issues. Morgan was untouchable driving away with the win followed by Juergensen, Nisbett, Buhr and Shaw following in the top 5. Schmidt and Morgan won the heats.


Former Sportsman Champion Little JC Newell kept rolling by overtaking leader Jim Fohn on lap 3 and pulled away taking his 8th feature win of the season. Fohn looked very strong on the start as Newell and point leader Big JC Newell followed. Little Newell played a patient game until he saw the opening on lap 3 to take the lead. Fohn and Big Newell battled hard until lap 6 when the elder Newell moved into 2nd place and slowly started to inch towards the leader as Fohn and Jake Piel were racing hard for position. As big Newell closed-in, little Newell turned up the wick and pulled some distance back. Following the Newell family to the line were early leader Fohn, Piel and Kevin Donahue. Both Newell’s won the heat races.


Another exciting Coca-Cola Charger feature saw point leader Ben White take the lead from Japheth Nisbett on lap 3 and then again hold off repeated challenges from Jimmy Poindexter to take the victory. Nisbett grabbed the opening lead as White and Poindexter were slicing through the field to the front of the pack in the caution free feature. White moved low on Nisbett on lap 3 to take command as Poindexter followed. The next 9 laps saw Poindexter attempt high and low moves both as White was giving the 2013 Champion either groove. Poindexter would really make the last 2 laps close, but White held back the charges in capturing the win followed by Jimmy Poindexter, early leader Nisbett, Nik Taylor and Jesse Poindexter. Nisbett and Jesse Poindexter grabbed the heat race wins.


Action continues Saturday Sept. 12th with United Insurors and Waynesville Snack in a Pack Night with all 5 classes competing in the Chase for the 2015 Missouri State NASCAR Championship with racing to start at 6PM.


-Lebanon I-44 Press Release & Photo


Lebanon I-44 Speedway Results 


Nascar O’Reilly Auto Parts Pro Late Models

1 15 JC Newell Stoutland, MO
2 O2 Brian Brown Strafford, MO
3 67 Jimmy Vanzandt Pleasant Hope, MO
4 47 Kaleb Allison Mexico, MO
5 26A Willie Allen Nashville, TN
6 2 Kyle Donahue Wildwood, MO
7 3 Brennon Willard Sleeper, MO
8 44 Paul Jepsen Rolla, MO
9 97 Ron Hartford Raytown, MO
10 35 Steve Holt Strafford, MO
11 26 Payton Lucas Fair Grove, MO
12 98 Terry Smith Belton, MO
13 23 Mandy Chick De Soto, KS
14 7 Kevin Donahue Wildwood, MO
15 27 Joe Ross Independence, MO
16 12 Scotty Allen Urbana, MO

Heat 1
1 O2 Brian Brown
2 26 Payton Lucas
3 2 Kyle Donahue
4 27 Joe Ross
5 23 Mandy Chick
6 13 Kevin Donahue

Heat 2
1 44 Paul Jepsen
2 67 Jimmy Vanzandt
3 35 Steve Holt
4 12 Scotty Allen
5 98 Terry Smith

Heat 3
1 3 Brennon Willard
2 47 Kaleb Allison
3 15 JC Newell
4 26A Willie Allen
5 97 Ron Hartford

Nascar Budweiser Modifieds

1 25 Stephen Counterman Fair Grove, MO
2 29 Rodrick Icenhower Fair Grove, MO
3 15 Todd Lauvray Ridgeway, VA
4 9 Brian Lewis Willard, MO
5 44 Kevin Blackburn Lebanon, MO
6 14 Tim Swearengin Springfield, MO
7 OO Chris Johnson Lebanon, MO
8 6 Richard Lewis Willard, MO
9 7 Ricky Icenhower Fair Grove, MO
10 10 Joe Bunkers Harrisonville, MO
11 4 Phil Harris Springfield, MO
12 1 Robert Baltzell Springfield, MO

Heat 1
1 29 Rodrick Icenhower
2 10 Joe Bunkers
3 9 Brian Lewis
4 4 Phil Harris
5 OO Chris Johnson
6 44 Kevin Blackburn

Heat 2
1 25 Stephen Counterman
2 14 Tim Swearengin
3 6 Richard Lewis
4 7 Ricky Icenhower
5 15 Todd Lauvray
6 1 Robert Baltzell

Nascar Sportsman

1 15 JC Newell Stoutland, MO
2 84 JC Newell (Gentle Giant) Decaturvile, MO
3 48 Jimmy Fohn Eldridge, MO
4 76 Jake Piel St. Louis, MO
5 13 Kevin Donahue Wildwood, MO
6 79 AJ Bowman Lebanon, MO
7 27 Mike Bartig Smithville, MO

Heat 1
1 15 JC Newell
2 48 Jimmy Fohn
3 79 AJ Bowman
4 27 Mike Bartig

Heat 2
1 84 JC Newell (Gentle Giant)
2 76 Jake Piel
3 13 Kevin Donahue
4 7 Aaron Douglas

Nascar Hoosier Tire Street Stocks

1 14 Zack Morgan Lebanon, MO
2 OO Michael Juergensen Lebanon, MO
3 33 Jordan Nisbett Lebanon, MO
4 O7 George Buhr Neosho, MO
5 90 Steve Shaw Rogersville, MO
6 5 Rick Sharp Springfield, MO
7 O Tony Johnson Lebanon, MO
8 99 Shawn Schmidt Springfield, MO
DNS 27 Nick Cherry Springfield, MO
DNS 21 Les Mallard Fair Grove, MO
DNS 77 David Douglas Lebanon, MO

Heat 1
1 77 David Douglas
2 O7 George Buhr
3 OO Michael Juergensen
4 99 Shawn Schmidt
5 O Tony Johnson

Heat 2
1 14 Zach Morgan
2 5 Rick Sharp
3 27 Nick Cherry
4 90 Steve Shaw
5 33 Jordan Nisbett

Nascar Cola-Cola Chargers

1 44 Ben White Rolla, MO
2 5 Jimmy Poindexter Jr Willard, MO
3 22 Japheth Nisbett Rolla, MO
4 21 Nik Taylor Bolivar, MO
5 55 Jesse Poindexter Willard, MO
6 25 Luke Oster Linn Creek, MO
7 40 Mark Glorfeld Springfield, MO
8 24 Jerry Ellis Richland, MO

Heat 1
1 22 Japheth Nisbett
2 40 Mark Glorfeld
3 25 Luke Oster
4 24 Jerry Ellis

Heat 2
1 55 Jesse Poindexter
2 5 Jimmy Poindexter
3 44 Ben White
4 21 Nik Taylor

Newell Nips Brown in One for the Record Books at I-44