South Bend, IN – There had to be a full moon somewhere as the South Bend Motor Speedway celebrated Kid’s Night with special activities for the younger fans. There were big wheel races and ‘Soapbox Derby” races for kids as well as some of the adults. A good time was had by all in attendence. However, it was “Murphy’s Law 101“ for the stock car portion of the show as Jason Cogswell, Vernon Knight and Kyle O’Dell made return visits to victory lane while Brian Ross and Mike Tutino picked up their first win of the season and Derek Danley scored his first ever feature win. Aside from the surprise power failure, it was a night of fun for everyone as 85 cars crammed the pit area.
Action got underway with the largest field of Mini Stock drivers taking to the track first on the card. Heat one set the tone for the evening as the event was called complete after only two of the eight laps had been completed. In the 25 lap feature, Eric Frazier of Warsaw jumped out to the early lead and appeared headed for his first win of the season. As the laps wound down, Jason Cogswell of LaPorte moved up to challenge. As the pair rounded turn three on the final lap, Frazier spun, collecting Cogswell and setting up a green, white, checker finish with Frazier going to the tail of the field. Cogswell took a hard fought win over last week’s winner, Zachery Newgent of South Bend and Chad Lindsey of LaPorte. Kevin Davis of South Bend and Wayne Kline of Centreville, MI were next as Frazier recovered to finish sixth. Marcus Carlson of Elkhart, Howie Fisette of South Bend and Dennis Frazier of Warsaw rounded out the top ten. Wayne Kline took the win in heat one over Mike Kline of Centreville, MI and Linsdey. Cogswell topped heat two over Derek Davis of South Bend and Newgent.
The Bellman Oil Outlaw Late Model 30 lap main saw twelve cars set to take the green. As the field charged into turn one, a multi car pileup brought the action to a halt with the mount of Shawn Amor of Mishawaka suffering the most damage and sidelining him for the remainder of the event. During the cleanup, the infield lights went out, leaving the track in near total darkness. Following a lengthy delay and several more caution periods, defending champion, Mike Tutino of Walkerton picked up his first win of the season by holding off challenges from Scott Ross of Plymouth and Cory Pressler of South Bend. Kenny Lollar Jr of Buchanan was next over Nick Kretchmer of Granger and Terry Lombardi of Elkhart. Charlie Hanna of Goshen, who smacked the wall hard, ended up seventh as Scott Bennison of Benton Harbor, Amor and Andrew DeVreese of Mishawaka rounded out the top ten. Hanna posted the win in heat one over Lollar and Amor while Pressler took heat two ahead of DeVreese and Tutino.
The 25 lap Street Stock feature was red flagged when the race truck of David Schieber of South Bend spewed oil all over the track, collecting several of the top runners. When the checker finally flew, it was Vernon Knight of Michigan City picking up his third win of the season over jay Coffin of Hamlet and Rich Hensley of South Bend. Dennis Kaiser of North Liberty was next over South Bend drivers, Ronnie McLean and Doug Fox. Frankie Fairchild of Osceola, Derek Wunder of South Bend, A.J. Lubelski of Walkerton and Jeff Kaiser of North Liberty completed the top ten. In heat race action, McLean topped Wunder and Jeff Kaiser in heat one while Fox beat Dennis Kaiser and Mark Swan of Mishawaka in heat two.
As had been the case all night, the Front Wheel Drive 20 lap feature ran without incident. Kyle O’Dell of Plymouth picked up his second win of the season holding off repeated challenges Sean Stuart of North Liberty and James Trussell of Niles. South Bend drivers, Mike Long, Craig Ponsler and Drew Davis were next as Bryant Ragsdale of Mishawaka was seventh ahead of James Austin, Mike Shewchuk and Helmut Forstinger Jr, all of South Bend. Shewchuk took the win in heat one over Ponsler and Jasmine Schafer of Bremen as O’Dell took heat two over Trussell and Stuart.
The 15 lap Hornet feature also ran green to checker as the clock ticked just past the midnight hour. Derek Danley of Mishawaka made a bold move as the field came to the green and led every lap to score his first ever win ahead of last week’s winner Eryn Hartz of South Bend and Richele Wolkens of Niles. Rick Wolkens of Niles was next over Tyler Mead, also of Niles. Terry Britain Jr of South Bend, Scott Binkley of Goshen, Lizzy Wolkens of Niles, Michael Werntz of South Bend and Corey Woods of South Bend rounded out the top ten. In heat action, Hartz topped Mead and Woods in heat one while Rick Wolkens bested daughter Lizzy and Britain in heat two.
In the final event of the evening, Brian Ross of Plymouth picked up the win in the Pro Late Model 30 lap main over Michael Mast of New Paris and Rodney Smith of Elkhart. Steve Stacy of Plymouth took fourth with fourth generation driver, Nick Stremme from South Bend taking fifth. Matt Sullivan of Hartford, Rich Boal of Plymouth, Danny Brown Sr of New Carlisle, Danny Brown Jr of LaPorte and Ales Pratt of Elkhart completed the top ten. Nick Stremme took heat one over Smith and Ross as Mast was awarded the win in heat two ahead of Boal and Pratt.
Racing returns this Friday with another Six Pack Special for Bellman Oil Outlaw Late Models, Pro Late Models, Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, FWD and Hornets. With just a handful of races left, the season is winding down quickly. Gates open at 5 pm with racing set to get underway at 8. Adult admission is just $12 with kids 6-12 only $5 and 5 & under are free with an adult. Small coolers are welcome but no alcohol or glass containers allowed. Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, your in-laws, outlaws, your sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s cousin’s uncle’s next door neighbor. Tell everyone you know and we’ll see you at the races.