Long Live the King of the Hill
By Anthony Ainslie
Race Dates: 8-9-13 & 8-10-13
It’s the biggest late model event of the season at Junction Motor Speedway. Friday and Saturday brought in some of the best racing talent in the mid-west, as the Junction opened its doors to drivers and race fans for the 2013 King of the Hill Late Model Shootout. The two-day show was headlined by the MLRA, NCRA, and for the first time, the MARS, super late models. The weekly classes got in on the action as well as they took to the track over the two days with the super late models. On both days, it was a high octane thrill ride as the excitement just did not quit, and the great crowds on both nights couldn’t get enough of the action. The competition was fierce, and the conditions were ideal. It was going to be two nights of fast and furious racing.
The 4-cylinder division welcomed a couple of new faces to the track on Friday night. Larry and Melissa Cronin, two regular competitors at the Eagle Raceway, loaded up the 5 and 5M cars in Lincoln, Nebraska and paid the Junction a visit. Both Larry and Melissa ran well in the 4-cylinder feature, but the locals of JMS showed them the fast way to get around the 3/8 mile oval. Primarily, Dalton Siebke. Despite getting some pressure from David Dembowski and reigning track champion, Steve Moock, Siebke could not be beat. The former 4-cylinder track champion led flag to flag on Friday night in the main event. Dalton Siebke earned his seventh victory of the season.
On Friday night, back by popular demand were the two-person cruisers. They took to the track for the first time in about three months, and one team dominated the night by far. Sam Schwebach and Andy Dunbar were hooked up as the 27S coming from Derby, Kansas dominated the main event. Seeing as they drove a cruiser, it was fitting that they easily “cruised” to the victory after their closest competition, Ken and Drew Barry, suffered a blown engine in the late stages of the feature. For all the cruiser fans, there is the possibility of the cruisers coming back to Junction Motor Speedway for one final 2013 appearance at the Cool McCool 100. We hope to see the fans and cruisers out at JMS for that event.
The Bmods took center stage during Saturday night’s program. In the main event, Kevin Betzen was head of the class. As Betzen was out in front, it was a wild race for second between Scott Styskal, Brent Kassik, and Justin Gimpel. The trio fought it out lap after lap, and the great race resulted with Styskal taking second, Gimpel in third, and Kassik fourth. However, out front was the 42 of Kevin Betzen. He had the field covered on Saturday. The point leader finished off his winning performance with some victory donuts. This is Betzen’s fourth win of the 2013 season.
The hobby stocks had double feature honors on Saturday night. Feature one saw Troy Paxton taking the early lead. However, the big moment came two laps into the race. Timothy Miller lost control of his number 27. Miller collected the 8R of Katie Renschler, and the two slammed the turn two wall very hard. Fortunately, both drivers walked away from one of the hardest crashes of the 2013 season. When racing resumed, Paxton continued out in front, but Greg Gimpel and Shane Schneider didn’t want the 87 to go to victory lane. Gimpel and Schneider charged for the front, but Greg Gimpel’s treasure hunt came to an abrupt end as he got tagged by Schneider and spun around in turn four. After the dust settled, Troy Paxton was in victory lane for the third time of the year.
Main event number two found Greg Gimpel out in front. After getting the shorter end of a late race spin the first feature, Gimpel was hungry for another win. Paul Jurgensen was the only spin victim of feature two after spinning the 5H with five laps to go. When the race went back to green, Greg Gimpel finished off the remaining laps and took the victory. Greg Gimpel continues his reign as the winningest JMS hobby stock driver with his sixth feature win.
The NASCAR late models came out for a 25-lap prelude feature for the super late models on Saturday night. On the start, Alex Humphrey put the 16H from Giltner, Nebraska out in front. His lead was short-lived as Cory Dumpert made the go-ahead pass for the lead three laps into the race. Dumpert would set it on cruise control from there to the end. Jase Kaser tried to make a late run, but the 77 of Dumpert had the upper hand on Saturday. Dumpert picked up his eighth feature win of 2013. He is now two wins behind the record for most wins in a season at JMS in the late model class, which was set by Jase Kaser during his title-winning season in 2012.
The modifieds were also on hand for a . However, they ran a 15-lap feature rather than their usual 20-lap event. The race began with a good battle for the lead between Scott Eaton and Bob Lawson. Two laps into the feature, Eaton and Lawson got into each other in turn one, and the 3X of Lawson spun around and collected Jeremy Leiting. On the restart, Tyler Iverson jumped to the top side and took the lead away from Eaton. Iverson was out in front in his 98T with Andy Wilkinson closing in quickly. Another driver trying to get up front was Kyle Berck in his 33Z modified. Berck was pulling off double duty on Saturday in the modifieds and super late models, but third place was all that Kyle Berck could muscle out at the checkered flag. However, the big moment of the race came with four laps remaining. Andy Wilkinson caught Tyler Iverson off turn four and passed Iverson for the lead coming out of turn two. The 2010 track champion led the final laps and picked up his fifth win of the season. With five wins, Andy Wilkinson is the winningest modified driver at Junction Motor Speedway in 2013.
On both Friday and Saturday night, the program was closed out by the stars and the cars of the MLRA, NCRA, and MARS super late models. Friday night featured a 25-lap feature with $2000 going to the winner. The majority of the race was led by Madison, Nebraska driver and contender for the MLRA Rookie of the Year, Travis Dickes. Meanwhile, behind Dickes was a wild battle between the drivers who sat first and second in the MLRA point standings, Will Vaught and Tony Jackson Jr. With nine laps to go, Jackson made the charge on Dickes for the lead and actually took the lead going into turn one, but a yellow flag came out for Jimmy Seagraves. Because Jackson didn’t lead a lap before the yellow came out, he was placed behind Travis Dickes in second place. On the restart, Jackson got a great run for the lead and almost had it until Mike Wiarda stalled his number 15W in turn two to bring the yellow flag out again. The second restart was when the race really heated up. Dickes brought the field down to the green flag. Will Vaught got a great run on the top side of the track and passed Jackson for second. Down the backstretch the field went, and halfway down the back straightaway, Travis Dickes, the leader, went up in a cloud of smoke with a blown engine costing his chance on a huge victory. That gave the lead to Will Vaught. Vaught was in the lead, but Tony Jackson Jr. was not about to go out without a fight. Jackson dove to the inside of Vaught for the lead lap after lap. Despite Jackson’s pressure, Will Vaught took the checkered flag in the feature. Will Vaught’s first ever trip to the Junction resulted in his first victory at Junction Motor Speedway. It was a well-earned victory for Will “The Thrill” Vaught.
Saturday’s feature for the super late models was 40 laps long with $3000 up for grabs. At the start of the race, Jesse Stovall jumped out to the lead from his outside front row starting spot. Right behind was the 1V of Will Vaught. Vaught was trying to sweep the features , and with 29 laps remaining in the race, Will “The Thrill” made the pass on Stovall for the race lead. Tony Jackson Jr. was once again in a spot to win after finishing second in Friday’s feature. The 56 from Lebanon, Missouri was all over the 1V of Will Vaught for the lead, and with 12 laps left, Jackson capitalized off of Vaught’s bobble in turn one and took the race lead for good. Despite a late-race caution for Dean Moore, the 56 of Tony Jackson Jr. kept Vaught behind him. The MLRA point leader took the checkered flag at JMS for the first time in his career. It was a Show Me State sweep in the super late models. Will Vaught from Crane, Missouri picked up the money on Friday, and on Saturday, Lebanon, Missouri’s Tony Jackson Jr. took home the $3000 pay day.
On behalf of Delmar Friesen and the entire JMS staff, thank you to all the great fans for coming out for both days of the King of the Hill Late Model Shootout at Junction Motor Speedway. Congrats once again go out to Will Vaught and Tony Jackson Jr., our new King of the Hill champions. Congratulations to all of the winners in the other racing classes. Thank you to all the drivers that came out and raced for two nights of great racing action. Special thanks go out to the 2-man cruisers for coming back out to the Junction, and to the MLRA, NCRA, and MARS late models for making it a spectacular two-day extravaganza of dirt late model racing. Join Junction Motor Speedway on Tuesday, August 13 as the Greatest Show on Dirt, the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car series make their big return to the Junction. Late models will also be running with $1000 up for grabs. The greatest sprint car drivers in the world never disappoint, and 2013 will be bigger and better than the year before. All the big names will take the green flag. Schatz, Swindell, Kinser, Darrah, Madsen, Pittman, Kemanah, Saldana, and Dollansky will be live and in person on the banks of Junction Motor Speedway. We hope to see all the great fans out for the 2013 NAPA Auto Parts Outlaw Shootout. We also hope to see all of the fans back in the bleachers on Saturday night as we continue to wind down the 2013 season at Junction Motor Speedway.
Below are the payouts for the NCRA, MARS AND MLRA Late models and the Friday night support classes.
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