Summer has Arrived at the Junction
By Anthony Ainslie
Junction Motor Speedway’s weekend warriors battled for valuable points during a hot and sticky night of racing.
All five divisions of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series took to the track for another night of weekly racing action. Points were up for grabs as we now enter the middle part of the racing season. On a night that included parade laps lit up by fireworks and frozen chicken gizzards hit towards head flagman Justin Spady, it was surely a wild night of racing at JMS.
The NASCAR late model feature turned scary right off the start when Brian Kosiski’s number 52 car ran up the front stretch wall and then barrel rolled three times into turn one. The car was destroyed, but Kosiski walked away uninjured. The wreck also collected Rece Vaught, Denton Duncan, and Jared Hackler.
When the race got underway, Micah Veleba and Dylan Schmer raced side-by- side, lap after lap for the race lead. Each time the two passed the start/finish line, Schmer came out ahead of Veleba by about a nose. As Veleba and Schmer fought it out up front, Cory Dumpert worked his way through the field up to where he was in position to take the lead.
The battle for the lead became a triple battle as Dumpert mixed it up with Veleba and Schmer. After a late caution, Schmer was put in the lead with Dumpert behind him. When the green flag dropped, Dumpert beat Schmer into turn one to take the lead, and the rest was history. The 77 of Dumpert finds victory lane once again.
The hobby stocks had a wild feature of their own. It came down to wire as Jason Wilkinson was leading the way, and Dillon Thompson, who started at the tail of the field, charged all the way to the front and challenged Wilkinson for the lead. Wilkinson had the lead with Thompson behind him as the white flag came out. The next time out of four, Thompson got a good run off the top of turn four, and the line, the 11 of Thompson narrowly beat out the 52 of Wilkinson for the win. Thompson also cut his right rear tire during the dash to the finish. Nonetheless, it was another win for the Hastings, Neb. driver.
The NASCAR b-mods kept the excitement going as Tyler Mark from Benedict, Neb. was in control of the race lead. While Mark was out in front, the action behind him was fierce. First, Steve Swarthout and Herb Slough battled it out for second. A few laps into their battle, Slough spun out in turn three and brought out the yellow flag. That gave the S14 of Scott Styskal a chance to battle Swarthout for second. The race resumed after Slough’s spin, and a few laps later, Styskal spun out in the same corner that Slough did. Styskal battled back to finish seventh while Slough recorded a tenth place finish.
Meanwhile, no one could catch the 24 of Tyler Mark. Mark took the checkered flag for his first ever A Feature win. Ed Huxoll recorded his best b-mod feature with a second place finish. Swarthout finished third, Rocky Zimmerman took fourth, and Casey Clausen rounded out the top five.
Jeremy Leiting found his way back to JMS victory lane after winning the 20-lap NASCAR modified feature. Leiting started outside the front row and led the entire distance. There was good racing behind him as Dylan Smith, Kevin Larkins, Scott Smith, and Jacob Anson, all battled hard at the front of the pack. In the end, Smith took second, Larkins took third. Smith finished fourth, and Anson recorded fifth. Smith closed the gap on Leiting for the lead late in the race, but Leiting was dialed in. The 21J from Valparaiso, Neb. took home the feature win.
It was a night of double features for the four-cylinder division. Feature one went to the 69X of Richard Crow from Grand Island. Tyler Barribo debuted a new yellow and black 14JR, and in the first feature, he pulled off the track early due to the car overheating. Crow took the win, Steve Moock got second, Mike Poland took third, Joe Welsh got fourth, and Chad Carlson rounded out the top five in feature number one.
Feature number two belonged to defending track champion Steve Moock. The driver of the dark blue number 12 from Chapman, Neb. found his way back to victory lane after coming up just a bit short in past weeks. First feature winner Richard Crow took second in the second feature. Tyler Barribo, in a brand new car, came back from a bad first feature and finished third in the second feature. Mike Poland took fourth, and it was a night of back-to-back top five finishes for Chad Carlson from York, Neb.