SLMR Rip it up at the Junction
By Anthony Ainslie
Race Date: 8/27/13
The season at Junction Motor Speedway continues to wind down, and the crowning of the 2013 track champions is just around the corner. The weekly groups were back in action on Saturday, and joining them were the stars and the cars of the SLMR super late model series for their final appearance at the Junction in 2013. College spirit filled the air of the grandstands when the students of York College came through the wind tunnel to enjoy some of the best dirt track racing in the Heartland on a Saturday. With the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and the SLMR series on hand, it was destined to be one of the best nights of racing of the 2013 season.
The NASCAR 4-cylinders gave the fans a double dose of feature event action. Feature number one saw Dalton Siebke in control. The 12D from Grand Island led flag to flag to claim another feature win in 2013. Steve Moock tried to give Siebke a challenge, but Siebke was hooked up and firing on all four cylinders.
In feature number two, Joe Baker benefitted from the invert from the first feature. Baker started on the outside of the front row, and the 9X from Omaha jumped out to the lead, but he was not in the clear just yet. Dalton Siebke and Steve Moock gave Baker a run for the money and the win, but Joe Baker found the fast lane around the Junction. Joe Baker claimed his second feature event win in the 2013 season. Siebke placed second while Moock finished third.
Like the 4-cylinders, it was a feature event two-step for the NASCAR hobby stocks. Feature one was a wild show. After having mechanical issues the week before, Zack Gimpel looked like he would turn his luck around as he powered the 75Z to the lead early. While Gimpel was out in front, Shane Schneider was closing in fast. Schneider drew closer and closer with every lap until he was right on the back bumper of Gimpel. With three laps remaining in the race, Schneider made a charge for the lead in turn one. The result was the 15X of Schneider making contact with Zack Gimpel, and the two drivers running first and second went for a spin cycle and brought out the caution flag. That gave the lead over to Katie Renschler. The 8R from Hastings led the field back to the green flag, and she managed to hold off Troy Paxton and Shane Schneider in order to capture her first ever main event victory at Junction Motor Speedway. After finishing second in a feature one week prior to Saturday, she went up one more spot. It was an amazing effort for the young lady.
Feature event number two saw Troy Paxton in the number 87 car out in front. Shane Schneider was once again a threat for the win, but late in the distance, Schneider bobbled coming out of turn two. That tiny mistake allowed Katie Renschler to get by for second place. However, no one could catch Troy Paxton. Paxton is in position where he could become the new hobby stock track champion at Junction Motor Speedway, and he looked good on Saturday as he picked up another feature win.
The NASCAR late models took center stage next for another 25-lap thriller. Marc Peters drew first blood as the 1M from Henderson led the opening five laps. On a lap four restart, Alex Humphrey challenged Peters for the race lead, but Peters fended off the Giltner native. Two laps later, Craig Preble drove the 97D car past Marc Peters to the race lead. The bounty put out on Cory Dumpert and Jase Kaser was active during the race, and Preble was looking like he could claim the $600 reward. The big moment came on a restart after a spin with 9 laps to go. Craig Preble was in the lead, and Cory Dumpert was second. As the field came off turn four, Dumpert went right to the bottom of the turn. As he did that, Preble moved down, in order to make Dumpert run out of space, cutting him off and nearly causing a huge accident. Fortunately, everyone kept going in the right direction. That took Dumpert out of a good chance to keep the bounty alive. Jase Kaser tried his best lap after lap, but the reigning track champion could not get around the man they called the “Dirt Dog.” Preble, after winning nine feature events during a masterful 2010 season, took the checkered flag for the first time at Junction Motor Speedway in almost two years. Preble won the feature with a dominating performance, and the Yutan, Nebraska driver, claimed the bounty. It was the most exciting NASCAR late model event of the 2013 season. Unfortunately, news from the tech area in the pits post race would hand the win to Jase Kaser in the 15 as illegal fuel was found in the 97D machine.
The outstanding show by the NASCAR late models was backed up by a wild 20-lap showdown from the NASCAR Modifieds. This race was full of great action, but the headline of the modifieds on Saturday was the man behind the wheel of Andy Wilkinson’s backup car. It was the big return of former JMS 4-cylinder and hobby stock driver from York, Mallet Meyer. During 2013, Meyer was in Ohio studying hard at the University of Northwestern Ohio, a college featuring a well-renowned motorsports program. Meyer used his teachings to make it onto the university’s traveling dirt stock car team, and he has gained very valuable experience as a crew chief. On Saturday, Meyer took the green flag at Junction for the first time in over a year. This was also Meyer’s first modified feature event at Junction Motor Speedway. Meyer finished near the end of the pack, but the fans showed their proud support for the young man who turned laps on the banks of JMS. Meanwhile, it was Scott Eaton, another York native, out in front of the field. Eaton led the first four laps until the lead was taken over by Jeremy Leiting. The former Bmod track champion was looking first his first victory in a modified at Junction Motor Speedway, and it was shaping up like Leiting just might accomplish that feat. However, Andy Wilkinson and Tyler Iverson had other plans. They were looking for another feature win and valuable points towards winning a track championship. Wilkinson, Iverson, and Leiting battled it out for the win. The win would be decided in lapped traffic. On the final lap, Tyler Iverson sliced his way through traffic while Wilkinson and Leiting got held up. Leiting finished second while Wilkinson took home third. Tyler Iverson took the checkered flag once again during the 2013 season. With one week left, Tyler Iverson is in good shape of becoming the new modified track champion at Junction Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Bmods took center stage for an 18-lap shootout after a great performance from the modifieds. This feature was interesting on its own as Tyler Mark from Benedict took the early lead in the number 24 car. Kevin Betzen was on the charge after Mark for the lead, but with five laps to go, the point leader lost a the drive shaft off the 42 car in turn one. It was a very unexpected end to the David City native. Mark had the lead on the restart, but on the very next lap, Justin Gimpel took the lead and took the lead for good. Gimpel led the final four laps to take the win. It was a stellar performance from Junction Motor Speedway’s first ever Bmod track Champion.
To close out the night, 22 SLMR late model drivers took the stage for 25 laps. Early on in the race, Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame driver, Alex Humphrey, was out in front in his familiar orange number 6 car. It was not until lap seven that the lead was taken over from Humphrey by Bill Leighton Jr. While Leighton was out in front, Kyle Berck was on the charge. Berck caught up to Leighton halfway through the race and constantly challenged the 24 of Leighton for the lead. Despite four cautions and a red flag late in the race, Bill Leighton Jr. kept the hard-charging Kyle Berck behind him. The Omaha driver took home the win in the SLMR late model series. Bill Leighton won the late model track title three straight years at Junction Motor Speedway, and the experience showed as he showed the fast way around the Junction.
On behalf of the entire JMS staff, thanks to all of the great race fans for coming out to the Junction Motor Speedway. A special thanks goes out to the students of York College for coming out and enjoying the racing action. Thanks to the SLMR late models for another amazing race. The series put on two great shows in 2013. We hope to see the SLMR series back in action in 2014. The next week of racing will be the final point night of the season. We will be crowning five track champions next Saturday night. Also, the ASCS sprints come back to the Junction for one final show, and in October, the big two-day show, the McCool 100 will be taking place. We hope to see all the great fans back out at the track as we finish out the final four nights of the 2013 season at Junction Motor Speedway.
York College, founded in 1890, is a private (4 year) liberal arts college affiliated with the churches of Christ. Popular majors include education, business, psychology, sciences, communication and Bible. Multiple pre-professional programs are available. York is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Nebraska Independent College Foundation (NICF).
Check out www.york.edu for more information about this wonderful small town college!
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