Creating a stir were the competitors that showcased their talents and hot rods during opening night at Lexington Raceway in Lexington, Nebraska on Sunday evening. Making the most noise and reaching the winners circle were: Josh Leonard, Colton Osborn, Jamey Kennicutt, Mike Nichols, Brady Weinman and Travis Thelander.
Cashing in on starting on the pole, Gibbon’s Josh Leonard led every lap of the NESmith Late Model Feature to claim the victory. Leonard was able to work his way through traffic smoothly and efficiently to start his season off right at Lexington. Starting right behind Leonard in the second row was Cale Osborn of Cozad. Osborn was able to stay up on the wheel throughout the feature event to finish as the runner-up after starting his season off with a heat race win earlier in the evening at the Lexington oval. Working his way through traffic that brought him to a podium position just past the halfway point of the feature event was the Iceman, Delbert Smith of Wichita, Kansas after starting on the outside of the fourth row when the green flag dropped. Smith was able to stay on the podium for the remainder of the feature event to earn third place accolades. Rece Vaught of Aurora and Dan Smith of Beloit, Kansas rounded out the top five finishers in fourth and fifth overall.
Riding around the top in the opening laps, Colton Osborn of Cozad was able to power his way to the point on the fourth lap and never look back in claiming the victory in the IMCA Modified Feature . Osborn started on the outside of row two and was able to conquer the conquest of a dry slick racing surface. A candidate for the hardcharger of the night, Veteran driver David Murray Jr of Oberlin, Kansas was able to work his way into second place just past the halfway point and then attempt to reel in the leader after starting in the fifth row at the drop of the green flag. Murray was able to apply some pressure to Osborn in the waning laps, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cozad hotshoe and Murray crossed the finish line in second place overall. In his first year of piloting a Modified, Wallace’s Brandon Clough had a stellar night on the oval with a third place finish after starting in the third row when the feature event started. Jay Steffens of North Platte and Crete’s Brandon Spanjer were fourth and fifth overall in the highlighted event.
Driving with gumption, Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg was able to slide into the lead position on the second lap and persevere through the caution flags to notch a feature win in the IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature. Kennicutt started on the inside of the second row and was able to convert on a slide job on the end of the second lap to score the lead. Kennicutt was able to flourish lap after lap to claim the victory. Staying among the leaders throughout the feature vent, Overton’s Jacob Olmstead was able to consistently hit his marks and gain speed throughout the feature to finish as the runner-up. Veteran wheelman Bryan Herrick of Curtis was able to stay afloat in the top five throughout the feature to pilot the Rubber Duck powered hotrod to a third place finish after starting in the third row when the green flag waved.
Continuing to reign supreme, Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa scored the victory in the IMCA Stock Car Feature after garnering the lead on the third lap. The Harlan Hustler was able to go on cruise control to claim the checkered flag from his fourth row starting position. Staying among the leaders and out of traffic, Mikey Dancer of North Platte was the runner-up finisher in the feature event. Dancer was able to score a podium finish with the assistance of his starting position being on the inside of the second row. Having one of his most consistent drives in the highly competitive Stock Car class, Darin Racek of Lexington fended off challenges throughout the feature event to finish third overall. The former Stock Car State Champion was among the frontrunners throughout the spotlighted event after starting on the pole. Nichols and Lexington’s Tyler Easterday were the heat race winners in the division.
Starting up front and staying up front was Brady Weinman of Arnold to earn the opening night feature win in the IMCA Hobby Stock division. Weinman’s lone potential setback came while working through lap traffic where a trailing car made contact with Weinman, only to see Weinman stay up front and drive away with the victory. Coming from deep in the field, Luke Wassom of Broken Bow was able to cleanly and methodically work through traffic to score a runner-up finish after drawing a fifth row starting position. Displaying great consistency throughout the feature event, Nate Refior of Sutton, Nebraska was rewarded for his efforts with a third place finish.
That slicing and dicing action-packed feature of the night was won by Travis Thelander in the IMCA Sport Compact Feature. Thelander was able to grab the lead for the first time of the feature on the third lap before falling back into the field. Just three circuits later, Thelander of Blue Hill was able to garner the lead and never look back to claim the checkers. Thelander started on the pole in the feature event. Leading the initial laps of the feature event and trying his best to pilfer the lead from Thelander was Jim Buss of Blue Hill. Buss was able to lead the first two laps and then a single lap near the midway point to be among the leaders and be sitting in second place overall when the checkered flag flew. David Norquest of York was the third place finisher after starting in the third row when the green flag dropped.
–NESmith Late Model Feature: 1. 85-Josh Leonard; 2. 6c-Cale Osborn; 3. 92-Delbert Smith; 4. 20v-Rece Vaught; 5. 92s-Dan Smith; 6. 5s-Dylan Schmer; 7. 83d-Denton Duncan; 8. 10-4-Adam Popp; 9. 14-Bill Kubik; 10. 23-Jacob Kubicka.
Heat Race Winners: 92-Smith; 6c-Osborn.
–IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 50c-Colton Osborn; 2. 97m-David Murray Jr; 3. 20b-Brandon Clough; 4. XII-Jay Steffens; 5. 19xx-Brandon Spanjer; 6. 50-Scott Smith; 7. 4p-Dave Pedersen; 8. 67-Terry Fletcher; 9. 11h-Henry Henderson; 10. 19-Chuck Stryker.
Heat Race Winners: 97m-Murray; 19xx-Spanjer.
–IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 15k-Jamey Kennicutt; 2. 88j-Jacob Olmstead; 3. 0hp-Bryan Herrick; 4. 1x-Denny Egge; 5. 1c-Cole Egge; 6. 68-Craig Howard; 7. 01-Jacob Wolsleben; 8. 08-Dakota Sproul; 9. 13t-Tyler Andreasen.
Heat Race Winners: 15k-Kennicutt.
–IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 63-Mike Nichols; 2. 45-Mikey Dancer; 3. 31-Darin Racek; 4. 24-Bob Chalupa; 5. 84-James Sheldon; 6. 19-Dana Morgan; 7. 09h-Bob Hoing; 8. 53e-Tyler Easterday; 9. 90-Allen Timmerman; 10. 57x-Scott Stoll.
Heat Race Winners: 53e-Easterday; 63-Nichols.
–IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 22w-Brady Weinman; 2. 2w-Luke Wassom; 3. R89-Nate Refior; 4. 12t-Tanner Jones; 5. 1-Tanner Clough; 6. 2x-Travis Kernick; 7. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 8. 88m-TC McKain; 9. 15r-Robbie Kosmacek; 10. 1j-Jakob Egge.
Heat Race Winners: R89-Refior; 2w-Wassom.
–IMCA Sport Compact Feature: 1. 55t-Travis Thelander; 2. 12-Jim Buss; 3. 17n-David Norquest; 4. 85-Justin Smallcomb; 5. 71c-Christian Destefano; 6. 20-Andrew Soderlund; 7. 85d-Drew Eagleburger.
Heat Race Winners: 85-Smallcomb.