Hitting the door running was an understatement when describing the outstanding show that was seen by the jam-packed house of avid racing fans at the Dawson County Raceway’s S&W Auto Parts NAPA Night at the Races on Sunday evening in Lexington, Nebraska.
Getting their season started off on the right foot at Dawson County Raceway by punching their ticket to the Chesterman’s Coca-Cola Winners Circle were the quintet of Dakota Sproul, Robbie Thome, Mike Nichols, Zach Olmstead and Rileigh Flohrs.
Showing his cards early paid off for Dakota Sproul of Hays, Kansas as he was able to score the IMCA Modified victory. Sproul started the feature event on the inside of the second row and was able to drive his way to the lead group in the first couple laps, as he made the move into the lead on the fourth lap and never looked back as he weaved through lap traffic during the waning laps. Anthony Roth of Columbus, Nebraska was up on the wheel from the onset of the feature, as he started on the pole and was setting a blistering pace for the initial three laps until he was passed by Sproul for the lead. Roth was able to stay up on the wheel and put the pressure on Sproul late, but he ran out of real estate and the checkered flag was waved and Roth was forced to settle with runner-up accolades. Starting in the third row and staying among the lead group during the no caution feature event, Brandon Conkwright of Wamego, Kansas was rewarded for his efforts with a third place finish. Mark Leiting of Lincoln and Dylan Smith of Osceola, Nebraska rounded out the top five in fourth and fifth place overall.
Leading the lap that mattered the most, Robbie Thome of Spalding was the victor in the IMCA Northern Sport Modified feature. Thome started the feature in the third row and was able to drive his way to third place early on and held that position until slipping into second place for the second half of the feature before a late caution flag that was a result of the leader Brett Berry of Hays, Kansas slowing and relinquishing the lead to Thome. Thome was then able to lead the final laps to claim the victory. Making his efforts pay off in the long run, Cade Richards of Lincoln drove from his fourth row starting position onto the podium as the runner-up as a result of some nifty driving during the waning laps to put the pressure on Thome as the checkered flag was waved. Andrew Rayburn of Gibbon had an excellent night, as he started on the front row and was able to battle back from getting funneled back outside the top five during the first half of the feature. Rayburn was able to move back inside the top five with just five laps remaining in the feature and with the assistance of the caution flag, he was able to advance to third place where he would finish. Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg and Overton’s Jacob Olmstead crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place, respectively.
No stranger to the IMCA Stock Car winners circle, Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa returned to the promised land. The Harlan Hustler Nichols was able to drive where the leaders weren’t for much of the first half of the feature before he garnered the lead by passing early leader Bo Egge of Kearney on the ninth lap and never looked back to claim the victory after starting on the outside of the fourth row when the green flag was dropped. Finishing strong best describes the efforts of fifth row starter Austin Brauner of Platte Center, Nebraska as he drove his way onto the podium with a fast and furious final three laps that resulted in a runner-up finish for the hotshoe. Starting in the second row and staying among the lead group for much of the feature paid off dearly for Casey Woken of Norton, Kansas. Woken started on the outside of the second row and his consistency paid off for the Norton Nightmare to earn third place honors. Gothenburg’s Jeff Whiting and Collin Heim of Hoxie, Kansas rounded out the top five finishers in fourth and fifth place overall.
Coming from deep in the field, fifth row starter Zach Olmstead of Overton was able to finish his rollercoaster weekend of racing on top of the podium by winning the IMCA Hobby Stock feature event. Olmstead was able to move into position to make the move for the lead on the sixth lap and one lap later move to the front where he would stay for the remainder of the feature event. On his heels, was Sal Hernandez of Columbus started the feature in the third row and was able to stay in clean air and less congestion for much of the highlighted event to earn runner-up accolades. Early leader Ryan Fajman of Albion, Nebraska was shot out of a cannon at the onset of the feature event to gain the lead from his second row starting position, as he led the first six laps. Despite losing the lead, Fajman was able to stay up on the wheel and his hard-work was awarded with a third place finish. Brady Henderson of Curtis and Braxton Berry of Colby, Kansas finished out the top five in fourth and fifth place.
Putting on a dominating performance to earn top honors was Rileigh Flohrs of Blue Hill, Nebraska as he was the victor in the IMCA Sport Compact feature event. Flohrs started the feature on the pole and was able to set a blistering pace that was hard to withstand for the challengers as he led every lap of the feature event. Making a great debut at the Dawson County Raceway, Lonnie Lenser Jr. of Valentine was able to hit the loud pedal early to the tune of being in second place at the end of the first lap. Lenser Jr. continued to flourish and gain confidence in staying in second place throughout the feature to earn runner-up accolades. Steve Moock of Grand Island started on the front row of the feature and was able to battle with Lenser for much of the feature as he was forced to settle with a third place finish. Bertrand’s Merle Johnson and Kaden Dady of North Platte crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place overall.
Racing action returns to the Dawson County Raceway on Sunday, August 9th with gates opening up at 3 p.m. and the green flag slated to drop at 6 p.m.
–IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 08-Dakota Sproul; 2. 60iv-Anthony Roth; 3. 24c-Brandon Conkwright; 4. 20m-Mark Leiting; 5. 95-Dylan Smith; 6. 7-Clay Money; 7. 17j-Jeremy Frenier; 8. 19-Chuck Stryker; 9. 10g-Don Geist; 10. 20b-Brandon Clough.
–IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 1t-Robbie Thome; 2. 1r-Cade Richards; 3. 8-Andrew Rayburn; 4. 15k-Jamey Kennicutt; 5. 88j-Jacob Olmstead; 6. 5d-Devyn Peterson; 7. 75-James Roebuck; 8. Z28-Ty Weidner; 9. 15d-Jacob Slough; 10. 01-Jacob Wolsleben.
–IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 63-Mike Nichols; 2. 10a-Austin Brauner; 3. 35jw-Casey Woken; 4. 16w-Jeff Whiting; 5. 6-Collin Heim; 6. 54p-Kyle Pfeifer; 7. 5d-Travis Demilt; 8. 1x-Bo Egge; 9. 5-Herb Slough; 10. 71-Andrew Dillenburg.
–IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 98z-Zach Olmstead; 2. 04-Sal Hernandez; 3. 3-Ryan Fajman; 4. 20b-Brady Henderson; 5. 15b-Braxton Berry; 6. 14jr-Tyler Barribo; 7. 45r-Riley Kort; 8. 72b-Jacob Hagan; 9. 12t-Tanner Jones; 10. 5m-Frank Mladek.
–IMCA Sport Compact Feature: 1. 14-Rileigh Flohrs; 2. L2-Lonnie Lenser Jr., 3. 56-Steve Moock; 4. 07-Merle Johnson; 5. 84d-Kaden Dady; 6. 85-Justin Smallcomb; 7. 74x-Robert Clanton; 8. 7c-Chad Carlson; 9. 11x-Angela Witherwax; 10. 29e-Justin Schmidt.