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Driver Profile

Mid-West Dirt Track Nationals

10/29/2017
Mid-West Dirt Track Nationals

After the finalizing of the A feature line ups on Saturday night at the historic half mile, it was the Super Stock 20 lap A Main that started the action for the 2017 Midwest Dirt Nationals. Leading the first half of the race was the Shady Point, Ok. Driver, the 26 of Dylan Davlin. It was the 43 of Dennis Schoenfeld passing of the high side on lap 11. After a quick caution, it was apparent who was the fastest car on track, the restart order was 43, 26, and the 6 of Darin Rigney. Rigney started 7th row inside, and now sat within striking distance to the leaders. On lap 15 Rigney would take the lead and never look back for his first win during his first time back at Thunderbird Speedway claiming the $600 prize.

It was now time for the race that everybody had been talking about, the 2017 Midwest Dirt Nationals has been a big race for many years at Thunderbird Speedway. Behind the #66 1979 NCRA Championship Late Model of Legend Tom Laster that sat in victory circle, 23 Drivers from all over the Midwest would roll on to the ½ mile speedway for a 40 lap, $10,000 feature. On pole was the 24k Pawn fast time winner Billy Moyer Jr. He would lead the first 2 miles around the speedway before a yellow for the 0 of Jeff Roth spinning in turn 3. The green would fly one more time and the Batesville, Ar. driver would pull a small lead over field. Terry Phillips and Jesse Stovall would battle for multiple laps. With the track staring to widen, the cushion would move to within feet of the wall, offering multiple lanes of racing for the drivers to take advantage of. Stovall would go to the top of the speedway and take the lead on lap 13. Lap traffic would now start to plague the 00 as Moyer started to inch closer. Caution on lap 30 for the 71 of Rierson, this would bring the field back together but more importantly for Stoval, He now had clear dirt on the restart. The lap times now sped up a full second into the low 20s. Terry Phillips would suffer a mechanical failure sending the 75 to the infield. In the end, it would be the 00 of Jesse Stovall with the $10,000 payday. Billy Moyer Jr. would finish 2nd, in 3rd was Rodney Sanders after a great drive through the field.

A caution plagued B-mod Feature was now on the stage. After 2 laps of racing the 57 of Carl Conley would get turned coming out of turn 2. Conley now sat driver side to the field and with nowhere to go Lynn Combs would check up, but ultimately be collected in the wreck. Red flag conditions as the two drivers called for paramedics. Both drivers would walk away. Dustin Leatherman would lead Cody Jolly and Casey Lindell back to the green flag. Caution on lap 6, the 22 of Dalton Ragsdale was now 2nd, but after the next caution on lap 13, Ragsdale would retire his car under yellow. Caution lap 17 would send the 9 of Seth Reheard to the pit area after his second unassisted. A three-lap shootout would finish with the 39 of Dustin Leatherman leading all 20 laps. But, after the night was over it would be the 501, Leroy Cook Jr. with the 800-dollar prize money. Leatherman was disqualified for illegal engine parts. Cody Jolly finished in 2nd, Casey Lindell was 3rd.

The pure stocks would be as entertaining as the other features, a caution on lap 2 had 4 cars piled in turn 3. Involved was Pat Fielder(6p), Preston Gerlach(5), Mark Martin(6M), and Mike Wiseman(DT1). After another caution on lap 3 for Mike Moschak, 6 laps rattled off, with 6 cars in the lead pack, the 79 of Allen Owen would go to 2nd on the cushion out of turn 2. Owen had found something, but a caution on lap 10 would halt the race as another pileup in turn 3 need to be cleaned up. Pole sitter Jacob Cox had led since the drop of the green. On the restart, Owen would use what he had found earlier in the race. Three wide on the top shelf, the JRT Trucking 79 would take the lead and the 500-dollar check after a total 21 laps in honor of Steve Lackey Jrs Double Down Express #21. The 99 of Jacob Cox Held on for 2nd, David Whittle(11) was 3rd.

The Last race of the night was the Modified 20 lap A Main. Tyler Wolff would pilot his MB Customs, 4w from the pole. 5 laps in, the 20 of Rodney Sanders had worked his way to third. “Big Daddy” Joe Duvall also worked his way through the field and was now 5th. Lap 5 would be reminiscent of the accident earlier in the year involving Jason Hughes and Tyler Wolff. Jered Russel rumored to have had a “suspension problem” was somehow turned around entering turn one. The 4R would bicycle on the left side tires and come to rest in the middle of the track. Multiple cars avoided Russel until the 2 of Caden Ellis tried to go high and clipped the front end of Russel with the left rear of his car. Ellis would spin violently to the wall bringing back the scary images from the Independence Showdown earlier in the year. Red flag conditions would halt the field and the drivers involved of the accident climbed from their race cars and walk away. ?????????????After the restart the 20 of Rodney Sanders would take the lead on lap 6. The high side cushion would again be the fastest place to be. Tyler Wolff and Chad Wheeler went back and forth for 2nd place over the last 14 laps. Sanders would fly way, almost a half lap ahead of 2nd place. The Happy, Tx Driver would put the #20 in victory lane. Taking away a $1200 Payday

Article Credit: Jesse Webb