By MIKE HUGHES
Special to The Hays Daily News
NORTON, KS (April 5) - Elmwood Park Speedway in Norton, KS, kicked off the 2014 racing season Saturday night, April 5, with four divisions in action.
Hometown driver Jason Davis took advantage of his pole starting position to take the early lead in the 15-lap caution free IMCA Stock Car feature. Dustin McClurg and Wade Wagenblast followed. At the halfway mark, McClurg continued to chase Davis, and Mikey Dancer, now third, made it a three car race. The three raced side-by-side and nose-to-tail the remainder of the race with McClurg ahead at the checkers on lap 13. But Davis regained the lead on the white flag lap and held off McClurg and Dancer for the win. Eric Kinderknect and Wagenblast rounded out the top five. Heat race winners were Davis and McClurg.
A large field of IMCA Hobby Stocks were on hand and Brock Beeter of Minot, ND, made the long haul worthwhile as he made his way to victory lane in the 15-lap event. Beeter led at the drop of the green with 'Bam Bam' Cody Graham in tow. The lone caution waved on lap 9 for debris and bunched up the field. But Beeter was up to the task to take the win. Graham chased Beeter the entire distance but had to settle for second, followed by Travis Coop, heat 3 winner Brian Stich and first heat winner Anthony Martin. Jamie Songer of Ankeny, IA, won the other heat race.
'The Frye Man' Tyler Frye of Belleville led all 15 laps in the caution free IMCA Northern Sport Mod feature. Second heat race winner Frye pulled away from the remainder of the field to make his way to victory lane, with Brian Conness a distant second. First heat winner Chad Dolan was third, followed by Daniel Gottschalk and birthday boy Cory Struckhoff.
Darren Berry of McCook, NE, took the lead from hometown driver Randy Bantam on lap 3 of the 15-lap 305 Sprint Car feature to drive away for a win. Bantam finished second, trailed by anniversary boy Ron Hadley and Jed Werner.
Racing action returns to the ½-mile oval on Saturday, May 31, with a 7:00 p.m. start time. The same four classes will return, and the Cruisers are also scheduled.
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat race winners: Jason Davis, Dustin McClurg.
Feature: 1. Davis, 2. D. McClurg, 3. Mikey Dancer, 4. Eric Kinderknecht, 5. Wade Wagenblast, 6. Robert Rutherford, 7. Frank McClurg, 8. Darin Racek (DNF), 10. Kyle Werkmeister (DNS), 11. Chase Conaway (DNS).
IMCA Northern Sport Mods
Heat race winners: Chad Dolan, Tyler Frye.
Feature: 1. Frye, 2. Brian Conness, 3. Dolan, 4. Daniel Gottschalk, 5. Cory Struckhoff, 6. Joe Couse, 7. Paul Donovan, 8. J.R. Ewing, 9. Dan Lauer, 10. Eric Pfeifer, 11. Troy Attwood, 12. Pat Bedore, 13. Jeremy Couse, 14. James Stewart, 15. Clay Money (DNS).
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat race winners: Anthony Martin, Jamie Songer, Brian Stich.
Feature: 1. Brock Beeter, 2. Cody Graham, 3. Travis Coop, 4. Stich, 5. Martin, 6. Songer, 7. Jeromy Wagner, 8. Travis Thelander, 9. Colton Pfeifer, 10. Darren Unrein, 11. James Pittman, 12. Brett Henke, 13. Joe Copeland Jr. (DNF), 14. Andrew Sebastian (DNF), 15. Russ Specht (DNF), 16. Justin Meserve (DNF), 17. Garrett Hager (DNF), 18. Irvin Earl (DNS), 19. Ray Caldwell (DNS).
305 Sprint Cars
Heat race winner: Ron Hadley.
Feature: 1. Darren Berry, 2. Randy Bantam, 3. Hadley, 4. Jed Werner, 5. Aaron Ploussard (DNF), 6. Howard Van Dyke (DNS).