BOONE, Iowa — The wait outside the tech tent wasn’t fun for B.J. Wagoner.
After nearly an hour, the Colby stock car driver learned the four cars that finished in front of him were legal, meaning he was the first car left out and he would have to try again today.
Still, Wagoner’s fifth-place finish in the second A-main qualifier Wednesday night at the IMCA Super Nationals XXXIII at Boone Speedway was nothing to be upset about. Wagoner started near the middle of the 30-car feature and drove his way to a near-qualifying spot in Saturday’s big dance.
“It was probably the craziest race I’ve ever been in,” Wagoner said. “I got up to about eighth with six to go, and I got turned around going into (turn) one. I stopped and the yellow came out, but there was a bunch of stuff on the back at the same time that happened. Jeff (Tubbs) and I went to the back, restarted about 17th and 18th and worked back to the front with six to go.”
Wagoner was battling for fourth on the final corner, but Marcus Fagan, Adair, Iowa, edged him to the line. Tubbs, also of Colby, was right behind in sixth.
The top four finishers qualified for Saturday’s big dance upon tech inspection. That meant Wagoner and Tubbs were waiting outside the tent for the possibility of a disqualification of one of the top four.
“We sat out there about an hour, maybe a bit longer,” Wagoner said. “It was a little nerve-wracking because in the first qualifier, there was one disqualified. Everybody was OK in ours, though.”
It was the first time Wagoner had made an A-main qualifier at Super Nationals, and the first time he got to cross the scales as well.
He qualified for the feature by finishing second in Heat 19 to Brandon Czarapata, a top-notch stock car driver. Tubbs made the feature by finishing second in Heat 13.
The only other area driver to make an A-main qualifier Wednesday — the first day of stock car action — was Norton’s Casey Woken. Woken went from deep in his heat race to finish second.
Woken would finished 10th in the first A-main, then was awarded ninth after a DQ of another car.
Albert’s Perry Misner won one of four B-mains, with Colby’s Bruce Plumisto taking third in that race.
Selden’s Jason Rogers was ninth in the second B-main, and Trevor Schmidt of Hays was sixth in the third B-main. Stockton’s Chad Sterling was 11th.
Colby’s Nick Tubbs was third in the fourth and final B-main.
Russell’s Jeremy Zorn won his modified heat race, then finished 13th in the second A-main, missing out on a qualifying spot for Saturday’s big dance. Larry Sutton, Beloit, was 29th in that A-main.
Concordia’s Brandon Blochlinger was second in his heat race and made the first A-main qualifier. Blochlinger, who finished second at Super Nationals a few years ago, ended up 15th in his A-main.
Several other area drivers also competed Wednesday, the first day of modified action, including Jess Richter, Great Bend; Kyle Rohleder, WaKeeney; Brian Knoell, Falun; Tim Watts, Beloit; Corey Lagroon, Salina; and Mike Petersilie, Hoisington.
Salina’s Tommy Fose, who grew up in WaKeeney, was in the top 25 for points of non-qualifiers in the hobby stock class. That put him and 24 other drivers into the last-chance qualifier Wednesday. Fose finished 12th, missing Saturday’s finale.
Nick Schwien is managing editor at The Hays Daily News.