By DUSTY WIEGERT
Special to The Hays Daily News
SALINA, Kan. -- Now that the season is half finished drivers were able to focus on things from a slightly different perspective as open wheel drivers went topless for the Third Annual Topless Challenge on Friday July 5.
Though there wasn't a full moon it was an unusually wild night at the Speedway, having to deal with numerous cautions and three different red flags.
For Concordia's Brandon Blochlinger, the triumph didn't come easy. Near the midpoint of the Belleville Motorsports IMCA Modified Championship feature Blochlinger was in a furious battle for first with Danny Morrison Jr. while Joe Cleveland caught the two to make it a three-way fight. A late caution was the key as Blochlinger made his car wide enough and pulled away for the win. Cleveland finished second with Morrison third, and Corey Lagroon fourth. Lagroon, Cleveland, Grant Junghans, and Derrick Brown won the heat races while Jesse Richter won the B Feature.
Tyler Frye finally captured the win in the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA SportMod portion of the Topless Challenge. Frye outran Clay Money to take the win while Kurtis Pihl finished third and Marlin Farr fourth. Fred Traskowsky, Jesse Levin, and Frye won the heat races.
A vicious accident marred the Auto House Mod Lite feature event, causing the first red flag of the night. Salinan Corbin Pickerill went into a series of rollovers and flips starting in turn three and came to rest right side up but on fire. It took emergency personnel less than ten seconds to respond and extinguish the flame while Pickerill bailed out. He was taken to the hospital for observation but will be ok. As for the race, Justin Kinderknecht continued his string of success lately by piloting to his second straight win. Danny Morrison Jr. finished second, Brian Davidson third, and Chris Unruh fourth. Pickerill and Nick Watts won the heat races.
The second and third red flags both appeared during the Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stock feature. Chase Kado got high and rolled his car at the top of turn two early in the race. He was ok but done for the night. Later in the event a pileup in turn four resulted in another red flag as Duane McAnarney was checked out after a hard collision. He also was ok but done for the night. Mike Traskowsky continued on his string of success just as Kinderknecht did to take another win. GW Fuller finished second with Tony Slothower third, and Jacob Crowell fourth. Aaron McBride, Traskowsky, and Fuller won the heat races.
Russell Roberg went to the back but drove back to the front to take another win in the T&R Dirt Construction Mini Stock feature. Stacey Huffman turned in a runner-up performance, followed by Michael Smith in third, and Brian Dunsworth in fourth. Dunsworth and Roberg won the heat races.
Racing continues on Friday July 12 for the second Stand Packer Night of the season. Free tickets can be obtained from any driver at the Speedway and are good for one adult admission on July 12th only. Kids 17 & under are FREE as they always are every Friday night.
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