By JUSTIN SLY
Special to The Hays Daily News
It took thirteen months, but Pete Beaumont found his way back to Victory Lane at the Salina Speedway. Friday night's IMCA Hobby Stock feature laurels went to the driver of the #88B out of Concordia. Neil Normandin commanded the field, from the pole position, for thirteen circuits. From the fourth row, Beaumont charged to the front early and executed the winning pass with just two laps remaining. Aaron McBride rallied from the back of the pack and placed third. Points Leader, and heat winner, Mike Traskowsky had tire issues in the "A". However, the Woodbine racer still has a comfortable margin over McBride in the standings. Salina's Tommy Shomaker won the second Hobby Stock heat.
The turnaround time for Rodger Peck's return to Victory Lane was much shorter. The Minneapolis veteran piloted his IMCA modified to the checkers for a second consecutive time, in regularly scheduled events. In a fan-tastic 20-laps of action, Shannon Johnson, Corey Lagroon, and Peck battled for the top spot. The tacky and fast oval gave all three racers multiple lanes and opportunities to gain an advantage. Rodger was the first to get by Johnson, but Lagroon followed suit. The two friends dueled to the finish, battling corner-to-corner, without laying a wheel on one another. Johnson retained third, while Mike Petersilie came home in fourth. Lagroon and Knoell took the heat races.
After passing tech, Rodger commented that Lagroon "just wouldn't go away!" He commended the younger Salinan for his skill, integrity, and loyalty to the track. "Salina Speedway's lucky to have him."
In the make-up IMCA modified event from August 2nd, Falun's Brian Knoell had the right stuff. Bolting from inside the third row, the #B6 machine dominated the race for his second win of the season. Lagroon, Peck, and newcomer Robbie Simmons completed the top quartet.
Two red-flag periods slowed the Mod Lite division's feature race. On the initial start, Galva's Chris Unruh tumbled down the backstretch as part of a four-car incident that included points leader Justin Kinderknecht. Shortly after the restart, Trey Morgan's #2X flipped to the topside of turn one. Both drivers were okay. "Bam" Ayers and Brandon Gray paced the pack until Kinderknecht powered by, taking the lead and the win. Ayers held on for second, while Ryan Secrest got by Gray for the third spot. The heat races were won by Unruh and Tyler Bradshaw.
The IMCA SportMods almost had a new face to grace the winner's circle. Concordia's Brandon Belvill, looking for his first win, rocketed off of the front row and looked to be on his way. But a late caution period gave three-time winner Kurtis Pihl and 9-timer Tyler Frye a shot at the top. On the restart, Pihl ducked low and the top two made contact exiting turn two. That was all it took for Frye to get his #55 the run down the backstretch and into the lead. Belvill would continue to fall back, eventually to fifth, allowing Jesse Levin and Tyler Sutton to get by. The heats went to Levin and Belvill.
A thirteen-car field started the Late Model feature, but Darrick Klima was not waiting around for the rest of the pack. The heat two winner lapped up to the fifth-place car during the 20-lap "A"-main and was the class of the field. The first heat winner, Scotty Phillips, held off Jimmy Segraves, Delbert Smith, and Justin Kinderknecht for the runner-up spot.
The "Ryan White Memorial" Cruiser event will be held next Friday night. The two-man machines will be racing for a $1,000 top prize. Also on the card are the Street Stocks, IMCA Hobby Stocks, IMCA SportMods, and the IMCA Modifieds. Race time is 8:00 pm.