HARTFORD, SD — Even though Ryan Bickett entered Saturday night with three Top 5 finishes, it had been somewhat of a quiet start for the 2012 Hard Core Speed Shop 360 Sprint Car track champion coming off a six win season. He was heard from loud and clear after leading the last 19 of 20 laps on a strangely frigid first night of June. Kevin Flowers led the first lap a before a second lap caution created a restart. Bickett passed Flowers on the restart lap and, for the most part, enjoyed sizeable leads throughout. Flowers’ duel with Dusty Ballenger was worth watching. With Bickett in firm control, Ballenger passed Flowers for third but Flowers charged right back to regain the spot in the second turn. Flowers said of the exchange that he and Ballenger each made a mistake while running second and the driver in third was able to take advantage. Flowers wound up in second, his best finish of the season, and Robby Wolfgang snuck past Ballenger late in the race to come in third.
“No, not a chance,” said Travis Schreurs after co-announcer Donn MacArthur asked him if he could’ve imagined winning four of the first five Express Copy and Printing Late Model Street Stock features. Schreurs won this week’s A-Main in exciting fashion as he used the high side to catch up to Cory Yeigh and pass him with two laps to go. Yeigh led the first 13 laps of the 15 lap feature by sticking to the bottom of the racetrack. Schreurs noted how the evening’s two previous features were won on the high side. A restart with five laps to go may have helped Schreurs’ cause but it wasn’t until the 14th lap when Schreurs took the lead. He also had to contend with third place finisher Gary Brown Jr., on the restart. Noting competitors like Yeigh, Brown Jr., and Craig Hanisch, Schreurs said, “They drive you clean and they drive you hard.”
USRA B-Modified rookie Nick Barger led just over half of his division’s feature. Barger held his own on a slick track before Brock Hess took over. Hess looked to be on his way to his third win but Miah Christensen took to the high side early enough to have time to reel in Hess and make the winning pass with two laps to go. “Beating Brock on a dry track is the best you can get,” said Christensen. It was also the first career win for Christensen at I-90 Speedway, a place where he has run very well. Christensen added, “I’ve had a lot of seconds and I gave it away a lot of times,” during his victory lane interview. Hess finished ahead of Tim Dann for second while Barger was fourth.
Nine caution flags bogged down the Hobby Stock feature, however the finish was the first of three consecutive races to be decided in the final two laps. Zach Olivier was the first driver to notice the top side of the track coming in and he used it to get around Dustin Gulbrandson on the 10th lap. Olivier, now a three-time winner, said, “A wide, slick track like this makes for good racing.” As is the case with Travis Schreurs in the Late Model Street Stocks, Olivier has finished no worse than second this year.
Justin Voeltz gave up the lead to Joe Blake on the fourth lap but quickly took it back en route to winning his first Fast Auto Wash Super Chargers feature this season. He also became the division’s fifth different winner in as many weeks of racing.
The 8th annual Mod Madness is scheduled for next weekend at I-90 Speedway. USRA B-Modifieds will race topless for $500 to win. For more information, log onto www.i90speedway.com.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2013
360 SPRINT CARS
A Feature: 1. Ryan Bickett, 2. Kevin Flowers, 3. Robby Wolfgang, 4. Dusty Ballenger, 5. Joe Riedel, 6. John Lambertz, 7. Trisha Underberg, 8. Dale Furby, 9. Jared Jansen, 10. Jordan Opdahl, 11. Aaron Wendt, 12. Troy Schreurs, 13. Ben Waxdahl, 14. Tommy Barber, 15. Matt Ziebarth, 16. Justin Glaser, 17. Mike Young