Hannagan Wins The NRA/SOD Memorial Classic
May 24, 2014
Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and with the weather presented Saturday, it sure seemed like it. Waynesfield Raceway Park was covered with beautiful sunshine, a polar opposite to what the facility saw last weekend. In honor of the holiday, the Howard Johnson Inn of Lima was proud to present the annual Memorial Classic with a special guest appearance from the 360 sprint cars of both the K&L Ready Mix NRA Sprint Invaders and the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt. The race attracted fans of all ages with one fan in particular celebrating their first birthday at Waynesfield and their first ever experience at a racetrack. The event was very important for the drivers as it was the last opportunity to fine tune the machines for the $7500 to win Bob Reynolds Memorial Race coming up on Independence Day weekend. Aside from all of the racing action, all veterans were asked to stand to be honored for their service to the country. Waynesfield was honored to have Larry Fox and Kevin Knittle, both veterans and tough truck competitors, drive the pace truck during the national anthem. We appreciate their service as well as all of the current and fallen military members.
The night started with the NRA Sprint Invaders and Sprints on Dirt with 31 cars signing in to compete in the Memorial Classic. Four 8 lap heat races determined the front portion of the feature field with the top four cars transferring directly out of their heat races. Those not making into the A-main from their heat race were sent to one of two B-main events. The first of the set of B-mains was an excited one for the final transfer spot. The 22D of Dennis Yoakum, who started in the top spot, fell back behind the 23M of Jack Miller and began to battle with the 33M of Logan Hupp. Hupp worked the top shelf well overpowering Yoakum for the final transfer spot. At the time of the checkered flag Jack Miller picked up the win with Hupp in second. It was a lucky break for third place Dennis Yoakum as he made it to the A-main after Logan Hupp was disqualified for failing to report to the scales for a post race inspection. The second B-main was a bit more tame with the front two starters, Jimmy Snead and Max Stambaugh, holding off the field and transferring to the A-main.
After a brief intermission to give the B-main competitors a chance to finetune their machines, the A-main began to push onto the racing surface. After an inversion of 11, the 12H of Tim Hunter and the 11X of Tim Allison led the field to Adam Brimmers green flag. The drag race into turn one was won by Tim Allison as he got a great leap coming to the flag. Allison had the lead taken care of early in the feature until lap traffic began to creep up on him. The 6S of JR Stewart and the 22H of Randy Hannagan used lap traffic to their advantage to close the gap on Tim Allison. JR Stewart had other plans as began to challenge Randy Hannagan for the runner up spot as Hannagan attempted to challenge for the top spot. With 15 laps in the books, Hannagan made his move for the lead. Allison did everything he could to shake Hannagan off behind him. It was unsuccessful as Hannagan was a man on a mission and took the top spot from Allison with ten laps left in the A-main. With Hannagan pulling away and laps clicking down, the battle for second place began to intensify between Stewart and Allison. When the dust finally settled, Hannagan came across with the victory with just under a two second lead over the 11X of Tim Allison and the 6S of JR Stewart. Randy Hannagan mentioned before racing started that he liked a dry track with a cushion to work with. When asked about the track in the Best Performance Motorsports victory lane, Hannagan said it was a great track, referring to the racing surface. Tim Allison was scored in second and JR Stewart in third. The 17H of Jarod Hortsman received the hard charger award gaining seven spots to post a ninth place finish.
The spotlight then transitioned to the Performance Powder Coating AMSA Mini Sprints with 23 cars signing in to compete. With the 63 of Dallas Hunt failing to make the call, the 66 of Chase Dunham and the 50 of Craig Stower led the field to the green flag. Dunham got a great start off of turn two and jumped out to the early lead. The 00 of Micheal Helterbran, who started on the outside of row two, began to make a move for the lead. That run was cut short when he had to battle the 4 of Tyler Street. The battle for second continued for multiple laps until Helterbran was able to finally overpower Street and take second. The red flag was thrown at the halfway point for a crash in turn two collecting both the IVO of Andrew Heitkamp and the E99 of Gage Etgen. Heitkamp spun on the apron of the track causing Etgen to go into a spin and making contact, sending the E99 upside down. All drivers involved were fine but the E99 was towed to the pits and the IVO passed the hotpit and reported to the trailer. On the restart, Rod Henning got a great jump and took off like a rocketship trailing Dunham looking for the top spot. Henning was able to close the gap and work the outside lane trying to find a way around Dunham for the lead. Henning was able to get the job done off turn four with just two laps remaining in the event. Dunham threw everything he had at Henning but time ran out allowing Henning to pick up his second consecutive win. Chase Dunham was scored in the runner up spot and Michael Helterbran finishing in third. Henning thanked his girlfriend who was acting as crew chief and mechanic on the 28H in victory lane. The 8JR of JR Wood picked up the Foz Speed Partz hard charger award advancing eight spots.
The 20 lap Post Agri Service UMP Modifieds took the track next for their A-main event. The 45P of Brian Post and the 10 of Scott Bowersock led the field to the green flag with Matt Westfall and Brad Hess trailing right behind. Green flag action only lasted for a brief moment when the field was brought to a crawl for a caution involving the 28 of Chad Rosenbeck. On the restart, Westfall turned on the jets when another caution flew for the K9 of Scott Gereman spinning around in turn two. The restart was a carbon copy of the last one as Westfall got another great jump into turn one. Polesitter Brian Post and the 44 of Zach Schroeder went side-by-side battling for a top five spot with a group of cars battling behind them. The battle for fifth went three wide in turn three and continued until it was filtered out in turn one. The battle was such a shuffle to the running order that Schroeder, who started on the outside of row three, jumped into the runner up spot. The shuffling began to die down when the yellow made another appearance for the M1G of Matt Twining. The restart with two laps to go was too short to make any moves allowing Matt Westfall to take the victory. Zach Schroeder finished in second with the 18L of Randy Lines finishing third. The 11JS of Josh Scott finished seventh and picked up the hard charger award.
The final event of the night was the Block Insurance Tough Truck 15 lap feature. The race was exciting from the moment Roy Miller in the 37 and Bill Keeler in the 1W brought the field to the green flag. With not even a lap in the books, the lead pack took the field three wide off of turn three. Chris Hicks got the rough end of the deal when he spun in turn two while going three wide in a battle for the top spot. With Hicks restarting at the rear of the field, the 1S of Mike Sawmiller had an opportunity to throw his hat in the ring for the lead. It only took two laps for the three wide battle to continue following the restart. At one point, Roy Miller, Mike Hicks, Jerry Sawmiller, and Mike Sawmiller were all four wide for the top spot. The lead seemed to change every lap as scorers had to reference the electronic scoring system as the cars were too close to call at some points. The battle consumed every inch of the racing surface including portions of the front stretch wall. A series of cautions followed with the first of that series coming with six laps to go involving the 70 of Terry Klopfenstein and the 3M of Curtis Rayle. Klopfenstein went to the hotpit for service and Rayle was charged with the caution. Two laps later the 87 of Chris Anderson and the 316 of Ben Hower were involved in an accident. The 316 was sent over the banking on the back stretch and had to be towed from the scene. Curtis Rayles bad luck resurfaced with two to go as he spun and was sent to the pits for violating the two caution rule. The final restart was a last ditch chance for Mike squared, Hicks and Sawmiller, to shoot for the lead. They managed to get up beside Roy Miller but were unable to hold it at the line. Roy Miller picked up the win with Mike Hicks finishing in second and Mike Sawmiller finishing in third. It was a celebration for Roy Miller as he shared his victory with his son who was celebrating his birthday at the track. Kenny Osborne in the C01 picked up the hard charger award advancing eleven spots to finish sixth.
Racing returns to Waynesfield Raceway Park this upcoming Saturday for the another full show including the Buckeye Machine Non Wing Sprints, Post Agri Service UMP Modifieds, Performance Powder Coating AMSA Mini Sprints, Block Insurance Agency Tuff Trucks and the Indian Lake Outfitter Compacts. Adult general admissions is just $12, Kids 11-15 are $6 with 10 & under FREE. Pit side gates open at 4PM and grandstand gates open at 5PM. Warm Ups are scheduled for 6PM with the first green flag flying at 7PM. Get all the latest information online at www.waynesfieldracewaypark.net, on Facebook, or by following @OfficialWRP on Twitter.
Waynesfield Raceway Park is a proud Contingency Connection track with nearly $100,000 in contingency awards up for grabs in 2014! Contingency Connection sponsors offer product certificate coupons all season long; good towards your next purchase. Contingency awards are in addition to cash purse payouts and make a big difference when racing bills come due! Information regarding the Contingency Connection is available online at www.waynesfieldracewaypark.net.
WRP story 5/24
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