Before I get to this week's recap at Benton County Speedway, a number of "unidentified" individuals made their way to the infield to take in the five big features on the night. I offered a great promotional idea to promoter Mick Trier. With that, I offer you, the month of May for the 2011 "Implements of Benton County Speedway" calendar!
At the start of the 15-lap SportMod main, pole-sitter Kyle Olson took command with fellow front row starter Colby Heishman in pursuit. The top two remained unchanged during the first seven laps of the event while Kaplan worked the high groove and Hogan worked the bottom from row four.
Kaplan, who was forced to qualify out of the B feature, masterfully worked the high groove after starting deep in the field in row eight. He was the first to disrupt the top two as he swept around the top side of Heishman on lap eight. One lap later, Kaplan worked around Olson for the lead while Hogan chased him through and into third place around Heishman.
As Kaplan and Olson dueled out front, Hogan reeled in the leaders and challenged for position with only two laps to go. Hogan worked beneath Olson as the flying green waved, then set his sights on Kaplan. The two leaders ran side-by-side over the final pair of laps before Hogan powered below Kaplan to beat him to the checkers to score the thrilling win. Kaplan crossed the line in second while Olson, Joel Cox and Danny Dvorak completed the top five. Kaplan broke the tie with Dvorak at the top of the division standings to take the points lead.
Adam Streeter took the early lead in the 15-lap I.M.C.A. Hobby Stock feature. From his second row starting spot, Streeter quickly worked past pole-sitter Mike Wilson at the drop of the green. Streeter paced the field for the first four laps while Vince Buchholz was making his way past his competitors from a fourth row start.
Running the high groove, Buchholz worked his way into the lead just five laps into the event and quickly separated himself from the field. Almost a straightaway ahead of the field, Buchholz drifted high on the front stretch as he completed lap 10 and made contact with the wall. Although this shortened his lead over the field, Buchholz continued on to drive to the victory. Kyle Parizek made his way into second just past the midway point of the event and held off Streeter for second at the line. Eric Stanton and Rod Grother completed the top five.
Buchholz was piloting the #88s of Joe Sprague, as he has done in recent weeks. He revealed in victory lane that he will be driving the Sprague ride for the remainder of the season.
Ten cars started the 15-lap I.M.C.A. Stock Car feature. Justin Temeyer quickly worked the low groove and into the lead from his third row start. Just two laps in, Temeyer worked to the inside of pole-sitter Curtis Roster to take charge. Phil Holtz settled into the second spot as all of the front-runners ran single-file in the low groove of the 1/4-mile oval.
Damon Murty, who was running third, attempted to squeeze the tractor tires to make his way past Holtz. He successfully made the pass on lap eight, then quickly ran down Temeyer. Murty made the same move on Temeyer on the following lap to take the lead as he drove to the victory. Temeyer ran second ahead of Holtz, Norman Chesmore and Scooter Dulin. By virtue of the finish, Temeyer regained the points lead over Dulin.
After pole-sitter Patrick Flannagan spun on the first lap of the I.M.C.A. Modified feature to bring out an early caution, Jerry Luloff inherited the point to lead lap one. Richie Gustin, who started alongside Luloff, worked the low groove and into the lead one lap later. He pulled away from the field while Max Corporon worked low and Scott Hogan worked the high side behind him.
Corporon, who started near the tail of the 16-car field, worked around Luloff into second after only three laps while Hogan, who started outside row five, followed him into third on lap five. While Gustin continued to extend his advantage, Corporon and Hogan engaged in an exciting battle for second.
Hogan and Corporon swapped the runner-up spot before Hogan finally made the pass and dropped to the low side. As the race reached its midway point, rain showers hit the area which forced a premature checkered flag on lap 16 with Gustin scoring the win. Hogan, Corporon, Luloff and J.D. Auringer completed the top five.
Points leader Nathan Chandler took over midway through the I.M.C.A. Sport Compact feature to drive to the win in a division that seems to display more hard feelings than Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien's war for the Tonight Show. Seriously, guys, it's racing, and nothing worth acting like a spoiled celebrity.
It was another great night of racing at BCS. Qualifying took just over an hour and the final checkered flag waved before 8:30! Next up for me will be the Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series this Thursday night as it pays a visit to the Howard County Fairgrounds to do battle at Cresco Speedway. Chad Simpson has gone three-for-three in the series so far this year. We'll see if he can continue his hot streak in Cresco. See you there!