TRACKSIDE COMMENTS: LOS 360 Nationals Recap
RACINBOYS EXCLUSIVE By Jerry West (Jefferson City, MO) -- Night One of the "8th Annual LOS 360 Nationals" at Lake Ozark Speedway, Eldon, MO was a great success as the fans were treated to some great racing. The ASCS Warrior Region Winged 360 Sprints Cars were the special attraction. Also competing were the USRA A-Modifieds and ULMA Late Models.
PHOTO CREDIT: John Lee of High-Fly'n Photos -- http://www.highfly-nphotos.com
The front row of the 30-lap sprint car feature was made up of a veteran and a rookie. Ankeny, IA's Terry McCarl was on the Pole and Marshall's Miles Paulus, who turned 18 on Friday, was on the outside. On the first start Paulus got the jump, but the start was called back. On the second start McCarl took the point and was in control of the event. California's Randy Martin moved to second on lap two. On the third circuit Sedalia's Jonathan Cornell attempted a slide job on Martin and the duo nearly crashed. Martin held the position. Cornell later moved to second.
Cornell was able to make the pass on McCarl, but McCarl quickly regained the point and put some distance between himself and Cornell as the laps wound down. At the checkers it was McCarl, Cornell, Marion, AR's Derek Hagar, Grain Valley's Brian Brown and Dover's Danny Lasoski. Lasoski was disqualified for not going to the scales after the feature and Randy Martin was awarded fifth. Hagar won the Sprint Car Trophy Dash. Heat race winners were Ayrton Gennetten, Dustin Morgan, Paulus, Danny Lasoski and Cornell.
There were only 12 USRA A-Modifieds starting the feature Saturday night, but the event had an unusual outcome. Mexico's Robby Reed and Fulton's Ryan Middaugh made up the front row. Middaugh charged into the lead and set a blistering pace. Reed was losing positions falling back to fifth. Reed was attacking the cushion and was slowing regaining the spots he lost. Reed worked his way back to third. At the same time Middaugh was negotiating lap traffic with High Ridge's Steve Picou's in tow. Middaugh was trying to lap Jeff Yates of Moscow Mills. It took Middaugh some time to pass Yates and Picou closed. As they entered turn three Picou tagged the rear of Middaugh and spun him out. Officials sent both Middaugh and Picou to the rear of the field. Reed inherited the lead with six laps to go and drove to the win. Booneville's Curt Potter finished second, Sparta's Stephen Muilenburg finished third, Middaugh recovered to finish fourth and Urbana's Colson Kirk took the fifth spot.
There were 24 ULMA Late Models taking the green flag for the 20-lap feature event. Centralia's Dustin Hodges was the pole sitter with Lancaster's Chris Smyser on the outside front row. As the event started Smyser went to the cushion and took the point. Shortly after the start, Nevada's Larry Farris moved by Hodges for second from his fourth starting spot. Farris was searching for a way by Smyser. Smyser continued using the high line around the 1/3 mile dirt oval. The front runners had to deal with lapping with the slower cars. Smyser and Farris were wasting no time negotiating the slower traffic. With about 6 laps to go Farris edged by Smyser for the lead. But Smyser never gave up and in a couple of circuits regained the lead and drove to the win. Farris was second, Hodges finished third, Appleton City's Johnny Fennewald was fourth and Eugene's Jason Russell took fifth. Columbia's David Melloway was the Hard Charger advancing from 22nd to finish 11th. Henley's Justin Russell won the Late Model Trophy Dash.
I returned to Lake Ozark Speedway for Night Two of the "LOS 360 Nationals" Sunday evening. The track was well watered and the push trucks and supports classes did an outstanding job of packing the moisture into the racing surface. There were 21 Street Stocks, 18 USRA B-Modifieds and 35 ASCS Winged 360 Sprint Cars in the pit ready to do battle for the purses offered. The top four Sprint Cars from the Saturday night racing program were locked in for the Sunday night program. Terry McCarl, the Saturday night winner, was eligible for the $5,000 bonus if he could pick up the Sunday feature win.
The top four in points earned in the heat races made the redraw with the Saturday night top four. Jonathan Cornell and Brian Brown made up the front row; Derek Hagar and Terry McCarl were in row two; Liberal, KS's Tony Bruce Jr. and Tulsa, OK's Sean McClelland were in row three and Coweta, OK's Chase Morton and Nixa's Kyle Bellm made up row four.
Brian Brown was ready as the green flag waved for the 40-lap Sprint Car feature. He was on the cushion and was flying around the well groomed 1/3 mile dirt surface with Hagar and Cornell in tow. Cornell moved by Hagar for second on lap three. Bruce moved by McCarl for fourth on the 11th circuit. Cornell was eager for the win and on lap 21 he was scored the leader. A lap later it was Brown back in control. New Mexico's Johnny Herrera got into the outside wall coming out of turn four and ended up upside down. As the event restarted it were Brown and Cornell battling for the top spot. The duo was attacking the lap traffic going three and sometimes four wide at times. Cornell was working the center of the corners as Brown continued to run on the ragged edge. With about four go, Brown jumped the cushion and Cornell slipped by. Brown fought back, but was unable to regain the lead as Cornell drove to the checkers. Following Cornell was Brown, Hagar, McCarl and Bruce Jr., Snohomish, WA's Seth Bergman, and Elwood, KS's Jay Russell were B feature winners.
Russellville's Cole Henson led wire to wire to win the 15-lap Street Stock feature. Tipton's Harlan Dowell was the runner-up. Third went to Hermitage's Chris Tonoli, with Centertown's Joe Miller finishing fourth and Laddonnia's Jimmy Myers finishing fifth. Tonoli and Eldon's J. D. Degraffenreid were heat race winners. Dowell won the Trophy Dash.
In B-Modified action it was Sparta's Stephen Muilenburg, winner of the first heat race, lead the feature green to checkers. Lebanon's Donald Jackson finished second. Bolivar's Robert Heydenreich, winner of the second heat race and trophy dash finished third. Columbia's Adam Hall and Farber's Jace Gay rounded out the top five.
I walked through the pits before the racing started. I visited with Corey Prather, a member of Randy Martin pit crew. I also visited with Richard Filkins, grandfather of sprint car driver Miles Paulus. Richard and I talked about our teenage years around North Missouri.
I also had the opportunity to talk briefly with the "Ohio Traveler" Rick Ferkel. Rick was one of the original World of Outlaw drivers. I met Rick back in the 70's at the "Knoxville Nationals". Sonny Smyser bought two chassis from Rick. One chassis was built by Toby Tobias and a one built by Bobby Allen which Rick finished fourth in the 1973 "Knoxville Nationals".
Congratulations to Tim Trimble and staff for putting together such a great two-day racing program last weekend. The track held up great both evenings and the huge crowd of fans enjoyed great racing.
Coming up at Lake Ozark Speedway on September 9th the ASCS Warrior Sprints plus ULMA Late Model Double Features for $3,000 in prize money. The Street Stocks, USRA Modifieds and USRA B-Modifieds will also compete.
The 7th Annual Jesse Hockett/Daniel McMillin Memorial is coming up at Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, MO. The event will feature the ASCS Winged 360 Sprints National Tour and POWRi WAR Non-Wing Sprints on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 21st, 22nd and 23rd.
Send your notes and comments to Jerry West, 1401 Chestnut, Jefferson City, MO 65101. 573-694-1333. firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you at the races.
Submitted By: Kirk Elliott