Central Missouri Speedway (CMS) Opening Night Victories Go to Jim Moody, Clayton Campbell, David Raffurty, Jake Richards, and Jason Ryun!
(Warrensburg, MO) The green flag unfurled for the first time at Central Missouri Speedway began its 2017 race program with 18 Pure Stocks, 22 USRA B-Mods, 18 Mod-Lites, 11 Street Stocks, and 21 USRA Modifieds for a total of 90 cars on hand for competition.
Prior to the night’s events, USRA Modified driver Dwight Niehoff had a big question to ask his girlfriend Shelby Coe. Niehoff secretly stuck on a large cling-on vinyl sign to the side of his car just before practice laps that read, “Shelby, Will You Marry Me.” As he pulled onto the speedway the group sitting with Ms. Coe in the grandstand could see something looked different on the car and tried their best to read the wording as he went around the track, but when he came around to the back-stretch grandstands, Shelby herself finally got a good view of the question sign and gasped at first, then laughed for a while with a stunned look on her face, and then, she shook her head yes. At that point, a thumb’s up sign was flashed to the driver from the grandstand and the couple became happily engaged!
Opening night events then hit the track with a hearty crowd on hand to witness preliminary action when the Pure Stock’s started the night with heat races. Heat race winners included Gale Harper, Larry Norris and Jason Ryun. USRA B-Mods took to the track for their heats next as Eddie Bray, Jr., Jake Richards, and Dean Wille claimed the wins. In Mod-Lite action, Don Dannar, Dillon Raffurty, and Michael Raffurty drove to the victories. Brett Wood and Michael Mullins were victorious in Street Stock preliminaries as Ryan Middaugh, Matt Johnson, and Tim Karrick closed out the heat races with wins in USRA Modifieds.
After preliminary action concluded, drivers returned for the night’s “A” main events. First up in the program was the Pure Stocks. Their race began with a series of early cautions but after that, drivers settled into a highly competitive race rhythm as Jason Ryun, Darrin Christy, and Tyler Schoen put on great entertainment for the fans. At the halfway marker, the lead trio were side-by-side and using all lanes of the beautifully prepped race surface. Christy pressured Ryun on several occasions with Schoen in the mix as well. In the closing laps, defending champion Rodger Detherage made it a four-car battle but in the end, it was Ryun who claimed the narrow-margin win over Christy in second, Schoen third, Detherage fourth, and Gary Akers fifth.
The first-ever “weekly” racing USRA-sanctioned B-Mod race then hit the track with a pair of veterans showing the way up front. Eddie Bray, Jr., and Jake Richards brought the field to green. Richards quickly grabbed the lead at the start with Bray close behind. Just before the halfway marker, Richards had the lead over Russ Niehoff in second and Bray third when a caution slowed the field. When racing resumed, Richards again distanced himself as Niehoff, Bray, and Steven Clancy tried to find a line to gain ground on the leader. With five laps remaining, Doug Wetzel had a scary moment in turn four as his car got upside down, thankfully, the driver was okay and racing resumed shortly thereafter. At the lap 15 point of the 20-lap event, Richards again gunned it and took off, leaving his pursuers to battle for runner-up honors. On this night, it was Richards, who claimed his first-ever CMS main event win to finally shake some bad luck. Behind Richards at the line were Niehoff, Clancy, Dean Wille, and defending champion Jacob Ebert.
A healthy field of Midwest Mod-Lite Racing Series drivers returned to the track for the first-ever “weekly” racing 15-lap featured race. Don Dannar and David Raffurty led the field to the initial green flag as the drivers set a lightning-fast pace in the opening laps. David Raffurty grabbed the point early on bringing Cody Miller with him. After a quick caution just shy of the halfway point, David Raffurty again shot off the line in quick form as Dillon Raffurty and Ed Griggs joined in the battle inside the top three. The Raffurty name is synonymous with Mod-Lite racing and victory lane and on this night, it was no different as David Raffurty prevailed over Dillon Raffurty, ninth-starting Ed Griggs, Michael Raffurty and Don Dannar.
Earlier in the year it was announced that a new event, being billed as ‘The Triple SSS at CMS – Street Stock Showdown’ will take place this fall with $5,000 on the line. Two drivers who will likely play a factor when that October weekend rolls around started the night’s regular 15-lap main event on row one. Former champions Clayton Campbell and Brett Wood led Michael Mullins and Brian Inlow as the race began. Wood grabbed the early race lead with Campbell in hot pursuit as Mullins, Inlow, and Robert Brown watched closely as the leaders set the pace. Campbell kept working at his preferred line and made it work as he eventually went around Wood at the halfway point. However, in the closing laps Wood’s car came back to life as he put heavy pressure back on Campbell for the win but at the checkers it was Campbell who secured the victory over Wood, Mullins, Brown, Inlow, and Chad Eickleberry, who made his return to CMS racing.
The final main event of the night was the USRA Modifieds and it was another thriller. Red-hot driver Ryan Middaugh was hot off a win on Friday at Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Missouri and he occupied the front row beside Matt Johnson. An early race restart kept the field tight with Middaugh in control of the race with Gunner Martin and Tim Karrick in pursuit. Lap-after-lap Middaugh was flawless through the first 10 laps. Just behind him, seventh-starting Jim Moody worked his way to the front in furious battle with Johnson, Karrick, and a surging Dean Wille.
At the lap 11 point, Moody found the bottom line to his liking as Middaugh occupied the middle and high side. Moody eventually grabbed the lead with his new-born baby daughter on hand as Middaugh had his hands full with Karrick, Johnson, and Wille in tight battle for second. A late-race caution regrouped the field one final time as drivers could race every inch of the track to gain positions. In the final push to the finish, it was Warrensburg driver Dean Wille, who began the race side-by-side with Moody on row four, who came to life. Wille methodically made his way forward and eventually found a way around Karrick to lock into the runner-up position. However, it was Moody who outdistanced all pursuers to claim the win as laps ran out for Wille, Karrick, Johnson, and Middaugh to close out a fantastic opening night at CMS. In victory lane, a jubilant Moody said, “Ryan raced me clean, he’s been good so far in his new car and gave me plenty of room, you could race everywhere on the track tonight. We picked up right where we left off last year and put it in victory lane here tonight!”
Weekly racing resumes next Saturday evening at CMS with pits opening at 4:30, grandstands at 5 and racing at 7:30. General admission adults $12, Military w/I.D. and Seniors 65 to 74 $10, kids ages six to twelve $5, five years and under are free, seniors 75 and older are also free. Seniors 80 and older may receive free pit admission courtesy of promoter Earl Walls, who recently celebrated his own 80th birthday! All pit passes $30.
CMS is located 3.5-miles north of Warrensburg, MO from the junction of Highways 50 and 13 in Warrensburg just north of the new Hwy 13 by-pass round-a-bout, or from the Higginsville exit off I-70, head south on Highway 13 for twelve and half miles.
Keep up with CMS on Twitter @CMSgoing_green. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Central-Missouri-Speedway. Join our email group by emailing email@example.com. Keep up with CMS news and information by pointing your browser to www.centralmissourispeedway.net. Find CMS on YouTube at CMS Going Green!
CMS wishes to thank its 2017 primary sponsors for their support including Cliff Harris Warrensburg Ford, Budweiser, KMZU 100.7 FM, Sunoco Race Fuels, Midwest Coatings, Better Country KIX 105.7, KSDL, and KSIS FM, Comfort Inn Warrensburg Station, KRLI FM 103.9 & KAOL 101.3 FM The Grenade, Pepsi, 610 Sports Radio Kansas City, College Town Apartments of Warrensburg, and Heartland Waste.
The list of 2017 business partners includes: Batliner Recycling, Kleinschmidt’s Western Store, OK Wheel Alignment, OK Tire Stores, Economy Lumber & Hardware, blue Springs Truck Line Inc., Brooks Auto LLC, Rick Darling Racing Engines/Head Porting, KMMO Radio, Sabre Solar LLC, KDKD Radio, LJS Graphics, Wilderness Ridge Tent & Canvas, DQ Grill & Chill of Warrensburg, Zaxby’s, Miller Lite, Victory Trophies & Plaques, Joslins Jewelry, Eickleberry Concrete & Construction, RockAuto.com, R & B Septic Services, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Wilderness Ridge Tent and Canvas, and Seeburg Mufflers. To join the CMS business partner team, call Susan Walls at (816) 229-1338. No calls after 8 p.m. please.