CORNING, Iowa — Zack VanderBeek started on the pole and that was as close as anybody got Saturday night as he led all 25 laps in dominating the USMTS main event during the Malvern Bank Duals at the Adams County Speedway.
“The Z-Man” was on point all night, leading every lap of his heat race and the feature to earn a $3,000 paycheck and his 38th career United States Modified Touring Series victory.
While an early caution and lapped traffic were the only causes for pause the leader experienced, the battles behind VanderBeek were fantastic.
Scott Drake earned the Wehrs Machine & Racing Products “Trick Move” of the Race Award with his opening-lap heroics. After drawing the eighth starting spot, the veteran racer from Joplin, Mo., squirted to the outside of the pack at the drop of the green flag, and by the end of the first lap he was running second.
Drake-along with everybody else-was never able to mount a challenge to VanderBeek’s lead. Fighting an ill-handling car for the final half of the race, he wound up seventh behind his teammate Joe Duvall, who finished sixth.
Cade Dillard rebounded from a near disaster in his heat and climbed through feature field to claim the runner-up spot. Dillard started 12th on the grid and earned the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award following a spirited battle with Zane DeVilbiss for the last half of the race.
Mike Densberger finished fourth behind DeVilbiss to notch his second top-five finish of the week, and Dereck Ramirez placed fifth on the final score sheets. Jared Stiens was eighth, and Stormy Scott held off Ricky Thornton Jr. for ninth.
On scary incident took place during Fast Shafts Heat Race #2. On the opening lap, polesitter Jardin Fuller experienced mechanical trouble as the field raced down the long, fast back-stretch. Several cars attempted to avoid the rapidly-slowing machine of Fuller and Grant Junghans Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Prauner was left with nowhere to go but up and over the embankment.
After several vicious tumbles through grass outside of the track, the Norfolk, Neb., driver crawled from his mangled race car without assistance. He was taken to the CHI Health Mercy Hospital in Corning, checked over and released.
“It felt like it was never going to end,” Prauner said of his crash. “I crawled out of the car right away because you’re always concerned about fire, but I was fine. Just had the wind knocked out of me.”
Prauner’s racing seat and his Razor Chassis roll cage did their job in keeping the driver safe, but “The car and everything bolted to it is junk,” said Prauner, who hopes to return when the USMTS visits the I-80 Speedway for the Silver Dollar Nationals in late July.
Drivers return to action in the RHRSwag.com Northern Region on Sunday at the Mason City Motor Speedway in Mason City, Iowa, for the Diamond Jo Casino “All-In” 77.
In addition to the Modifieds of the Casey’s USMTS National Tour, Sunday’s event will include the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series featuring Holley USRA Stock Cars, Out-Pace USRA B-Mods, USRA Hobby Stocks and Rookies Rockin’ USRA Tuners.
The pit gate opens at 4 p.m., spectator gates open at 5 and hot laps start at 6 with racing to follow. General admission is $20, seniors (65+), military and first responders with proper i.d. get in for $18. Youth (11-16) are $10 and kids 10 and under are free. Pit passes are $35.
Teams will take the day off Monday before rolling into the Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., on Tuesday, June 13. The make-up race at the Ogilvie Raceway happens on Wednesday, June 14, and then it’s time to make tracks to the Cedar Lake Speedway in New Richmond, Wis., for the “Masters” which will feature the USMTS on Thursday night for $3,000 to win then qualifying on Friday night for the $50,000-to-win show on Saturday.
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