Track News

20
MelMark Sweeps Stock, Add Nine to Champions Cup in Easter Eve Thriller


Cody Morris
I-44 Riverside Speedway Public Relations


Saturday, April 19th, 2014 
I-44 Riverside Speedway / Oklahoma City, OK
13th Annual Ryan Craighead Memorial / Champions Cup Rounds 2 and 3


The opening month of I-44 Riverside Speedway’s 2014 season received a makeover back on April 5th when the 13th Annual Ryan Craighead Memorial was rain delayed with four main events still on the card. 


It was time for Mother Nature to deliver some positives for Oklahoma City’s Place to Race, as the rainout setup a full month of special events to open the action on the red clay high banks of I-44 Riverside.


A staggering 130 entries checked in for the weekly opener back on April 5th, which was followed by a stratospheric 167 entries at the Inaugural Blue River Classic on April 12th. Not that long ago, such numbers were not thought possible in the Oklahoma City open wheel scene. Including the Inaugural Red Dirt Nationals back in March, the speedway entered this Saturday night’s show with four consecutive events with more than 120 entries.


So at tonight’s make up for the 13th Annual RCM, immediately followed by the full Champions Cup Round 3 program, we figured the numbers might come back down a little bit. Well it turns out such a thought underestimated the growth in the West side open wheel scene.


The triple digit streak continued as 103 entries entered to dare and dazzle on the ultra fast red clay high banks. Minus last week’s windstorm that marred the biggest one day show in speedway history, tonight’s setup was positively perfect. Race time temps in the mid 70’s that cooled to the low 60’s and relatively little wind. It was exactly what we all needed for a night that would ultimately showcase 13 heat races, two B Features, and 9 bad ass main events. 


I-44 Riverside skipper Mark Banister showed his skill once more as well on the surface preparation. Without 40mph sustained winds to beat the banks all night - the moisture held throughout one and a half shows, and combined with the pleasant spring time conditions produced an early season gem that kept the momentum rolling at I-44 Riverside.


Armed with four make-up main events from the season opener back on April 5th, as well as a very full Champions Cup Round 3 program - we aimed to please. And now the masses can either learn about or revel in a new era we are entering here at Riverside. A comeback for two communities, local and racing. An ongoing comeback for Oklahoma City‘s sole remaining auto racing venue in the wake of the longest of odds following last year‘s tornado. A weekly gathering of the very best southerners having a great time, gathering to celebrate our true greatest past time. And the rebirth of an OKC racing scene that truly was left for dead.


At I-44 Riverside Speedway, we bring it all back. A car entry, pit pass, or ticket at a time. Every nail that has been hammered, screw that has been driven, or the thousands of bright beads of weld Mark has stared at in the past 8 months.


Like the rooster tail of red clay coming off the fastest open wheelers on the Sooner State’s most action packed oval and with great pride in the communities to which we belong and serve, we see our darkest days behind us, and nothing but green lights and an incredibly bright future ahead.


And we owe all of this to the dedication of our racing family on both sides of the fence. All are reminders that this sport, this community, these racers, and this track - just kick ass.  


The Rundown (in chronological order)


The 13th Annual Ryan Craighead Memorial
Non Wing, Restricted, A Class, and Turf Tire main events delayed from April 5th.


13th Annual RCM NON WING


The 20 car field entered the track on April 5th and completed half of the 20 lap Non Wing main event before the rains came. Six drivers had pulled before Jimmy Smith flipped to bring out the red flag and the skies opened up.


Two weeks later, 9 of the 13 racers still on the track returned to complete the first of four 13th Annual RCM make-up features.


Windthorst, Texan Sterling Hoff had earned the lead just before the Jimmy Smith flip and the ensuing rains, back underway tonight he was chased by Dalton Terrel, fellow Texans Drew Salisbury and Aaron Dromgoole, with Cyril’s Cord Dodson in fifth after leading in the April 5th opening half before getting tangled amidst lapped traffic and tagging the back of the field.


Dodson quickly moved up to third to join Terrel in chasing Hoff and the field was packed in a final time with five laps to go, but Hoff wasn’t hearing anything behind, instead cruising on to his 2nd Non Wing win of the year aboard the Cecil Machine Shop, Cothran Trucking, and Pioneer Wildlife Studios #39. 


Dodson challenged for the runner up spot in the final laps, but Dalton Terrell held to take second with Dodson completing the podium. Greg Emetario restarted sixth and moved up to fourth with Drew Salisbury rounding out the top five finishing order.


13th Annual RCM “Non Wing” B Feature #1 (12 laps - completed April 5th): 1. 898 Ryan Padgett (2); 2. 29 Blake Dacus (10); 3. 2B Brandon Boggs (1); 4. 12 Gage Robb (4); 5. 51B Bailey Felkins (3); 6. 41 Chad Robinson (5); 7. 20 Rocky White (6); 8. 72 Mark Rogers (7); 9. 33x Justin Patocka (8); DNS: 58 Phillip Fessler


13th Annual RCM “Non Wing” B Feature #2 (12 laps - completed April 5th): 1. P51 Aaron Dromgoole (2); 2. 8 Josh Marcham (1); 3. 98 Derrick McBride (4); 4. 96R Jeff Rury (3); 5. 18 Dillon Laden (5); 6. 50 Shelby Burk (10); 7. 44 Garrett Olson (6); 8. 03 Ross Moore (7); 9. 3 Cory Wiegart (8); 10. 70w Brady Wertz (9)


13th Annual RCM “Non Wing” A Feature (20 laps): 1. 39 Sterling Hoff (8); 2. 97 Dalton Terrell (6); 3. 7 Cord Dodson (1); 4. 93 Greg Emetario Jr. (9); 5. 12s Drew Salisbury (7); 6. 32k Chris Kelly (15); 7. 24L Caleb Lovelady (11); 8. 88 Tony Penick (13); 9. P51 Aaron Dromgoole (18); 10. 898 Ryan Padgett (17); 11. 007 Cody Carter (16); 12. 118 Scott Evans (2); 13. 8 Josh Marcham (20); 14. 002 Jimmy Smith (3); 15. 28 Junior Vickman (4); 16. 02 Bobby Hennig (5); 17. 29 Blake Dacus (19); 18. 17m Mike Matherly (10); 19. 32 Trey Marcham (12); DNS: 48 Joe Klonoski
Lap Leaders: Dodson 1-7, Evans 8-9, Hoff 10-20
Hard Charger: Chris Kelly +9


13th Annual RCM RESTRICTED


15 of the original 19 Restricted racers checked in to run the complete 20 lap makeup of the April 5th rainout. Layden Pearson paced the pole position with Bethany’s Matt Moore alongside. 


Moore moved out to an early lead before the first stoppage came in the form of a very hard flip when Jeremy Rogers tumbled on the front straightaway exiting turn four.


Moore led Pearson and Tuttle’s Stephen Smith in the ensuing laps, with Moore amassing a huge lead through the race. Moore was headed for history before disaster struck on the 18th round when a mishap with a lapped car got the young Bethany racer out of sorts and he tumbled on the back straightaway. 


With the win ripped away from Moore, Pearson inherited the lead, but a miscommunication ended with Pearson in the pits and handed the lead once more, this time to Stephen Smith.


A wreck on the restart took away excellent runs from a pair of former I-44 Riverside Junior Sprint champions in Tanner Conn and Nathan Rainey, but this would prove the final stoppage and the final obstacle to Smith’s run into the history books aboard the RPM Powersports, Chandler Racing Development no. 3$. 


Waukomis racer Carson Wilson posted a career best 2nd with Edmond’s Alison Slaton coming from 15th to claim third. Reigning Restricted champ Logan Davis moved up a half dozen spots to finish fourth with Blake Scott moving three to complete the top five finishing order.


13th Annual RCM “Restricted” A Feature (20 laps): 1. 3$ Stephen Smith (4); 2. 86 Carson Wilson (6); 3. 2A Alison Slaton (15); 4. 14D Logan Davis (10); 5. 13 Blake Scott (8); 6. 72c Kaylee Cole (3); 7. 00R Ryan Anderson (9); 8. 78 Tanner Conn (12); 9. 99 Nathan Rainey (7); 10. 21k Kobe Simpson (11); 11. 11 Layden Pearson (1); 12. 9m Matt Moore (2); 13. 56 Zach Riley (14); 14. 57T Kyle Thompson (5); 15. 11J Jeremy Rogers (13); DNS: 12s Sarah Walls, 99B Brittney Bryant, 7m McKenzie Laplante, 7 Justin Rogers
Lap Leaders: Matt Moore 1-16, Stephen Smith 17-20
Hard Charger: Alison Slaton +12


13th Annual RCM A CLASS


15 of the original starting 20 returned for winged stock action in the 20 lap A Class make up feature. Sterling Hoff paced the pole position with El Reno’s Blake Dewberry alongside.


Dewberry snared the early lead over Hoff and Grady Chandler before a the only stoppage of the flew on lap 6 for a stalled Bobby Springer.


There was little doubt in the next 14 laps as Dewberry lambasted the field, scoring a commanding win aboard the All American Pizza, Outlaw Wings, Select Coatings, Total Collision, and Factory Kahne supported #29d. 


Reigning A Class champ and Fletcher, OK native Blake Dacus took the runner up finish ahead of Amarillo, Texan Danny Davidson who was on a mission from outside row 7. North Texas gasser Aaron Dromgoole moved up one spot to finish fourth with Newcastle’s Teri Burk matching the feat to complete the top five finishing order.


13th Annual RCM “A Class” B Feature #1 (12 laps - completed April 5th): 1. 118 Scott Evans (4); 2. 12T Trey Robb (8); 3. 51B Bailey Felkins (3); 4. 22R Ryan Padgett (11); 5. 7s Todd Schwartz (5); 6. 70w Brady Wertz (10); 7. 777c David Conley Sr. (12); 8. 4T Caleb Thompson (7); 9. 48 Joe Klonoski (1); DNS: 18 Bryce Sheehan, 04 Caleb Paris, 36 Lloyd Smith


13th Annual RCM “A Class” B Feature #2 (12 laps - completed April 5th): 1. 95 Michael Hall (2); 2. 44 Garrett Olson (6); 3. 27D Jared Dunkin (4); 4. 11 Michael Kearnes (3); 5. 29w Mandi Grayston (9); 6. 58 Phillip Fessler (8); 7. 26 Preston Williams (7); 8. 57D Blaine Denny (5); 9. 51c David Conley Jr. (11); 10. 32k Chris Kelly (1); 11. 24N Matt Nelson (10)


13th Annual RCM “A Class” A Feature (20 laps): 1. 29d Blake Dewberry (1); 2. 29 Blake Dacus (3); 3. 16x Danny Davidson (12); 4. P40 Aaron Dromgoole (5); 5. 22 Teri Burk (6); 6. 17m Mike Matherly (11); 7. 2B Brandon Boggs (13); 8. 98 Derrick McBride (10); 9. 95 Michael Hall (15); 10. 7D Sierra Davis (8); 11. 00 Grady Chandler (4); 12. 60 Bryan Nebgen (9); 13. 39 Sterling Hoff (1); 14. 25s Bobby Springer (14); 15. 1 Johnny B (11): DNS: 24L Caleb Lovelady, 32 Trey Marcham, 118 Scott Evans, 44 Garrett Olson, 12T Trey Robb
Lap Leaders: Blake Dewberry 1-20
Hard Charger: Danny Davidson +9


13th Annual RCM TURF TIRE


10 of the original dozen returned for the 15 lap Turf Tire make up feature with Banner’s Scott Patraw on the pole position with Snyder’s Josh Bigger alongside.


But this caution free affair was all inside second row starter Jeremy Penick. El Reno’s 2012 Turf Tire champ has been on a well known run of runner up finishes, something like 8 or 9 of them since his last win. 


In the last makeup feature before Champions Cup Round three could get their heat races started, Jeremy Penick took his frustrations out on the field, leading all 15 laps and lashing the field aboard the United Cellular, Phil’s Cycle & ATV, Full Throttle Chassis, and PFR Racing supported #28.


OKC’s Willie Vickman came from fifth to score a hard fought runner up finish ahead of Fletcher’s 2012 RCM Turf Tire titlist Mike Daft. Philip Giles came in fourth with Junior Vickman outlasting Jeremy Morris to round off the top five finishing order, as well as a two week delayed opening round to the 2014 I-44 Riverside Speedway Champions Cup.


Original outside front row starter Bobby Chapa missed the call - he was getting married tonight. Congrats to the Chapa’s!


13th Annual RCM “Turf Tire” A Feature (15 laps): 1. 28 Jeremy Penick (3); 2. 75 Willie Vickman (5); 3. 21D Mike Daft (9); 4. 14J Philip Giles (3); 5. 28v Junior Vickman (7); 6. 93x Jeremy Morris (8); 7. 20x Dusty Devine (6); 8. 45 Sarah Hill (4); 9. 21 Josh Bigger (2); 10. 5m Scott Patraw (10); DNS: 1 Nelson Norman, C3 Bobby Chapa
Lap Leaders: Jeremy Penick 1-15
Hard Charger: Mike Daft +6


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Champions Cup Round 3 (of 22)


NON WING


Fort Worth, Texan Johnny B paced the pole with El Reno’s Tony Penick alongside for the 20 lap Non Wing main event. Boland earned the early point, but was caught in a fracas just three laps that relegated him to the tail. Tommy White took over the lead, but Drew Salisbury jumped a right rear on ensuing restart and flipped wildly in turn three, Salisbury emerged safely from the wreckage much to the relief of many who feared a possible re-injury of a broken leg she sustained last year.


White held the point a few more laps until Cord Dodson took to the cushion and in a run from the outside sixth row took the lead on the 8th round. Dodson checked out from all challengers until Dalton Terrel broke while running third with three to go.


Bunching the field together once more proved fruitless for challengers and Dodson ran away in the MelMark Pipe & Supply #7. The remainder of the top five underwent an overhaul as a fuel test disqualified three of them. 


Windthorst, Texan Sterling Hoff was awarded the runner up spot with Roy Maxwell, Brandon Boggs, and Derrick McBride officially concluding the top five rundown.


Tony Penick, Dodson, and Dalton Terrel earned heat race wins over the 26 car field.


Non Wing B feature (12 laps shortened to 8 - top 5 advance to the A Feature): 1. 32k Chris Kelly (5); 2. 98 Derrick McBride (6); 3. P51 Aaron Dromgoole (7); 4. 58 Philip Fessler (2); 5. 20 Rocky White (9); 6. 18 Dillon Laden (3); 7. 4T Caleb Thompson (8); 8. 72 Mark Rogers (1); DNS: 29 Blake Dacus, 11J Garrett Jennings
Non Wing A Feature (20 laps): 1. 7 Cord Dodson (12); 2. 39 Sterling Hoff (9); 3. 71 Roy Maxwell (13); 4. 2B Brandon Boggs (6); 5. 98 Derrick McBride (17); 6. 24L Caleb Lovelady (10); 7. 32k Chris Kelly (16); 8. 02 Bobby Hennig (14); 9. 1 Johnny B (1); 10. 58 Philip Fessler (19); 11. 33x Justin Patocka (15); 12. 97 Dalton Terrel (8); 13. 12s Drew Salisbury (11); 14. P51 Aaron Dromgoole (18); 15. 88 Tony Penick (2); 16. 50 Shelby Burk (5); 17. 20 Rocky White (20); Disqualified: 12 Gage Robb, 25w Tommy White, 93 Greg Emetario Jr.
Lap Leaders: Johnny B 1-2, Tommy White 3-7, Cord Dodson 8-20
Hard Charger: Cord Dodson +11


JUNIOR SPRINTS


Connor Thompson paced inside Talon Hoahwah to begin the 15 lap Junior Sprint main event and it was Hoahwah into the early lead.


The battle in the back began quickly with Christopher Wells leading the inevitable charge of the high point teams. 


Wells was first to it taking the lap four lead with point leader Dylan Pendergrass in tow and Ryder Laplante making it a very tight three way battle up front.


The lead trio reached lapped traffic quickly and Pendergrass caught a right rear and tumbled very hard into the turn 1&2 catch fence. Pendergrass had actually flipped in heat race action and just took the wing off and won anyway, but the young Lawton racer’s win streak officially ended at four as the wreck thrashed the front end of his #22.


Christopher Wells and Ryder Laplante abandoned the rest of the field after the restart with Laplante shadowing the leader turn for turn. The lead pair were approaching lapped traffic once more when the final caution flew with three to go. With Laplante tight on the leader’s tail, but lapped traffic having already snared one front runner - it was difficult to tell who the yellow helped more. 


Laplante shadowed the leader once more, but his mounting bid for his first win would have to wait another week as this 15 lapper belonged to Team Green and Christopher Wells in the #72. Laplante has increasingly made it clear his first career win is on the horizon and accepted the runner up finish with Emme Johnson advancing from tenth to claim the final spot on the podium. We need to get a podium.


Chickasha’s Brant Woods came in 4th with Jacob Long guiding the #007 from 7th to complete the top five order.


Pendergrass and Wells took heat race wins over the 14 car field.


Junior Sprint A Feature (15 laps): 1. 72 Christopher Wells (12); 2. 88R Ryder Laplante (9); 3. 12E Emme Johnson (10); 4. 16 Brant Woods (4); 5. 007 Jacob Long (7); 6. 72c Kayden Cole (5); 7. 28 Connor Thompson (1); 8. 12 Jessie Kelley (8); 9. 33 Noah Babb (3); 10. 14 Talon Hoahwah (2); 11. 1 Bryce Barnett (6); 12. 22 Dylan Pendergrass (11); 13. 37 Jack Hall (13): DNS: 05c Jordan Williams
Lap Leaders: Talon Hoahwah 1-3, Chris Wells 4-15
Hard Charger: Chris Wells +11


RESTRICTED


Moore, Ok’s Kaylee Cole paced the pole of the 20 lap Restricted main event with Tuttle’s Stephen Smith alongside and gunning for a Restricted sweep.


Cole earned the early point until Tanner Conn, on a charge from 7th, moved up to take the lap 5 lead. 


Bethany’s Matt Moore moved into position to challenge Conn and did so several times, but Conn gained some distance late en route to his first win of the season aboard the Paul Albers powered and Lyons Security supported #78. 


Moore settled for a worthy runner up effort with Alison Slaton earning her second-third place finish of the night. Stephen Smith and Logan Davis rounded out the top five finish.


Restricted A Feature (20 laps): 1. 78 Tanner Conn (7); 2. 9m Matt Moore (9); 3. 2A Alison Slaton (13); 4. 3$ Stephen Smith (2); 5. 14D Logan Davis (10); 6. 00R Ryan Anderson (5); 7. 72c Kaylee Cole (1); 8. 86 Carson Wilson (6); 9. 99 Nathan Rainey (8); 10. 21k Kobe Simpson (3); 11. 13 Blake Scott (4); 12. 56 Zach Riley (11); Disqualified: Layden Pearson DNS: 11J Jeremy Rogers, 57T Kyle Thompson 
Lap Leaders: Kaylee Cole 1-4, Tanner Conn 5-20
Hard Charger: Alison Slaton +10


TURF TIRE


Dusty Devine paced the pole position of the 15 lap Turf Tire main event with Banner’s Scott Patraw alongside, and while Patraw led the initial lap, Snyder’s Josh Bigger quickly seized lap two command.


Bigger built a huge lead over RCM winner Jeremy Penick and that lead was erased at the halfway as Scott Patraw spun to bring out the sole stoppage of the race.


Penick was on the move and was gaining ground rapidly when the yellow flew, so most thought it was just a matter of time until he battled past the leader.


Bigger was aware of Penick’s intent as soon as the lights went green on the restart as Penick began mauling the leader on each end of the track. But Bigger stayed a spot better and fought off the endless attack until nabbing his first win of the year aboard the 569 Motorsports, Moeller Customs, Ends Designs, and PFR Racing supported #21.


As soon as Turf Tire ace Jeremy Penick ended his long streak of runner up finishes with the RCM win earlier in the evening, he began another when he couldn’t battle past Bigger.


Shorty Burks came from dead last to steal the final podium spot. Philip Giles and Junior Vickman completed the top five running order. 


Turf Tire A Feature (15 laps): 1. 21 Josh Bigger (3); 2. 28 Jeremy Penick (8); 3. 1 Shorty Burks (11); 4. 14J Philip Giles (6); 5. 28v Junior Vickman (5); 6. 75 Willie Vickman (7); 7. 93x Jeremy Morris (10); 8. 5m Scott Patraw (2); 9. 33 Brian Penick (4); 10. 45 Sarah Hill (9); 10. 20x Dusty Devine (1): DNS: 21D Mike Daft
Lap Leaders: Scott Patraw 1, Josh Bigger 2-15
Hard Charger: Shorty Burks +8


A CLASS


Lloyd Smith paced the pole position of the final race of the evening, the 20 lap A Class main event, with Lawton’s Brandon Boggs alongside.


But it was Newcastle’s Derrick McBride powering into the early lead. McBride led comfortably for a time, but Piedmont’s Grady Chandler was on a monster rail on the cushion and shot from 15th to lead the 8th round.


The final yellow flew a lap shy of the halfway point and Chandler led Sterling Hoff and Blake Dewberry through the midway stages.


As Chandler grew his lead exponentially, Hoff and Dewberry exchanged sliders at the end to the delight of the hardcore fans still occupying Lawn Chair Alley.


Chandler made it a MelMark Pipe & Supply Sweep of Champions Cup Round 3 aboard the MelMark, Guardian Tubular, Orr Enterprises, Joie of Seating, Total Collision, Keizer Wheels, MudX, Bishop Racing Components, Shell Shock, and A.R.E. supported #00. 


Sterling Hoff won the war for the runner up spot with RCM winner Dewberry settling for third at the finish line. Amarillo’s Danny Davidson turned in another strong performance with a run from 12th to fourth, with North Texas pilot Aaron Dromgoole narrowly besting Brandon Boggs to complete the top five running order.


Davidson, Caleb Lovelady, Grady Chandler, and Brandon Boggs each earned heat race wins over the 33 car field.


A Class B Feature (12 laps - top 4 advance to A Feature): 1. 32k Chris Kelly; 2. 71 Roy Maxwell; 3. 7 Cord Dodson; 4. 60x Chance Terrell; 5. 7s Todd Schwartz; 6. 11 Michael Kearnes; 7. 67 Joe Martin; 8. 58 Philip Fessler; 9. 27D Jared Dunkin; 10. David Millwee; 11. 7LD Logan Davis; 12. 51c David Conley Jr.; DNS: 777c David Conley Sr., 4T Caleb Thompson, 13 Chelsea Martin, 3 Cory Wiegart, 29 Blake Dacus


A Class A Feature (20 laps): 1. 00 Grady Chandler (15); 2. 39 Sterling Hoff (7); 3. 29D Blake Dewberry (11); 4. 16x Danny Davidson (12); 5. P40 Aaron Dromgoole (8); 6. 2B Brandon Boggs (2); 7. 7 Cord Dodson (19); 8. 24L Caleb Lovelady (13); 9. 25s Bobby Springer (9); 10. 60x Chance Terrell (18); 11. 32k Chris Kelly (17); 12. 71 Roy Maxwell (16); 13. 98 Derrick McBride (3); 14. 36 Lloyd Smith (1); 15. 37 CJ Brewer (4); 16. 57D Blaine Denny (5); 17. 22 Teri Burk (6); 18. 17m Mike Matherly (10); 19. 95 Michael Hall (14); DNS: 60 Bryan Nebgen
Lap Leaders: Derrick McBride 1-7, Grady Chandler 8-20
Hard Charger: Grady Chandler +14


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Happy Easter to our racing family and come back next Saturday, April 26th, for the 2nd installment of the Lucas Oil POWRi West Midget Series. More information on this event, including updated points, on the other side of the holiday. Stay tuned to I-44 Riverside Speedway news outlets on our website www.i44riversidespeedway.com or on social networking for news and updates. Happy Easter!
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