After coming within three laps of his first Lucas Oil Speedway feature win of the season last week, Larry Ferris finished the job this time.
Ferris captured the ULMA Late Model feature Thursday, July 4, at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, according to a Lucas Oil news release. The race was shortened to 11 laps due to excessive caution flags.
Ferris of Nevada earned $1,000 courtesy of HICKAMO Country Store, according to the release.
Also earning trips to victory lane as 115 cars checked into the pits were Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods), Chad Wheeler (Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds) and Johnny Coats (O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks).
Ferris said in the release the win was a sweet one after two runner-up finishes this season.
"You would just get going and another yellow," Ferris said, describing the event’s frequent caution flags. "It was hard to get a rhythm. I hate to win one like this that was cut so short, but I'll take it."
After the sixth caution of the race with only nine completed laps, Ferris had to hold off defending track champion Johnny Fennewald and Aaron Marrant in a green, white, checker finish, according to the release.
"Finally," Ferris said in the release. "I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to make it. But we made it."
Fennewald was second, .271 seconds behind Ferris, with Marrant third and Tucker Cox in fourth, the release stated.
Ryan Johnson started outside of Ferris on the front row and Johnson got the jump, leading the first seven laps. In the restart Johnson, spun out in turn two as he and Ferris jockeyed for the lead, according to the release.
Points leader Kaeden Cornell and Todd Shute tangled in a battle for fifth place on lap seven. Cornell's car suffered some front-end damage and, after a brief visit to the pits, he and Shute both had to restart at the rear of the field. Cornell was able to rally from 20th to ninth, the release stated.
Make it five for Jackson
Kris Jackson of Lebanon continued his mastery in the USRA B-Mod division, driving to his fifth straight feature victory and fifth of the season by leading all 20 laps, according to the release.
"It was really good. A good, clean race," Jackson said in the release after finishing clear the field. "Starting on the front row sure makes it easy. I just have to say thanks to all my guys who help in the pits."
Jackson and Andy Bryant, both former USRA B-Mod National Champions, started on the front row and blasted away from the green flag to set a blistering pace with Jackson leading the way, the release stated.
By lap seven, when the race's first caution came out, Jackson had opened a one-second lead over Bryant with Ryan Gillmore in third, the release stated. By lap 10, when another caution waved, the top three were unchanged but JC Morton, after starting 11th, had worked his way up to fifth behind Taylor Moore.
Jackson hugged the low groove the rest of the way to put it away with Moore finishing second, Morton third and Robbe Ewing fourth, according to the release.
Wheeler dominates USRA Mods
Making his first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway this season, Chad Wheeler of Muskogee, Oklahoma, led all 20 laps in a dominating Pitts Homes USRA Modified victory, according to the release.
Wheeler started on the pole and left little doubt about the outcome as the final 18 laps went green, following two early cautions. Wheeler finished 3.57 seconds in front of second-place Robbie Reed. Tyler Wolff drove from 12th to third and Lucas Gibbs finished fourth, the release stated.
"It's a gift to be able to race at a facility like this and especially for fans like this, on the Fourth of July. It's really special," Wheeler said in the release. "We were involved in a flood and lost a lot of stuff in our business. It was crazy that we even got to come up here and race."
Wheeler said his crew chief, Cody Hollis, got the car prepared while Wheeler has been working seven days a week on getting his business back up and running.
Coats earns second Street Stock win
Joplin's Johnny Coats grabbed the lead from points leader Toby Ott on lap five and drove away to his second O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks feature win of 2019 Thursday.
Coats finished 4.44 seconds in front of Cody Frazon with Ott third and Bob Barnett fourth, according to the release.
"It's pretty good to outrun with Toby here because he runs so good," Coats said in the release. "The blacker (slicker) the track is, the better it seems to be for our car. We're been struggling pretty bad in heat races all season. Tonight, we got pretty lucky."
Diamond Nationals next
The Speedway’s 13th annual CMH Diamond Nationals is Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14. The event was expanded to two nights to help make up for cancellation of the Show-Me 100 after storms hit the speedway May 20, according to the release.
Full programs for the Late Models are scheduled with $15,000-to-win features each night. The Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds will be the support class on July 13 with a $2,000-to-win feature. On July 14, the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks will be in action, with the feature winner taking home $1,000.
Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:05. Gates open at 3 p.m. Sunday, with hot laps at 5:30 and racing at 6:05.