After making a career as one of the most consistent drivers at Lucas Oil Speedway, Jason Pursley was able to celebrate a long-sought trip to victory lane Saturday, Aug. 18.
Pursley handled numerous restarts Saturday, including a two-lap sprint at the finish, to earn his first Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature victory in several seasons, according to a Lucas Oil news release.
Pursley, who is the Skyline-Urbana R-1 Elementary School principal, earned $1,000 for the triumph, according to the release.
"It's been a long time. I don't know how many years since I won, but a long time," Pursley said in the release.
A total of 154 cars in five divisions checked into the pits on Fan Appreciation Night. There were also 20 Show-Me Vintage Racing Club cars on hand to put on a 10-lap exhibition race won by Damon Clevenger.
Pursley officially started inside of row two, but was elevated to the front when pole-starting Colson Kirk spun out after the race went green and the caution came out. He jumped to the lead when the race restarted and opened up a three-second lead when the race's fourth caution came out on lap seven.
Brian Green moved into second on the restart. Jon Sheets worked his way from 10th to third. Chase Domer moved into fourth, the release stated.
Officials made the call to shorten the event by five laps due to time of the event on lap 18 following the sixth caution.
According to the release, that meant a two-lap shootout with Pursley leading Green and Domer.
Pursley finished about five car lengths in front of Green with Domer in third and Shawn Whitman fourth, according to the release.
Pursley, a veteran driver from nearby Hermitage, was greeted by cheers as he emerged from his car and then a hug from car owner Tom Campbell, the release stated.
"First, I have to thank Tom Campbell. He owns everything," Pursley said in the release. "Without him, I couldn't do it. I have to thank all my sponsors and my son, Dayton Pursley. He works on it all the time. And I thank my family, especially my mom who is my biggest supporter.”
Shute captures Late Model feature
Todd Shute of Norwalk, Iowa, started on the pole and ran away to a dominating, flag-to-flag ULMA Late Model feature victory.
On lap two, after the race's lone caution, Shute drove away to a 9.98-second victory. Aaron Marrant finished second, more than half a lap behind the winner. Larry Ferris was third. Kaeden Cornell took fourth. Points leader Johnny Fennewald claimed fifth, according to the release.
"I have to thank (engine builder) Scott Bailey for helping us out tonight with this car," Shute said in the release. "Last time we were here, we didn't fare so well so this was a little bit of redemption tonight."
Poe earns Street Stocks win
Aaron Poe made a decisive pass just past the halfway point and held off Nathan Vaughn over the final laps to capture the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks feature Saturday.
Cody Frazon and Poe started up front, but it was Frazon who set the pace as Poe and Vaughn traded second place over the first half of the 20-lap race, according to the release.
The two were right on Frazon's bumper when a caution flag flew on lap eight.
Three laps later, following the race's fourth caution, Poe took over the lead. Vaughn slipped past Frazon soon after and held off Frazon for the runner-up position, the release stated.
"It's great running with friends. We had three 'Shark' cars up front and it's good to have those represented," Poe said in the release. "It's great to be back in the winner's circle."
Turner grabs B-Mod win
Eric Turner of Hermitage prevailed in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod main event. He finished 1.269 seconds in front of Taylor Moore for his first win in the class this season.
Jerry Morgan finished third with points leader Kris Jackson and JC Morton rallying to finish fourth and fifth, respectively, the release stated.
"I want to dedicate this to my wife (Cherie) who I lost last year. It was actually a year ago today," Turner said in the release. "This one's for her."
Turner took the lead for good on lap 12 after Andy Bryant's car lost power. Turner and Byrant traded the lead six times over nine laps.
"I enjoy racing with Andy," Turner said in the release. "I hated that Kris (Jackson) got crashed out there at the beginning. This type of track, it's give it all you can get. That's racing. It's good for the fans."
Jackson and Morton started on the front row and tangled just after the race went green while sliding through turn one. Both went to the rear for the restart.
Redus wins first Pure Stock feature
In the first Pure Stock event at the speedway, James Redus of Springfield came away the winner.
According to the release, Turner crossed the finish line in first, but his car was disqualified in post-race technical inspection.
The two broke away from the field after the restart, with Turner nearly two seconds in front of Redus, who in turn was fourth seconds clear of third-place Robert High, the release stated.
Those margins were erased when a caution with five laps remaining bunched the field, but Turner and Redus ran 1-2 the rest of the way, according to the release.
The Pure Stocks are set to return Aug. 31 as part of the MLRA Larry Phillips Memorial program.