Lucas Oil Speedway’s midseason championships went off with the roar of an engine, as the Bolivar Herald-Free Press raised $1,805 for its Newspapers in Education program Saturday, June 15, in Wheatland.
BH-FP readers, employees, families, friends and race fans came together to support the program, which puts newspapers in classrooms throughout Polk County at no cost to the schools. In addition to using the newspaper as a teaching aid, NIE includes curriculum that aligns with topics being discussed in schools.
Frazon earns Street Stocks victory
Cody Frazon had been knocking on the door of his first Lucas Oil Speedway feature win, with three top-five finishes in 2019. He knocked down that door Saturday, making a late pass of Toby Ott to capture the O'Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks 25-lap main event, the headliner on midseason championship night, according to a Lucas Oil news release.
Also picking up feature wins in the program presented by the Bolivar Herald-Free Press, along with NMI-VMG Marketing, were Joe Duvall (Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds), Kris Jackson (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods) and Todd Shute (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models).
Jackson also celebrated a midseason championship with his third straight win. Other midseason champs were Paden Phillips (USRA Modifieds), Toby Ott (Street Stocks) and Kaeden Cornell (ULMA Late Models).
Each midseason champion received a $500 bonus, the release said. Victory Lane Track Action Race Review contributed $1,000 toward the bonus, and Lucas Oil Speedway management matched the contribution with another $1,000. The total of $2,000 was split among the points leaders in the four divisions.
In the evening's featured division, Frazon of Lamonte went around Ott with two laps remaining and held on to prevail by .721 seconds.
"I had no idea tonight would be the night," Frazon said in the release.
Frazon started third but fell out of the top five in the early going, according to the release.
"I had a really terrible start," Frazon said in the release. "I couldn't figure it out to be honest. I just started hitting some marks that were working for me."
Ott and Bob Barnett spent the first 15 laps running side by side, trading the lead four times as Barnett used the top groove and Ott the inside line.
The race was caution-free until Daniel Deason and James Flood, in a battle for third, came together and spun out going into turn three, the release said.
On the restart, Barnett lost the runner-up spot to Frazon.
"That wreck obviously closed the gap for me, and I could see Toby was losing a little bit where he was running," Frazon said in the release. "I knew if I kept running underneath him, kept trying and kept trying, I would get it."
From there, Frazon reeled in Ott with Johnny Coats finishing third and Marc Carter fourth.
"I want to congratulate (Frazon)," Ott said in the release. "He pulled off one heck of a race. I knew it was coming for him.”
Duvall speeds to USRA Modified win
Joe Duvall of Claremore, Oklahoma, roared from his 14th-starting position and into the lead before the midpoint, en route to the Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature win.
Duvall, a frequent United States Modified Touring Series competitor, finished ahead of second-place Robbie Reed with Paden Phillips third and Jason Pursley fourth, according to the release.
"The last month has just been brutal," Duvall said in the release, noting he cut short a USMTS weekend after two tough nights in Wisconsin.
Phillips' run was good enough to vault him past Jon Sheets for the midseason championship.
The points race was thrown into a jumble on lap two when Sheets — who led by six points at the start of the night — spun out and hit the wall in turn three. He was unable to continue.
"We've been working real hard this year," Phillips said in the release. "We're needing to breakthrough and get a win. I hated to see Sheets get into the wall. We were having a good race."
Reed started fourth and passed pole-starting Pursley for the lead on lap two, according to the release.
Meanwhile, Duvall scooted from 14th and into third by lap five as the race's third caution came out.
Duvall slid past Reed in turn four to finish lap nine to take the lead and pulled away from there.
Jackson makes it three straight
Midseason Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod track champion Kris Jackson continued his roll, picking up his third straight feature win at Lucas Oil Speedway, the release said.
He led all 20 laps and finished .608 seconds ahead of runner-up Taylor Moore, according to the release.
It also was his third feature win of the week. Jackson won in Iowa on Wednesday, June 12, and at Midway Speedway in his hometown of Lebanon on Friday, June 14, according to the release.
Jackson had an almost two-second lead wiped out when the race's lone caution waved with four laps to go. He handled the restart without any issues and opened a comfortable lead when another yellow flag forced him to endure one more restart, the release said.
"Before that (caution), I looked up at the jumbotron and saw that (Moore) was within a tenth (of a second) of me. I thought I was setting a pretty good pace," Jackson said in the release. "I realized that it wasn't quite comfortable enough."
The reigning USRA B-Mod National Champion locked down the win and celebrated that, plus the midseason points title. Moore finished ahead of third-place JC Morton, who rallied from 11th. Eric Turner was fourth.
Shute captures Late Model feature
Todd Shute of Norwalk, Iowa, led flag-to-flag to claim the Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model feature, holding off Johnny Fennewald by just under one second.
It was the first feature win of the season in just the second start at Lucas Oil Speedway for Shute, according to the release.
"I knew he'd be strong. He's always tough on this kind of surface," Shute said in the release. "I just kept a straight line and tried to avoid the lapped cars as best I could. But could hear him."
Kaeden Cornell passed Larry Ferris for third place with two laps remaining. That was good enough to protect Cornell's points lead as Aaron Marrant, who began the night six points behind, finished 10th.
"It feels good, but we just have to keep going," Cornell said in the release. "We have to keep on clicking off good runs. We've been good so far and we just have to keep it going."