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It was just a matter of time before young Josh Allen, son of longtime Canton UMP Modified driver Bobby Allen, made his way to Victory Lane after a feature at Spoon River Speedway in the track’s top Modified Division. And when he did, he did it in grand fashion, with a last lap pass of one of the best Mod drivers in the country, Allen Weisser, to take the win Saturday night. After honing his skills in the E-mod division for a couple of years, the younger Allen got a taste of the Open Mods last year, often in the same field as his Dad. This year, to this point, the elder Allen has stepped away from driving to focus on helping his son continue to develop. Josh won the feature Saturday, July 8th at Charleston, IL for his first Mod feature win, and apparently it felt so good he didn’t want to wait for another.
After chasing Weisser around the high banks of Spoon for nearly 3/4 of the feature, Allen drew to Weisser’s rear bumper late in the race. At that point, he was pretty sure, he said, he was finishing second. “Allen was running the same line as me, and he’s so good, I knew my best shot was to just stay right there, I wasn’t going to get him on the outside,” he said in Perkins Seed House Victory Lane, “I figured unless he slipped up a little bit, I was happy with 2nd.” But going into turn 3 on the final lap, Weisser did slip up just that little bit, his car pushing off the bottom groove and giving Allen enough room to make a charge off turn 4 from the inside line. “Yeah, his car just pushed up a bit, and there was room for me to drive under,” Allen continued. “Allen always races you fair and clean so I knew if I could get a run off of four, he wouldn’t come down to block too much.” Weisser did just that, leaving Allen room to race, and the two drag raced off of turn four, with Allen winning the race by mere inches. After the top two, Ray Bollinger finished third, followed by Zac Oedewaldt and Tommy Duncan. Heat race wins in the Zane’s Auto Service Mods went to Weisser and Brandon Roberts, fast time was set by Weisser.
The Speed 2 Midgets put on another tremendous feature, but attrition at the front of the pack made for a disappointing night for several. Tyson Hart, Jedd Ross and Chase McDermand…all feature winners this season thus far, all had trouble and retired from the while running near the front pack. Two feature winners from 2016 who have yet to score a victory this year…Jeff Mallonee and Mitchell Davis…also missed out. Mallonee’s night ending in a turn one wreck (with no heavy damage) and Davis being within a lap of winning the event before he slowed on the backstretch and had to watch cars fly by on both sides of him.
Dillon Morley was both the benefactor of the other driver’s bad luck and of his own skillful driving, as he wheeled his way around the treacherous bottom to inherit the lead from Davis and hold off Andy Baugh for the win. “It was slick and smooth, you had to be very careful in the turns,” Morley said, “I just kept creeping down lower and lower near the big infield tires to find some bite, and we had enough to hold off Andy. I knew he’d be running up top.” Morley thanked the fans for coming out and the track prep team for their work, “always a great track here, we know it’s going to be racey and smooth, thanks to those guys who do the track here, they do an awesome job.” Baugh finished second, with Adam Taylor, Jeremy Hull and Shane Morgan rounding out hte top five in a loaded field of midgets. Heat race wins were earned by Hull, Taylor and Hart.
Allen Weisser, the same driver from the Mod class, continued his double duty racing at Spoon River and brought his Pro Late Model car home in 1st in a quick 20 lap main event, ahead of Evan Fink, AJ May, Miles Moos and Jeff Ray. The top four, all young guns in their 20’s, jockeyed for position throughout the first half of the event, sliding and tossing their cars around in a thrilling display of driving, not once seeing any two cars touch as they raced inches apart.Ray, for his part, had to retreat to the back after bringing out an early caution, and then weaved his way back through the field for the top five with possibly the fastest car on the track over the last few laps. Moos and May were the heat race winners earlier, with Moos setting fast time on the night.
Mark Anderson continued his hot streak in the Fulton FS E-Mod division, but not without a lot of hard work to get by pole sitter Matt Dobey, who dominated the first half of the 15-lap event from the bottom of the racetrack. “Honestly, I didn’t know if we would have enough to get around Matt or not,” said Anderson. “the top of 1 and 2 didn’t have a lot of cushion, it got blown off I think by the midgets before us, and 3 and 4 was pretty thin, too. The turns were kind of the opposite up there from what they usually are, so it made for a different feeling. Hats off to Matt, he did a great job down there on the bottom.”Dobey held on for second ahead of Kevin Morrow, they were followed by Steve Jones and Dawson Cook. Anderson and Dobey had earlier set the stage for the feature by winning their respective heats.
April Holt pulled away early and dominated the Hornet feature, her second feature win in a row in the division and Mark Williams Sr wins the 6-Shooter class. The track comes to life again this coming Saturday with a special show as the POWRI WARS Wingless 410 full size Sprint cars make their way to the Spoon, details available at www.spoonriverspeedway.com or their Face Book page.