Spoon River Speedway opened its gates for the 36th season opener Saturday night. An outstanding 139 cars come through the back gate filling the pits to capacity. As the gates opened at two a steady line of haulers would continue to line up to enter. At one time cars and haulers were lined up all the way down to the highway. “We haven’t seen this since the 80’s” said Track Promoter Brad Denney. “This is going to be our biggest opening night ever.” On the night before Easter Sunday the huge crowd got to see three and four wide racing in all six divisions all night long. Before the races began Denney had scattered one thousand Easter eggs around the grandstand area for the kids to find. “I try and get the kids involved as much as I can throughout the race season. They are the future of dirt track racing” Denney commented.
The Lucas Oil WAR Sprint Series made their first of two appearances at Spoon with 29 cars on hand. These wingless hot rod didn’t disappoint the crowd running side by side with slide job after slide job. After four heat races and a semi the field was set for the feature event. On a lightning smooth racing surface the WAR Series took the green flag and was only slowed once in the twenty five lap main event. Korey Wyant would take the early lead but it wasn’t long before Jarret Andretti would pressure Wyant for the lead. These two would run side by side for the first 10 laps but the man on the move was fifth place starter Thomas Meseruall who was the first to move to the top of the track and began to pick positions off lap by lap. By lap 12 Meseruall had caught the leaders and they would run three a breast for the next 3 laps until he would finally take the lead on lap 16. Wyant would start to drop back as Colton Cottle and Wesley Smith would move up and begin to mix it up with Andretti. Meseruall would take home the win with Andretti edging out Cottle at the line to finish second. Smith would finish fourth with Mario Clouser coming home in fifth. The WAR Series will return to Spoon on June 28th.
Nineteen Dirtcar Pro Late Models were on hand. Denny Woodworth would lead the first 10 laps of the 20 lap main event until sixth place starter Aaron Heck would catch and pass him for the lead. Heck who has been out of racing for two years would pull away and win the feature event. Woodworth would hold on for second followed by Trevor Gundaker, Samuel Halstead and Michael Marden.
The always exciting Dirtcar Modifieds would also put on some three and four wide racing for all twenty laps of their feature event. Twenty nine Modifieds were in attendance with twenty making the main event. Michael Long and Will Krup would lead the field to green in the twenty lap main event. Krup would jump to the early lead followed by Long, Kelly Kovski, Mark Anderson and Ray Bollinger. An mid race caution would see Kovski and Long get tangled in turn four locking their cars together. After getting the cars separated racing would continue but Long was now putting heat on Krup and would pass him on lap eleven for the lead. Anderson was making his presents felt after moving to the high side and a long with Ray Bollinger on the bottom would now pressure Krup for second. Krup would make one last attempt to pass Long on the last lap diving low under Long in turn four making it a drag race to the line but Long would take home the victory by half a car length. Anderson would finish right behind in third followed by Bollinger and Butch Weisser.
Twenty four USAC/IMRA SpeeD2 Midget would take the green four another twenty lap main event. Pole sitter Andy Baugh would lead the field wire to wire to pick up the win. Four other cars would battle it out for the second spot changing positions though out the main event. Aaron Leffel would end up second followed by Adam Taylor, Mitchell Davis and Daltyn England.
The E-Mod division feature event would be next with twenty one cars in attendance. Evan Fink would lead every lap but it came down to the wire. A late caution would bring the field to a white checker finish. Out of turn four coming for the checker Fink would slide up just enough to give Todd O’Neil room to move under him and on the high side Austen Becerra would launch off of turn four to make it a three car drag race to the line. Fink would win by narrowly beat out O’Neil and O’Neil would barely edge out Becerra for second. A reat run by Brandon David would put him across the line in fourth followed by Kyle Girard.
The final race of the night saw eighteen Hornets take the green for their fifteen lap feature event. Jake Momper would lead wire to wire to pick up the win. Mike Foster would battle Momper but settle for second followed by David Lauritson, Barry Taft and Erik VanPeldoorn.
Racing action will return to Spoon Saturday Night April 27th. Check out their Face Book page or website for more information.