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​Opening Night Thriller At Lincoln Speedway

Up Next, Super Late Models

It was a new era of entertainment at Lincoln IL Speedway this past Friday, April 15, as Track Enterprises, a racing promotion company from Macon, IL, took the reins of the 1/4-mile oval at the Logan County Fairgrounds.  The 13th season opener for the speedway was a thriller with solid car counts and great racing.

The race of the night came in the UMP Pro Late Model class.  When the feature took the green, Springfield, IL driver Matt Taylor raced out front and into the lead.  The familiar red and yellow #24T led comfortably throughout a major portion of the 20-lap grind.  Lap-after-lap, 2015-point champion Nick Bauman followed several car lengths behind.  As the white flag waved, Bauman started to track him down.  As the pair exited turn four, Bauman dropped to the lowside, got great bite, and pulled off a thrilling win by inches.  The New Berlin, IL driver was followed across the line by Taylor, Jake Little, who set fast time with a new track record for Pro Late Models, Roben Huffman, and Guy Taylor.  Little’s fast time was a 14.346.

An outstanding field of Midwest Technical Institute Modifieds were on hand for the opener.  With 20 cars pitside, there was a mix of new faces as well as familiar ones.  On this night, it was the familiar ones at the front of the pack.  Kewanee, IL driver Ray Bollinger took the lead early and never really looked back as Brian Lynn, last year’s track champion, followed.  When the checkered fell, Bollinger was followed by Lynn, Allen Weisser, Jeff Ray, and Donovan Lodge.

Competitors came out in droves for the debut of the Nutech Seed DII Midgets.  The class, which is part of the POWRi Lucas Oil DII Midget tour, had 24 entries for the night’s activities.  When the green waved, Champaign, IL driving veteran Patrick Bruns shot to the front of the pack with young gun Hunter Lane in the second spot.  With just a couple of yellows slowing the pace, and one red flag for a wild flip in turn three, the cars paced the oval at high speeds.  Down the stretch, Lane followed closely and looked to challenge on a number of occasions but could not make the run needed to dismount Bruns from the lead spot.  At the checkered, Bruns was followed by Lane, Jake Neuman, Tyler Vantoll, and Max Pozsgai.  Andy Baugh accepted the Conklin Agrovantage Front Row challenge, going to the tail trying to win a $400 bonus.  Baugh made his way to sixth but ran out of time in the large field.

A very competitive field of Street Stocks were on hand for the season opener, some of them fine tuning their cars for the upcoming Big Ten Street Stock race next week at the track.  The race saw a number of different lead changes with Nick Justice, Michael Jackson, and Kyle Waters spending time out front.  Meanwhile, fans were watching the J24 of Jeremy Nichols, who started at the back of the field.  Nichols put on a show, from his final starting position, working his way into the top five quickly.  From there, his move forward became a bit more methodical.  On lap six, Nichols took third and on lap 10, the Lovington, IL driver had moved into second.  Waters, who had led for four laps, lost his top spot on lap eleven when Nichols scooted by.  At the checkered, Jeremy Nichols took the win with Waters, Brian Dasenbrock, Jackson, and Justice completing the top five.

One of the strongest fields of Hornets in recent memory appeared at Lincoln Speedway for the opener.  When the green was waved on the 10-lap event, Oscar Tipsword drove into the lead.  Early, he was followed by Mike Eskew before Matthew Mackey got by.  While Mackey stayed within striking distance, Tipsword had the trophy covered, going on to claim the victory.  The Springfield, IL driver was chased across the line by Mackey, Jared Matherly, Steve Jones, and Eskew.  The Hornet class is on schedule for the next two events at Lincoln, including the May 6 Hornet Challenge which will pay $1,000 to win, followed by the $1,000 to win race the following night at Macon Speedway.

All-in-all, opening night was a success with great racing and a good field of talented drivers.  Kids also enjoyed the balloon art from Twinkles the Clown as well as the bounce house.  A big thanks to everyone who helped make opening night as exciting as it was.

All eyes now turn to the return of the Super Late Models of the Big 10 Series this coming Friday, April 22.  The event will be the second Big 10 Super Late Model race of the season after the Belle-Clair opener drew over 25 cars a few weeks back.

Joining the Supers will be the Big 10 Street Stock season opener, Modifieds, Sportsman, and Hornets.  Pit gates will open at 4:00, grandstands at 5:00, pill draw ends at 6:00, hotlaps begin at 6:20, and racing will take the green shortly after 7:00.

For more information, follow Lincoln Speedway online at www.lincolnspeedwayil.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/LincolnILSpeedway), and Twitter (@LincolnILSpdwy).  Updates are also available by calling the Track Enterprises office at 217-764-3200.

Lincoln Speedway is located at the Logan County Fairgrounds, in Lincoln, IL.  The physical address is 1408 Short 11th St., Lincoln, IL 62656.  Lincoln Speedway races a number of UMP classes as well as specials on a near bi-weekly schedule of Friday and Sunday evenings.

Lincoln Speedway Feature Results (Top 10’s)

Pro Late Models – 1) Nick Bauman-New Berlin, IL 2) Matt Taylor 3) Jake Little 4) Roben Huffman 5) Guy Taylor 6) Brandon Eskew 7) Austin Simpson 8) Kenny VanDorn 9) Jeff Reed, Jr. 10) Michael Maestas

Midwest Technical Institute Modifieds – 1) Ray Bollinger-Kewanee, IL 2) Brian Lynn 3) Allen Weisser 4) Jeff Ray 5) Donovan Lodge 6) Brandon Roberts 7) Brett Korves 8) Austin Charron 9) Shawn Vaughn 10) Alan Crowder

Nutech Seed DII Midgets (POWRi) – 1) Patrick Bruns-Champaign, IL 2) Hunter Lane 3) Jake Neuman 4) Tyler Vantoll 5) Max Pozsgai 6) Andy Baugh 7) Mitchell Davis 8) Chase McDermond 9) Gedd Ross 10) Adam Taylor

Street Stocks – 1) Jeremy Nichols-Lovington, IL 2) Kyle Waters 3) Brian Dasenbrock 4) Michael Jackson 5) Nick Justice 6) John Jackson 7) Tyler Gilmour 8) John Farris 9) Jeff Weston 10) Jason Scrimpsher

Hornets – 1) Oscar Tipsword-Springfield, IL 2) Matthew Mackey 3) Jared Matherly 4) Steve Jones 5) Mike Eskew 6) Brandt Cole 7) Ricky Rapp 8) Alex O’Donoghue 9) Cook Crawford 10) Torry Lyons

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