April 30, 2014
Another week of competition for Lucas Cattle Company ULMA drivers is now in the rearview mirror and although the winning drivers found their way to victory lane with different storylines, both ended with the same outcome … victory lane celebrations, on this occasion, for repeat winner Vance Wilson and new winner Jake Williams.
Competition at Callaway Raceway in Fulton kicked things off Friday evening with 10 drivers on hand. Vance Wilson set out to keep his winning streak alive but the competition level proved to be a little different than earlier in the season as 2014 ULMA winner Dwight Niehoff and defending track champion Payton Looney made the long haul to Fulton from southern Missouri for the first time this season.
Larry Winn of Hallsville began the night in victory lane by besting Zeke Langley and Chris Cox in the opening heat race while Wilson rocketed from fourth-starting position, turning back Niehoff and McCoin to claim heat race number two.
The 20-lap main event closed out the night with Winn earning the inside pole position by virtue of his heat race victory while Wilson started from the outside of row one. Wilson quickly made his way to the point keeping Winn and fourth-starting Niehoff behind him when the race began.
Meanwhile, defending track champion Payton Looney began his run to the front by charging from eighth position into the top three, making it a three-car battle up front with Winn slipping to fourth. Wilson continued leading the way, leaving teammates Niehoff and Looney to settle things out for second by midway.
At the conclusion of the main event, Wilson claimed his third-straight victory of the year at Callaway Raceway while Niehoff and Looney posted solid runs to finish second and third but falling short in their bid to dethrone Wilson from victory lane at Callaway. Winn held onto the fourth position, followed by Zeke Langley, Chris Cox, Dalton Imhoff, Todd McCoin and newcomer Dustin Johnson.
Wilson’s latest victory was the 27th of his ULMA career, tying him with former champion Jason Bodenhamer for the most sanctioned wins in ULMA’s eight-year history.
Racing resumes Friday evening at Callaway Raceway, visit the track’s website at www.callawayraceways.com. Gates open at 5, hot laps begin at 7 and racing starts at 7:30.
Drivers shifted their focus to the south at Lucas Oil Speedway the following night on Saturday, with 23 cars on hand for competition in three heat races to sort out the lineup for the main event.
Jake Williams started fourth in the opening heat but quickly made his way to the point and captured the opening qualifier ahead of Justin Russell and J.D. Hubert. Joe Walkenhorst bested Dwight Niehoff and Kevin Coyne to claim the second heat, while newcomer Bobby Maggard Jr., drove to a heat three win over Phil Edmondson and R.D. Peterson.
Williams began his quest for a trip to victory lane from the pole-starting position alongside Walkenhorst. Maggard and Niehoff started in row two and when the green flag fell, Williams held point over the rest of his pursuers. Unfortunately, Walkenhorst experienced trouble in the event and exited after a grinding crash, thankfully uninjured.
Meanwhile as Maggard kept Williams in sight, Tommy Cordray of Browning vaulted from his twelfth-starting position on the grid inside the top five, bringing rookie late model driver Brian Schutt with him in the process as previous week track winner Niehoff held down fifth.
After proposing to his then girlfriend and now fiancé (she said yes) during a break in the program, Williams went on to celebrate a huge night at the speedway claiming his first ULMA win of the year over a hard-charging Maggard, who gave it all he had for a stellar run to second. It was Williams’ second ULMA win of his career and first since June 27, 2008, when he went to victory lane at LA Raceway.
Cordray advanced nine positions to claim third at the checkers, followed by eleventh-starting Schutt continuing his impressive rookie season finishes in fourth with Niehoff fifth. Rounding out the top ten were J.D. Hubert, Payton Looney, R.D. Peterson, Jon Binning and eighteenth-starting Johnny Coats from Joplin.
The Speedway hosts a special open-wheel event this weekend but will return to life for its weekly race program featuring ULMA late models Saturday, May 10; for complete details www.lucasoilspeedway.com.
The stage is now set for the recently re-opened Central Missouri Speedway (CMS) in Warrensburg, to host its 86th ULMA-sanctioned event, more than any other track, this Saturday as drivers make their first of six appearances at the track for May 3 competition.
The event marks the first time since October 1, 2011, the final night of racing at the track, before it sat dormant for two years straight, that ULMA will be a part of the race program. Jason Bodenhamer won the final event at the track in 2011
The track hosted a packed house last week for the reopening and continues its weekly program Saturday, hosting a guest class each week to join its regular race program of USRA Modifieds, Street Stocks, B-Modifieds, and Pure Stocks. Late Models will run third in the program line up Saturday evening.
The payout for the CMS ULMA appearance is as follows: 1st $600, 2nd $500, 3rd $400, 4th $350, 5th $300, 6th $250, 7th $225, 8th $200, 9th $175, 10th $150, 11th $125, 12th $120, 13th $115, 14th $110, 15th $105, 16th $100, 17th $95, 18th $90, 19th $85, 20th – 24th $80.
Pit Gates open at 4:30, followed by Grandstands at 5, drivers meeting/pill draw close at 6:30, hot laps begin at 7, with racing underway at 7:30. Drivers with questions about CMS may call ULMA board member and CMS announcer Sam Stoecklin at (660) 909-1083 or visit the track’s all-new website at www.centralmissourispeedway.net for information. There is no registration or entry fee at CMS for the event.
In recent weeks, ULMA learned that title sponsor Lucas Cattle Company will increase its sponsorship of the association, which means great news for participating drivers. Officials with ULMA are currently in the finalizing stages of this year’s end-of-season prize/point fund and plan to make an announcement shortly.
ULMA membership forms are located on the website at www.ulmaracing.com. Drivers are encouraged to complete their membership forms prior to taking their first green flag of the season. Membership for the remainder of the year is $100. Drivers should be expected to complete their membership paperwork upon checking in at each of the affiliated tracks.
Visit ULMA’s title sponsor at www.lucascattlecompany.com. ULMA thanks Hoosier Tire Midwest and Rod End Supply for their continued support. For more information on ULMA, visit www.ulmaracing.com.
The “Williams-Maggard Battle” pic is courtesy of Chris Bork, CB Race Phots.
The “Niehoff-Wilson” pic is courtesy of Ashley Duncan, A to Z Photography.
Current Standings (Full Standings at www.ulmaracing.com)
POS CAR # NAME STARTS POINTS
1st 1T Chris Cox 5 466
2nd 23 Zeke Langley 4 370
3rd B1 Vance Wilson 3 318
4th 9D Dwight Niehoff 3 308
5th 12 Payton Looney 3 290
6th 7X Todd McCoin 3 284
7th 65 Jon Binning 3 266
8th 22 Kevin Coyne 3 254
9th 5 Tommy Cordray 2 204
10th 72 Jake Williams 2 204
Friday, May 2 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 3 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, May 9 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 10 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, May 10 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, May 16 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 17 – Lucas Oil Speedway
Saturday, May 17 – Randolph County Raceway
Friday, May 23 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 24 – Central Missouri Speedway
Sunday, May 25 – Central Missouri Speedway
Friday, May 30 – Callaway Raceway
Saturday, May 31 – Randolph County Raceway