SIKESTON DRAG STRIP
SIKESTON -- Fremont's Linden Hills took home $2,000 for a first place finish in the Super Pro Class on Saturday night. Posting his first win of the season, Hills ran 5.21 on a 5.20 dial at 131 m.p.h. His reaction time was .514. Roger Moon took second place with a 5.42 dial. He ran 5.43 at 125 m.p.h. His reaction time was .534. In the Pro Class, Dean Wilson, of Mt. Vernon, Ill., took first place. Wilson ran 6.64 on a 6.60 dial at 102 m.p.h. His reaction time was .749. Sikeston's Mike Ritchie took second. He dialed 6.03, but red lit, giving Wilson the automatic win.
In the E.T. Class, Jeff "Lunch Money" Hayes, of Herrin, Ill., once again took top honors. With a 8.06 dial, he ran 8.07 at 84 m.p.h. His reaction time was .543. Second place went to Carbondale's Chris Ritchie. Ritchie ran 6.68 on a 6.68 dial at 101 m.p.h. His reaction time was .581.
MALDEN -- In the next to last weekend of racing at the Malden Speedway, Bening Motors and 1st Community Bank partnered to bring a full night of action to the Bootheel. With all classes sporting added to win purses and a $2,000 to win Sprint feature, 113 cars made the trip to Malden. Jerrod Hull of Sikeston picked up his second win in two trips to the Malden Speedway in the Bening Motors Outlaw Sprint spectacular. Hull grabbed the lead from the outside front row coming out of turn two and started pulling away from the field.
A lap nine caution eliminated a 4 second lead built by Hull and reset the field. On the restart, Daron Clayton hung with Hull as they built a margin on the field. Clayton stayed close the rest of the race, but never was able to build a serious passing challenge. Lowe Connell, Mike Ward, and Tim Montgomery battled back and forth for the third through fifth spots, with Connell grabbing third on the white flag lap. Jason Evans won the B-Feature. Ward, Hull, and Alex Shanks won the heat races.
Billy James picked up his second Late Model feature in a row following a thrilling duel with 2002 Track Champion Alan Rettig. Rettig got a great start as he found a hole through traffic and moved from an outside third row start to battle Todd Hall for the lead on the back straight of the first lap. That pair raced side by side for three laps before Rettig took over the top spot diving low out of turn two. James overtook Hall on the sixth lap and was battling Rettig two laps later. This duel would go back and forth the rest of the way. James came around Rettig on lap 8, only to surrender the lead back on lap 10. James raced back to the lead a lap later for the final time, but the race was not in the bag. Lap after lap Rettig would dive low coming out of turn 2 to pull even, but James held the lead as he had more momentum down the back straight.
On the final lap, Rettig made one last run, with James holding him off by half a car length at the checkered flag. Good show. Chris Baugh and Todd Hall fought over the third spot, with Baugh taking the position late. Charles LaPlant raced through the pack to grab fifth, after being sent to the rear of the field following a lap 5 spin that brought out a caution flag.
John Stephens won the B-Main. Baugh, Hall, and James won the heat races. 2002 Modified Champion, Robert Powers picked up his 7th feature win of the year. Powers grabbed the lead following a short three wide battle with Larry Hull and Tony Anglin on the first lap. Powers built a small cushion on the field during the early laps. Greg King moved through the pack picking off Hull on the seventh lap and Anglin on the 10th to take second. King pulled even with Powers on lap 14, but that was as close as he would get, as Powers slammed the door to the lead shut.
Anglin held off Hull to take third. Mike Cooper, who won three weeks ago, took fifth. Hull and Anglin won the heat races. Tony Anglin led from start to finish in a caution filled Hobby Stock feature. Anglin shot to the lead from the pole position with Ronnie Tilley in close pursuit. Tilley pulled even on the back straight of the third lap but Anglin held on. This would be the only serious threat to Anglin's win.
Tilley retired a lap later with mechanical problems. Chuck Tilley in the 75 car moved up from a seventh row start to take third, as he just edged Jamie Robards at the wire. Scott Tracer held off Dietrich Bollinger for fourth as that pair went across the finish side by side. Anglin, Mike Bonafield, and Jesse Brotherton won the heat races. The fans who braved the cool breeze and late hour saw a great Pure Street Feature. Two of the best Pure Street drivers ever to race at the Malden speedway locked into a duel that will be remembered for a long time. All racing fans in the mid-south area are familiar with Rex Berry and the C-21 car, and if you aren't familiar with Nathan Rettig and the 94, you will be.
Rettig earned the pole position by overtaking Berry and winning the opening heat race. The feature began as that race ended, with lead pair jumping out from the field. Rettig and Berry often raced side by side with never more than a car length between them. Berry got the run he needed to take the lead coming out of turn four on lap 11, but was only able to hold on for half of a lap when Rettig raced ahead down the back straight.
A caution flag for a stalled car as the white flag was about to fall set up a green-white-checkered dash to the finish. An unfortunate incident occurred as the lead pair raced through turn four on the final lap. Berry made a charge low, slid up the track and touched wheels with Rettig. Both cars spun on the track with Rettig regaining control following a 360 degree spin and going on to collect the victory. Berry was not as fortunate as his car was struck as the field raced through the dust to the finish and limped off the track out of the top ten following an excellent run.
Eric Lacey came out of the melee in second place, passing Jason Palmer in the stretch. Palmer had his most impressive run of the year after joining the speedway midseason. Aaron Darby and Dennis Pickard rounded out the top five in a pair of #88 cars. This was Rettig's most impressive and 8th win of the year, leaving him one behind his father's 9 in Late Models. Rettig and Palmer won the heat races.
Faulk and Dunlap went wire to wire to pick up their second Cruiser win of the year in the F-50 car. Simpson and Donner outraced Williams & Williams to third. Dunlap & Faulk, and Simpson & Donner won the heat races.