By Mike Hughes
NORTON, KS (March 31)—Elmwood Park Speedway in Norton, KS, opened the 2012 racing season Saturday night, March 31, with the regular five classes in action.
The IMCA Hobby Stocks were the first to hit the track and Anthony Martin of Wilcox, NE, led from green to checkered in the 12-lap main event. Cody Graham stayed close and tried to make a pass on several occasions but could not get by and had to settle for the runner-up spot. Jason McIntyre finished third, followed by Cody Williams and Jason Grabast. Heat race winners were Martin and Tyrel Smith.
Beloit’s Geoff Jermark echoed Martin’s fete as he led all 10 laps in the IMCA Modified feature. Tim Watts was second, followed by heat race winner David Brack.
Liberal’s Ty Williams was a man on a mission in the IMCA 305 Sprint Car feature. Williams, the heat race winner, started fourth in the seven car field but had the top spot at the end of the first lap of the 15-lap race. Williams pulled to over a half-lap lead on the ½-mile oval when the lone caution waved on the final lap when Kaden Taylor’s ride broke. Williams led the field back to green for a one lap shootout and held on for the win. Darren Berry finished a distant second, with Mike Saathoff, Ron Hadley and Greg Reiners rounding out the top five.
Wade Wagenblast led the first 2 laps of the 20-lap IMCA Stock Car feature before Lenora’s Jay Hachmeister took over a lead he would not relinquish. The lone caution waved on lap 14 when Kyle Clough and Jason Davis did a double spin. Heat two victor Hachmeister led the field back to green and led the remaining distance to the checkers. Dustin McClurg, Pat Bedore, heat one winner Jason Davis, and Bob Rutherford completed the top five.
The IMCA Northern Sport Mods was the final class to take the track for their main event and did not disappoint the crowd. Brian Conness took the early lead in the 20-lap event with Cory Struckhoff close behind. The third and final caution waved on lap 11 when Ty Rogers had problems, and Conness led the field back to green. Then Struckhoff made his move to the front under Conness in turn 3 to take the lead. Then with 2 laps to go, the 2 made contact on the front straightaway and both bobbled, but Conness took advantage to regain the lead and hold on the last couple of laps for the victory. Struckhoff held on for second, trailed by Tanner Portenier, Kaid Calhoon, and Rogers. Heat race winners were Dan Lauer and Conness.
The regular five classes return on Saturday, April 21, with the green flag flying at 7:00 p.m.
IMCA Hobby Stocks
Heat 1: 1. Anthony Martin, 2. Cody Graham.
Heat 2: 1. Tyrel Smith, 2. Jason Grabast, 3. Theron Martin, 4. Jason McIntyre.
Feature: 1. A. Martin, 2. Graham, 3. McIntyre, 4. Cody Williams, 5. Grabast, 6. T. Martin, 7. Smith (DNF), 8. Ray Caldwell (DNS).
IMCA Sport Mods
Heat 1: 1. Dan Lauer, 2. Kaid Calhoon, 3. Jason McCartney, 4. Derrick Pfannenstiel.
Heat 2: 1. Brian Conness, 2. Tanner Portenier, 3. Jason Nelssen, 4. Troy Attwood.
Feature: 1. Conness, 2. Cory Struckhoff, 3. Portenier, 4. Calhoon, 5. Ty Rogers, 6. McCartney, 7. Austin Walker, 8. Lauer, 9. Tyler Watts, 10. Jay Weigel, 11. Jedediah Ewing, 12. Attwood (DNF), 13. Nelssen (DNF), 14. Pfannenstiel (DNF), 15. Frank McClurg (DNF).
IMCA Stock Cars
Heat 1: 1. Jason Davis, 2. Austin Carter, 3. Pat Bedore, 4. Wade Wagenblast.
Heat 2: 1. Jay Hachmeister, 2. Dustin McClurg, 3. Brandon Clough, 4. Bob Rutherford.
Feature: 1. Hachmeister, 2. McClurg, 3. Bedore, 4. Davis, 5. Rutherford, 6. Darin Racek, 7. Wagenblast (DNF), 8. Kyle Clough (DNF), 9. Carter (DNF), 10. B. Clough (DNF).
IMCA 305 Sprint Cars
Heat: 1. Ty Williams, 2. Darren Berry, 3. Kaden Taylor, 4. Mike Saathoff.
Feature: 1. Williams, 2. Berry, 3. Saathoff, 4. Ron Hadley, 5. Greg Reiners, 6. Taylor (DNF), 7. Tom Belsky (DNS).
Heat: 1. David Brack, 2. Tim Watts, 3. Geoff Jermark.
Feature: 1. Jermark, 2. Watts, 3. Brack.