Story and results provided by Kelly Ninas
Perseverance was tested but it was worth the wait for the 2018 Lincoln County Raceway season opener in North Platte on Saturday evening. The heated action was highlighted with the pits being jam packed with competitors looking to start their season off on the right foot in front of a large crowd.
Earning IMCA feature wins were: David Murray Jr, Danny Concelman, Mikey Dancer, Jeromy Wagner and Andrew Baumgarder along with Rocky Mountain Dwarf driver Bruce Napier also picking up the victory.
No stranger to the winners circle, David Murray Jr. of Oberlin, Kansas started on the outside of the front row and was able to stay up front while weathering the storm on the restarts to earn the IMCA Modified feature victory. Coming from the middle of the pack at the onset, Cale Osborn of Cozad was able to charge into contention and put pressure on Murray on the final restart on lap 17, only to be forced to settle with runner-up accolades. One row back from Osborn on the starting grid was Eddie Belec of Arvada, Colorado. Belec was able to hit his stride in the second half of the race as a result of his consistency throughout the feature to earn a podium finish in third place overall. Rounding out the top five finishers in the feature event was Jeremy Frenier of Fort Morgan, Colorado and North Platte veteran wheelman Jay Steffens in fourth and fifth overall. Feature winner Murray Jr. and Colton Osborn of Cozad were the victors in the heat races for the Modifieds.
Grabbing the lead near the halfway point and winning the sprint to the finish was Danny Concelman of Colorado Springs, Colorado in the IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature event. Concelman was able to drive with gumption in the early going and as a result it put him in second place that became the lead position when early leader Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg was involved in the yellow flag incident on lap eight. Concelman was able to hold off all challenges during the waning laps to win the feature. Working through traffic with precision and patience, North Platte’s Zach Schultz was able to drive his way up into second place during the second half of the feature to put the pressure on Concelman in the final laps to earn the second place honors. Making a valiant return to open wheel racing, Brady Weinman of Arnold was able to finish third overall in the feature after starting deep in the field to earn the podium finish. Schultz and Kennicutt started off their night’s right with heat race victories.
Wasting no time to get to the front and setting sail for smoother waters, Mikey Dancer of North Platte was able to cruise to the feature win in the IMCA Stock Car division. Dancer started on the outside of the second row when the green flag dropped and with a great effort of using the cushion, Dancer was able to waltz into the lead on the second lap to never look back to claim the checkers. After winning one of the heat races, Gothenburg’s Jeff Whiting was delegated to start in the fourth row when the feature started. Whiting was able to work the bottom groove with great success to take over the second place position just past the halfway point of the feature and with the assistance of a caution flag, Whiting was able to duel with Whiting in the final laps. Whiting crossed the finish line in second place. Starting on the outside of the front row, powered Jim Hagan of Lexington to lead the first lap and stay near the front throughout the feature to finish third overall.
Starting on the pole was a great formula for success for Jeromy Wagner of Kensington, Kansas to earn the IMCA Hobby Stock feature victory. Wagner paced the field after garnering the point position on the third lap and never looking back to claim the win. Leading the way on the first two laps was Jacob Hagan of Kearney. Hagan was able to keep his composure after losing the lead and benefitted greatly with a runner-up finish. Having a successful first visit to Lincoln County Raceway, Shad Cooper of Denver, Colorado dialed up some Mopar Magic to finish third overall in the feature.
It was like a movie story line for North Platte’s Andrew Baumgardner during the IMCA Sport Compact feature. Baumgardner started on the front row and was able to lead the first three laps before relinquishing the lead as a result of a flat tire. As a result, the reigning Sport Compact season posts champion was forced to the rear of the field on the restart, Baumgardner responded to the challenge by zigzagging through traffic to chase down the leader, who was Daryl Cauffman of North Platte. Baumgardner was able to regain the lead on the 12th lap to drive his way to the winners circle. Jeff Klinefus was able to weather his way through the traffic to finish second overall after starting in the fourth row when the green flag dropped. Driving his Moper powered Sport Compact to a third place finish was Christian Destefano of Cozad. Destefano started on the inside of the second row and was able to avoid troubles and traffic to earn the podium finish.
Starting on the outside of the front row, Bruce Napier of Fort Morgan was able to claim clean air throughout the feature on his way to winning the Rocky Mountain Dwarf Car Association Feature on night one of a potential three visits that the hotrods make to North Platte. Napier took the lead on the fourth lap and never looked back. Veteran Wheelman Keith Welch of Greeley, Colorado was the runner-up after leading the first three laps of the feature event. Coming from the middle of the pack, Jerry Hunter of Greeley, Colorado was able to drive his way onto the podium in third place overall.
Racing action returns to the famed Lincoln County Raceway oval on Saturday, May 5th with the drop of the green flag at 7 p.m.
–IMCA Modified Feature: 1. 97m-David Murray Jr; 2. 6c-Cale Osborn; 3. 3b-Eddie Belec; 4. 17j-Jeremy Frenier; 5. XII-Jay Steffens; 6. ww2-Bubba Alvarado; 7. 20b-Brandon Clough; 8. 0hp-Bryan Herrick; 9. 4c-Charley Brown; 10. 4p-Dave Pedersen.
Heat Race Winners: 50c-Colton Osborn; 97m-David Murray Jr.
–IMCA Northern Sport Modified Feature: 1. 4d-Danny Concelman; 2. 55z-Zach Schultz; 3. 65j-Brady Weinman; 4. 99k-Travis Kroskob; 5. 18c-Ryan Moser; 6. 42-Ronnie Hultz; 7. 48-Mikey Blackard; 8. 34-Matt Caudillo; 9. 4-Colton Aspenleiter; 10. 12j-Kerry Jones.
Heat Race Winners: 55z-Schultz; 15k-Jamey Kennicutt.
–IMCA Stock Car Feature: 1. 45-Mikey Dancer; 2. 16w-Jeff Whiting; 3. 72h-Jim Hagan; 4. 11k-Kyle Clough; 5. 24-Bob Chalupa; 6. 5d-Travis Demilt; 7. 75-Dan Eller; 8. 52dd-David Dembowski; 9. 82r-Phil Reid; 10. 15r-Robbie Kosmacek.
Heat Race Winners: 45-Dancer; 16w-Whiting.
–IMCA Hobby Stock Feature: 1. 29-Jeromy Wagner; 2. 72b-Jacob Hagan; 3. 12-Shad Cooper; 4. 12t-Tanner Jones; 5. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 6. 91y-Lance Yoxsimer; 7. 28d-Devin Bjorklund; 8. 96k-Sean Miller; 9. R89-Nate Refior; 10. 20b-Brady Henderson.
Heat Race Winners: R89-Refior; 5-Ledbetter.
–IMCA Sport Compact Feature: 1. 44u-Andrew Baumgardner; 2. 17-Jeff Klinefus; 3. 71c-Christian Destefano; 4. 84d-Kaden Dady; 5. L2-Lonnie Lenser Jr.; 6. 03r-Jacob Riewe; 7. 24u-Tom Baumgardner; 8. 00d-Daryl Cauffman; 9. 26-Marcus Florom; 10. 15-Gary Molt.
Heat Race Winners: 44u-Baumgardner; 00d-Daryl Cauffman.
–Colorado Dwarf Association Feature: 1. 04-Bruce Napier; 2. 88r-Keith Welch; 3. 16r-Jerry Hunter; 4. 11r-Charlie Drager; 5. 21r-Brady Dilka; 6. 89r-Dale Welch; 7. 12c-Krystal Breese; 8. 2r-Duane Bayne; 9. 22r-Korrie Bush; 10. 46r-Alex Amen.
Heat Race Winners: 16r-Hunter; 04-Napier.