October 20, 2005

Opening Night of Qualifying Brings 169 Cars to Speedway

by Brain Neal

Memphis, MO (Oct. 13) - The First Annual Memphis Nationals at the Bentz GM Country Scotland County Speedway started off on Thursday, with 169 cars signing in to battle for a spot in Saturday’s big event.

At the end of the night Tony Fraise (Modifieds), Jason Cook (Stock Cars), Tony Dunker (B-Modifieds), Jake Wenig (Hobby Stocks), Michael St. Clair (Cruisers) and Joe Zrostlik (Hornets) picked up the qualifying feature victories.

Bill Roberts and Tony Fraise led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 20-lap modified feature, with Fraise jumping out into the lead on lap 1. Fraise would go on to lead all 20 laps to claim the first night qualifier, which locked the top six into Saturdays big event. Rounding out the top 6 were Michael Long in second, Dean Mahlstedt in third. Fourth went to Mark Burgtorf, Darin Thye was fifth, with Jesse Stovall charging from 18th to complete the top six.

The 15-lap Stock Car feature saw Ryan Cook and Michael Browning on the front row. Browning took advantage of his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1, with Cook and Mike Robinson battling for second. Browning would then hold the top spot until the final lap, when Jason Cook, who started 9th, slipped under him to take the win. Browning settled for second, T.J. Criss came from 11th to finish in third, Troy Alexander was fourth. R.Cook held on for fifth, with Steve Jackson coming home in the sixth and final qualifying spot.

John Shaffer and Joe Hooper started the 15-lap B-Modified feature on the front row, with Hooper grabbing the lead on lap 1. Hooper would only lead one lap, as Tony Dunker slipped under him on the next circuit to take over the top spot. Dunker then pulled away on the final 13 laps to claim the win. Jim Roach came from 10th to finish second, Jerry Poor came from 11th to finish in third. Jim Gillenwater was fourth, Mark Massey started 13th and finished fifth, while Larry Winn charged from 23rd to take the final transfer spot.

The 12-lap Hobby Stock feature had Tony Becerra moving out front on the drop of the green flag. Becerra and Ben Moudry would make contact coming down the front stretch on Lap 10, giving both drivers a flat and ending their shot at a win.

Jake Wenig inherited the lead and then held on for the final two laps to pick up the win. Brian Clark was second, John Oliver Jr. came from 18th to finish in third, Jim Lynch charged from 16th to fourth, Brandon Rothzen was fifth, with Beau Taylor holding on to finish in sixth.

Mike St. Clair held off Craig Spilker over the final five laps to claim the cruiser win. Spilker was second, Michael Jackson was third, Keith Reed was fourth, John Peterson was fifth, with Daniel Robbins taking the final transfer spot.

Joe Zrostlik picked up the Hornet win. John Brown edged out Dennis Schulte for second, Tyler Schulte was fourth. Rob Chase came home in fifth, with the final transferring spot going to Joe Evans.

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