July 20, 2006

St. Clair Claims Biggest Win of Career at the Pepsi SCS

by Brian Neal

Memphis, MO (July 29) - Michael St. Clair picked up his first feature win in the Outlaw Hobby Stock division at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway on Bradley Insurance and Cooks Mens Store Fan Appreciation Night. The win was also St. Clairs biggest paycheck of his racing career, as the Outlaw Hobby Stocks raced for the big prize of $1,000 to win and $100 to start for bringing in the most cars on the night. Also taking home checkers on the evening were Mark Burgtorf (Bentz GM Country USRA Modifieds), Zack VanderBeek (USRA Stock Cars), Jack Evans, Jr. (Toni Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modifieds), Nathan Wood (USRA Hobby Stocks) and Brent Hartley (Hornets).

The 8-lap Hornet feature was the first to take to the speedway, with Ethan Hustead and J.D. Murphy making up the front row for the event. But it was sixth place starter Brent Hartley charging up to grab the lead on lap 1. Hartley would hold off a last lap charge from Andrew Hustead, who started fifth, to pick up his sixth win of the season at the speedway. Murphy held on for third, Brian Lemen was fourth, with Ethan Hustead holding on for fifth. Hartley made a clean sweep of the night by claiming the checkers in the heat race.

Up next was the 18-lap USRA Stock Car feature, with Mark Holt and Troy Alexander drawing the front row. Alexander took advantage of his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1, with Holt, Jason Cook, Zack VanderBeek and Matt Greiner battling it out for second. Alexander would hold on to the top spot until lap 5, when VanderBeek slipped under him for the lead. VanderBeek then pulled away from the field over the final 13 laps to claim his third win of the season at the track. Greiner won the battle for second, J. Cook was third, Alexander held on for fourth, with Eric Flander coming from thirteenth to round out the top five. Heat race winners were VanderBeek and Holt.

Dave Hudson and Jason VanZomeren led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 15-lap USRA Hobby Stock feature, but it was fourth place starter Mark Moore edging out VanZomeren to lead lap 1. Moore held off VanZomeren until lap 3, when he slipped by to grab the top spot. VanZomeren looked to be heading for his first feature win of the season at the speedway until disaster struck on lap 12, when he spun in turn two. Nathan Wood, who started 10th inherited the lead and then held on for the final three laps to pick up his eighth win of the year at the track. Bob Lynch was second, Bill Gibson came from ninth to finish in third, Jim Walker came from eighth to finish in fourth, with Mike Shelton coming from thirteenth after lap 1 to round out the top five. Wood and VanZomeren each picked up a heat race win.

The 15-lap Toni Dunker Advance Trading USRA B-Modified feature was up next, with Jerry Poor and Larry Newman making up the front row for the event. Poor would take advantage of his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1. Poor would only lead for one lap, as Tony Dunker slipped under him to grab the top spot on lap 2. Dunker then had the lead until a restart on lap 9, when Jack Evans, Jr., who started seventh, jumped to his outside to take over the top spot. Evans, Jr. would hold on over the final six laps to pick up his third win of 2006 at Memphis. Dunker came home in second, Jim Gillenwater came from tenth to finish in third, Jeff Waterman was fourth, with Rob Carter coming home in fifth. Heat race winners were Evans Jr. and Dunker.

Zack VanderBeek and Bob Dale led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 18-lap Bentz GM Country USRA Modified feature, with VanderBeek moving out front on lap 1. VanderBeek would only lead for one lap, as Mark Burgtorf, who started eighth, jumped to his outside to lead lap 2 by inches. Burgtorf would go on to lead the final sixteen laps to claim his third win of the season at the speedway. VanderBeek held on for second, Martin Bennett was third, Ryan Meyer was fourth, with Michael Long coming from 13th to round out the top five. Burgtorf and Mike Bennett each picked up a heat race win.

The final feature of the evening was the 18-lap Outlaw Hobby Stock event, with the winner taking home a top prize of $1,000. Brian Clark and Jim Lynch drew the front row for the feature, with Clark grabbing the lead on the drop of the green flag. Clark then held on to the top spot until lap 9, when Adam Birck slipped under him for the lead. Birck looked to be heading for the big prize until disaster struck him on lap 12, when he slowed for a right rear flat. On the restart, Michael St. Clair would jump out into the lead, with Clark and Jeff Soper battling it out for second. St. Clair would pull away over the final six laps to claim his first career Outlaw Hobby Stock feature win and the biggest paycheck of his racing career, which was worth $1,000. Soper edged out Clark at the line for second, Beau Taylor came from 10th to finish in fourth, with Rodger Dresden coming from 11th to round out the top five. Heat race winners were Soper, Birck and Taylor.

Coming up next week at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway will be Walker Motor and Collision Repair / Spilman Auto Parts Night, with the OReilly USMTS invading the speedway. The battle for the USRA Caseys General Stores Weekly Racing Series national and track points continues in the Stock Cars, Toni Dunker Advance Trading B-Modifieds and Hobby Stocks, plus the Outlaw Hobby Stocks and Hornets competing for track points. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m., hot laps at 6:30, with racing to follow.

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