October 27, 2011
Pepsi Nationals Draw Over 100 Cars to Close out 2011 Race Season at SCS
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by Brain Neal
Memphis, MO (Saturday, October 22, 2011) - Saturday night was the final night of the Pepsi DOC 360 Fall Nationals, promoted by B-47 Promotions Brandon Savage, at the PEPSI Scotland County Speedway in Memphis. The Modifieds, Stock Cars, SportMods, Hobby Stocks and 4 Cylinders were all battling to take home the big money up for grabs.
The first feature up on the night was the 18-lap Kahoka Bowl SportMods, with Chris Larson and Scott VanBuskirk on the front row. VanBuskirk would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Larson and Jim Gillenwater, who started 8th. The three car battle up front came to a halt on lap 4, when the red flag came out. Rick Paulson got into the backstretch guardrail and rolled his machine about three times, with Tom Lathrop going under him while in the air to get collected. Paulson would climb from his mangled machine okay.
On the restart VanBuskirk moved back out front, with Gillenwater trying to get under him in turn 1. But Gillenwater would get sideways and went to the infield to come back out on the backstretch in the back. Brandon Dale, who started 12th, now moved into the second spot to give chase to VanBuskirk for the lead.
The second and final caution of the event came out on lap 9 when Jacob Grotewiel spun in turn 4. VanBuskirk jumped back out front on the restart, with Dale and Larson battling close behind. VanBuskirk would go on to lead all 18 laps to claim the win and the $600 top prize. Dale settled for 2nd, Larson was 3rd, Curtis VanDerWal was 4th, with Gillenwater charging back up to take home 5th.
Nick Wilkerson and Craig Bangert made up the front row for the 12-lap Sunline Auto Parts 4 Cylinder feature, with Wilkerson grabbing the lead on lap 1. Wilkerson started to pull away from the field, leaving Michael Grossman, Bangert and Adam Gates, who started 9th, battling for the second spot.
Wilkerson's lead was wiped away for the first time on lap 7, when Jordan O'Haver stopped in turn 2 to bring out the caution. On the restart Wilkerson grabbed the lead, but now had Grossman and Gates challenging him. The three car battle up front was brought to an end on lap 11, when Gates car blew up coming down the front stretch in a ball of fire.
This would set up a green-white-checkered overtime finish. Wilkerson was able to get the jump on the restart and was able to hold on for the win and the $300 top prize. Grossman had to settle for 2nd, Bangert was 3rd, Kimberly Abbott was 4th, with William Michel rounding out the top five.
The 20-lap Kahoka Glass Stock Car feature was up next, with Matt Greiner and Abe Huls leading the field to the drop of the green flag. But it was third place starter Todd Reitzler who made it three wide off two to grab the lead on lap 1 over Greiner and Huls. The battle up front was slowed after the completion of the lap, when Derek Kirkland spun in turn 2 and collected Greg Harsch to bring out the yellow.
On the restart Reitzler and Greiner went back to battling for the lead, only to be slowed again on the completion of lap 2. Joe Zadina, Todd Phillips, Les Blakley, John Oliver, Jr., Jim Powell and Harsch piled up in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Lonnie Greiner would spin in turn 2 to bring the caution back out.
Once again Reitzler and Greiner went back to battle for the top spot on the restart, only to be slowed again on lap 4. This time Aaron Brocksieck slowed to a stop in turn four with a left rear flat. The final caution of the event would come out on lap 7 when Huls, who was running 4th, spun in turn 3. From there on the remainder of the event went green and the racing action was well worth it. Reitzler, who was glued to the bottom of the speedway, and Greiner, who was working the middle grove, put the crowd on their feet several times. Reitzler would lead laps 8 - 11, with Greiner edging him out to lead laps 12 and 13. But Reitzler would come back to lead lap 14, only to lose it to Greiner on lap 15. Reitzler was able to edge Greiner at the line to lead laps 16 and 17. But Greiner came back to grab the top spot back on lap 18. Greiner then held back Reitzler at the line to claim the win and take home the $700 top prize.
Reitzler settled for 2nd, Terry Houston came from 12th to come home in 3rd, Beau Taylor was 4th, with Mike Harward passing 15 cars from his 20th place starting spot to finish in 5th.
Brandon Symmonds and Clayton Crump made up the front row for the 15-lap Keokuk Auto Credit Hobby Stock feature. Just as the green flag was thrown for the start of the event, the caution would come out for Gina Greubel who spun in turn 2. On the restart Crump took advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Anders and Symmonds. The battle up front was slowed for the final time on lap 2, when Mike Kincaid spun in turn 4.
On the restart Crump grabbed the lead, with Anders and Mike Hughes, who started 11th, battling it out for second. Crump would hold the top spot until lap 7, when Anders slipped under him to grab the lead. Anders then went on to lead the final 9 laps to claim the win and the $500 top prize. Crump settled for 2nd, Symmonds was 3rd, Andrew Hustead was 4th, with David Orr coming home in 5th.
The final feature on the night was the 25-lap Farmington Tax and Accounting Modifieds, with JD Auringer and Steven DeLonjay leading the field to the green. Auringer would grab the lead on lap 1 over DeLonjay. With Auringer working to hold back DeLonjay, all eyes were on Michael Long, who started 11th. Long was working the bottom, middle and top of the speedway to pass cars.
The first of two cautions would come out on lap 6, when Bryan Kinneer spun in turn 2. On the restart Auringer again jumped back out front, with DeLonjay close behind. Auringer would start to pull away, as DeLonjay and Long put on a battle for second. But the action was slowed for the final time on lap 16, when Robert Thompson spun in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. Under the yellow, DeLonjay would pit from his second place spot for a left front flat.
On the restart Auringer moved back out front, with Long and Hanford following. Auringer would pull away from Long over the next 5 laps, only to have Long reel him in on lap 23. Long would drive his machine hard into turn 3 and couldn't get on the binders fast enough to avoid making contact with Auringer, as the left front of Long's car got hooked into Auringer's left rear. But Long was able to turn his machine into the infield to allow Auringer to pull away. Auringer would lead the final 2 laps to claim the $1,200 top prize, plus he would take home the $550 bonus for the top finishing IMCA car.
Bruce Hanford was 2nd, Dave Wietholder came from 14th to finish in 3rd, Steve Stewart was 4th, with Jeff Waterman coming home 5th to claim the $250 IMCA bonus for the second highest finisher.
One Hundred eleven cars would sign thru the gates for the two day event to put an end to the 2011 season at the Pepsi Scotland County Speedway.