Chipp, Johnson sweep championship night at Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (Aug. 24) – Six season champions and six track champions were crowned during Budweiser Season Championships Saturday at Independence Motor Speedway.

Three of those drivers celebrated track titles by making their way to victory lane during the final night of weekly points racing for the 2013 season.

Less than three months ago, Brennen Chipp earned his first Independence win in the Karl Chevro­let Northern SportMod division. Just 12 weeks following that win, he was celebrating his fifth win of the year and the first track championship of his career.

From his front row starting spot, Chipp took command with Alex Zwanzinger in pursuit. Chipp paced the field through a handful of cautions while Kip Siems and Joel Rust worked through traf­fic.

Siems reeled in the leader on the 17th of 20 laps, then pulled to the inside of Chipp when the front-runners encountered lapped traffic in turns one and two. Contact while the leaders battled through traffic sent Siems into a spin, ending his run.

When racing resumed, Rust, who started 22nd, restarted on Chipp’s rear bumper. Rust was una­ble to challenge over the final three laps as Chipp led the event in its entirety to score the win and earn the track title by five points over Zwanziger.

Points leader Sean Johnson took the lead at the drop of the green and was never seriously chal­lenged in the 23-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature. Johnson sailed to the win, his third of the season, and his third straight track title in the division.

Merv Chandler rounded out the list of drivers who wrapped up track titles with feature wins. Chan­dler, who started on the pole of the 12-lap Mach-1 Sport Compact feature, worked past A.J. Wit­ten on the second lap to cruise to the win, his fourth of the year.

After chasing points leader and pole sitter Tyler Bruening for one lap, Darren Ackerman shot past the leader on the second circuit to dominate the 30-lap IMCA Late Model headliner. Ackerman led the remainder of the event to take his second win of the year. Bruening, who finished fifth, locked up his third track title in the last four seasons.

Ronn Lauritzen, Mark Schulte and Tyler Droste waged an incredible battle for the lead in the 25-lap Performance Bodies IMCA Modified feature. Lauritzen, who led early, was challenged by Schulte and Droste following a mid-race restart.

The leaders ran in three-wide formation throughout the middle stages before Lauritzen broke free for his fifth win of the year. Droste crossed the line in second to wrap up the first Modified title of his career.

When point leader Benji Irvine left early with engine problems, Chris Luloff pulled away from the field in the 20-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature. Luloff extended his advantage to over a straightaway margin while Quinton Miller settled into second on lap seven.

Miller chased down the leader in lapped traffic and was briefly able to take the lead as the flying green waved, however Luloff sliced and diced his way through traffic to drive to his seventh win of the year. By virtue of taking the green flag in the event, Irvine earned his first career track title.

Although weekly racing has concluded at the speedway, one event remains on the 2013 sched­ule. The Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models will be making its second appear­ance of the season on Friday, Sept. 20. Stock Cars will also be in competition that evening in a $2,000-to-win event.

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