Lagroon wins finale, Cleveland is Modified champion at Salina

By Justin Sly
SALINA, Kan. (Sept. 27) – The Belleville Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event on Championship Night at Salina Speedway was a high-spirited duel between two families that have been through the wars together.

The Lagroons and the Morrisons have risen through the classes, topping the 4-cylinder classes to the super stocks, and trading paint and positions on a weekly basis. On this night, Corey was on a mission to make the top side work while Danny Jr. used the inside groove. The pair quickly shot to the head of the field and put on a clinic for the fans

They exchanged lines, used the crossover move, and swapped the lead throughout the feature. Corey Lagroon finally put his no. 24 in the lead and Brian Knoell chased down Danny Morrison Jr. to take the runner-up spot. Joe Cleveland locked up the 2013 championship despite missing the setup for the finale.

Kurtis Pihl had two goals in mind as he started up his no. 3K for the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Northern SportMod feature. Both goals were achieved as he outlasted the other 13 starters for the win, and improved to second in the final points.

There were obstacles, as Brandon Belvill suffered mechanical problems while leading. And a final restart found Tyler Frye, the 2013 champ, and Tyler Sutton on his rear sail panel. Pihl deftly held off the pair, picking up his fifth win, and Sutton blew by Frye at the flagstand for second. Pihl and Mark Franklin took the heat race honors.

The Budweiser IMCA Hobby Stocks heat races were won by Salinans Dennis Berry and John Steele but out-of-towners stole the show in the 15-lap main event. Mike Traskowsky, the 2013 champion, maneuvered from his inverted fifth-row starting spot to the lead until the yellow flag waved with four laps to go.

Points runner-up, Aaron McBride and G.W. Fuller made contact on the initial restart which resulted in an improved position for Topeka’s Brian Stich. Making his car stick on the high side, Stich worked past Traskowsky and Tony Slothower in the dash to the checkers for his only win of the season at Salina Speedway.

Justin Kinderknecht wrapped up the title with the feature win in the Mod Lites and Jerry Phillips was the Coors Light Street Stock winner. Brian Dunsworth was the T & R Dirt Construction rear-wheel drive winner.

The sixth annual Barry Brittendall Memorial” a race for front-wheel drive compacts, was held for the Mini Stocks. Dallas Dunn was the winner of the trophy, given in honor of the late Salina racer.

Salina Speedway plays host to the Mid-America Clash on October 3-5. Thursday is a practice night, and the qualifying program is to begin at 8 pm on Friday. Free tickets are available for the Friday night “FanFest” event. The season finale is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, when the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA SportMods, IMCA Hobby Stocks, Late Models, and Mod Lites run for the big money.

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