DELTA, Utah (May 2-3) – A first-time winner and a regular visitor to victory lane prevailed when the EQ Cylinder Heads Wild West Tour opened at Millard County Raceway.
Jake Donnelly regained the lead from Justen Yeager and took the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified checkers for his career first tour triumph on Friday.
Yeager, a three-time series champion, battled Casey Delp and Randy Artz en route to the front, then captured his 15th career WWMT win ahead of Michael Hale on Saturday.
Both 30-lap features paid $1,000 to win. Donnelly is new to the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot while Yeager was already vote eligible.
The high line took Donnelly to the front twice. He used the top to pass Bryan Wordelman for the lead on the first lap, then built up a big lead before becoming mired in lapped traffic.
Yeager caught up and passed Donnelly before the pair came up on a lapped car late in the race. Yeager went low while Donnelly found better grip higher up on the oval and shot back ahead.
He beat Yeager to the stripe by a couple car lengths. Hale, Wordelman and Bert Beech completed the top five.
“We’ve been following the tour for five years. This has been a long time coming,” said Donnelly. “I thought we’d probably win one this year but I was surprised to win on opening night.”
“It was a great weekend. We couldn’t have asked for more,” he added. “Everything worked out perfectly for us.”
“Jake had the fast car. He earned it,” said Yeager. “It was a good race and I was glad to see him win.”
Donnelly’s victory came in his 33rd career series start. His best finish prior to Friday had been second, last July at Diamond Mountain Speedway.
Yeager picked up IMCA career win number 131 on Saturday.
He’d started eighth and worked his way up to duel with Delp and Artz. Delp’s pass for the lead was negated by caution before Yeager made his move to the front following a restart with nine circuits left.
Another yellow waved with four to go. Hale tried to contend but ran out of laps and settled for second. Donnelly, Artz and Brian Ungaro finished third through fifth, respectively.
“We had an awesome track on Saturday,” said Yeager, much impressed with the new banking. “It was just a great, great track to race on.”
The tour is at Sweetwater Speedway in Rock Springs, Wyo., for Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31 shows.
May 2 – 1. Jake Donnelly; 2. Justen Yeager; 3. Michael Hale; 4. Bryan Wordelman; 5. Bert Beech; 6. Chase Hansen; 7. Casey Delp; 8. Randy Artz; 9. Gavin Payne; 10. Ron Moser; 11. Tye Cook; 12. Don Baisch; 13. Mark Murray; 14. Chris Clark; 15. Mickey Stubbings; 16. Heath Denney; 17. Shawn Maxfield; 18. Stetson Dickinson; 19. Reed Payne; 20. Reece Artz; 21. Brian Ungaro; 22. Kelly Smith; 23. Troy McElroy; 24. Bill Butcher.
Heat winners were Delp, Hansen and Wordelman.
May 3 – 1. Yeager; 2. Hale; 3. Donnelly; 4. Artz; 5. Ungaro; 6. Delp; 7. McElroy; 8. Hansen; 9. Beech; 10. Smith; 11. Reed Payne; 12. Wordelman; 13. Clark; 14. Reese Artz; 15. Moser; 16. Murray; 17. Dickinson; 18. Cook; 19. Baisch; 20. Maxfield; 21. Stubbings; 22. Denney.
Heat winners were Beech, Hale and Yeager.