By Ryan Clark
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (May 24) – Brian Irvine took the lead on the sixth of 18 laps, then pulled away to a dominant win in the Saturday Showcase for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars at Independence Motor Speedway.
In the first o
f four installments this season, the Saturday Showcase offers increased prize money once a month to one featured division. It was Irvine’s first win in Independence since May of 2010.
Irvine, who started inside row five, raced through traffic and entered a four-car breakaway at the front of the pack with Jarod Weepie, Norman Chesmore and Justin Temeyer. He slipped past Weepie to steal the lead a couple laps before a pair of mid-race cautions.
Following the final restart on lap nine, Irvine pulled away from the field to win in convincing fashion and earn the $500 payday. Weepie ran second ahead of Temeyer.
Mike Burbridge held the early lead in the 20-lap Performance Bodies IMCA Modified feature. Burbridge ran the low groove of the fast, smooth oval while J.D. Auringer worked into contention from a fourth row starting spot.
Auringer cut into Burbridge’s lead and took control on lap 11 while Troy Cordes, Tyler Droste and Scott Hogan raced their way through traffic. Cordes made his way into the runner-up spot shortly after Auringer took the lead and Hogan followed him into the top three just prior to a lap 16 caution.
On the restart, Hogan went to work on the top side and pulled even with Auringer a short time later. The two ran in side-by-side formation until Hogan surged ahead as the white flag waved.
Hogan led the remainder of the event to score the victory and extend his points lead. Cordes finished second and Auringer was third.
Darren Ackerman took the lead on the second lap and then pulled away to the convincing win in the 25-lap IMCA Late Model feature. Ackerman masterfully worked through lapped traffic to take the victory a comfortable margin ahead of Tyler Bruening. Dean Wagner ran third.
Jenae Gustin earned her third win in the last four weeks in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division. From her eighth row starting spot, Gustin quickly worked through the pack and settled into second by the time the caution flag waved on lap six.
Gustin took the lead two laps after racing resumed to score the impressive win ahead of Rod McDonald and Danny Dvorak.
Shawn Kuennen earned the first win of his career in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division. Kuennen took charge on the second lap, then held off a hard-charging Benji Irvine in lapped traffic to score the win by half of a car-length. Chad Albert ran third.