INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (June 14) – A trio of drivers each earned their fourth wins of the season during the seventh night of weekly points racing Saturday at Independence Motor Speedway. Another pair of drivers became the first to repeat in their respective divisions.
Ronn Lauritzen, Benji Irvine and Jenae Gustin made their fourth trips to the winner’s circle while Darren Ackerman and Paul Shepherd were the first to repeat in IMCA Late Model and IMCA Sunoco Stock Car action.
Ed Thomas held the lead at the drop of the green in the 20-lap Performance Bodies IMCA Modified main. Thomas pulled away from traffic while Lauritzen ran the high groove from a fourth row starting spot.
Lauritzen settled into third place behind J.D. Auringer just before the caution flag waved on lap six.
On the restart, Lauritzen wasted little time working past the front-runners as he assumed command by the completion of lap seven. He and Auringer proceeded to pull away from traffic over the final half of the event.
Lauritzen fought off pressure from Auringer to earn his third win in the last four weeks and his fourth of the season. Auringer and Troy Cordes completed the top three.
Irvine also started in row four and quickly made his way through traffic in the 15-lapper for the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
Irvine found himself in the top five for a lap one restart and then rocketed to the front to assume the lead by the completion of lap two. He survived a number of mid-race cautions to take his fourth win of the year, his first since May 17. Point leader Shawn Kuennen raced from a ninth row start to finish second ahead of Jamie Whitaker.
The front of the pack wasn’t the place to be in the early going of the 15-lap Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature. Cautions involving the front row starters on two separate occasions shook up the lineup and left Gustin at the helm on a lap three restart after she started the event from the fifth row.
Gustin pulled away over the remainder of the event to score her third win in the last four weeks and her fourth win in her last five appearances in Independence. Rod McDonald and point leader Danny Dvorak ran second and third.
Ackerman took the lead early and blew away the field in the 25-lap feature for the Late Models. From his front row starting spot, Ackerman pulled to a straightaway advantage by the time he encountered lapped traffic on the eighth circuit.
Despite the traffic, he maintained his sizable lead until the caution flag waved with four laps to go, placing veterans Curt Martin and Rick Wendling on his tail for the ensuing restart.
Ackerman checked out when racing resumed to score the dominant victory, his second of the year. Wendling got by Martin to finish second.
Shepherd earned his second Stock Car victory of the season. From a fifth row start, he assumed the lead from Phil Holtz following a lap seven caution and led the remainder of the 18-lapper to score the win ahead of Holtz. Norman Chesmore took over the point lead with his third place finish.