By Ryan Clark
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (July 5) – Brian Irvine remained perfect on the season Saturday night at Independence Motor Speedway. The now part-time IMCA Sunoco Stock Car driver earned his fourth win in as many appearances in 2014.
Irvine kept his streak alive by winning a pair of features on the 3/8-mile oval, which included the make-up Budweiser Mid-Season Championship event that was postponed due to rain June 28.
Outside front row starter Justin Hanson held the early lead in the make-up feature while Irvine worked through traffic from a sixth row starting spot. Irvine settled into the runner-up spot on the fifth circuit and then took the lead two laps later.
Irvine led the remainder of the 18-lapper going away to take the victory ahead of Justin Temeyer and Jarod Weepie.
His efforts to sweep the night were made more challenging when Irvine was sidelined with a flat tire on lap three of the regular feature. He made a quick tire change while the race was under caution and tagged the tail of the field when racing resumed.
Jason Hocken held the point on the restart while Irvine powered into the top six before the yellow flag again slowed action on lap eight. When racing resumed, Irvine entered a battle for the lead with Hocken and Temeyer before taking control with five laps to go.
Irvine led the remainder of the event to sweep the evening. Temeyer and Weepie ran second and third in the regular feature, as well.
Double features were also held for the Performance Bodies IMCA Modifieds. Outside front row starter Jeff Kriz took command at the drop of the green in the 20-lap mid-season make-up event.
Ed Thomas chased Kriz while Vern Jackson raced from a third row starting spot and into contention. Jackson made his way into second following a lap 13 restart and pestered Kriz throughout the waning laps.
Kriz held Jackson at bay through two more stoppages to earn his first win in the division in Independence. Jackson and Patrick Flannagan completed the top three.
Mike Burbridge led throughout much of the regular IMCA Modified feature with Jake Strayer and Thomas in close pursuit.
While the leaders battled, Troy Cordes was making his way into contention from a seventh row start. Working the top side, Cordes raced into the top four before the caution flag waved on lap 10.
Cordes worked past Thomas a couple laps after racing resumed and then swept around Strayer and Burbridge with three laps to go en route to his second win of the year. Jackson slipped past Burbridge on the final lap to earn a pair of runner-up finishes on the night.
Jenae Gustin continued her dominance in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod division. Gustin, who started inside of row five, raced to her third straight victory, her fifth win in the last six weeks and overall sixth win of the season in Independence.
Jacob Salisbury took the lead at the drop of the green in that 15-lapper and built a sizable lead while Gustin made her way into third on lap five. Caution slowed action and bunched the field with seven laps scored complete.
When racing resumed, Gustin took two laps to make her way around Salisbury as she sailed to the victory. Salisbury and Kevin Hurst completed the top three.
In the IMCA Late Models, Jon Passick built a huge early lead in that division’s 25-lap feature. Passick set sail while John Emerson, who started 23rd on the 24-car grid, made quick work of the field and raced into the top five on lap five.
Passick held a half-straightaway lead by the time Emerson made his way past Curt Martin for second with two laps to go.
Emerson swallowed up Passick’s lead in traffic, but came up short at the line as Passick drove to his first win of the season. Martin ran third.
Matt White earned his second win of the year in the 15-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature.
Working the high line, White raced from his fourth row starting spot and into the top three after only three laps. He made his way around Jamie Whitaker and leader Matt Burmeister on the seventh circuit and then held off late pressure from Whitaker to score the victory. Whitaker and Marcus Wayne completed the top three.