By Ryan Clark
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (Aug. 2) – Troy Cordes and Alex Zwanziger both stood in victory lane Saturday night at Independence Motor Speedway – and they got there in different, yet equally thrilling ways.
Cordes, who earned his third win of the year in the Performance Bodies IMCA Modified feature, chased down leader Adam Johnson for a late pass on his way to victory. Zwanziger took advantage of a late restart and topped a three-car battle to earn his first win of the season in the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods.
Brennen Chipp held the early lead in the 20-lapper for the Modifieds while Johnson challenged to his outside. Johnson took the lead following the race’s only caution on lap three and quickly extended his advantage.
Meanwhile, Cordes was working from a sixth row start and sat in the top five shortly after the restart. He chased Chipp and Kaleb Bentley until making his way into the runner-up spot at the midway point.
By the time Cordes motored into second with 10 laps to go, Johnson built a straightaway lead as both front-runners worked the top groove of the speedway.
Cordes pulled to within a couple car-lengths of Johnson when the leader encountered lapped traffic in the waning laps. Cordes dropped to the middle groove as the lead pair negotiated the slower traffic and drew even with Johnson as the white flag waved.
Cordes slipped past Johnson in the final set of turns to escape with the victory. Johnson and J. D. Auringer completed the top three.
Brian Hilbert enjoyed a sizable lead in the early stages of the 15-lap Northern SportMod feature while Danny Dvorak worked through traffic from a fourth row starting spot.
Dvorak made his way around Hilbert following a lap eight restart while Zwanziger and Jenae Gustin gave chase. Caution slowed action one final time to set up a green, white, checkered finish with Dvorak at the point and Gustin and Zwanziger side-by-side behind him.
When racing resumed, Gustin worked low and Zwanziger worked high as they both challenged Dvorak for the lead. Zwanziger was able to pull even with the leader as the white flag waved and then surged ahead off the final corner to steal the victory. Dvorak ran second at the line ahead of Gustin.
Jerry King earned the second win of his IMCA Late Model career and his first in Independence in that 25-lapper.
After Drew Johnson and Brian Hunter shared time at the front of the pack, King raced the high side past Hunter following a lap 15 restart. He drove away from the field to take the victory. Darren Ackerman came from the fifth row to finish second ahead of Hunter.
Brian and Benji Irvine are no strangers to victory lane in Independence, however the cousins shared time in victory lane on the same night for the first time in their careers Saturday.
Brian came from the fourth row to dominate the 18-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature, earning his fifth win in as many appearances this season.
Likewise, Benji earned his sixth win of the season in dominant fashion after starting in the fourth row of the 15-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature.