ROCK SPRINGS, Wy. (June 19-20) – A driver making his first-ever tour start and a driver who’s never missed a tour event were weekend IMCA Modified winners at Sweetwater Speedway.
Tripp Gaylord topped the Friday night 1st Class Chassis Wild West Tour feature, returning to Rock Springs to redress a runner-up finish on night two of May’s Rudy Yeager Memorial. Chase Hansen was the Saturday winner, collecting his career third checkers, and first since 2014, in his 109th tour start.
Both drivers earned $1,200 and saw their names added to the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.
After starting fifth, Gaylord found the middle line to his liking on Friday. He passed Ricky Alvarado and Braxton Yeager for the lead following a restart and stayed in front to the end of the 30-lapper.
“It feels like it’s been years trying to get that big out-of-state win,” said Gaylord, who’d run second to Alvarado in the Yeager Memorial finale. “We knew there would be a lot of good cars there and it turned out to be a very good weekend for us with the Modified.”
Gaylord’s opening night checkers ended the streak of a record six straight wins Zane DeVilbiss recorded on the way to the last year’s crown.
DeVilbiss raced from 13th to finish third. Braxton Yeager and 15th starting Jake Donnelly completed the top five.
“Rock Springs is a good track, always racy,” Gaylord said after his runner-up finish on night two. “We were very comfortable running our line. We were having fun out there, I think I could have run another 100 laps.”
Hansen started the Saturday show from outside the front row. He had the lead when the second lap was scored and led the distance, pulling away after a caution at midway and beating Gaylord and Alvarado across the stripe.
The satisfying win came at a track where Hansen hadn’t had much tour luck in the past.
“It felt good to have a good car we could be competitive with,” he said. “We started 14th and got sixth on Friday so we were good both nights.”
Justen Yeager was fourth, DeVilbiss fifth.
The tour for Modifieds first ran from 2007-2014, with IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods added when the tour resumed last year.
Stock Car winners at Rock Springs were defending tour champion Ed Henderson and DeVilbiss. Michael Johnson and Brian Baker were the Northern SportMod winners.