By Joyce Eisele
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (May 6) – Justin Kay stole the spotlight Thursday night, in one of the biggest IMCA Sunoco Late Model events of the season.
Kay complemented his career 100th win in the division with a check for $1,925 at Marshalltown Speedway’s fourth annual Dale DeFrance Memorial.
The headline event of the evening, held in honor of the patriarch of the well-known racing family, was 44 laps. Veteran Greg Kastli started on the outside of the front row and immediately took the lead over Joe Zrostlik
By lap 10, the seventh starting Kay had made his way to second place and began reeling in the leader. Kay took the lead with a move to the outside of Kastli as they came out of corner four as lap 19 went into the books.
From there on, Kay had little trouble in keeping his run at the front of the field, pulling away and taking the victory. He finished well ahead of second place Zrostlik while Todd Cooney made a late-race pass around Kastli as they went third and fourth, respectively. Fourteenth starter Matt Ryan rounded out the top five.
Cayden Carter, already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, was the $1,025 IMCA Modified winner. He started seventh and quickly moved up to challenge pole sitter Richie Gustin.
By lap eight, Carter had the lead, which he held to the checkers. Joel Rust threw a couple of challenges at Carter but settled for the runner-up spot. Tim Ward made big headway late in the race, finishing third after starting 16th.
Completing the list of feature winners were Damon Murty in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Kansas speedster Justin Kinderknecht in the IMCA STARS Mod Lites, Kaden Reynolds in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Brayton Carter in the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods.
Murty drew the pole for the 20-lap Stock Car feature and set sail on the top of the track, his preferred line at the High Banks, and went for a visit to victory lane. Jeff Mueller consistently dug on the bottom of the track for second while a close third went to Chanse Hollatz.
Kinderknecht made his trip for racing in the area pay off by winning the 15-lap Mod Lite feature and led all laps on his way to doing so. Kinderknecht drew the lucky number one pill, started on the pole and had no trouble in taking the checkers. Josh May took second and third was Cory Sonner.
Reynolds made it a perfect points season thus far, when he captured his third straight local feature win in the Hobby Stock 18-lap main event. Reynolds started sixth, and had the lead by lap three, never to relinquish it. Braden Richards crossed the line in second, however, post-race inspection handed Richards a disqualification and gave the runner-up spot to Eric Knutson. Kyle Parizek was third.
The Northern SportMods went 18 laps for their main event and Brayton Carter went wire-to-wire in taking the win. Johnathon Logue came from 10th starting to take second. Jenae Gustin prevailed in a three-car battle for third.