By Rob Hinckley
EAST MOLINE, Ill. (May 16) – As he peeled the 13th tearoff from his very moist and splattered helmet face shield, Jim Sandusky saw the checkered flag.
The longtime veteran’s biggest competition was the persistent drizzle of rain. He dominated the rest of the IMCA Modified feature Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway, leading all 15 laps.
“Gratifying,” Sandusky described the victory in the winner’s circle. “I’m just fortunate to have the friends and family to help me get here.”
The Coal Valley pilot jumped from the front row and was really never challenged. He held off Brandt Cole through some lapped traffic on lap 12 and then reopened a big advantage for his first 2021 win.
Cole slipped up the race track but gathered it back for second place. Jeff Larson, Casey Franks and Brandon Durbin rounded out the top five. Sandusky kept the string of different 2021 Modified winners at EMS intact.
The new lineup format for the IMCA STARS Mod Lites did not deter point Mike Zemo Jr. He raced from ninth starting to the point on lap nine to win the 15-lap finale. Jon Padilla, Michael Dominguez, Anthony Guss and Bryan Wonick followed.
Under the STARS banner, the class used a draw/redraw system to line up races. Under IMCA rules they take part in the point invert.
Jarrett Franzen mastered the high line to low groove move throughout the heat and 15-lap Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod feature. He nailed it early and cruised to his second 2021 win.
Jacob Copley kept pace in points with the runner up finish ahead of Logan Veloz, Rob Nylin and Trey Grimm.
Daniel Wauters took his second IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 12-lap feature, beating the only other winner so far this year, Drew Burk, to Joe Carleton’s checkers. Logan Gustaf, Donnie Cole III and Jared Miller followed.
The show was pushed along with the stubborn drizzle and showers, causing two delays. The IMCA Sunoco Late Models were finally called off and will be run this Sunday May 23.
Car counts continued to be impressive with a season high 101 in the pits and the final checkered flag fell before 9 p.m. as the rains came again.