Taylor quick to accomplish at Ardmore, tops All Star Shootout opener for IMCA Modifieds

Jeff Taylor charged from 16th starting in winning the All Star Shootout opening night feature for IMCA Modifieds at Southern Oklahoma Speedway. The $1,000 checkers put Taylor on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. (Photo by Debbie Hix)

ARDMORE, Okla. (May 26) – When he pulled out of the driveway, Jeff Taylor headed for Southern Okla­homa Speedway hoping he could “accomplish something” during the five-race All Star Shootout fueled by Fast Shafts.

He accomplished a lot on opening night at Ardmore, racing from 16th starting to win the IMCA Modified feature and $1,000. One hundred and twenty-five cars, including 57 Modifieds, 38 Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods and 30 IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, saw action in the Wednesday show. 

“I knew I had a pretty good car by lap four or five,” said Taylor, who’d made the starting grid by winning his ‘B’ feature. “It was a lot of fun. As the race went on I could see I was gaining on the front pack.”

Josh McGaha had led from the start, with Jeff Emerson in tow over the first half of the 25-lapper. 

Taylor had made his way into the top five by lap 11, was running second when the caution came out two laps later, then caught McGaha for the front on the 15th circuit.

The race ran green the rest of the way. Jared Baird made his way from 14th starting to the runner-up spot with six laps to go and was a lapped car behind Taylor at the checkers.

Fred Wojtek, 13th starting Jacob Pirkle and McGaha completed the top five.

“You could race all over, top, middle, bottom,” said Taylor, new to the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot. “I got a line and tried to make the car work, and could go just where I wanted.”

“Hopefully,” he added, “we can pick up another one or two.” 

Matthew Day and Tommy Fain were $750 winners in the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, respectively.

Racing like he had to get back in a hurry to take a test the next morning – which he did – Farmersville High School junior Day made the high side work and led the 20-lap feature from Southern SportMods start to finish.

He held off Rodney White past halfway and outran 17th starting Tommy Dove and 21st starting Josh Cournoyer to the checkers, his third of the season and second this year at Ardmore. Shelby Williams and 20th starting Zack Oliva were next across the stripe. 

“We made some minor changes after the heat. I race here weekly so I have a good idea what the car likes at this track,” Day said. “This is the first big show I’ve won. It was definitely a proud moment.”

Matthew Day impressed on opening night of the All Star Shootout, leading every lap of the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod feature. (Photo by Debbie Hix) 

Fain was promoted to the top spot on the Stock Car podium after rough driving disqualifications of Williams and Jeffrey Abbey. He started sixth and dropped back a couple positions before clawing his way toward the front. 

“I was too tight the first 8-10 laps but the car kept getting better and better,” said Fain, already eligible to qualify for the B & B Chassis All-Star race. “The longer the race went, the better the car got.”

The win was Fain’s fourth in his last five starts at Southern Oklahoma. Cary White, Cullen Hill, Jeramey Bradley and Dakota McCollum ran second through fifth.