JEFFERSON, S.D. (June 27) – Chris Mills found the smooth line and Ryan Harris raced to an IMCA career first on opening night of the Karl Kustoms Midwest Madness Tour.
Mills was the $1,200 IMCA Modified winner at The New Raceway Park, while Harris won the Sunday feature for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, and $1,000, from the 24th and last starting spot.
Defending track and KMJ Performance State champion Mills stayed where it was smooth from fifth starting, staying low in the first set of turns and high in the second, and had the Modified lead early into the 25-lapper.
After a series of early yellows, the race ended with a long green flag run, getting the win ahead of Travis Hatcher and 17th starting Ricky Stephan. Matt Bonine raced from 23rd starting to fourth and Shane DeMey was fifth.
Drivers from closer to home were joined by competitors making the tow from as far away as Arizona, Oregon and Michigan.
“It’s always good to defend your home track. It’s never fun letting the out-of-towners come and beat you up,’ Mills said. “We’ve seen a lot of this track before. We knew what to expect and what to do with the car.”
Harris, meanwhile, accomplished a first for his 20-plus year IMCA career in winning from dead last after a heat race disqualification.
“It took hard, hard driving,” he said. “I’ve never done this before. It took a lot of work to do it. I was kind of in shock – there was some heat here.”
Harris passed eventual runner-up Mel Elsberry, who stayed committed to the inside line, for the front with eight laps left. Kole Nordquist, Mike Albertsen and David Smith rounded out the top five.
“I hope we can keep this up,” said Harris. “It’s not going to be easy. There are a lot of good cars so it’s going to be a challenge.”
Mills was already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot while Harris is new to B & B Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility.
The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winner – and hard charger – on opening night of the Midwest Madness Tour was Ryan Harris. (Photo by Jim Steffens)
John Cain was the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock winner, ahead of David Miller and Tony Fetterman, while Rusty Montagne, Karl Brewer and Justin Svoboda ran 1-2-3 in the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod main.
Mike Vogt topped the Mach-1 Sport Compacts, with Spencer Jans second and Trent Reed third.
The tour stays in town for the Monday show at Park Jefferson Speedway.