By Justin Newman
MURFREESBORO, Ark. (May 28, 2022) – Current National IMCA STARS Mod Lite points leader Gary Dewitt proved just how important patience, consistency and some hard work pays off.
He was able to keep himself in the front long enough to take the win on the first night of the inaugural Mod Lite Mayhem at Diamond Park Speedway.
The event, $3,000 to win and $300 to start the “A” main, continues Sunday with the 30-lap feature presented by Joker Chassis. Four heat races were used to take winners and the top 14 in passing points to the nightly qualifier on Saturday.
Barry Nolan found his way to victory in heat one with DeWitt in tow; DeWitt advanced five spots and this would be key later. The second heat race went to Chris Robinson, the third heat race was topped by Chad Kirkpatrick and in the fourth and final heat race, James ‘Big Daddy’ Rollins took the win.
This set the stage for the qualifier with the heat race winners on rows 1-2 and top passing points finishers in DeWitt, Boogie Krajca, Jeff Asher and Titan Crump completing rows 3-4.
The drop of the green flag saw the front two rows racing nearly in a dead heat at the line just the way they started for the first five circuits before caution flew for Brandon Staggs, who rolled in turn four. Staggs was able to get upright, go to the hot pit, change a tire and rejoin on the tail.
On the restart a quick first corner tumult involving Shane Jenkins, Dylan Hollingshead, Crump and Grant Rollins sent all those drivers to the trailer except Rollins, who changed his left rear and rejoined on the tail.
It was on that restart a hard-charging Asher took the point after having advanced several few spots and he led until lap 11 when he lost all power and pulled to the infield, effectively ending his night.
This gave Codey Benoit the race lead and he would hold it until lap 18, actually stretching it out by almost a full two second lead over the field, until he slowed in top of turn two with mechanical woes. Insert patience and consistency here as the point then went to DeWitt.
Dewitt held off some smoking hot charges from Robinson, the retro truck of Steve Sweere came home in third, Rollins was fourth and Nolan rounded out the top five. Sixth through 10th went to Kirkpatrick, Paul McCollett, Larry Hubbard Jr., Paul Alban and Andrew Lincoln.
Those top 10 drivers will redraw for position in the Joker Chassis ‘Dirty Draw’ and that race finish will determine the first five rows of the 30-lap, $3,000 to win main event at the end of Sunday’s program.
All night one qualifiers and any new entries will duke it out in a pair of “B” Features where the top five from each will transfer into the main along with two provisional starters.
The event is broadcast by Speed Sport TV affiliate DoneRightTV.