VINTON, Iowa (June 19, 2022) – One driver didn’t think he’d be able to race while another wasn’t sure he’d even make it to the track.
Both ended up in victory lane in an unlikely turn of events Sunday at Benton County Speedway.
After suffering extensive damage to his own ride Saturday night, Kyle Olson wasn’t planning on racing Sunday. That all changed when Brandon Tharp asked him to drive his car.
Tharp, who underwent an emergency appendectomy early Sunday morning and was sidelined for the evening, offered his ride to Olson for Sunday’s racing program at The Bullring.
By night’s end, both drivers were posing for victory lane photos after Olson raced Tharp’s #B21 to the winner’s circle in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods.
From his third row start, Olson made his way into the top three by the time caution slowed action a handful of laps into the 15-lapper. He worked around the outside of Justin Wacha a short time after racing resumed to secure the lead.
Olson maintained the top spot on the high side of the fast quarter-mile to drive to the memorable victory ahead of Ben Chapman, who made an impressive run from the fifth row. Joe Docekal and Kip Siems completed the top four.
Tharp, who got his start in racing by buying a car previously owned by Olson’s late father Russ, joined in the emotional victory lane celebration.
Matt Brown said it felt like his first win following the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 15-lapper. Brown made a late pass for the lead to secure the win, his first at the speedway since season championship night at the end of the 2016 season.
Brown, who started in row four, worked through traffic and settled in behind leader Luke Bird midway through the event. He made a late pass to secure the top spot and drive to the victory ahead of Bird, Joren Fisher and Brett Vanous.
It had been three years since Korey Lana saw victory lane in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts. That drought also came to an end Sunday night.
Lana came out on top of an entertaining four-car battle that lasted the entirety of the 12-lapper to take the checkers ahead of Thomas Werning, Blake Driscol and Colton Stewart.
It was May 15 all over again for Dallon Murty and Kaden Reynolds. The pair of drivers who earned their first division wins on the same night at The Bullring earlier this season picked up their second wins Sunday night.
Murty dominated the 20-lapper for the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds. Although the 5.5 second lead he built disappeared when the yellow flag waved on lap 13, Murty powered away on the restart to take the checkers an impressive 3.8 seconds ahead of nearest pursuer Mike Burbridge. Troy Cordes and Dustin Kroening completed the top four.
Reynolds chased Shaun Bistline for much of the 15-lap feature for the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. A late bobble by Bistline gave Reynolds all he needed to make the winning pass on his way to victory. Bistline held on for second ahead of Bryce Carey and Josh Foster.
Dave McCalla earned his second win of the season in the INEX Legends. McCalla raced from the third row and into the lead midway through that 15-lapper to take the win ahead of Braxton Franks, Keith Meyer and Adam Meyer.
Racing action resumes at The Bullring this Thursday, June 23, to kick off grandstand entertainment at the 2022 Benton County Fair.
Modifieds, Hobby Stocks, SportMods and Sport Compacts will be in action for the fair event, and will be joined by the American Iron Racing Series (A.I.R.S.). All applicable points will be awarded to the four weekly divisions competing.
Gates will open at 5 p.m. Thursday, with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7.
Grandstand admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and veterans, and $5 for ages 6-14. Ages five and under will be admitted free if accompanying a paid adult. Pit passes are $30.
Thursday’s event will be broadcast on IMCA.TV.
For the latest speedway news, including the grandstand schedule for fair events, visit BCSBullRing.com or the track’s Facebook page @BCSBullRing.