By Jerry Mackey
COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (June 24, 2022) – Friday night, history was made at the CJ Speedway as victory lane welcomed the first female driver in recent history.
It happened in the very tough IMCA Sunoco Stock Car division. Leah Wroten made her third consecutive trip to CJ Speedway and started the main event in the second row. Wroten took the lead on lap five from Kenny O’Donnell and went on to make history by winning the main event in convincing fashion.
A late-race caution bunched the field up but Wroten held her line and sailed on to the win ahead of Tom Cannon and O’Donnell.
When asked if he could remember the last time a woman made her way to victory lane, promoter Larry Richardson was stumped and could not remember when or if it had happened.
The Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature saw Jarrett Brown continue his recent hot streak at CJ Speedway. Brown started in the last row, quickly worked through the pack and went on to bolster his point lead with the feature win.
Dakota Simmons ran a strong second ahead of early leader Kyle Madden.
The Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature saw seventh starting Shane Paris methodically work through the field on his way to the win. Paris broke free from a pack of cars and took the lead near the midway point of the race.
A group of cars battled for second before visiting driver Jason Roth was able to cross the finish line in second. Roth, from Hazel Green, Wisconsin, had his efforts dashed however as post-race inspection found an illegal gear. The DQ elevated Nick Aupperle into second ahead of Levi Laymon.
An action-packed IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature saw an early hard collision send Randy LaMar and Preston McDonald to the pits with extensive damage and neither were able to continue.
Jared Miller led the main event flag to flag, breaking a 10-year drought in scoring the win.
Miller stated in victory lane, “This year has been terrible with multiple engine failures but my crew pushes me to continue.”
The hard work paid off with the win. Miller took the win ahead of Ryan Havel and point leader Jon Irwin.
The Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature win went to Darin Smith. The win came after a late-race charge by Alex Hayes came up just short. Shane Barnes ran third.