By Rob Hinckley
EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 31, 2022) – The car pasted itself to the low groove and finally worked the way Erick Turner wanted.
The Barstow, Ill., regular at East Moline Speedway had the hard work pay off with the 15-lap Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod win Sunday evening during a wild race.
“Everyone here made this happen, all the hard work,” Turner said in the winner’s circle, pointing to his family and crew. “We’ve struggled, worked, got better and finally we’re here.”
It may not have been a challenge to get to first place, but it was staying there. Four other leaders were involved in incidents during the affair. Turner started seventh, took advantage of misfortune, but still was fast and kept the car straight. He figured he had a chance on a late caution, one of eight yellow flags, for his first 2022 win.
“On that last caution I thought I had a chance. The car was working good down low and those guys got in that wreck ahead of me and I was able to get around it.”
Keith Wiersema, Ryan Reed, Jesse Bodin were among the early leaders that spun or were involved in wrecks during the finale. Contact between Bodin and Logan Veloz ended up with two other cars involved and ended the night for Veloz. Those two ended up at the front after starting 14th and 12th. Bodin would race back to ninth after another involvement.
Veteran David Engelkens also kept his nose clean and maneuvered to second at the checkered flag ahead of polesitter Adam Parker, Rayce Mullen and Wiersema. Mullen also restarted at the rear twice before his top five finish.
Former track champion Matt Ryan finished off a good weekend with the 25-lap IMCA Sunoco Late Model win. It was his second checkered flag of the weekend after a Cedar County Raceway victory Friday. He also picked up the Sunoco Race Fuels $250 IMCA bonus and beat Jacob Waterman, Gary Webb, LeRoy Brenner and Mack Mulvany, who got his first top five finish.
Matt Ryan’s second IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature win of the weekend, Sunday at East Moline Speedway, was accompanied by a $250 bonus courtesy of Sunoco Race Fuels.
Travis Denning was, well, Travis Denning.
After trying the high groove he sliced down low past Eric Barnes and went on to win the 20-lap Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature. Mitch Morris also got by Barnes in a late battle for second. Brandon Durbin and Denning teammate B.J. Jackson followed.
Testing at the track earlier in the week paid off for the Jokers Chassis house car of Jason Masengarb. He swapped the lead with teammate Jacob Copley throughout the 15-lap IMCA STARS Mod Lite finale before beating Copley to the finish line. Brandon Freeburg, last starting Jon Padilla and Des Moines visitor Joel Huggins rounded out the top five.
Randy Lamar likes the top groove and he used it to perfection en route to the 12-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock victory. Logan Gustaf, Michale Putt, Donnie Cole and Josh Lane followed.