Off Road winners overcome difficult starting positions

Cade Richards raced from row six in winning the Saturday IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature, earning the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels bonus as well, Saturday at Off Road Speedway. (Courtesy Photo)

By Randy Pospishil 

NORFOLK, Neb. (July 15, 2023) – Coming from behind was the trend during Saturday night features at Off Road Speedway.

Only one of the four IMCA winners began the race among the first three rows in the starting grid, while the other three started at least four rows behind the pole sitter.

Making up the most ground on Saturday was Cade Richards, who travelled from the sixth row in the field of 16 cars to the front to earn his first Off Road Speedway IMCA Sunoco Late Model win plus the $250 Sunoco Race Fuels bonus.

Richards survived a four-car battle for fourth to enter the top three with 14 of the 25 laps left and then, without a caution to help close the gap, still had to catch up to race leader Travis Birkley, which meant winning a duel with Alex Banks, who was also in pursuit.

Richards caught and passed Banks on the inside one lap later and, using the high side of the track to gain momentum, was able to pass Birkley on the outside while exiting turn four just before catching up to lapped traffic.

Also the Friday night winner from 10th starting at Crawford County Speedway, Richards was still able to navigate a path to the finish line, pulling away during the final six laps for the win, with Birkley taking second place and Banks finishing third.

Jason Wilkinson was on the outside of row five at the beginning of the 18-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature, a race that got off to a rough start with a red flag after a four-wide set of cars entered turn one but didn’t squeeze successfully through turn two, with Travis Landauer riding the wall a short distance before ending up resting on the hood of Travis Flemming. 

A complete restart without the two incapacitated cars moved Wilkinson into row four and five laps later he passed race leader Jace Malasek as the pair raced down the back stretch. They continued to battle for the lead during the final 12 laps, including a restart with three laps remaining.

Wilkinson’s victory is his fourth this season at Off Road Speedway. Malasek grabbed second and Nate Buck finessed his way to third.

Despite starting in the fourth row, James Roebuck managed the win in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature.

Roebuck darted between cars one lap after the race’s second and final caution to get the lead, then held off Cameron Meyer the last eight laps as they finished first and second, respectively. Jacob Slough narrowly picked up third following a seven-lap battle with Wes Hochstein.

And after a quick move into the middle of the pack that resulted in a brief four-wide battle for the lead, Kyle Wilkinson won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature.

Wilkinson and Ron Pettitt provided a two-car race-long battle as the rest of the field spread out behind them, but Wilkinson eventually secured the win with Pettitt second and Derek Sehi third.

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