Freedom Cup openers go to Mayden, Sanders

By Ben Deatherage

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 4, 2024) – Cottage Grove Speedway celebrated Independence Day and the facility’s sixty-eighth birthday while Jake Mayden and Matt Sanders celebrated IMCA feature wins on the first of three nights of Freedom Cup action.

The Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature began with a pair of CGS champions battling it out as Mayden and Braedon Hand tussled. Hand led the opening stanza but was overtaken by Mayden on the next trip around the track.

Mayden started to check out by a healthy margin, and behind him was a firecracker of a run from Brett Muth, who quickly moved from sixth into third on the 11th circuit.

Two laps later, Muth climbed into second while Paul Rea made a surge to secure third place.

Things cooled down briefly for the lone stoppage of the main event with 18 laps complete. When the green flag waved again, the competition heated up for the second position between Rea and Muth. Rea eventually secured the runner-up spot and Curtis Towns made an excellent restart to propel himself into fourth.

However, the balance of the race saw Mayden simply dominate. Rea and Muth were the rest of the podium in second and third, respectively. Towns finished the race fourth while Hand was fifth.

Despite six cautions, the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod race was a good one.

The main event opened up with Jordan Henry of Roseburg taking the lead. The second lap saw all sorts of commotion as Aaron Bloom slipped around Madilynn Ashley for second. Simultaneously a maelstrom for fourth occurred with a three-car battle between Sanders, Jesse Williamson and Jason Ferguson, only for a yellow to come out.

Sanders, Ashley and Jason Kocks engaged in a fierce battle for third on the restart, providing unexpected twists to the race. Sanders eventually gained the advantage and secured the position just before another caution was raised.

Bloom and Sanders square off for second when things got back underway. Williamson stalked both to take advantage if a mistake was to be made. Sanders grabbed second on lap eight and tried to run down the leader Henry.

Henry was very good on restarts and checked out, but just when it seemed like the field was getting strung out, Sanders began to chomp into the pacesetter’s advantage. A pair of cautions just past the halfway mark helped Sanders’ efforts, eliminating Henry’s lead.

After a lap 17 restart, Sanders began to challenge on the bottom line, trying to get underneath Henry while Williamson tried his luck on the top of the track. Sanders’s persistence paid dividends as he got the lead out of turn two with five circuits remaining.  

Sanders, who started 11th, broke away from the rest of the pack to get his first win of the season at Cottage Grove.

Henry, Williamson, Trevor Points and Bloom completed the top five.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply