Cottage Grove wraps up 2024 Freedom Cup

Curtis Towns wrapped up the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified championship portion of the Freedom Cup with his Saturday night feature win at Cottage Grove Speedway. (Photo Courtesy of Jason Davenport Photography)

By Ben Deatherage

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (July 6, 2024) – Cottage Grove Speedway was in action for the third and final night of the 2024 Freedom Cup mini-series on Saturday.

Feature winners during the evening were Curtis Towns in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and Jesse Williamson in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods.

The Modified main got off to a thrilling start as Steven Sturdevant and Braedon Hand battled in the opening corner and Kevin Williamson made it a three-wide tussle for first place in turns three and four.  

Hand was first at the line on the opening lap while Towns made a blitzing move to grab second just before a lap two yellow. Towns pursed Hand after the restart with several challenges underneath the leader. As the frontrunners squared off, Paul Rea stayed close behind waiting for his own opportunity.

The caution came out again with nine circuits completed. Hand had have issues shortly after the green flag returned, allowing Towns to take over the top spot and Jake Mayden made a serious bid for the lead after moving up into second.  

A little bit of lapped traffic was hit with 10 to go, but the final caution came out, giving the field an open race track to run on. 

When the green light was turned on again, Williamson made an impressive move around Mayden to get into second. Mayden refused to go away quietly, however, as the two battled hard for the runner-up position.  

Towns dominated the rest of the way to win for his third win of the season at Cottage Grove,  after starting eighth. Mayden was finally able to retake second, with Williamson in third. Aaron Sheelar was fourth, followed by fifth finishing Rea.

Towns would also win the Freedom Cup championship for the first time in his decorated career.

The Northern SportMod main event began with Garrett Craig jetting out to the point. The first stoppage took place with one lap complete, setting things up for a restart, and Bloom Family Racing would occupy the top three spots, with Hunter and Ray Bloom moving into second and third, respectively. 

Hunter Bloom tracked down Craig on lap five to become the new race leader while Williamson tried to navigate into third. The battle was intense, but a yellow on the seventh circuit halted the action.

Williamson was great on the restart and raced into second. Misfortune struck on the 12th circuit when Hunter Bloom got sideways, giving Williamson the top spot.

Williamson was good on the restart, but as the green flag developed, Trevor Points began to reduce the leader’s advantage. Matt Sanders was wonderful, too, when things got back to green when he put his car into third.  

Points did his best to keep things close with Williamson, but despite coming up on the tail end of the field, Williamson was just a tad bit quicker. A caution came out with eight laps remaining, taking lapped traffic out of the equation. Sanders got around Points for second and began to chase down Williamson.

Things got interesting when the final stoppage occurred with a pair of circuits left to cover. After starting the race 14th, Williamson outran Sander on the restart to score his third win of 2024, all at Cottage Grove. 

Sanders was an impressive second, also overtaking 13 cars, with the podium being rounded out by Jordan Henry, who made a successful late charge to third. Jacob Shandy was fourth and Hunter Bloom rallied to end the night fifth.

Sanders was the overall Freedom Cup champion for the second straight year.

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