Photo by Tamie Thurn
Rodger Morash (center) in victory lane after leading the 'Dash for Cash.'
Ronnie Wallace, Rodger Morash, Anthony Martin and Jose Sabala got the season started on the right foot at Lincoln County Raceway Saturday during Bob Spady Buick-GMC in North Platte.
Working his way through the field from his third row starting position in the IMCA Modified Feature was Ronnie Wallace of McCook.
Wallace had his work cut out for him as Zach Schultz of North Platte was the early leader as he found the groove and was running strong past the midway point of the race until he was pressured by the former track champion duo of Wallace and heat race winner Charley Brown of Maxwell. With less than five laps remaining, Wallace and Brown battled for the lead with neither backing down from the challenge.
As a result of a caution flag flying, Wallace was able to hold an edge at the front of the field, where he held his ground on the restarts during the waning laps, from the challengers Cole Hodges of Ogallala, Nebraska and Bubba Alvarado of Kersey, Colorado who finished second and third overall when the checkered flags were waved. Rounding out the top five were Andrew Dillenburg of North Platte and Brady wheelman Dave Pedersen. Josh Sabin of North Platte won the first Modified heat race of the night.
Taking advantage of the situation presented to him was Ronnie Wallace as he claimed his second Feature win of the night, this one coming in the IMCA Stock Car division.
Wallace started the contest in the fourth row, and for all but the last two laps his chances at winning looked slim, as heat race winner Mikey Dancer of North Platte was on cue, hitting all his marks on the tacky track. Dancer paced the field and during long green flag runs was enjoying the clean air as he pulled away from the field. Dancer wishes the race were a couple laps shorter as he led all but the final two circuits. Dancer had mechanical issues and would retire to the pits, but soon return to the oval to challenge, but from further back in the field. While Dancer relinquished the lead, the battle for the lead was the same two drivers that had been exchanging positions in the battle for second place, of Wallace and heat race winner Casey Werkmeister of Maywood.
Driving hard until the final flag, Wallace was able to sneak under Werkmeister in corner two, and hold his position until the end and picked up the Feature win. Werkmeister powered through the final laps to hold second place.
On Werkmeister’s back bumper was his brother Kyle Werkmeister of Maywood in third as he held off the hard charging #63 stock car piloted by Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa that finished fourth overall.
Rounding out the top five with a late charge during the waning laps was Jeff Whiting of Gothenburg.
North Platte's very own Rodger Morash had a stellar night on the oval as he picked up both the Northern Sport Mod Feature and the Dash for Cash.
Morash started on the pole of the Feature and was able to hold his position throughout the caution flags scattered throughout the 20-lap feature. Morash never trailed, leading from start to finish.
In a close-knit battle for second place during the final laps was Bryan Herrick of Curtis and Shane Stout of North Platte. Getting the nod for the runner-up honors was the ‘Rubber Duck’ driven by Herrick, with heat race winner Shane Stout finishing in the show position.
Rounding out the top five in the Northern Sport Mod Feature was Robby Kosmacek of North Platte and Valentine's Gary Long.
Winning the opening heat race of the night in the sport mod division was Corey Cruzan of North Platte.
Hitting on all cylinders and sweeping the top honors and earning the checkered accolades in the IMCA Hobby Stock division was Anthony Martin of Wilcox.
Martin worked through the traffic from his back row start position. He took a commanding lead and worked his magic through lap traffic to claim the Feature win, following up on his win in the Hobby Stock heat race.
Doing his best to reel in Martin in the Feature was Austin Davis of Benkelman. Davis was heavy on the loud pedal during the final five laps, in hopes of catching Martin, but it wasn’t to be as Davis laid claim to the runner-up honors.
Battling for third and fourth in the feature event were Chuck Ledbetter of Loomis and Rick Eller of North Platte. The two drivers see-sawed in the early going, until Ledbetter found a favorable groove and was able to hold the third position until the end. Eller finished fourth overall.
Starting in the back of the pack, North Platte’s Scott Gibson worked his way into the top five in the Hobby Stock division.
In their first appearance at Lincoln County Raceway, the IMCA Sport Compacts put on a dazzling display during their Feature and heat race, with North Platte’s Jose Sabala sweeping the checkered flags in both events.
Finishing second to Sabala in both the Feature and heat race was Les Brogdon of North Platte.
Lincoln County Raceway will host a second night of racing action Saturday, May 12. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the green flag will drop at 7 p.m.
Feature: 1. 3RW-Ronnie Wallace; 2. 34JW-Cole Hodges; 3. WW2-Bubba Alvarado; 4. 71-Andrew Dillenburg; 5. 4P-Dave Pedersen; 6. 4C-Charley Brown; 7. 23S-Josh Sabin; 8. 55Z-Zach Schultz; 9. 4KJ-Terry Houchin; 10. 98-Ryan Reinsvold; 11. 14-Jason Gallentine.
Heat 1: 23S-Josh Sabin; 2. 3RW-Ronnie Wallace; 3. 34JW-Cole Hodges; 4. 55Z-Zach Schultz; 5. 71-Andrew Dillenburg; 6. 98-Ryan Reinsvold.
Heat 2: 1. 4C-Charley Brown; 2. 4KJ-Terry Houchin; 3. 14-Jason Gallentine; 4. WW2-Bubba Alvarado; 5. 4P-Dave Pedersen.
Feature: 1. 3RW-Ronnie Wallace; 2. 24W-Casey Werkmeister; 3. 42W-Kyle Werkmeister; 4. 63-Mike Nichols; 5. 16W-Jeff Whiting; 6. 35JW-Casey Woken; 7. 75-Dan Eller; 8. 09H-Bob Hoing; 9. 51B-Brett Gartrell; 10. 6-Dallas Whiting; 11. 45-Mikey Dancer; 12. 31-Darin Racek; 13. 4C-Charley Brown; 14. 46-Scotty White.
Heat 1: 45- Mikey Dancer; 2. 42W-Kyle Werkmeister; 3. 4C-Charley Brown; 4. 16W-Jeff Whiting; 5. 35JW-Casey Woken; 6. 46-Scotty White; 7. 6-Dallas Whiting; 8. 31-Darin Racek.
Heat 2: 24W-Casey Werkmeister; 2. 63-Mike Nichols; 3. 3RW-Ronnie Wallace; 4. 09H-Bob Hoing; 5. 75-Dan Eller; 6. 51B-Brett Gartrell; 7. 4K-Kent Lower.
Northern Sport Mods
Feature: 1. 17-Rodger Morash; 2. 0-Bryan Herrick; 3. 5S-Shane Stout; 4. 15KOS-Robby Kosmacek; 5. 3-Gary Long; 6. 87F-Donnie Fair; 7. 8C-Corey Cruzan; 8. 8T-Ty Rogers; 9. 34-Matt Caudillo; 10. 11H-Henry Henderson; 11. 12J-Russ Jones; 12. 55D-Dillon Schultz.
Heat 1: 8C-Corey Cruzan; 2. 17-Rodger Morash; 3. 15KOS-Robby Kosmacek; 4. 11H-Henry Henderson; 5. 87F-Donnie Fair; 6. 55D-Dillon Schultz; 7. 12J-Russ Jones.
Heat 2: 1. 5S-Shane Stout; 2. 0-Bryan Herrick; 3. 8T-Ty Rogers; 4. 34-Matt Caudillo; 5. 3-Gary Long; 6. 58X-Jerry Cox.
Feature: 1. 9A-Anthony Martin; 2. 22-Austin Davis; 3. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 4. 65-Rick Eller; 5. 7S-Scott Gibson; 6. 22W-Brady Weinman.
Heat: 1. 9A-Anthony Martin; 2. 22W-Brady Weinman; 3. 22-Austin Davis; 4. 65-Rick Eller; 5. 5-Chuck Ledbetter; 6. 7S-Scott Gibson.
Feature: 1. 40J-Jose Sabala; 2. 20-Les Brogdon.
Heat: 1. 40J-Jose Sabala; 2. 20-Les Brogdon.