Ed Dixon roars to U.M.P. Late Model victory; Ray Walsh take U.M.P. Modifieds. Pevely, MO (April 5, 2003) Cold weather settled into I-55 Raceway as the temperatures dropped into the upper 30's, but a fast, smooth racetrack heated things up...
Ed Dixon roars to U.M.P. Late Model victory; Ray Walsh take U.M.P. Modifieds.
Pevely, MO (April 5, 2003) Cold weather settled into I-55 Raceway as the temperatures dropped into the upper 30's, but a fast, smooth racetrack heated things up quickly. In the U.M.P. Late Model division, Ed Dixon started the 2003 season with a strong showing. Dixon took the lead at the start from the outside front row and never looked back. Kevin Gundaker challenged Dixon early on for the lead, but Dixon was too strong and pulled ahead to a comfortable lead. After several early cautions for single cars spins, Dixon would open up a sizeable lead. Meanwhile, Mark Oller was on the move from his sixteenth starting position and as the laps were winding down, Oller took second place from Gundaker. Oller was able to pull along side Dixon for the lead on several occasions, but Dixon pulled back ahead each time. The final caution came on lap twenty-three for a hard crash involving Steve Shive and Dewayne Kiefer. Both drivers were alright, but each of their cars suffered major damage. On the final restart, Oller tried to move past Dixon on the low side, but Dixon powered ahead using the cushion to his advantage. Dixon went on to victory with Oller second, Gundaker third, Tim Ratajczyk fourth and Dave Jumper fifth.
Thirty-six U.M.P. Modifieds were on hand to do battle. Once again the modifieds kept the fans on the edge of their seats with fast side by side action. Ray Walsh and Scott Weber battled all twenty laps for the lead with Bobby Bittle occasionally mounting a challenge for the lead as well. But it was Walsh claiming the victory with Weber a close second and Bittle third. Tom Ratajczyk moved up from deep in the field to claim fourth. Brian Worley made a late race charge and picked up many positions in the final few laps to finish fifth.
The AARA Sportsman division provided the closest finish of the evening. Scott Stuppy only the lead the race for the final 100 yards and won by a half car length over Ricky Horton. Horton led the first fourteen laps with Stuppy close behind the entire time. Coming into turn three on the final lap, a lapped car provided Stuppy the opportunity he needed. The three cars went into turn three side by side and the two leaders made contact with each other. They both gathered things back together and raced out of turn four side by side with Stuppy edging Horton at the line. Mark Blanke finished third, Paul Bauman fourth and David Bardin rounded out the top five.