I-55 Raceway AARA race summary 2002-08-07

Scott Weber takes I-55 Modified Special, Belken gets Sportsman win! Pevely, MO (August 7, 2002) Scott Weber of Festus, MO won the UMP Modified blowout held at I-55 Raceway. A large field of sixty-five UMP Modifieds turned out for this event....

Scott Weber takes I-55 Modified Special, Belken gets Sportsman win!

Pevely, MO (August 7, 2002) Scott Weber of Festus, MO won the UMP Modified blowout held at I-55 Raceway. A large field of sixty-five UMP Modifieds turned out for this event. There were seven qualifying heats and three semi features run to set the twenty-four car-starting field.

In the first qualifying heat, Jerry Grither brought home the win over Jim Shereck and Leroy Haney. The second heat went to Bobby Bittle with Brian Worley and John Campbell taking the other two transfer spots. The third heat was won by Jeff Leka over NASCAR star Ken Schrader and Tom Ratajczyk. The fourth heat went to the current I-55 Raceway point leader Scott Weber over Rusty Griffaw and Brent Mullins. Rich Whaley won the fifth heat over Brandon Maxwell and Brent Thompson. Brian Collins grabbed the sixth heat by besting Brian Wolfmeier and Matt Mevert. Jeff Lebaube took the seventh and final heat victory over Ray Walsh and Dean Hoffman.

All the qualifying heat winners went to the dash to determine the first seven spots in the feature. Rear-end problems on the first lap eliminated Jerry Grither and Jeff Leka from the dash. After the restart, Scott Weber held off a hard charging Jeff Lebaube to claim the victory. Bobby Bittle was third and Rich Whaley fourth.

The pressure was on in the three semi features, as only the winner of each one would transfer to the main event. In the first semi, Eric Mabery worked his way past early leader Steve Picou to pick up the win. Wes O'Dell was third, Tim Burdel fourth and David Cann fifth. In the second semi, John Seets pulled away to an easy win as three cars battled each other the entire race for second. Chris Soutiea edged out Bobby Martintoni to take second, Gary Archambault was fourth and Mark Ford fifth. The final semi went to NASCAR Craftsman Truck driver Carl Edwards. Edwards made a last lap pass on the engine builder for his NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Darrell Hoffman to pick up the win. Billy Smith, who led the early laps of this event finished third, Kyle Steffens was fourth and Matt Simpson fifth.

As the green flag dropped on the twenty-five lap main event, Scott Weber took off from his pole position and began to pull away while a huge battle raged for second. Six cars battled three wide for second during most of the early laps. Rich Whaley, Jeff Leka and Jerry Grither made lap after lap running side-by-side. The race appeared to be on it's way to running green to checkered without a caution, but on lap seventeen, a caution flew for John Seets. With the field now closed back up on leader Scott Weber, Jeff Leka made the most of the opportunity on the restart. As the green flag was again waiving, Scott Weber continued to use the bottom of the track as Jeff Leka went to the top. The two raced side-by-side for the final eight laps, exchanging the lead every lap. Scott Weber took the win by a half-car length to claim the $2000 first place prize. Rich Whaley took third, Ken Schrader moved up from his tenth starting spot to finish fourth and Bobby Bittle was fifth.

In the AARA Sportsman division, Paul Belken continued his winning ways. Scott Stuppy took the early lead in the feature using the middle of the track. Belken worked his way around Stuppy on lap seven and appeared to be on his way to an easy win. A caution with five laps to go bunched up the field and Ricky Horton made a move on the low side and nearly wrestled the lead from Belken. Horton was able to keep the pressure on Belken to the end, but Belken brought home yet another win at I-55. Horton was second, Stuppy third, Danny Haynes fourth and Paul Bauman fifth.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Ken Schrader , Bobby Martin , Kyle Steffens