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Demolition derby draws crowds to River City

Dan Smith leads Sportsman Division, Greg Lane has all but sewn up the Mini-Sprints title


Photo Credit: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Mike Crase rounds the first turn in the lead of the Street Stock Division on Saturday.If the races on July 26 are any testament, Bud Russell will fight tooth and nail to hang on and defend his Sportsman Division title against fast-approaching Dan Smith.

Last Saturday, it was a victory for Russell in the dash and the fastest time of the evening at 14:577, but a slick track proved to be tricky in both his heat and the main race, knocking Russell backward and allowing Smith to hold a narrow 25-point lead with five races left before the championships on Sept. 20.

Smith, by contrast, didn't have the best of weekends. He'd been strong over the last several races, leapfrogging Russell in the month of June, and though he won his heat, Smith finished eighth in the main race and remains atop the division standings with 620 points. Russell maintains a close gap with 595, and Dan Fox sits not far behind with 577.

The Sportsman Division's winner on Saturday, Aaron Elwess, sits in 10th place in the points with 441.

The race for the top spot in the 4-Cylinder class is as tight as ever, with only seven points separating leader Crystal Flath and Matt Brown in second place. Adding to the race was a Saturday that saw only one of the top five racers in the point standings actually finish in the top five in the main race.

Chris Gadboury, who is 320 points behind the leaders, won the dash, his heat and the main race, making up for lost time in a hurry. Travis Koch set the fast time and took second in the main, while Doug Pirtle remained as the only top-five car to make any decent ground.

Street Stock continues to be a three-horse, or rather three-car race between Justin McMullen, Cody Smith and Scott McMullen, all of whom are within 41 points in the standings. Justin McMullen set the fast time and took second in the dash behind Scott McMullen, but Smith came away with the big payoff: a first place finish in his heat and a victory in the main race to cement himself with the trio at the top with only a few weeks left.

The Modified Division was a bit of a toss-up as well on Saturday, as the two division leaders finished dead last in the main race. Cody Jones, who tops the division in his No. 62 car with 519 points, set the fast time and took second in the dash at the hands of – guess who – Ron Greer, who is just behind him at 493 points with six weeks to go. Don Schott won both his heat and the main race. Brian Blasier, taking full advantage of the points wreck above him, placed third, helping him to stay within striking distance of the leaders as the season reaches the final stretch.

And let's face it – Greg Lane has turned the Pacific Mini Sprints into a dash for second place. Lane now leads the division by 153 points, ahead of Michael Opoka Sr. and Bret Lane with 553 and 523 points, respectively, after setting the fast time, taking third in the dash, winning his heat and taking second in the main race.

Greg Lane has good reason to be confident. Not only does he hold the track record for the fastest lap, he's also got such a comfortable cushion it will be almost impossible to catch him in the point standings even in the case of a colossal collapse. The winner of the main race is awarded with 100 points, with second place receiving 96 points and so on. Only nine racers have points in the division, meaning that even if all nine should race in every event for the remainder of the season, Lane would have to finish dead last and only Opoka could catch him – on the very last race having won on all five of the previous outings. Even then, Opoka would need to beat Lane handily in the heats and pick up a trophy dash here and there to complete the miracle.

In the Dwarf Division, Scott Dorie can't be quite as relaxed. Only four hardtops entered in the races on July 26, giving a big boost to the back of the tight-knit pack – namely Joe Eaton, Neal Hopwood and Lucas Eaton, all of whom are within 20 points of one another. Both Dorie and rookie Gary Brogan were absent from the action, and currently battle for first and second. Dorie holds an 11-point edge with 501 points, while Brogan's lead on third place is substantial at 111.

The Tracer Division, while it continues to belong to Kylie Dorie, has gotten awfully close. Rookie driver Dillon Mathieu made up solid ground with Dorie not in attendance, jumping to within seven points of the Tracer vet after setting the fast time and winning the main race on a slippery course. Justen Case won the trophy dash and the heat.

The night also featured the first of two destruction derbies this season, switching up the format and having a battle to the death (of cars) directly in front of the main grandstand. Tim Oyler came away with first place, followed by Crystal Flath and Kyle Frelich. The track will host another demo-derby on August 31 as part of the Two Day Race.

Racing will resume on August 2, with time trials beginning at 2:30 p.m. and racing starting at 5 p.m.

River City Speedway Race Results

Sportsman Division

Fast time: 14:577 Bud Russell

Dash: Bud Russell, Ray Elwess, Eric Lindquist, Joel Beehler.

1st heat: Kyle Frelich, Sean Fox, Jordan Robinson, Jeff Titus, Bill Montgomery, Steven Kaptur. 2nd heat: Dan Smith, Brad Beehler, Dan Sheller, Devon Reed, Aaron Elwess, Steven Schreiner. 3rd heat: Eric Lindquist, Ric Fors, Ray Elwess, Bud Russell, Joel Beehler, Dan Fox.

B Main: S. Fox, S. Kaptur, K. Frelich, S. Schreiner, Scott Wells, J. Titus, D. Sheller, J. Robinson.

A Main: A. Elwess, D.Reed, S. Fox, J. Beehler, S. Kaptur, B. Beehler, S. Schreiner, D. Smith, R. Elwess, E. Lindquist, D. Fox, K. Frelich, B. Russell, R. Fors.

4-Cylinder Division

Fast time: 16:598 Travis Koch

Dash: Chris Gaboury Jr., Travis Koch, John Henry, Dale Holland. 1st heat: Chris Tinkess, Jonathan West, TJ Wegner, Travis Wheeler, Crystal Temple, Marty Liesegang. 2nd heat: John Oyler, Crystal Flath, Doug Pirtle, Tiffany Berg, Angela Ezell, Matt Brown. 3rd heat: Chris Gaboury Jr., John Henry, Corrine Flath, Travis Koch, Dale Holland. Main: C. Gaboury Jr., T. Koch, J. Oyler, D. Holland, J. Henry, D. Pirtle, C. Flath, Crystal Flath, A. Ezell, M. Liesegang, J. West, T. Wegner, T. Berg, T. Wheeler, C. Temple, M. Brown, C. Tinkess.

Street Stock Division

Fast time: 16:167 Justin McMullen

Dash: Scott McMullen, Justin McMullen, Ryan White, Cody Smith. 1st heat: Mike Crase, Tim Jenner, Gene Potter, Robert Ezell, Roy Giroux, Gary Kordosky, Ron Dodge, Greg Brumbaugh. 2nd heat: Cody Smith, Scott McMullen, Curtis Zelmer, Justin McMullen, Jeromy Bowmer, Ryan White, Will Temple. Main: C. Smith, S. McMullen, R. Dodge, R. White, R. Giroux, J. Bowmer, C. Zelmer, M. Crase, G. Brumbaugh, T. Jenner, J. McMullen, G. Potter, W. Temple, R. Ezell, G. Kordosky.

Modified Division

Fast time: 14:533 Cody Jones

Dash: Ron Greer, Cody Jones, Brian Blasier, Curtis Zelmer. 1st heat: Don Schott, Ron Greer, Curtis Zelmer, Brian Blasier, Cody Jones, T.J. Richman, Mike Graham. Main: D. Schott, M. Graham, B. Blasier, T.J. Richman, C. Zelmer, C. Jones, R. Greer.

Pacific Mini Sprints

Fast time: 13:264 Greg Lane

Dash: Mike Opoka Sr., Bret Lane, Greg Lane, Mike Opoka Jr. Heat: Greg Lane, Bret Lane, Keith Everson, Mike Opoka Sr., Mike Opoka Jr., Nathan Slape. Main: Bret Lane, Greg Lane, Keith Everson, Mike Opoka Sr., Nathan Slape, Mike Opoka Jr.

Dwarf Cars

Fast time: 14:047 Neal Hopwood

Dash: Lucas Eaton, Neal Hopwood, Joe Eaton, Curtis Zelmer. Heat: Lucas Eaton, Joe Eaton, Curtis Zelmer, Neal Hopwood. Main: Lucas Eaton, Joe Eaton, Neal Hopwood, Curtis Zelmer.

Tracer Division

Fast time: 17:596 Dillon Mathieu

Dash: Justen Case, Josh Sheller, Dillon Mathieu. Heat: Justen Case, Josh Sheller, Wyatt Kaptur, Dillon Mathieu. Main: D. Mathieu, W. Kaptur, J. Sheller, J. Case.

WRS Lites

Fast time: 13:709 Ron Brewster

Dash: Ron Brewster, Jason Wesolowski, Randy Hansen, Mitchell Geyer. Heat: Ron Brewster, Jason Wesolowski, Randy Hansen, Mitchell Geyer, Dave Wesolowski. Main: J. Wesolowski, M. Geyer, R. Hansen, D. Wesolowski, R. Brewster.

Destruction Derby—1st Tim Oyler, 2nd Crystal Flath, 3rd Kyle Frelich.