MEDARYVILLE | Give Nick Allen a front row, a clear track and a starting spot, and the Wheatfield racer usually comes home the winner.
That’s exactly what happened Saturday night at the Shadyhill Speedway as Allen, a six-time track champion, scored the victory in the 20-lap feature race for DIRTcar United Midwestern Promoters modified stock cars. Lining up on the outside of the front row of the 23-car starting field, Allen charged into the lead and never looked back, slowed only by two yellow flag caution periods that interrupted his run to the checkered flag at the quarter-mile dirt track.
Devin Wright of Rensselaer finished second and challenged Allen briefly for the top spot after racing resumed on lap 15 after the race’s first caution flag. Francesville’s Lynn Johns came home third, followed by veteran Bill Davis of Chesterton, DeMotte’s Brad DeYoung and Richie Dawson of St. John. It was Allen’s fourth win of the season at Shadyhill and his 13th this year in modified action.
“The track was definitely fast after all the water they put on it,” Allen said. “It was pretty rough on the bottom (groove), but if you could stay up out of the holes, it was pretty much hammer down.
“There was some thick traffic. They were running two-wide with packs of six and seven (cars) running in front of me. It was definitely getting a little hairy trying to get through. It wasn’t helping with the track being so muddy.”
Wright, who started on the inside of the front row alongside Allen, put some pressure on Allen for the top spot after a restart with 14 laps complete.
“I saw him (Wright) under me and I jumped back up to the high side (groove),” Allen said. "He was getting a good run underneath me after the yellow. I moved down a lane and was kind of running the middle, right above the holes, and I never seen him after that.”
Missing from the winner’s circle for more than four years, Chris Fortner of Cayuga was the winner of the I-Mod division feature, which was ruled complete after 17 laps because of 10 yellow-flag incidents that slowed the racing. Fortner bested veteran Mike Kingma of Lowell, who took the lead away from Fortner only to see a yellow flag erase his effort.
Ron Wilkes of Lowell, in his vintage-looking Camaro, captured the 20-lap headliner for UMP Stock Cars. The hard-fought battle saw Travis Wolford of Winamac finish second, followed by David Hurst of Chalmers and Earl Park’s Jerrad Krick.
Brian Clemans extended his feature race win streak to seven as the Monticello driver wheeled his Olds Cutlass to victory in the 15-lap Pure Streets division main event. Clemans finished ahead of Kerry Robbins and T.J. Larson. Jim Henson was originally scored third, but a post-race inspection found Henson’s car failing the technical review.
Harley Sutton, a 16-year-old Hobart High School student, claimed her first feature win, winning the 15-lap main event for young Teen 4s competitors. Sutton and her fast 4-cylnder Dodge Neon defeated division points leader Joey Iliff of Rensselaer. Bobby Glenn flipped his car during the first heat race, but escaped injury.