MEDARYVILLE | Taking advantage of a competitor's slipup, Jacob Poel of Spring Lake, Mich., won the 13th annual Firecracker 50 for DIRTcar United Midwestern Promoters modified stock cars Thursday night at Shadyhill Speedway.
Chasing six-time track champion Nick Allen of Wheatfield during the early laps on the quarter-mile dirt track, the 26-year-old Poel saw Allen race hard into turn one after a restart on lap 12. Allen grazed the wall and opened the door for Poel to take the lead.
“He (Allen) has a lot of laps at this track. He’s one of the locals,” Poel said. “I figured I would follow him a bit and see what line he was running. He was real fast when he was out front. The top (groove) started going away, so I figured I would jump to the bottom and make something happen.”
Things began to heat up during the final 10 laps as Poel maintained the top spot with Allen hanging on to second. Valparaiso’s Frank Marshall, Nick Hoffman of Mooresville, N.C., and Star City’s Jesse Bitterling jockeyed for position. Lap 45 saw Hoffman get into Marshall, causing a multicar melee.
Poel claimed the checkered flag over Hoffman in the $3,000-to-win race. Poel won for the 13th time this season in modified stock car competition in five states.
Rounding out the top six were Allen, Bitterling, Russ Gabbert and Jordan Danford of Francesville.
More than 50 entries were on hand for seven 10-lap heat races that set up starting feature field of 22. Heat race winners included Poel, Allen, Bitterling, Marshall, Danford, Brad DeYoung and Danny Schwartz.
Josh Hesson of Rensselaer was the winner of the 20-lap B feature for drivers that didn't make the starting lineup for the 50-lap main event.
Other feature winners were Jerrad Krick (UMP Stock Cars), Brad DeYoung (I-Mods), Brian Clemans (Pure Streets) and Joey Iliff (Teen 4s).