SCHERERVILLE | Mark Ross Jr. put his name in the record books Saturday night at Illiana Motor Speedway as the 23-year-old Highland resident captured the 30-lap Schepel Buick GMC Super Late Model stock car feature race.
Scoring his first-ever Super Late Model main event win, Ross kept his Chevrolet Impala SS out front for all 30 circuits around the half-mile paved oval, taking the checkered flag with a 0.195-second margin over Anthony Danta. Fastest qualifier Jeff Cannon of Kouts was third, followed by Dyer’s Jack Kalwasinski and veteran John Nutley.
Starting on the outside of the front row of the 17-car feature field, Ross got the jump on fellow front row starter Danny Darnell and led the first lap with Kalwasinski and Danta in pursuit. Lap after lap, Ross set the pace with Danta moving to second on lap 11 and applying the pressure to the leader. Cannon, a three-time Illiana track champion, who started 10th, worked his way through the pack and was fourth by lap 22.
A yellow flag with three laps to go slowed the pace and set up a three-lap “dash” to the finish. When the green flag reappeared, Ross held on to the lead with Cannon worked his way to a third place finish.
“I had a good starting spot,” Ross said. “I thought I could run away with it for a little while. I knew them guys behind me would be coming up quick. The car was good so I was able to hold them off.”
The car Ross wheeled to the win is a former Jeff Cannon-driven machine, which Cannon helped Ross prepare for the new racing season. Ross had raced Super Late Models in 2011, but sat out the 2012 season.
“I couldn’t have done it without him (Cannon),” Ross said. “He helps me with the setup and tells me what I need to do. He pretty much tells me everything about racing that I don’t know. I wouldn’t be here without him and the rest of my crew and family.”
Thornton driver Eddie Wolf won the 25-lap Turbo Stox feature race on Illiana’s quarter-mile oval. Driving his newly-built Monte Carlo, Wolf, a former two-time division champion, got by Lowell’s Bobbie Jean Wall on lap three and sailed to the checkered flag with Wall running a close second and five-time Turbo Stox champion Bill Serviss finishing third.
Chris King of Kouts was the winner of the Legends feature. Another quarter-mile event, the 20 lapper saw King, a two-time Legends titlist, defeat last week’s feature winner Garrett Harris. Ryan Lagestee of Lansing won the 15-lap Pure Stock feature chase, besting Ricky Wilson and Melissa Wilson. Stan Zolodz IV of Hebron won the six-lap Bandoleros feature.
Shadyhill Speedway: The Medaryville quarter-mile dirt oval opened on Saturday night with six-time track champion Nick Allen of Wheatfield winning the 20-lap main event for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds. Jerrad Krick of Earl Park was the winner of the UMP Stock Cars feature with Bob Fortner claiming the I Mods division headliner. Jason Atkinson captured the Pure Streets division feature and Skylar Antonelli took home honors in the Teen 4s main event.