GAS CITY, Ind., Sept. 11 – Since Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind., and Tyler Kendall of Greenfield, Ind., were the only drivers still in contention for the 2021 Gas City I-69 Speedway non-wing sprint car championship Friday night, it was fitting that they should be the stars of the 25-lap feature. They were the only drivers who led the race, they finished first and second, and at the checkered Kendall had his first Gas City feature victory and Weir had his second track championship.
With a fourth-place feature finish, Bub Roberts of Warren, Ind., sealed up the track’s UMP modified track championship in a 20-lap race won by Todd Sherman of Churubusco, Ind.
Andy Bishop of Gas City made a statement in the street stock feature by leading all 15 laps to defend his 2020 track championship in that division.
James Headley Jr. of Wabash, Ind., had already sewed up the hornet championship, so he advanced to the street stock division Friday night. Kolton Sollars of LaFontaine, Ind., ended up with the 15-lap hornet feature victory while Alexes Spaulding of Roanoke, Ind., finished second for the second week in a row.
The 15-lap American Vintage Sprint Car Association (AVSCA) feature went to Danny Pittman of Evansville, Ind.
Assistant Pastor Christian Kelley of Lakeview Wesleyan Church of Marion, Ind., won the four-lap “Faster Pastor” school bus race by mere inches over Pastor Jason Gatlin of Heartland Church of Sharpsville, Ind. Kelley won $500 for his victory while Gatlin also earned $500 for having the most vocal support of the big crowd on hand.
Non-Wing Sprint Cars
Weir started on the pole and led the first five laps of the sprint car feature in Paul Hazen’s famous No. 57 DRC with a Kercher engine sponsored by Physical Medicine Consultants. Those early laps were slowed twice; once with two laps down when Anthony D’Alessio of Gas City stopped high in Turn 4, and once with four laps down when Matt McDonald of Brownsburg, Ind., and Parker Fredrickson of Kokomo, Ind., flipped in Turn 2. Fredrickson was seventh and McDonald was eighth at the time. Luckily they both walked away.
Kendall, who started fourth, got a good start too and ran in second for the first five laps until he dipped under Weir in Turn 2 for the lead with the Kendall Racing No. 20 DRC with a Tranter Chevy, which is sponsored by Herbert Properties (Connersville, Ind.), Quick Lifts (Indianapolis) and Cors and Bassett, Attorneys at Law (Cincinnati). With no other cautions or reds to slow the pace, Kendall extended his lead to a whopping 5.109 seconds over Weir at the checkered.
“I just hugged the bottom and made sure no one else got by me,” said Weir after earning his second Gas City sprint championship, the first coming in 2013.
Tyler Hewitt of Marion, Ind., started second and finished third. Korbyn Hayslett of Troy, Ohio came from the sixth starting spot to place fourth, while Max Guilford, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, both started and finished fifth.
Sherman made two stabs at taking the lead in the modified feature only to have the yellow come out before he could make the pass. The third time stuck though, as after two yellows with 16 laps down Sherman charged under Dylan Woodling of Warsaw, Ind., on the backstretch and went on to post a 1.017 second victory over him.
Dillon Nusbaum of Columbia City, Ind., both started and finished third.
Roberts turned a ninth-place starting spot into a fourth-place finish enroute to the championship with Jack Roberts’ No. T5X, which is sponsored by Meyer Farms (Huntington, Ind.), and Wesco Farms, Shoemaker Construction and the Wagon Wheel Bar and Grill, all of Warren, Ind. It’s a Rocket by Ruhlman with a Mullins/Hogue-prepped engine.
Bishop, doing double duty, finished fifth.
The feature-winning modified, a Team SE Avenger with a Kreager engine, is owned by its driver and sponsored by Wood Worx (Churubusco), Sherman Enterprises (Albion, Ind.) and Pro Strip (Fort Wayne).
Bishop started on the pole and led all 15 laps of the street stock feature in Sam Thompson’s No. 14, which is a Big Daddy chassis sponsored by Thompson Trucking, R & R Transmission, Chuck’s Sewer and Drain, Shrout’s Auto and Tim Sills Racing Engines.
Second through fourth place finished where they started. That was Ervin Turner of Marion, Ind.; Tyler Bradley, also of Marion, and Jeffery Jessup of Union City, Ind. Lee Hobbs of Mitchell, Ind. had mechanical difficulties with his own No. H0 so he drove the No. 78 of James Headley of Marion, Ind., to a fifth-place finish after starting eleventh.
Sollars also led all 15 laps of the hornet feature in Melissa and Kinnie Sollars’ No. 33 sponsored by Central Waste, Buck Wild MMA and Holt Auto Body. Spaulding started third and came out on top of a spirited battle for second. Eric Solms of Marion, Ind., came from deep in the pack to place third. Eddie Tucker Jr. of Troy, Ohio finished fourth and Tracey Runion of Wilkinson, Ind. was fifth.
Headley Jr.’s championship-winning hornet is sponsored by Dudding Heating and Cooling and Shrout’s Towing .
Pittman was always in contention during the 15-lap AVSCA sprint feature, which was sponsored by AlkyDigger.com, but he didn’t take the lead for good until lap nine when he passed Louis Meyer III of Indianapolis with his No. 01L, which is sponsored by Auto Paint of Henderson.
Patrick Stewart of Jamestown, Ind. and Owen Barr of Columbus, Ind., got around Meyer at the same time and went on to place second and third, respectively. Meyer held on for fourth and Alan Brown of Brownsburg, Ind., finished fifth.
In addition to McDonald and Fredrickson’s flips in the sprint feature, Jaylen Meltzer of New Castle, Ind., flipped in Turn 2 on the second attempt to start the hornet feature. All walked away from their damaged cars under their own power.
Gas City I-69 Speedway is dark on Friday, Sept. 17 but it will host the second annual Gas City Power Pull on Saturday, Sept. 18. Classes in action include light limited pro stocks, two-wheel-drive trucks, 3.0 diesel trucks, hot farm and single-engine modified.
The grandstands will open at 4 p.m. and the pulling starts at 6 p.m. An adult general admission ticket is only $15, while kids 12 and under are free. Admission to the pits, which opens at 3 p.m., is $25.
The following week all the action is on Thursday night when the track presents the fourth annual James Dean Classic. It features the best of Indiana Sprint Week and Indiana Midget Week all in one night, as both the USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars and the USAC NOS Energy Drink national midgets will have full programs on the quarter-mile dirt oval on Thursday, Sept. 23.
A general admission ticket to that doubleheader is $30, with kids 12 and under free. A pit pass costs $35. The pit gate will open at 3 p.m., the grandstands at 5 p.m., and hot laps will be at 6:30 p.m.
The complete 2021 schedule and more information are on the track’s website at GasCityI69Speedway.com. Fans and competitors can also follow it on Twitter: @GasCitySpeedway; Instagram: @GasCitySpeedway and Facebook: GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas.
Gas City I-69 Speedway is located on State Road 22, approximately a half-mile west of I-69, exit 259. The quarter-mile dirt oval is about halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, and attracts drivers and fans from all over the Midwest.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 1 Qualifying: 1. Tyler Kendall, 12.284; 2. Kyle Simon, 12.565; 3. Anthony D’Alessio, 12.622; 4. Paul Dues, 12.899; 5. Jack James, 13.249; 6. David Gross, 14.878.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 2 Qualifying: 1. Zack Pretorius, 12.036; 2. Tyler Hewitt, 12.185; 3. Korbyn Hayslett, 12.199; 4. Aaron Davis, 12.262; 5. Matt McDonald, 12.296; 6. Dustin Ingle, 12.325.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 3 Qualifying: 1. Scotty Weir, 11.823; 2. Tim Creech, 12.189; 3. Parker Fredrickson, 12.189; 4. Max Guilford, 12.367; 5. Ryan Barr, 12.667; 6. Jack Hoyer, NT.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Kendall, 2. Anthony D’Alessio, 3. Kyle Simon, 4. Paul Dues, 5. Jack James, 6. Dave Gross (DNS).
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Hewitt, 2. Korbyn Hayslett, 3. Aaron Davis, 4. Dustin Ingle, 5. Matt McDonald, 6. Zack Pretorius.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Max Guilford, 2. Scotty Weir, 3. Parker Fredrickson, 4. Ryan Barr, 5. Tim Creech, 6. Jack Hoyer.
Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Tyler Kendall (4); 2. Scotty Weir (1); 3. Tyler Hewitt (2); 4. Korbyn Hayslett (6); 5. Max Guilford (5); 6. Kyle Simon (7); 7. Dustin Ingle (11); 8. Aaron Davis (8); 9. Ryan Barr (12); 10. Tim Creech (15); 11. Paul Dues (10); 12. Zack Pretorius (16); 13. Jack James (13); 14. Dave Gross (18); 15. Jack Hoyer (17); 16. Parker Fredrickson (9); 17. Matt McDonald (14); 18. Anthony D’Alessio (3).
Lap leaders: Laps 1-5, Weir; laps 6-25, Kendall.
Margin of victory: 5.109 seconds
Fastest race lap: Weir, 12.818, lap 2
AVSCA Warmups 1: 1. Louis Meyer III, 13.526; 2. Chad Freeman, 13.590; 3. Alan Brown, 14.102; 4. John Tosti, 14.123; 5. David Dennis, 14.495.
AVSCA Warmups 2: 1. Danny Pittman, 14.028; 2. Patrick Stewart, 14.272; 3. Jason Metzinger, 14.528; 4. Bryar Schroeter, 14.886.
AVSCA Sprints Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Louis Meyer III, 2. Danny Pittman, 3. Owen Barr, 4. John Tosti.
AVSCA Sprints Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Chad Freeman, 2. Patrick Stewart, 3. Alan Brown, 4. Jason Metzinger, 5. Bryar Schroeter (DNS).
AVSCA Sprints Feature (15 laps): 1. Danny Pittman (5); 2. Patrick Stewart (6); 3. Owen Barr (3); 4. Louis Meyer III (7); 5. Alan Brown (4); 6. John Tosti (1); 7. Jason Metzinger (2); 8. Chad Freeman (DNS); 9. Bryar Schroeter (DNS).
Margin of victory: 0.772 seconds
Fastest race lap: Pittman, 14.126, lap 2.
Lap leaders: Laps 1-2, Tosti; lap 3, Pittman; laps 4-8, Meyer; laps 9-15, Pittman.