From Randy Worrell
ORRVILLE, Ohio (April 23, 2022) – A perfect opening day turned out to be a perfect ending as well for sprint car ace Cody Bova.
After knocking on the door to his first career 410 sprint car victory, the 28-year-old broke through on Saturday night by capturing the 25-lap Pine Tree Towing and Recovery sprint car main event to highlight the thrice-delayed season opener at the O’Reilly Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway near Orrville.
West Virginia native Zack Milbee scored an impressive victory in the Mountaineer state-based Steel Block Super Late Model series feature, with Brandon Morrow picking up an equally rousing win in the McKenzie Concrete super stock main event, while Colton Shaw and Doug Hensel thrilled the overflow crowd with dramatic triumphs in the McKenzie Super Stock and JoyRide Transportation Mini Stock, respectively, season openers.
After coming up just short in his bid for victory during the 2021 season, including a heartbreaking late-race setback at WCS, Bova made the most of his opportunity on Saturday. The Struthers, Ohio native grabbed the top spot from Brandon Spithaler on lap six and never looked back in fending off a hard-charging Chris Myers at the stripe in earning his inaugural visit to victory lane in his Bova Excavating No. 20.
“We’ve been fast here before, and even thought we had one locked up last year, but l just concentrated on hitting my marks and not making any mistakes in lapped traffic tonight,” Bova said. “The track surface was just awesome, and to come in here and beat this caliber of cars feels great. We were thinking of splitting our time this season between here (and Mercer Speedway in western Pa.), but this may change our plans.”
The action behind Bova, however, was fast and furious as former motocross star Zach Ames, Spithaler, Jordan Ryan, Broc Martin, Myers, and Fremont Speedway regular Zeth Sabo were on the move.
Mechanical woes, though, eventually sent Martin and Ryan pitside while running inside the top four, as Myers chipped away at Bova’s advantage. Myers closed to the back bumper of Bova on numerous occasions in the closing stages, but settled for second, ahead of Spithaler, ninth-starting Sabo, sixth row starter Henry Malcuit, 17th-starting Leyton Wagner, Ames, former track champion Danny Mumaw from the tail, Andrew Palker in his first ride in the McClure Motorsports No. 9, and Jason Dolick.
Next week WCS will host an all-open wheel spectacular, with the traveling 360 cubic inch Great Lakes Super Sprint-NRA Sprint Invaders tour joined by the 410 sprints and modifieds.