By Linda Mansfield
GAS CITY, Ind., Sept. 3 — Gas City I-69 Speedway got the Labor Day weekend off to a roaring start Friday with a four-division show that saw Tye Mihocko of Peoria, Ariz., post his second 25-lap non-wing sprint car feature victory of the year at the Grant County quarter-mile oval.
Colin Grissom of Anderson, Ind., started second in the sprint car feature and passed polesitter Travis Hery of Hilliard, Ohio with a move to the outside in Turn 2 on the first lap to nab the early lead.
A little further back Jack Hoyer of Frankfort, Ind., was going like gangbusters. He started ninth, but was sixth on lap one, fifth on lap two, fourth on lap three and third on lap five. On lap six he passed both Grissom and Mihocko, who had started third, to vault from third to the lead.
By lap 10 Hoyer had a 2.098-second advantage over the field.
Grissom and Mihocko were duking it out for second at that point, while Colten Cottle of Kansas, Ill. was fourth and defending track champion Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind. was running fifth.
Cottle got third on lap 11 but Mihocko took the spot back on lap 13, and then Mihocko charged into second by passing Grissom to the outside in Turn 4 on lap 16.
With all that dueling for positions behind him, Hoyer enjoyed a 2.130-second lead on lap 21 when the race’s only yellow waved after a car got off the track in Turns 1 and 2 but somehow kept going.
That set up a four-lap dash to the finish and allowed Mihocko to close right up behind Hoyer. Hoyer held him off initially, but Mihocko got by at the start/finish line on lap 23 and went on to post a 0.746-second victory over Hoyer.
Anton Hernandez of West Lafayette, Ind. started fifth but dropped as far back as ninth on lap five before rebounding to finish third. Cottle placed fourth and Weir rounded out the top five. Grissom finished sixth and could take heart in the fact that he set the fastest lap of the race. Kyle Shipley of Lebanon, Ind., was seventh. Scott Hampton of Greenfield, Ind. celebrated his wedding anniversary by finishing eighth followed by Brandon Spencer of Nashville, Ind. and Hery.
Mihocko drove Jamie and Michelle Paul’s DRC Foxco sponsored by High Asspirations Farms, Rumpke and Olde Schoolhouse Winery.
USAC SpeeD2 Midwest Thunder Midgets
Massingill started on the pole in the feature for the USAC SpeeD2 Midwest Thunder midget series, which is sponsored by Performance Electronics, but he had to take a back seat to Michael Magic of Winder, Ga. and Zach Wigal of Belpre, Ohio in the early going of that 20-lapper.
Magic, who won a similar race here on Aug. 12, started second but passed Massingill for the initial lead with a move to the outside at the start/finish line on lap one. Magic survived a restart with three laps down after Tom Fedorczyk of Warren, Mich. slipped over the cushion in Turn 4 to bring out the first of four yellows, but Wigal, who started third, passed him for the lead on lap six right before the second yellow. That one was necessary after Josh Yenser of Plain City, Ohio stopped in the middle of Turn 4.
Magic got by Wigal to retake the lead on lap seven in the same spot he had passed Massingill earlier. That didn’t set well with Wigal, who passed Magic back on lap nine to regain the lead. Wigal had a 0.639-second lead over Magic with Massingill in third when the third yellow waved with 11 laps down after Carl Peterson of Waterford, Wis. stopped on the backstretch.
Massingill dipped under Magic in Turn 4 for second place following that restart to take second on lap 12. At that point Wigal’s night went from great to not so great, as he spun in Turn 2 while leading to bring out the last yellow.
That gave Massingill the lead and the 17-year-old driver stayed in front the rest of the way. Jakeb Boxell of Zanesville, Ind., who started fifth, was always close and he moved into third due to Wigal’s misfortune. Boxell passed Magic for second on lap 15 and went on to finish second, taking the checkered flag 0.667 of a second after Massingill did.
Magic finished third. Chris Dickey of Westfield, Ind. turned a seventh-place starting spot into a fourth-place finish, while point leader Stratton Briggs of Anna, Ohio rounded out the top five.
Wigal ended up 12th.
Massingill’s midget is a Boss chassis with a Mike Wallace-prepped engine. It is sponsored by Carbrite, Double Jay Construction and Sroufe’s Painting of Troy, Ohio.
Only three nights of racing remain on Gas City’s 2022 schedule, and they’re all big shows.
The nation’s eyes will be on the track on Thursday, Sept. 22 for the James Dean Classic featuring both USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars and USAC NOS Energy Drink national midgets in one blockbuster program.
The fourth annual Gas City Fall Festival of Speed will close the season on Friday and Saturday nights, Oct. 21-22.
On Friday, Oct. 21 non-wing 410 sprint cars, IRA Wisconsin wingless sprints, USAC SpeeD2 Midget Thunder midgets and non-wing micro-sprints will provide plenty of action.
The following day non-wing sprint cars, IRA Wisconsin wingless sprint cars, modifieds, street stocks and hornets will be featured for the season finale.
For more information see the track’s social media outlets, as the track’s website is undergoing some changes. It is on Facebook (GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas) and Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway).
Non-Wing Sprint Group 1 Qualifying: 1. Anton Hernandez, 11.919; 2. Ryan Barr, 12.206; 3. Colin Grissom, 12.206; 4. Scott Hampton, 12.216; 5. Kyle Shipley, 12.242; 6. Brayden Clark, 12.315; 7. Tom Davies, 15.487.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 2 Qualifying: 1. Colten Cottle, 11.860; 2. Matt Goodnight, 12.099; 3. Evan Mosley, 12.133; 4. Travis Hery, 12.144; 5. Zack Pretorius, 12.187; 6. Brady Click, 13.178.
Non-Wing Sprint Group 3 Qualifying: 1. Jack Hoyer, 11.875; 2. Scotty Weir, 11.935; 3. Brandon Spencer, 12.027; 4. Tye Mihocko, 12.181; 5. Dustin Ingle, 12.295; 6. Levi Winget, 14.233.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Anton Hernandez, 2. Colin Grissom, 3. Scott Hampton, 4. Kyle Shipley, 5. Ryan Barr, 6. Brayden Clark, 7. Tom Davies.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Colten Cottle, 2. Travis Hery, 3. Matt Goodnight, 4. Evan Mosley, 5. Zack Pretorious, 6. Brady Click.
Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Tye Mihocko, 2. Scotty Weir, 3. Jack Hoyer, 4. Brandon Spencer, 5. Dustin Ingle, 6. Levi Winget.
Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Tye Mihocko (3); 2. Jack Hoyer (9); 3. Anton Hernandez (5); 4. Colten Cottle (4); 5. Scotty Weir (6); 6. Colin Grissom (2); 7. Kyle Shipley (10); 8. Scott Hampton (7); 9. Brandon Spencer (12); 10. Travis Hery (1); 11. Dustin Ingle (15); 12. Matt Goodnight (8); 13. Zack Pretorius (14); 14. Brayden Clark (16); 15. Ryan Barr (13); 16. Brady Click (17); 17. Evan Mosley (11); 18. Levi Winget (18); 19. Tom Davies (19).
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-5, Grissom; laps 6-22, Hoyer; laps 23-25, Mihocko.
Margin of Victory: 0.746 seconds.
Fastest Race Lap: Grissom, 12.438 seconds, lap 2.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Qualifying Session 1: 1. Jakeb Boxell, 12.869; 2. Wes Pinkerton, 12.976; 3. Bryce Massingill, 12.999; 4. Ian Creager, 13.070; 5. Bill Dunham, 13.505; 6. Page Perrine, 13.509; 7. Jim Jones, 13.858.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Qualifying Session 2: 1. Zach Wigal, 12.996; 2. Michael Magic, 13.202; 3. Matt Lux, 13.311; 4. Josh Yenser, 13.372; 5. Carl Peterson, 13.510; 6. Luke Lemons, 13.666; 7. Tommy Kouns, 13.764; 8. Cody Dye, 13.901.
USAC SpeeD2 Midget Qualifying Session 3: 1. Stratton Briggs, 12.802; 2. Gunnar Lucius, 13.063; 3. Cory Guingrich, 13.321; 4. Tom Fedorczyk, 13.665; 5. Tyler Watkins, 13.771; 6. Bryce Dues, 14.279; 7. Mark Nieft Jr., 14.430.
Performance Electronics USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Bryce Massingill, 2. Jakeb Boxell, 3. Chris Dickey, 4. Wes Pinkerton, 5. Ian Creager, 6. Bill Dunham, 7. Jim Jones, 8. Page Perrine.
Brewhouse Drive-Thru USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Michael Magic, 2. Zach Wigal, 3. Matt Lux, 4. Josh Yenser, 5. Carl Peterson, 6. Luke Lemons, 7. Tommy Kouns, 8. Cody Dye.
K & M Tool & Die USAC SpeeD2 Midget Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Stratton Briggs, 2. Cory Guingrich, 3. Gunnar Lucius, 4. Tom Fedorczyk, 5. Mark Nief Jr., 6. Tyler Watkins, 7. Bryce Dues.
USAC SpeeD2 Midwest Thunder Midget Feature (20 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Bryce Massingill (1); 2. Jakeb Boxell (5); 3. Michael Magic (2); 4. Chris Dickey (7); 5. Stratton Briggs (4); 6. Matt Lux (8); 7. Wes Pinkerton (10); 8. Ian Creager (13); 9. Cory Guingrich (6); 10. Gunnar Lucius (9); 11. Cody Dye (23); 12. Zach Wigal (3); 13. Josh Yenser (11); 14. Bill Dunham (16); 15. Mark Nieft Jr. (15); 16. Jim Jones (19); 17. Carl Peterson (14); 18. Tom Fedorczyk (12); 19. Page Perrine (22); 20. Luke Lemons (17); 21. Tommy Kouns (20); 22. Bryce Dues (21); 23. Tyler Watkins (18).
Lap Leaders: Laps 1-5, Magic; lap 6, Wigal; laps 7-8, Magic; laps 9-12, Wigal; laps 13-20, Massingill.
Margin of Victory: 0.667 seconds.
Fastest Race Lap: Wigal, 13.231, lap 6.
PPC Performance Powder Coating Hard Charger: Dye, +12.