DeGRAFF – Saturday was a milestone night of racing for Urbana’s Mike Ward at Shady Bowl Speedway. The veteran driver posted career win number 50 during the weekend’s “Military Night.” Ward was behind the wheel of his Fetz Plumbing backed stocker.
The 35-lap feature saw Scott Sullenberger lead lap one, before Jim Lewis Jr. took over the lead. Lewis led until lap 12 when fast qualifier Ward sped by. Ward was able to hold off a late race charge by Brian Reeser to notch his second win of the season. Lewis was third, with Curt Frazier fourth and Russ Bobb fifth. Bobb also was a heat winner, with Kenny George Jr. winning the dash.
The modified feature got off to a rough start as front row starters Chris Parker and Bud Perry made contact. Perry had to go to the pits for repairs, but was able to restart at the rear of the field. When the race was restarted Parker and Jerry Stapleton battled for the lead. Parker was able to hold off the Stapleton challenge, only to have fast qualifier Greg Stapleton of Troy surge past the duo to take the lead on lap 22. Greg never looked back as he led the final laps in his Stapleton Machine and Tool backed racer to take his fourth feature win of the season. Parker was second, with Jerry Stapleton third, Perry fourth and Brad Yelton fifth. Jerry Stapleton won the dash, with heats going to Perry and Chris Prater.
In street stock racing, another first lap crash slowed the action. Contact between the top three, Josh Longstreth, Dave Sage and Rodney Roush ended up with Sage hitting the wall hard. Only Sage was not able to continue. Longstreth took the lead on the restart and led until lap eight when Nic Burnside took over. Burnside appeared to have his first win in hand before Kettering’s Shawn Stansell took the lead heading for the checkered. The win was the third of the season for Stansell in his Josh and Dad’s Auto Body Camaro. Longstreth was second, with Roush third, Mike South fourth and Buck Purtee fifth. Burnside hit the wall hard on the final counter dropping him to seventh. Jim Lewis Jr. was fast qualifier, with Stansell taking the dash. Longstreth and Terry Eaton Jr. were heat winners.
The compact feature saw Jimmy McElfresh lead the first 10 laps before giving way to East Liberty’s Larry Adams. Adams’ win was his sixth of the season in his Detroit Tire Neon. McElfresh held on for second followed Josh Foltz, Scott Marquis and Ray Smith. Adams also set fast time, with McElfresh winning the dash and Smith taking the heat.
The tuner feature was won by Matt Jackson of New Carlisle in his Hanger 18 Race Cars Honda. The win was the sixth of the season and came after a thrilling battle with runner-up Terry Eaton Jr. The pair put on a crowd-pleasing show as they competed for the win. Austin Eaton was third and Corey Plunkett fourth. Jackson was fast qualifier with Terry Eaton Jr. winning the dash.
The pure stock feature was won by Sidney’s Rob Bryant in his McIntire Painting Chevy. The win was the fourth of the season for Bryant. Jason Purtee, Josh Foltz, John Eastman and David Callahan rounded out the top five. Fast qualifer was Purtee, with Foltz and Eastman winning dashes.
Justin Neace was the winner of the spectator drag races as he just won over Chris Parker.
This Saturday will see the track host its annual “Lee Raymond Memorial” for the modifieds. The feature wil be 67 laps to match the number that Raymond ran in the modifieds. The street stocks, pure stocks, tuners, compacts and spectator drag races are also on the schedule. The compact division will be a non-points race. Racing will start at 7 p.m.