FARLEY ACTION TO AIKEY
Jeff Aikey backed up last week’s victory at the Farley Speedway “Palace of Speed” with a return trip to the victory circle in NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Model action held on May 18th.
Using the inside line to power toe front, Ace Ihm took early control of the race from the fifth starting position with Josh McGowan hot on his tail. Aikey began picking his way through traffic from his twelfth starting position, finding himself running in the fifth spot when the event’s only caution flag slowed the field. Maneuvering underneath McGowan two laps later, Aikey set his sights on the leader Ihm, erasing his advantage by the eighth circuit. With Ihm feverishly protecting the bottom of the racetrack his lead seesawed for the next seven laps until lap fifteen, when Aikey was able to get a nose underneath entering the first corner. Completing the pass as the two cars raced out of the second corner and down the backstretch, Aikey took the lead. Ihm spent the last ten laps searching the racetrack for a faster line, but was unable to mount a challenge to retake the lead as the laps wound down. McGowan held on for third place ahead of Luke Merfeld and Rick Wendling.
Modified fans got their money’s worth as Scott Nesteby nipped Larry Herring by less than a foot at the line for his first victory of the season. Jed Hurst led the first half of the race but succumbed to mechanical difficulties on lap ten, bringing out the caution flag and handing the lead over to Herring. Nesteby restarted the race in third spot, alongside the second place car of Mark Schulte. Quickly disposing of Schulte, Nesteby dove underneath Herring for the lead on the restart but unable to keep the point as Herring fought back on the top of the racetrack. Nesteby spent the remaining ten laps glued to Herring’s rear bumper, diving underneath and occasionally alongside in the turns, but waiting patiently until the last lap to make his move to the lead. As the pair crossed under the white flag nose to tail, both cars dove into the first corner hard, with Herring jumping the cushion slightly to give Nesteby the advantage underneath heading down the backstretch. Undaunted, Herring charged back in the final corner by using his momentum on the top of the racetrack to make a final run to the checkered. Side-by-side and they crossed the finish line, Nesteby prevailed by the slimmest of margins. Rich Smith finished a distant third after a similar door-to-door battle with fourth place finisher Steve Wetter during the final laps with Ryan Dolan rounding out the top five.
Dan Shelliam overcame a first lap shunt involving at least five other Pro Stocks to post his second feature win of the year. Shelliam restarted the race in the eighth position but quickly found himself pressuring pole sitter Jeff Kennedy by the third lap. Kennedy was able to thwart all of Shelliam’s advances until the final lap, surrendering the lead as the pair raced under the white flag and coming up short in a last ditch effort to preserve his top spot in the final corner. Jeff Valentine wound up third ahead of Brian Culbertson and Dana Servoy.
Jerry Merkes topped the Hobby Stocks after taking the lead away from TJ Leslein following a lap eight restart. Leslein slipped to fourth as both Paul Beckman and Larry Benn shot past on the final lap, but was able to stay ahead of point’s leader Jeff Reinert at the checkers. Ray Fawcett was awarded the Fun Car victory after apparent winner Todd Moore’s car failed to pass post race inspection. Chad Hallahan finished second ahead of Brian Strang, Chris Hinrichs and BJ Schmitt.
Racing will return this Friday, May 25th at the Palace of Speed for all five divisions of NASCAR Stock Cars. Hot laps are scheduled for 7 pm with racing to follow. For more information contact Simmons Promotions at 563-744-3620 or online at www.simmonspromotionsinc.com. For race day updates and quick results afterwards, call your local McLeod USA InTouch Directory, category 3740 and 3741.