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Lebanon I-44 Speedway

Steve Holt Breaks Through for Another Emerson-Copeland Night Win

Lebanon I-44 Speedway

By: Dylan Bates

Last Saturday night, August 13th, Lebanon I-44 Speedway hosted a wild night of racing. Emerson Copeland night at the races featured all five weekly racing classes, including several divisions of karts! We saw a few new drivers and a few familiar faces in Victory Lane this weekend including some wild swings in the Championship battles! Hornets The night started out with the 4-cylinder Hornet cars on the 1/5-mile inner track. Mason Mundy rolled out of the pits on the pole for the 10-lap heat race with the No. 28 of Chris Albright on his outside. The green flag waved, and Mason Mundy jumped out to the early lead with Chris Albright in second. Nick Bradshaw filed in line in the number three position until Dustin Atkinson was able to make the pass. Albright and Atkinson did all they could to reel in Mundy, but at the line it was Mason Mundy picking up the heat win with Dustin Atkinson second and Chris Albright third. In the feature, Jeff Albright Jr. started on the pole with Dustin Atkinson on his outside. Jeffery Albright grabbed the early lead with Atkinson breathing down his neck. On lap 3, Atkinson was able to lead a lap, but Albright made his way back by. Running in the third position was Chris Albright. Atkinson was the meat in the Albright sandwich, and he wasn’t giving up on the outside. Finally, with two laps to go, Atkinson found just a little bit more momentum on the outside and was able to edge in front of Jeffery Albright. Dustin Atkinson wins in an extremely exciting three-way battle with Jeffery Albright second and Chris Albright third. Street Stocks The next class to roll out on the racetrack was the Street Stocks. In the heat race, the Championship duo of Matt Pilant and Trevor Icenhower started on the front row. Pilant jumped out to the early lead and Trevor Icenhower fell into second place. Matt Pilant went on to pick up the heat race win with Trevor Icenhower in second and Tony Johnson in third. In the feature, Chris Johnson started on the pole with Crystal Blake on his outside. By the end of the first lap, Tony Johnson had drove from fourth to the lead and led the first four laps until Trevor Icenhower was able to make the pass. At this time, Matt Pilant had just moved into third and was able to pass Tony Johnson two laps later. Pilant did his best to reel in Icenhower until the caution flag flew with two laps remaining. The two championship contenders were now first and second place looking for a green white checker finish. Icenhower had a perfect restart and was able to maintain the lead and went on to pick up the win with Pilant in second and Tony Johnson in third. Big 10 Late Models Next up was the Big 10 Late Model division. In the first heat race, Nick Cherry started on the pole with JC Newell to his outside. At the drop of the green, Newell took the early lead and Cherry fell into second place. By lap three, Justin Blake made his way around both drivers and found himself with the lead. At the halfway point, Cherry made the pass on Newell and moved into the second position. Justin Blake led the remaining laps and picked up the heat win with Cherry in second and JC Newell in third. In the second heat, Justin Rice started on the pole with Jimmy Fohn to his outside. Fohn got the jump and grabbed the early lead while Dylan Bates tried to follow Fohn through on the outside. Fohn and Bates were one and two through the remainder of the heat race while the No. 33 of Jordan Nisbett held down the third position. Fohn picked up the heat win with Bates second and Nisbett third. In the feature, Chris Albright and Jordan Nisbett made up the front row. Nisbett got the jump Steve Holt celebrates his first Pro Late Model win of 2019! Photo by 923 Photography

and took control of the race. Dylan Bates moved into the second position until a right front flat tire forced him to the pits. Nisbett was still leading the way with JC Newell now in second and Jimmy Fohn third. Justin Blake then jumped from fourth to first in a matter of two laps as Fohn followed him into second passed Newell and Nisbett. A few laps later, the leaders, Justin Blake and Jimmy Fohn, made contact while passing a lap car which ended up sending both drivers tailback. Chaos ensued as JC Newell and Nick Cherry get stacked up on the restart which brought out the caution for the second time with some track clean-up taking place. Jordan Nisbett reclaimed the lead until his engine expired shortly after. Justin Rice was now the leader with five laps to go. Fohn and Blake battled their way back through the field as Fohn passed Rice for lead. Things were not going as well for Blake as he had a right front tire going down after an earlier incident. Fohn went on to take the win in a wild feature with Justin Rice in second and Justin Blake nursed his car home for a third-place finish. Modifieds Next up were the open-wheeled Modifieds. In the first heat, former Modified Track Champion Don Cloyd led the field to the green. Cloyd was making his first asphalt start in 20 years. To Cloyd’s outside was Michael Juergenson. Cloyd took control early and never looked back picking up the first heat win with Chris Nichols second and Michael Juergenson third. In the second heat, Brian Brown started on the pole with Chris Johnson to his outside. Brown hammered down and jumped out to the early lead as Ricky Icenhower followed him on the inside row into second. Brown and Icenhower continued to run first and second and Richard Lewis maneuvered his way around Chris Johnson for the third spot. At the line, it was Brian Brown picking up the heat win with Icenhower second and Richard Lewis third. In the feature, Michael Juergenson and Chris Johnson started on the front row. Johnson got the jump off the start and took the early lead. Richard Lewis followed him into second place. Behind them, Brian Brown was following Lewis as he worked his way passed Michael Juergenson and into the third spot. From third place on back was an absolute hornets’ nest with Cloyd, Nichols, and Icenhower swapping spots back and forth. During this time, Lewis was able to find his way passed Chris Johnson for the lead. Cloyd then found a way around Brian Brown and moved into third and set his sights on Chris Johnson. The drivers ran out of time as the checkered flag flew for Richard Lewis who picked up his third win of the season with Chris Johnson finishing a season best second, and Don Cloyd in his return to asphalt racing in third. This was arguably one of the best Modified races we have seen at Lebanon I-44 Speedway as of late! Pro Late Models Finally, the Pro Late Models rolled onto the track. In the heat race, Ryu Taggart started on the pole with Brennon Willard on his outside. Taggart jumped out to the early lead with Terry Limberopolous hot on his heels. Steve Holt hammered down and moved into second place and set his eyes on the leader of Taggart. With three laps to go, Holt made his move for the lead and it stuck. Limberopolous followed him into the second position and shuffled Taggart back to third. Holt came away with the heat win, Limberopolous second, and Taggart third. In the feature, Ryu Taggart started on the pole once again, this time with Rodney Phillips to his outside who was making his first start at Lebanon I-44 Speedway this season. Taggart jumped to the early lead while Steve Holt stayed on his bumper and moved into second. On lap four, Holt made the pass for the lead and was looking to check out. One lap later, Terry Limberopolous moved into second and tried to reel in Holt. The caution flag flew on lap 11 which stacked the field back up. On the restart, Limberopolous and Holt made contact for the lead which resulted in a right front flat for Limberopolous. Holt was still the leader with Brennon Willard now second. Holt was able to fend off the field for the remaining laps and picked up his first win of 2019 and his second straight Emerson-Copeland night win. Brennon Willard came home second and Terry Limberopolous rebounded for a third-place finish. A shout-out to our Kart winners from Saturday night- Bill Snyder grabbed the win in the Unlimited All-Stars tour, Cody Elliot took home the win in the Adult Clone class and John Flaugher won the Predator feature. For detailed results of our weekly racing divisions, be sure to head over to our website at i44speedway.net. Be sure to check out the extremely close Championship battles under the “Points” tab. We will see everyone on August 31st for the Big 10 Late Model Summer Shootout! Be sure to keep up with track news and updates on our Facebook page!