LIMA — The opening night of racing action for both the K & L Ready Mix NRA Sprint Invaders and Limaland Motorsports Park produced a near perfect evening for veteran driver JR Stewart and the Hammons Motorsports team. Stewart led for virtually every lap he competed in during both his heat race and in winning the 25-lap sprint car feature. The irony for the defending track champion Stewart was that he failed to capture a main event feature in 2013, although he did win the points championship.
“This is great to win tonight after not getting here (winner’s circle) last season,” Stewart, who also won track titles in ’08, ’09 and 2010, said afterward. “Ron (Hammons) gives me a really good car and with this win hopefully we’ll have momentum with us all year” It was the ninth win for Stewart, of Bellefontaine, in his Limaland Motorsport Park career.
The Budweiser Thunderstocks 15-lap feature had 2013 four-time winner Jeff Koz start from the point position and that was a huge advantage for the Lima-based driver throughout last season. On this evening, it turned out to be not enough as veteran Tim Cole stuck with Koz and eventually set him up for an impressive pass for the lead. Cole executed the defining move on the inside coming through turn two on lap number eight. It was a clean powerful pass and showed everyone that Tim Cole may well be a force to be reckoned with in 2014.
A caution on lap number 10 allowed defending track champion Tony Anderson to move within position at catching Cole and matching Stewart from earlier as a 2013 track champion to win a feature after not being able to do so in last year’s title run. In fact, the race set up a flag restart. Anderson tried to make an inside move, but Cole fought that off and rolled past the checkered flag for the first time in his career.
“It’s really nice to win, but it’s about time,” said a relieved Tim Cole, of Findlay. “I’ve been racing for awhile and finally I have a car much better than what was previously the case. This will make a big difference for us moving forward this season. I can’t wait to get back out here.”
The first feature of the season for the Reineke Modifieds division saw a number of internal battles that led to the familiar number 65 of Todd Sherman as the eventual winner.
It was Todd Sherman’s 37th career win in a Modified at Limaland Motorsports Park.
Limaland Motorsports Park returns to action Friday for Modified Mayhem presented by Reineke Family Dealerships along with Meet the Drivers Night. The Elwer Fence Sprints, Reineke Modifieds and Budweiser Thunderstocks will battle on the ¼ mile oval. Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6:30 p.m. Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.
For more information to to limaland.com.