By Jackson Braun
ARDMORE, Oklahoma (May 31, 2019) – The finale to the second edition of the IMCA Red River Modified Tour provided a lot of action as the racing events unfolded on the Southern Oklahoma Speedway.
Michael Ables, Travis Johnson, and Matt Guillaume led the 3-wide, 30-car field to the green flag. Johnson made his way out to the front of the pack with Guillaume following. Cory Davis held the series point lead going into the night and tried to settle into third, but a slip up in turn 3 a few laps into the event gave the spot to Jake O’Neil.
Throughout the pack, 3 and 4-wide racing was common as the racers fought for position. Guillaume pulled alongside Johnson but could not complete a pass, allowing O’Neil to catch up and get around Guillaume’s 50 machine. Johnson and O’Neil raced around the high side of the speedway, and O’Neil attempted to find a way around Johnson. In almost every single corner, O’Neil would double up with Johnson, but couldn’t find the momentum to do so until a few laps later.
A caution flag reset the field a lap later. Guillaume, Johnson, Brint Hartwick, and Jeff Taylor all battled for positions within the top 5. Taylor was able to take his machine to 2nd spot with fellow Arkansas racer Hartwick moving up to a solid podium finish. Nobody was able to touch O’Neil, as the decision to head to the Southern Oklahoma Speedway paid off for the Arizona native with a $1,500 payday. Davis held on to finish in 6th and clinch the 2019 IMCA Red River Modified Tour championship for the IMCA Modifieds.
The IMCA Southern SportMods had a bit of a wild contest, also starting 3-wide with 30 cars. Kyle Wilkins, Rowdy Day, Tate Butler, Kaden Honeycutt, Chase Vienyard, Blaine Shives, Tyler Bragg, and Trevor Egbert all contended early. Day and Butler had a run-in in corner 4, resulting in a disqualification for Day. Vineyard and Shives both took their racecars off the surface at the same time after a caution involving Wilkins and Honeycutt. Bragg also was involved in a caution and retired his machine.
Egbert was left up front along with Shane Hartline. Hartline threw the kitchen sink at Egbert but Egbert held on, grabbing his second win of the week along with the IMCA Red River Modified Tour championship in the IMCA Southern SportMods.
The IMCA Stock Car feature came down to a photo finish. Jeffrey Abbey and Dennis Bissonnette led the field to green. Abbey has been fast all week and jumped out to the lead early in the event. It looked like Abbey had checked out on the field but seemingly out of nowhere, the 11th-place starter Shelby Williams was cruising in his 82 machine on the low side of the speedway. He dipped his nose underneath Abbey and they raced side-by-side for the last few laps. At the line, Abbey was able to hold on and go back-to-back in the IMCA Stock Cars on the tour.
Shelby’s dad, Gary, only needed to start the feature to collect his points to win the championship. Gary ended up spinning out during the feature, but the race stayed green. He limped a broken machine across the finish line to clinch the championship by 5 points over Abbey.
IMCA Modifieds – 1. Jake O’Neil, Tucson, Ariz.; 2. Jeff Taylor, Cave City, Ark.; 3. Brint Hartwick, Rose Bud, Ark.; 4. Matt Guillaume, Haslet, Texas; 5. Travis Johnson, Enid; 6. Cory Davis, Eunice, N.M.; 7. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas; 8. Riley Simmons, Susanville, Calif.; 9. David Goode Jr., Copperas Cove, Texas; 10. Josh McGaha, Abilene, Texas; 11. William Gould, Calera; 12. Tyler Stevens, Jacksonville, Ark.; 13. Eric Tomlinson, Waco, Texas; 14. Fred Wojtek, Blackwell, Texas; 15. Chris Morris, Taylor, Texas; 16. Chris Bragg, Springtown, Texas; 17. Beau Begnaud, Spring, Texas; 18. Kevin Green, Waco, Texas; 19. Jason Hunter, Poolville, Texas; 20. Mark Carrell, Redmond, Ore.; 21. Jeramie Cox, Sherman, Texas; 22. Travis Bragg, Duncan; 23. Larry Adams, Van Alstyne, Texas; 24. Jeff Hoegh, New Caney, Texas; 25. Brandon Hood, McGregor, Texas; 26. Chad Melton, Mineral Wells, Texas; 27. Jerad Herring, Vidor, Texas; 28. Chris Elliott, Abilene, Texas; 29. John Gober, Poolville, Texas; 30. Michael Ables, Caddo; 31. P.J. Egbert, Copperas Cove.
IMCA Southern SportMods – 1. Trevor Egbert, Salado, Texas; 2. Shane Hartline, Ivanhoe, Texas; 3. Don Reid, Oklahoma City; 4. Kevin Rowland, Cedar Hill, Texas; 5. Casey Brunson, Lott; 6. Cullen Hill, Healdton; 7. Brandon Watson, Denison, Texas; 8. Kasey Kuykendall, Howe; 9. Chad Reid, Yukon; 10. Donnie Hix, Sadler, Texas; 11. Kaden Honeycutt, Willow Park, Texas; 12. Trevor Raney, Sherman, Texas; 13. David Bolf, Wichita Falls, Texas; 14. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas; 15. Josh Cournoyer, Wichita Falls, Texas; 16. Tate Butler, Oklahoma City; 17. Devin Chambers, Marietta; 18. Kamera McDonald, Keller, Texas; 19. Chris Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas; 20. Jimmie Wright, Piedmont; 21. Bobby Davis II, Wichita Falls, Texas; 22. Tyler Bragg, Springtown, Texas; 23. Kyle Wilkins, Italy, Texas; 24. Brayden Wyatt, Wichita Falls, Texas; 25. Blaine Shives, Leonard, Texas; 26. Chase Vineyard, Davis; 27. Case Penrod, Ardmore; 28. Jay Wells. DNS – James Hanusch, Belton, Texas. DQ – Rowdy Day, Greenville, Texas.
IMCA Stock Cars – 1. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas; 2. Shelby Williams, Bonham, Texas; 3. Brandon Hood, McGregor, Texas; 4. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas; 5. Bryan Schutte, Wayne; 6. Brent Cargal, Mannsville; 7. George Egbert, Salado, Texas; 8. Dennis Bissonnette, Stephenville, Texas; 9. Aaron Benedict, Haslet, Texas; 10. Justin Graves, Odessa, Texas; 11. Charlie Brown, Tuscola, Texas; 12. Lee Cranford, Ada; 13. Lee Riley, Lubbock, Texas; 14. Gary Williams, Bonham, Texas; 15. Drew Garcia, Waxahachie, Texas; 16. Vernon Owens, Leander, Texas. DNS – Harold Thompson, Tishomingo; Bobby Miller, Wichita Falls, Texas.