Franklin scores first Lucas Oil Speedway feature win
For the first time in his career, Mitchell Franklin was able to bask in the glow of Lucas Oil Speedway victory lane.
The 24-year-old Camdenton driver led all 25 laps Saturday night to capture the USRA B-Mod main event, taking home $750.
"It's about time," said Franklin, son of long-time area racer and car builder Josh Franklin. Mitchell Franklin had a second place and a pair of thirds so far this season, plus some runner-up finishes in past years at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Other feature winners on Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper $5 Night presented by Fox 49 were Waylon Dimmitt (Medieval USRA Stock Cars) and Trevor Hughes (USRA Modifieds).
Franklin held off a trio of past USRA National champions, including J.C. Morton, Ryan Gillmore and Andy Bryant, to pick up his first Lucas Oil Speedway feature win.
"The track, I was real worried in the heat race," Franklin said. "It was a little funky, but it moved out in the feature and it was pretty good.
"I"m not sure where my dad's at. He's probably crying somewhere," Franklin added, with a smile. "This Franklin B-Mod was on-point. I kind of picked up a vibration with about five to go and that's the worst time for that, when you're leading.
"Just thanks to everybody who helps on the car."
Franklin started on the pole and led the way in from the start, leading Bryant by 1.1 seconds when the event’s first caution flew on lap five. The biggest mover in the early laps was Morton, who had advanced from ninth to fourth.
Morton moved around Bryant and into second on lap eight with Cody Brill running fourth. Meanwhile, the race’s fourth caution came out a lap later and those cautions were helping Gillmore move into contention.
Gillmore didn’t make the call for his heat race and started the feature dead last, in 23rd. The two time Lucas Oil Speedway winner this season was running eighth by lap nine.
Bryant regained second on the restart and challenged Franklin for the top spot. Franklin was able to get his rhythm back and restored his lead to just over a second by lap 16 and, just as the leaders caught lapped traffic, another caution slowed things on lap 18.
On the restart, Gillmore joined the battle for second with Bryant and Morton with the trio going three-wide into turn three. Franklin took advantage of that - along with a clear track ahead of him - to open an eight-car-length lead with six laps to go.
Franklin was able to take it home from there, beating Morton by 1.5 seconds. Gillmore was close behind in third, Bryant finished fourth and Jon Sheets captured fifth.
Dimmitt grabs USRA Stock Car feature: Waylon Dimmitt rallied from a sixth starting position to win the O’Reilly Auto Parts Stock Cars feature by a comfortable 3.2-second margin over William Garner.
Dimmitt, of Camdenton, took the lead on lap seven and steadily pulled away from there for his second Lucas Oil Speedway feature victory.
"The car's been awesome," Dimmitt said. "Rodney Schweizer let us borrow a gear. We actually had the wrong gear in the heat race. A big thanks to him for that. The track's been awesome. I like a good, slick track like this."
Front-row starter Colton Bourland opened up a lead from the start and had built it to 1.5 seconds when a lap-five caution for Christopher Sawyer’s spin bunched the field. Dimmitt took advantage and needed only two laps before driving past Bourland on the inside going into turn one.
White rolled from there as the race remained caution-free to win by nearly straightaway margin over Garner, who rallied from eighth to finish as runner-up. Mason Beck finished third with Rob White fourth and Bourland winding up fifth.
USRA Modified win goes to Hughes: Trevor Hughes, son of four-time USMTS national champion Jason Hughes, dominated the Cedar Creek Beef Jerky USRA Modified main event.
Hughes, of Salina, Okla., led all 25 laps for his first feature win at Lucas Oil Speedway in his second career appearance. He dropped in after a USMTS race in Louisiana was rained out and figured he would come to Wheatland get some experience on the track before returning later in the season.
"This place was awesome tonight," Hughes said. "The first time I came here, I wasn't worth a crap, to be honest. I figured I'd better come back here and get better. I know the USRA Nationals are here, so hopefully we'll make it up here for that. We needed to come here and learn."
Hughes showed his dominance from the start, needing only seven laps to open a 2.4-second lead over fellow front-row starter Nic Bidinger. The lead expanded to four seconds by the midway mark.
Hughes avoided a near-disaster on lap 13 when three lapped cars, just in front of him, spun in turn one. He was able to dart around them on the outside, but the ensuing caution wiped out his 5.4-second lead over Bidinger with seven laps to go.
It didn’t make a difference. Hughes had a flawless restart and cruised the rest of the way, under green flag conditions, to beat Bidinger by 3.6 seconds.
Carlos Ahumada Jr. finished third, Clint Johnson fourth and Jeff Cutshaw came home in fifth.
Off Road and Dirt Track racing doubleheader next: Lucas Oil Speedway will be busy next Saturday as racing resumes with UTV Short Course Off Road action during the day time and the Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series at night where it will be Bolivar Herald-Free Press Midseason Championship Night.
The Off Road action see gates opening at 7:30 a.m. and racing at about 9:40 a.m., wrapping up with awards at approximately 4:45 p.m. Fans purchasing Off Road tickets will be admitted free to the dirt-track action which begins with hot laps at 6:30 and the program at 7:05 p.m.
United States Racing Association
Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series
Lucas Oil Speedway, Wheatland, Mo.
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver and hometown
1. (1) 3B Nic Bidinger, Perry, Kan.
2. (2) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
3. (5) 98 Jeff Cutshaw, Bolivar, Mo.
4. (4) 37 Clint Johnson, Neosho, Mo.
5. (3) 23 Lucas Dobbs, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
6. (6) 21W Tracy Wolf, Buffalo, Mo.
7. (7) 21 Greg Scheffler, Pittsburg, Mo.
8. (8) 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, Mo.
1. (2) 712 Trevor Hughes, Salina, Okla.
2. (3) 03 Chase Jones, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
3. (4) 155 Terry Kirk, Urbana, Mo.
4. (5) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
5. (6) 21M Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo.
6. (7) 14 Kameron Grindstaff, Independence, Mo.
7. (1) F26 Jay Fields, Hermitage, Mo.
1. (1) 712 Trevor Hughes, Salina, Okla.
2. (2) 3B Nic Bidinger, Perry, Kan.
3. (6) 65X Carlos Ahumada Jr., El Paso, Texas
4. (4) 37 Clint Johnson, Neosho, Mo.
5. (3) 98 Jeff Cutshaw, Bolivar, Mo.
6. (8) 03 Chase Jones, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
7. (5) 38C Jason Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
8. (9) 21M Ryan Middaugh, Fulton, Mo.
9. (12) 21W Tracy Wolf, Buffalo, Mo.
10. (14) 5 Robbie Reed, Mexico, Mo.
11. (11) 14 Kameron Grindstaff, Independence, Mo.
12. (13) 21 Greg Scheffler, Pittsburg, Mo.
13. (7) 155 Terry Kirk, Urbana, Mo.
14. (10) 23 Lucas Dobbs, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
DNS – F26 Jay Fields, Hermitage, Mo.
MEDIEVAL USRA STOCK CARS
1. (1) 11 Waylon Dimmitt, Camdenton, Mo.
2. (3) 74 Rodney Schweizer, Kansas City, Kan.
3. (4) 7 William Garner, Lebanon, Mo.
4. (5) 5 Robert White, Lebanon, Mo.
5. (2) 116 Zack Smith, Centertown, Mo.
6. (6) 1DER Maverick Wunder, Freeman, Mo.
1. (2) 0F Mason Beck, Urbana, Mo.
2. (1) 12 Christopher Sawyer, Buffalo, Mo.
3. (3) 8M James McMillin, Warrensburg, Mo.
4. (5) 2 Colton Bourland, Appleton City, Mo.
5. (4) 83 James Ellis, Richland, Mo.
1. (6) 11 Waylon Dimmitt, Camdenton, Mo.
2. (8) 7 William Garner, Lebanon, Mo.
3. (7) 0F Mason Beck, Urbana, Mo.
4. (5) 5 Robert White, Lebanon, Mo.
5. (2) 2 Colton Bourland, Appleton City, Mo.
6. (10) 83 James Ellis, Richland, Mo.
7. (4) 74 Rodney Schweizer, Kansas City, Kan.
8. (3) 8M James McMillin, Warrensburg, Mo.
9. (9) 116 Zack Smith, Centertown, Mo.
10. (1) 12 Christopher Sawyer, Buffalo, Mo.
11. (11) 1DER Maverick Wunder, Freeman, Mo.
1. (1) 10P Dayton Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
2. (5) 56 Shadren Turner, St. Joseph, Mo.
3. (4) 1B Bobby Williams, Hermitage, Mo.
4. (2) 17 Henry Chambers, Baldwin City, Kan.
5. (7) 8S Jon Sheets, Nevada, Mo.
6. (6) 2 Quentin Taylor, Wheatland, Mo.
7. (3) 19 Nathan Schwartze, Russellville, Mo.
8. (8) 2G Eric Graves, Richland, Mo.
1. (3) 28 Andy Bryant, Fort Scott, Kan.
2. (2) 96 Cody Brill, Bates City, Mo.
3. (4) 18 J.C. Morton, Springfield, Mo.
4. (5) 28Z Randy Zimmerman, Fort Scott, Kan.
5. (7) 83 J.C. Newell, Buffalo, Mo.
6. (6) 51 Michael Benjamin, Montrose, Iowa
7. (1) 03 T.C. Hambrick, Warsaw, Mo.
1. (3) 46 Brice Gotschall, Nevada, Mo.
2. (5) 11L Logan Smith, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
3. (6) F1 Mitchell Franklin, Camdenton, Mo.
4. (1) 27 Terry Williams, Springfield, Mo.
5. (4) 24 Jerry Ellis, Richland, Mo.
6. (2) 0K Tracy Killian, Lee Summit, Mo.
7. (7) 15S Cody Bray, Butler, Mo.
DNS – 66 Ryan Gillmore, Springfield, Mo.
1. (1) F1 Mitchell Franklin, Camdenton, Mo.
2. (9) 18 J.C. Morton, Springfield, Mo.
3. (23) 66 Ryan Gillmore, Springfield, Mo.
4. (3) 28 Andy Bryant, Fort Scott, Kan.
5. (13) 8S Jon Sheets, Nevada, Mo.
6. (10) 28Z Randy Zimmerman, Fort Scott, Kan.
7. (6) 56 Shadren Turner, St. Joseph, Mo.
8. (4) 1B Bobby Williams, Hermitage, Mo.
9. (7) 10P Dayton Pursley, Hermitage, Mo.
10. (15) 24 Jerry Ellis, Richland, Mo.
11. (8) 11L Logan Smith, El Dorado Springs, Mo.
12. (2) 96 Cody Brill, Bates City, Mo.
13. (12) 17 Henry Chambers, Baldwin City, Kan.
14. (17) 2 Quentin Taylor, Wheatland, Mo.
15. (21) 15S Cody Bray, Butler, Mo.
16. (16) 0K Tracy Killian, Lee Summit, Mo.
17. (19) 19 Nathan Schwartze, Russellville, Mo.
18. (18) 51 Michael Benjamin, Montrose, Iowa
19. (20) 2G Eric Graves, Richland, Mo.
20. (11) 27 Terry Williams, Springfield, Mo.
21. (5) 46 Brice Gotschall, Nevada, Mo.
22. (14) 83 J.C. Newell, Buffalo, Mo.
23. (22) 03 T.C. Hambrick, Warsaw, Mo.
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