June 23, 2024 | By Lyndal Scranton

Derek Brown earns emotional victory in Lucas Oil Speedway headliner

Photo by GS Stanek Racing Photography

WHEATLAND, Mo. — Sixth-starting Derek Brown of Stoutland held off William Garner in a caution-free O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars feature to headline Saturday's Big Adventure RV Weekly Championship Series program at Lucas Oil Speedway.

The victory, while worth $750 for Brown, was priceless for its personal meaning. He said in victory lane it was dedicated to his friend Brian Webster, a fellow racer who passed away on Friday due to cancer. Webster, 36, was a Richland High School graduate who drove in the USRA Stock Cars division.

"That one was for him," Brown said, noting that his motor's water temperature was running a red-hot 260 degrees late in the 25-lapper. "But I wasn't pulling off for nothing."

Other feature winners on Ozarks Food Harvest Food Drive Night at the Races were Chad Lyle (Arctic Food Equipment USRA Modifieds), Dustin Kruse (Clear Creek Golf Cars USRA B-Mods) and Justin Wells (Hermitage Lumber POWRi Late Models).

Brown grabbed the lead on lap five of the USRA Stock Cars feature and didn't give it up, though things got a bit dicey near the finish as Garner applied pressure and a lapped car nearly spun Brown in the final turn

"Luckily I had it straight enough when the run into me that I didn't spin out, but I sure thought I was there for a minute," Brown said.

Midseason division points champ Jaylen Wettengel took the early lead from the front row, but Brown rolled from fifth into the top spot on lap five. Wettengel fell all the way back to fourth with Mason Beck and Garner in between he and Brown.

Brown, Beck and Garner staged a three-way battled over the next several laps, not separated by more than a couple of car lengths. Brown was able to stave off the challengers and, with the race remaining green, built up a 1.5-second lead over Garner by lap 13.

Garner cut into the lead and was within on second by lap 18 with Beck and Wettengal well behind. Once again, Garner pulled right on the back bumper of Brown to complete lap 21 as both drivers hugged the low groove.

On the final lap, Garner made one final charge but Brown was able to hang on for a .630-second victory.

Wettengel finished third with Beck fourth and Waylon Dimmitt fifth.

Lyle earns USRA Modified victory: Chad Lyle of Lone Jack took the lead on lap four and drove away to win the Arctic Food Equipment USRA Modified victory, beating runner-up Jason Pursley by 1.7 seconds.

Chris Spalding started on the pole and grabbed the lead at the start, but Lyle was able to advance from the fourth-starting spot into the lead by lap four.

Lyle wasted no time opening up a 1.3-second lead over the next three laps with Lyle second and Pursley in third. Pursley used the high groove to power around Lyle for the runner-up spot on lap nine with Lyle nearly two seconds clear of the field.

Caution flew on lap 10 for debris on the track, wiping out Lyle’s margin. It didn’t matter as Lyle had a solid restart and quickly drew off to another sizable lead and the race remained caution-free the rest of the way. It was the veteran driver's first victory of the season.

Dean Wille rallied from eighth to third with Henry Chambers improving six positions from the start to come in fourth. Spalding wound up fifth.

South Dakota invader Kruse wins USRA B-Mods: Dustin Kruse made the eight-hour haul from Baltic, S.D., worth it with a wire-to-wire victory in the Clear Creek Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature.

Kruse held off JC Morton after a late-race restart to win in his first visit to Lucas Oil Speedway in 2024.

"Holy cow, we won at Lucas Oil. That's awesome," Kruse said in victory lane. He noted that the only other time he has competed in Wheatland was at the 2022 USRA Nationals and it was not a good result.

"This red dirt is so different than that black dirt that we have back home," Kruse said, noting "we got our butts kicked" in his only other attempt at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Outside pole-starting Kruse opened up a 2.1-second lead over fifth-starting Morton by lap four, with Eric Turner running third. Kruse continued to stretch his command, with a 2.6-second margin at the midway point.

Morton moved to the high side of the track and began to cut into the lead as both had to deal with lapped traffic. Kruse’s lead was back to two seconds by lap 16 when the first caution of the race put some mystery into the outcome as it set the stage for a four-lap shootout.

Morton tried the low side on the restart, but couldn’t make up any ground. Kruse rolled from there and beat Morton by 1.4 seconds.

Jake Richards captured third with Turner fourth and Colson Kirk fifth.

Wells bounces back in POWRi Late Models: After having his winning streak snapped at six on June 15, Justin Wells returned to victory lane in the Hermitage Lumber POWRi Late Model division.

Wells, the veteran from Aurora, led all 20 laps and held off Tommy Cordray after a late restart. Wells is seven-for-eight this season after his streak ended a week earlier.

"Track position meant a lot tonight," Wells said after scoring win No. 112 in his 2006 TNT chassis. "We didn't feel too balanced. I don't know, we're off just a little bit somewhere, so we'll have to go home and work on it. But I'm sure glad to get the victory."

Wells started up front after winning his heat race and set a blistering pace in the feature. He needed only five laps to led Tyler Kuykendall by two seconds with JC Morton third.

The reigning track champion kept pouring it on from there, with a 3.4-second gap by lap 10. That’s when the caution flew as Kuykendall spun in turn four as he and Morton were battling for position. Kuykendall had to restart at the rear, leaving Morton in second, Cordray third and Tucker Cox fourth.

Cordray cleared Morton after the restart in turn four of lap 11, but Wells again checked out from the field. Wells was 4.4 seconds in front when another yellow slowed the action on lap 17 with Cox spinning in turn two.

Wells handled the restart and held off a strong-running Cordray over the final three circuits. The final margin was three-quarters of a second.

Jim Greenway finished third with Morton fourth and Richard Kimberling fifth.


Big Adventure RV Weekly Championship Series

O'Reilly Auto Parts USRA Stock Cars

A Feature - 1. 11-Derek Brown[5]; 2. 7-William Garner[6]; 3. 91J-Jaylen Wettengel[1]; 4. 0F-Mason Beck[3]; 5. 11W-Waylon Dimmitt[12]; 6. 8M-James McMillin[8]; 7. 33X-Justin Custer[9]; 8. 74-Rodney Schweizer[4]; 9. 15X-Corey Myers[10]; 10. 05G-Grayson McKiney[2]; 11. 22-Dawson Fennewald[13]; 12. 83-James Ellis[15]; 13. 24-Blayne McMillin[14]; 14. (DNF) 5-Robert White[7]; 15. (DNF) 34-Blake Bolton[11]; 16. (DNF) 41-Bryan White[16]; 17. (DNS) 140-Keith Jennings

Summit Racing Equipment Heat 1 - 1. 05G-Grayson McKiney[3]; 2. 0F-Mason Beck[5]; 3. 74-Rodney Schweizer[7]; 4. 5-Robert White[6]; 5. 33X-Justin Custer[1]; 6. 34-Blake Bolton[8]; 7. 22-Dawson Fennewald[2]; 8. 83-James Ellis[4]; 9. (DNS) 140-Keith Jennings

Summit Racing Equipment Heat 2 - 1. 91J-Jaylen Wettengel[6]; 2. 7-William Garner[1]; 3. 11-Derek Brown[7]; 4. 8M-James McMillin[3]; 5. 15X-Corey Myers[5]; 6. 11W-Waylon Dimmitt[4]; 7. 24-Blayne McMillin[2]; 8. (DNF) 41-Bryan White[8]

Arctic Food Equipment USRA Modifieds

A Feature - 1. 18-Chad Lyle[4]; 2. 38C-Jason Pursley[6]; 3. 68-Dean Wille[8]; 4. 17-Henry Chambers[10]; 5. 00S-Chris Spalding[1]; 6. 10P-Dayton Pursley[11]; 7. 5-Robbie Reed[14]; 8. 21M-Ryan Middaugh[3]; 9. 73-Mickey Burrell[7]; 10. 24D-Donnie Fellers[15]; 11. 98K-Kenton Allen[5]; 12. 98-Jeff Cutshaw[18]; 13. 23-Lucas Dobbs[2]; 14. 18JR-Chase Sigg[13]; 15. 87-Dewayne Hobbs[12]; 16. 21-Greg Scheffler[16]; 17. 66-Eric Johnson[17]; 18. (DNF) 21W-Tracy Wolf[9]

Heat 1 - 1. 21M-Ryan Middaugh[2]; 2. 98K-Kenton Allen[1]; 3. 18-Chad Lyle[6]; 4. 38C-Jason Pursley[7]; 5. 17-Henry Chambers[5]; 6. 87-Dewayne Hobbs[4]; 7. 18JR-Chase Sigg[8]; 8. 24D-Donnie Fellers[3]; 9. (DNS) 98-Jeff Cutshaw

Heat 2 - 1. 23-Lucas Dobbs[3]; 2. 00S-Chris Spalding[9]; 3. 73-Mickey Burrell[1]; 4. 68-Dean Wille[4]; 5. 21W-Tracy Wolf[6]; 6. 10P-Dayton Pursley[8]; 7. 5-Robbie Reed[7]; 8. (DNS) 66-Eric Johnson; 9. (DNS) 21-Greg Scheffler

Clear Creek Golf Cars USRA B-Mods

A Feature - 1. 6-Dustin Kruse[2]; 2. 18-JC Morton[5]; 3. 7J-Jake Richards[7]; 4. 99T-Eric Turner[3]; 5. 55-Colson Kirk[6]; 6. 94C-JT Carroll[13]; 7. 24L-Dakota Lowe[4]; 8. 91J-Jaylen Wettengel[11]; 9. 56-Hoyt Miller[1]; 10. 03-Chase Jones[10]; 11. F1-Mitchell Franklin[20]; 12. 11L-Logan Smith[15]; 13. 50-Jordan Martin[16]; 14. 30-Rex Harris[9]; 15. 2-Quentin Taylor[18]; 16. 24LL-Patrick Lewis[14]; 17. 8X-Scott Chism[17]; 18. 3DJR-Dylan Daniels[21]; 19. 20-Blake Wimmer[19]; 20. (DNF) 3D-Dexton Daniels[8]; 21. (DNF) 8S-Clayton Smith[12]; 22. (DNS) 19-Tanner Kade; 23. (DNS) 8-Jon Sheets

Heat 1 - 1. 56-Hoyt Miller[4]; 2. 3D-Dexton Daniels[2]; 3. 03-Chase Jones[1]; 4. 91J-Jaylen Wettengel[6]; 5. 94C-JT Carroll[8]; 6. 2-Quentin Taylor[5]; 7. F1-Mitchell Franklin[7]; 8. 3DJR-Dylan Daniels[3]

Heat 2 - 1. 6-Dustin Kruse[2]; 2. 24L-Dakota Lowe[4]; 3. 55-Colson Kirk[7]; 4. 8S-Clayton Smith[6]; 5. 11L-Logan Smith[3]; 6. 50-Jordan Martin[1]; 7. 20-Blake Wimmer[8]; 8. (DNS) 19-Tanner Kade

Heat 3 - 1. 99T-Eric Turner[2]; 2. 18-JC Morton[4]; 3. 7J-Jake Richards[6]; 4. 30-Rex Harris[7]; 5. 24LL-Patrick Lewis[1]; 6. 8X-Scott Chism[3]; 7. (DNS) 8-Jon Sheets

Hermitage Lumber POWRi Late Models

A Feature - 1. 98-Justin Wells[1]; 2. 5-Tommy Cordray[5]; 3. 28-Jim Greenway[10]; 4. 72-JC Morton[3]; 5. 3-Richard Kimberling[6]; 6. 7J-Jake Morris[9]; 7. 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[2]; 8. 99-Larry Jones[7]; 9. 18-Shawn Eggeman[11]; 10. 1A-Bryon Allison[13]; 11. 88-Jimmy Dowell[8]; 12. X15-Bobby Ruff II[12]; 13. 1T-Tucker Cox[4]

Heat 1 - 1. 8K-Tyler Kuykendall[1]; 2. 5-Tommy Cordray[2]; 3. 1T-Tucker Cox[7]; 4. 88-Jimmy Dowell[4]; 5. 28-Jim Greenway[5]; 6. X15-Bobby Ruff II[3]; 7. 1A-Bryon Allison[6]

Heat 2 - 1. 98-Justin Wells[6]; 2. 72-JC Morton[4]; 3. 3-Richard Kimberling[1]; 4. 99-Larry Jones[5]; 5. 7J-Jake Morris[3]; 6. 18-Shawn Eggeman[2]

Kubota High Limit Diamond Classic next: One of the premier events of the 2024 Lucas Oil Speedway schedule is next on the schedule with the inaugural Kubota
High Limit Racing Diamond Classic next Friday and Saturday, June 28-29.

Two-night reserved tickets for the June 28-29 event are on sale and can be purchased by calling Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or they can be purchased online via stubwire.

The Kubota High Limit Sprint Car Series is co-owned by Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson and features top 410 sprint car drivers from around the country. This will be its first appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Support class for the The Kubota High Limit Racing Diamond Classic is the Modified Invitational featuring the Heartland Modified Tour. An invitational format will be used to select 24 modified drivers to compete alongside the Kubota High Limit Racing Sprint Cars both nights.

For ticket information on any Lucas Oil Speedway event, contact Admissions Director Nichole McMillan at (417) 295-6043 or via email at nmcmillan@lucasoilspeedway.com.


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