Mason, MI (07/02/2021) – With temperatures in the mid 70’s with almost no humidity, fans and drivers alike packed the Corrigan Oil Speedway. 35 Tolley Farms Midwest Modified Tour (MMT) modifieds were on the property to fight for the 24 starting positions in the Wild Child 75. A race night held in honor of a former racer, Brian Heeney that tragically passed away 15 years ago. Brian was the brother of now track owner Tracy Hernly. Quite a few of the 35 mods were from the Sawyers Chevrolet Modifieds that regularly run at the speed plant, with a good mix of MMT followers also.
Blake Rowe set fast time on the evening with a new track record for the MMT, with a lap of 13.456 around the tight quarter mile. The top 16 in qualifying were locked into the main event, with the remainder of the field being filled from two last chance races, which were won by Matt Vainner and Buddy Gray. A nine car invert put Greg Fullerton on the pole, with Brad Springer beside him.
Springer edged his car in front to lead the first few circuits. But cautions flew early and often to keep the field close, and make restarts a big game of bumper tag that could cause you to lose numerous positions if you were caught in the wrong line. This happened a few times throughout the race during restarts. Seven cautions flew, but the three that turned into red flags is what really slowed the event. A flat tire for Danny Jackson brought out the first yellow on lap 3, and a Tim Lahar and Matt Dimit collision on lap 6 saw another caution.
On lap 12, Jason Parish had worked his way under Springer for the lead. Six laps later, Tracy Hearly tried to do the same, but got into Springer bringing out the third caution. 18 laps into the event, and eventual winner, Obrinske, had only got to ninth, and fast qualifier Blake Rowe was running tenth. Both victims of the restart bumper tag early in the race. A cleaner 10 lap run ensues and Rowe has moved into sixth when a lap 28 caution flies for Buddy Gray. This results in the first red flag to remove Gray’s vehicle.
They only get seven more laps in before Dimit spins in turn 4. Fast Qualifier Rowe has now moved to fourth. Three laps after the restart, Rowe moves into second place and sets his sights on the leader, Parish. But on lap 41, Justin Noffsinger nailed the turn three wall bringing out another caution resulting in a red flag. During the slowdown, Rowe somehow made contact with another car sending the #57 sparking heavily into the pit area, not to return. Rowe finished 14th.
On the lap 41 restart, Parish barely regained the lead, but then lost it on lap 45 when Jeff Ganus made an outstanding move diving to the inside of Parish going into turn three, that resembled a dirt track slide job. The two never touched, and Ganus drove it hard off turn four on the high side to take the lead he would not relinquish, on the track. A lap 51 caution, that turned red, for Tony Pastorino, slowed the race for the final time. Pastorino was having an excellent race before he blew out the bottom end of his engine. He had been running in the top five since lap 10. Ganus easily held off Parish on the restart, and Parish was left to battle Walt Obrinske Jr for what was thought to be second at the time.
Obrinske climbed up to the high side, and the two ran side by side lap after lap. Finally, on lap 60, Obrinske won the battle and took over second. Parish and David McManus would then contest the third position for the final 15 laps. At the finish, Ganus took the checkered flag, but was disqualified after failing post-race technical inspection done by the Midwest Modified Tour. This gave the win to Obrinske, his second on the Tolley Farms MMT. It also made him eligible for an extra $1,000 pay day at Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway the next night, if he can win the feature there too.
Parish would finish second, followed by McManus, Fullerton, and former champion, Kyle Purvis in fifth. Hernly, Aaron Taylor, Jackson, Cole Carper, and Dimit completed the top 10.
The next race for the Tolley Farms Midwest Modified Tour is on July 31 in Winchester, Indiana. To find out for information about this event, go to https://www.midwestmodifiedstour.com.
Story - Ed Inloes, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Thomas Stumpfig