Mason, MI (Friday, April 23, 2021) - Corrigan Oil Speedway opened their 2021 season Friday night in front of a solid crowd of fans with a large field of cars. Under new ownership this season, fans and drivers flocked to the Mason, Michigan Speedway for race number one of the NorthsideTowing.net Big 8 Outlaw Super Late Model Series under the direction of Tom and Tracy Hernley. Over 20 Outlaw Late Models checked in to compete for a chance at $4,000 at the end of 50 laps.
Using a format largely unique to dirt track racing, drivers arrived and drew a pill for starting position in their heat race, which would help determine the starting line-up for the main event. The top three finishers from each heat race redrew for their starting spots to set the first nine positions on the grid.
Two-time ARCA Gold Cup Champion, Frank Jiovanni led the field to the green flag alongside Mishawaka, Indiana’s Andrew DeVreese. The field would only circle the speedway once before the first caution flag flew. Jim Heeney lost control of his number 17H machine and backed into the turn three wall. He would retire from the race shortly after the restart.
On the restart, Phil Bozell, coming from his fourth starting spot, took advantage of the newly introduced ‘Mad House’ restarts. Under the new rule, drivers get the choice to choose the inside or outside line throughout the field; this means drivers could potentially gain several positions simply by not choosing the preferred line on the restart.
This very move allowed Bozell to get into position to take the top spot before 10 laps could go on the board. From there, Bozell marched on to the beat of his own drum. Just one more caution would slow the field on lap 31 when Craig Everage lost control of his 101 car in turns three and four.
On the restart, Bozell held off his father, Andy Bozell to maintain the lead. Meanwhile, Andy was defending his second-place run from Tyler Roahrig who was attempting to work his way to the front. Phillip Bozell would keep a comfortable distance from the rest of the field en route to his first win of the new season.
The tight bullring provided a surprising amount of passing throughout the evening. Justin Claucherty was the Hard Charger of the night, gaining 14 positions in 50 laps, coming from 21st to finish 7th. Other movers included Jack Landis who came from 16th to finish fifth, and Kyle Crump went from 14th to fourth.
The next event for Corrigan Oil Speedway is Friday, April 30th for the first Modified Challenge Series event of 2021. Outlaw Super Late Models return for race two of the NorthsideTowing.net Big 8 Series on Friday, May 7th.
Story - Zach Hiser, Horsepower Happenings
Photo - Thomas Stumpfig