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Rutherford Wins First Modified Feature at Springport

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

Springport, MI (Tuesday, April 20, 2021) - After an all too long off season, the Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway opened the gates for the first time in 2021 for the annual preseason exhibition known as the First Call, featuring extended purses for the drivers in a nonpoints event to shake off the dust.

The first feature event to hit the track was the 15 lap B feature for the Port Stocks. After a chaotic start the race would get under way with fast and furious action at the front of the field. There was a share of lead changes before Brent Denton would end up walking away with the win. Jacob Newman came back to finish second after battling car issues earlier in the day, William Trudgeon, Brad Robison, and Tim Lyon completed the top five.

The A feature was a thrilling race to the front between quickest qualifiers Ryan Hollister and Ben Wilcox. The two would race to the front with Hollister getting there first. After battling engine issues earlier in the day Hollister would recover to take the win over Wilcox, Ryan Kinsey, Eric Bennett, and Elston Fleming Jr. Port Stock heat races were claimed by Dillon Rose, DJ Marciniak, and Ben Wilcox. Wilcox was also fast qualifier with a lap time of 17.526.

The AutoLab Late Model Sportsman division would be next up for their feature event, and it was a barn burner. Former Galesburg Speedway champion Dylan Stovall showed some intestinal fortitude to force a three wide maneuver to take the lead in turn three. It would be off of this move the Wayland, Michigan driver would cruise to the victory. Fast qualifier Donnie Brest was second over Scott Pemberton, Jerem Wallen, and former track champion Mike Ammerman. Matt Edmonds, and Wallen won heat races with Brest taking top qualifier honors with a 16.077.

The Modifieds Powered by NOS Energy Drink would be the final event of the evening with a 50-lap, $1500 to win main event. The extra money on the line, mixed with early season jitters made this an event of attrition. This made it all the more nerve wracking for Tom Rutherford who looked to be the top dog on this day, spending the most laps at the top of the leaderboard. Rutherford would take the win, his first ever behind the wheel of a Modified. Multi-time champion Walt Obrinske Jr. was second over Indiana drivers Matt Dimit and John Gearhart. 2019 champion Dominique Van Wierengen completed the top five. John Gearhart was quickest in qualifying with a 15.288

This Saturday night, April 24 will be the opening event of the 2021 season featuring the debut of the NAPA Outlaw Super Late Models, Dragon Racing Fuel Street Stocks, and T&N Dairy Kreme Mini-Wedges. Also on the card will be the first points paying event of the season for the Port Stocks and AutoLab Late Model Sportsman. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6:45pm

Story - Chris Fobbe, Horsepower Happenings

Photo - Cally Jean Media

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