By – Todd Ridgeway
(Left to Right) Tim Ice, Jon Henes & Charlie Schultz
“Iâ€™ve raced here forever, I mean I started racing here in 1994, it took me till now to finally win here, it means a lot to my family, and myself.” Thatâ€™s what the first time Midwest Supermodified Association (MSA) winner Jon Henes said after nailing down the 30 lap feature win at the series second seasonâ€™s visit to the track up north, Sandusky (OH) Speedway. Henes was on a rail of determination that was not to be denied coming from the inside second row and getting the lead just a handful of laps into the event and never looked back. “Finally, my son told me this morning ‘Dad your going to win’ and he never says that. When I saw the checkered flag that was the first thing that popped in my head,” said the emotional race winner.
Rookie contender Zach Gibson and veteran Jack Smith brought the field to the green flag with 17 other winged warriors in tow for the start of the 30 laps. The action was quickly slowed when young Kyle Reed smashed the front stretch wall ending his night early.
Once racing resumed Gibson again set sail on the point with heavy heat coming from Smith and now Henes whom was on a rail and picking up the pace. Once Henes got around Smith he set his sights on the lead car of Gibson as the two went wheel to wheel. Eventually contact was made and Gibsonâ€™s car came to a stop in turn three.
Back under green with the field in tow Henes set sail. At the half way point it was Henes, Randy Burch, and the latest series winner Liquid Lou Cicconi. Fast qualifier Charlie Schultz was now sitting in fourth after coming from the twelfth starting spot. With but two laps to go a caution would fly when two cars made contact in turn one and came to a stop.
As Henes brought the field back to the start, and dash to the checkers, contact was made between Cicconi and Burch scattering the rest of the field. Everybody managed to maintain control staying on track and making it to the checkered flag as Henes came across the line with a pumped fist in celebration. The May Motorsports teammates of Schultz and Tim Ice finished second and third, with Cicconi regaining composure to get fourth, and Kyle Edwards rounding out the top five. Joe Armbruster, Trent Stephens, Burch, Smith, and Matt “the cat” Palmer completed the top ten.
“I felt like once we got back to green, I didnâ€™t feel any pressure, I couldnâ€™t hear anybody back there so I thought we where kind of leaving them,” stated the race winning driver. “Every time I felt comfortable we would have a caution and everybody would get reeled back in on me. We would then go down the back straightaway I could hear somebody there and they sounded like they where right up my butt. And then it seemed like as soon as we would come off the corner I wouldnâ€™t hear the noise any more. I felt really comfortable; on the last restart I kind of overshot three and washed out a little bit. I tried screwing myself up but all in all a great day,” finished Henes.
Fast qualifier Schultz finished second after blistering the track with a 14.961 lap early in the day. “We definitely had to work for it tonight. I had to really get up on the wheel and drive the car. Not as good a car as we had here opening night, we tried a couple little different things. The stager never really came in like I wanted it to and we had to work a little more with the air pressure. But, you know sometimes it better to be lucky than good, the last restart I went from fourth to second when the 49 and 52 got tangled up. We will take second and go on to Toledo,” stated Schultz.
Staying in the top five consistently and on the verge of getting that first Supermodified victory, Ice was pleased with the third place finish. “We where tight all day. I was really struggling in the feature and just kept going back. Finally under one of the cautions I felt it, a right rear tire going down. We came in and put a really fat huge tire on it but it had air in it. So I started back up through there, the car was really good. There where a couple little miss hapâ€™s there the last couple laps and I got to third, coming from sixth. I am still having a ball, these cars are so much fun to drive,” finished third place Ice.