It was deja vu for Brayton Carter Sunday night at the Benton County Speedway Bullring. Two weeks after earning a last lap pass for the win in Frostbuster action, Carter repeated his late race heroics in the season points opener for the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods presented by Christie Door Company.
From his front row start, Brian Kauffman led throughout the 15-lapper, but was challenged by Kyle Olson during his time out front. Olson made his bid for the lead on two separate occasions, only to have those moves negated by a pair of cautions.
By the time the last yellow waved to set up a two-lap dash to the finish, Carter moved into contention and was sitting outside of row two when racing resumed the final time.
On the restart, Carter powered to the outside of Kauffman, who was committed to the low groove the entire race. The lead pair remained in close formation as Carter surged ahead coming off turn four to take the checkers by inches ahead of Kauffman. It was his second straight opening night SportMod win in Vinton. Tony Olson, Ben Chapman and Justin Wacha rounded out the top five.
Another late lead change thrilled the crowd in the 15-lapper for the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks presented by Kwik Star.
Front row starter Nathan Ballard built an early lead while Kaden Reynolds worked through traffic from a fourth row start. Reynolds reeled in the leader midway through the event and the front-runners ran side-by-side until the checkers flew.
With Reynolds running low and Ballard up high, the two swapped the top spot numerous times in the final laps. In turn four on the final lap, Reynolds powered to the inside of Ballard and the two made contact as they raced to the checkers. Reynolds inched ahead at the line to score the win. Daniel Wauters, Matt Brown and Jared Miller completed the top five.
For making final lap passes on their way to victory, both Carter and Reynolds earned bonus money courtesy of Christie Door Company.
Troy Cordes withstood pressure from Tim Ward and Joel Rust to earn opening night honors in the KISS Country 96.5 IMCA Modifieds. Cordes led the 20-lapper in its entirety, but a couple cautions kept the field close to the leader. In the end, Cordes earned his third career opening night win at the Bullring and a division-leading 57th career Modified win on the Vinton oval. Ward ran second ahead of a hard-charging Dylan Thornton. Rust and Mark Schulte ran fourth and fifth.
Defending track champion Dallon Murty made quick work of the 15-lapper for the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars presented by Albert Auto. From a fifth row start, Murty assumed command early and drove away to victory, his second consecutive opening night win at the speedway. Jay Schmidt ran second ahead of Leah Wroten, Scooter Dulin and Miciah Hidlebaugh.
Logan Clausen picked up where he left off in Frostbuster action in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact presented by Auto Crafters main event. Clausen passed early leader Blake Driscol a few laps into that 12-lapper to drive to the win. William Michel, Lukas Rick, Ashley Reuman and Driscol completed the top five.
Weekly racing action resumes next Sunday in all five divisions and will be joined by the Legend cars.
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