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Cornell collects Sprint Invaders checkers, Tharp goes back-to-back at Speedway

An impressive 120 race teams signed in to compete in the first weekly points races to be held on the Fourth of July in 22 years at Benton County Speedway.

Jonathan Cornell made the holiday a memorable one by being victorious in the first-ever visit by the Sprint Invaders at The Bullring.

Chris Martin led the 23-car field to green and assumed command from his pole position start. He paced the field while Cornell pursed from a row two start.

On a lap nine restart, Cornell shot past the leader to take charge. He withstood late pressure from Ayrton Gennetten to take the checkers first in the 25-lapper. Austin McCarl, Riley Goodno and Kaley Gharst completed the top five.

Pulling double duty on the night, Goodno took top honors in a special appearance by the Midwest Micro Sprints.

Goodno set sail on the top side of the speedway and drove away to the impressive win ahead of Tyler Lee, Dallas Darnell, Mason Seubert and Mark Martin.

Draw/redraw points racing was held in all five weekly divisions that saw a first-time winner, a back-to-back winner and two drivers who made their respective fifth trips to victory lane this season at The Bullring.

Brandon Tharp has made winning look easy lately in the Karl Kustoms IMCA Northern SportMods presented by Christie Door Company.

Tharp, who earned his career first win in the division last month in Independence, drove to his first Vinton just a few weeks ago. He backed up that victory with a return trip to the winner's circle Sunday night.

Tharp started the 15-lapper from the pole position with defending track champion Ben Chapman to his outside. Tharp powered ahead at the drop of the green with Chapman closely pursuing.

Following an early restart, Tharp went to work on the top groove and was continually pestered by Chapman and Justin Wacha. Tharp denied all challenges to drive to his second consecutive victory at the speedway. Chapman, Brian Kauffman, Kyle Olson and Kaylin Lopez chased him to the checkers.

In only his fourth appearance ever on the Vinton oval, Chris Zogg made his first trip to victory lane following the 20-lapper for the KISS Country 96.5 IMCA Modifieds.

Zogg withstood persistent pressure from Ryan Maitland to score the win, becoming the 90th different Modified winner in weekly racing history at the speedway. Chris Snyder, Jerry Dedrick and Jeff Aikey completed the top five.

Dallon Murty raced to his fifth Bullring win this season in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars presented by Albert Auto Service.

From a third row start, Murty drove the top side to the front and then pulled away in impressive fashion to score the win ahead of a hard-charging Tom Berry Jr. Rounding out the top five were Leah Wroten, Jason Hall and Mike Smith.

Likewise, Kaden Reynolds earned his fifth win of the year in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks presented by Kwik Star.

From the second row, Reynolds made his way to the front early and dominated that 15-lapper to take the checkers ahead of Brett Vanous. Joren Fisher held off Matt Brown to finish third. Dru Kueker completed the top five.

Due to the late hour and the scheduled fireworks, the feature for the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts was postponed to next Sunday. The Compacts will hold double features during the July 11 Urbana 5 Memorial race.

For up-to-date speedway information, including details on the Urbana 5 Memorial, visit the track web site at or check out The Bullring on Facebook @BCSBullring.


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