LINCOLN, Ill. – For the fourth night in a row, Lincoln Speedway was back at it Friday evening for racing action at Logan County Fairgrounds.
The July 3 event featured not only racing, but fireworks as well, and neither disappointed.
The open competition Midgets were on hand for the first time in 2020. Drivers from six different states were represented, with Emerson Axsom of Franklin, Ind., leading the first six laps.
On lap seven, St. Peters, Mo., driver Sam Johnson moved into the top spot to pace the field in the 20-lap event. The three car battle at the front of the field also included Central Illinois driver Jake Neuman.
The last 10 laps of the race went without a caution flag and Johnson raced to the victory.
Axsom, Neuman, Mitchell Davis, and Kyle Simon completed the top five.
The show of the night arguably came in the 20-lap DIRTcar Modified feature event. 22 drivers lined up for the start, as another stellar field was on hand.
Brian Diveley, a former Big Ten Super Late Model champion, raced into the lead at the start but action was hot and heavy on his heels. By the end of lap two, Ray Bollinger, who had won the previous two features, took over the top spot.
Bollinger was followed by Donovan Lodge and Diveley through the early stages of the race, before Austin Lynn started his trek to the front. Lynn moved into third shortly before halfway and took over second right at the halfway mark.
From that point on, it was a side-by-side battle for the holiday trophy. Bollinger ran the top, while Lynn ran the bottom for the final ten laps of the race, with Bollinger’s momentum keeping him slightly ahead until the final corner of the final lap, when Lynn was able to clear him and come across the stripe as the winner.
Following the Mason City, Ill., driver were Bollinger, Lodge, Brian Lynn, and Diveley.
The Pro Late Model race was another thriller, as 25 were pitside to start the night. Twenty cars made it to the feature event, with some of the best in DIRTcar Pro Late competition on hand.
Dakota Ewing took the early lead, while Brandon Eskew took over on lap two. Eskew led until lap seven, when Ewing took the top spot back. Ewing looked to be on his way to victory until a lap 17 caution bunched the field up for a final shootout.
Ewing led lap 18 before Eskew got by on the bottom side. Ewing jumped the turn two cushion moments later, ending his chances.
Eskew was followed by Jose Parga, Jake Little, Ewing, and Blaze Burwell at the line.
One of the largest DIRTcar Hornet fields in recent memory was on hand, as 28 cars were in the pits. The field was narrowed down to 20 after the heats and B-main.
A three car-breakaway ensued with Erik Vanapeldoorn, Brady Reed, and Dallas Strauch out front. Vanapeldoorn led the points coming into the night but hadn’t claimed a feature victory. That changed, however, as the Clinton, Ill., driver raced to the checkered just ahead of his two challengers.
Reed and Strauch were followed by David Lauritson and Nick Johnson.
The highly exciting race program was followed by an impressive firework display, lighting the night sky.