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Padilla Takes Winning Route

EAST MOLINE, Ill. — Accelerating through the dirt in the high groove of turns one and two and then maneuvering the low side of turns three and four is a common strategy around East Moline Speedway.

Jon Padilla tried a different route Sunday evening and came out of a three-car battle for the 15-lap County Waste Systems IMCA Mod Lite Season Championship feature win.

The Silvis, Ill., pilot won the night’s battle and the season-long war as he was unofficially crowned the 2022 track champion. Last Year’s champ, Anthony Guss, did not win one feature en route to that title. Padilla finishes this season with a pair of victories.

“Starting up front helped but I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” Padilla said in victory lane. “It worked great on the bottom (groove) and the car grabbed hold and got a good bite off the corner.”

Padilla started on the pole and paced every lap beating Brandon Freeburg, season runner up R.J. Gonzales, Mike Morrow and Jacob Copley.

The Rudy’s Tacos IMCA Hobby Stocks featured a track record car count (12) and equal amount of drama. Three different drivers led the event – Josh Lane, Randy Lamar and Donnie Cole. A plethora of battles, cautions and contact ended up restacking the field for a two-lap dash to the finish. 

On the ensuing green, more contact left three cars on their roof or close to it near turn one and the race was called complete. 

At press time, track officials were still determining a final finish.

Jacob Waterman sped by Chuck Hanna on lap 15 and cruised to his fifth Eriksen Chevrolet IMCA Late Model 25-lap feature win. Hanna had to check up for a back marker that lost control allowing Waterman to move by. Hanna, Chance Huston, Mike Haines and LeRoy Brenner rounded out the top five.

Jeff Larson visited again, with a new wrap this time, and ran away with the J&J Camper Sales IMCA Modified 20 lapper. Travis Denning closed in after a caution and took second ahead of Charlie Mohr, early leader Brandt Cole and Kenny Kostenbader. 

Brandon Durbin headed Denning by just a couple points before this event. They will decide the title next week.

Logan Veloz took the ultra-competitive and highly dramatic Legacy Corporation IMCA SportMod 15-lap feature. After multiple cautions, the checkers fell with Matt Speidel, Trey Grimm, David Engelkens and Rayce Mullen rounding out the top five.

Veloz leads the points heading into the Season Championship. The 18-year old is seeking his first track title.

Jesse Owen took third in the Dynamic Power Street Stocks 15-lap main and will try to wrap up his third consecutive track championship this Sunday. Owen charged from ninth, but winner Rob Henry moved from a 10thstarting spot. Kraig Hughes debuted his new car in second place. Pete Odell and Rob Nylin followed.

Defending track champ Cyle Hawkins has wrapped up the 2022 title and led up to the Season Championship with a thrilling 12-lap win over Nick Proehl. Dustin Porter, Jason Rhoads and Shawn McDermott followed.

A season high total of 110 cars were in the pits and the final checkered flag fell about 10 p.m.