EAST MOLINE, Ill. – As he peeled the 13th tear off from his very moist and splattered helmet face shield, Jim Sandusky saw the checkered flag.
The longtime veteran’s biggest competition was the persistent drizzle of rain. He dominated the rest of the J&J Camper Sales IMCA Modifieds Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway, leading all 15 laps.
“Gratifying,” Sandusky described the victory in the winners circle. “I’m just fortunate to have the friends and family to help me get here.”
The Coal Valley pilot jumped from the front row and was really never challenged. He held off Brandt Cole through some lapped traffic on lap 12 and then reopened a big advantage for his first 2021 win.
“Starting up front was the whole deal,” he added. “I put on 18 tear offs and I probably have five left. I carried a rag with me and, luckily, caught a couple of those restarts and that definitely made a difference. It’d been tough to pass on this surface. It was just greasy.”
Cole slipped up the race track, but gathered it back for second place. Point leader Jeff Larson, Casey Franks and Brandon Durbin rounded out the top five. Sandusky kept the string of different 2021 Modified winners at EMS intact.
The new lineup format for the Weekend Performance IMCA Mod Lites did not deter point leader Mike Zemo, Jr. He raced from ninth starting spot to the point on lap nine to win the 15-lap finale. Jon Padilla, Michael Dominguez, Anthony Guss and Bryan Wonick followed.
Under the STARS banner, the class used a draw/redraw system to line up races. Under IMCA rules they take part in the point invert.
Jarrett Franzen mastered the high line to low groove move throughout the heat and 15-lap Legacy Corporation IMCA SportMod feature. He nailed it early and cruised to his second 2021 win.
Jacob Copley kept pace in points with the runner up finish ahead of point leader Logan Veloz, Rob Nylin and Trey Grimm.
Peter O’Dell sized up the possibility, took advantage of a late restart and zipped past Rick Schriner on the final corner to take the County Waste Systems Street Stock 15-lapper. After Schriner came Jesse Owen, Joe Bonney and Alex Pappas.
O’Dell became the third different winner in three races.
Daniel Wauters took his second Rudy’s Tacos IMCA Hobby Stock 12-lap feature, beating the only other winner so far this year, Drew Burk, to Joe Carleton’s checkers. Logan Gustaf, Donnie Cole III and Jared Miller followed.
The show was pushed along with the stubborn drizzle and showers, causing two delays. The final two features, Eriksen Chevrolet IMCA Late Models and Riverbend Pizza Place Sport Compacts, were finally called off and will be run May 23.