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Beale Wins First Career Late Model Feature At Columbus 151

Rookie late model racer John Beale won the late model feature on Friday night at the Columbus 151 Speedway, in only his third night out in the car.

Jake Vanoskey took the initial lead in the event from his pole position starting slot, as Lincoln Keeser settled into second, while Beale fell into third. The trio kept the pace as Eric Melchoir, Andy Wendt, and Ron Bishofberger began planning their strategies. Vanoskey appeared to begin having handling issues with his car, with Keeser making contact on lap 21 as the pair exited turn two, resulting in the caution flag being flown and both being relegated to the rear of the field, giving Beale the lead. On the restart, Beale kept up the pace, with Melchoir now in second and Wendt in third. Wendt immediately looked to the outside, but fell back, as Bishofberger took the third spot. Wendt faded back a bit, with Beale now able to pull away, as Melchoir and Bishofberger battled for the runnerup position. Beale cruised to the win, followed by Melchoir, Bishofberger, Bill Retallick, and Wendt. Bishofberger set time in qualifications, while Beale and Brady Liddle won the heat races.

Scott Lawver took the lead at the start of the street stock feature, and was never headed, as he took the win. Lawver jumped into the lead, with Ed Jackson and Phil Denikas in pursuit. Denikas, a two-time track champion, began working his patented outside groove magic immediately, as Jackson took a few peeks inside of Lawver. Denikas took sole posession of the second spot by lap 10, moving alongside Lawver for the lead, but never being able to quite clear for the lead. Denikas would work outside, then duck back behind Lawver, then try again, but in the end Lawver had too much, and took home top laurels. Denikas settled for second, followed by Jackson, Dan Schmidt, and Kevin Anderson. Earlier in the evening, Steven Sauer set fast time, with Lawver and Sauer sharing heat race victories.

Jimmy Robinson remained undefeated in hobby stock feature events here this year, running his streak to three, as he took the win in that divisions headliner. Peter Shelley took the lead at the start, with Andy Raley moving into second and Robinson quickly up to third. A caution on lap five resulted in the same positioning on the restart, as Shelley continued to show the way. Raley looked to go inside, while Robinson looked outside, as Shelley suddenly dropped out with transmission problems, and Raley dropping out as well, with Robinson getting the lead. Cody Buchs found himself suddenly moving up a few spots, as he then tried to chase down Robinson. Buchs could catch Robinson, but not mount a serious bid for the lead, and Robinson took the win, followed by Buchs, Rockford Roadrunner division racer Ryan Ostenson, Jay Bergin, and Jamie Tate. Robinson also set fast time for the evening, while Shelley won the heat race.

The Beale family luck also went to Brian Beale, as he won the Bandit feature event. Keith Erickson shot into the initial lead from his outside front row starting position, with Tom Steinbach settling into second, followed by David Roundy. Erickson opened up a huge lead, which was erased when the caution was flown on lap 10 for a multi-car melee. On the restart, Erickson again took the lead, with Steinbach and now Brian Beale in third. Beale took over the second spot immediately, as Jim Lorang looked outside Steinbach for third, and Bobby Ollerman looking to go between the pair. Lorang came to a halt on the backstretch, resulting in another caution, after which Erickson again took the lead, followed by Steinbach and Beale. Beale quickly took over the second spot, and looked outside of Erickson for the lead, as Nick Schmidt suddenly appeared on the scene. At the end, it was nearly a three wide situation, with Beale taking the win, followed by Schmidt, Erickson, Dave Schmidt, and Chester Ace. Ace set fast time, with heat race victories going to Erickson, Ollerman, and Beale.

Andy Ward Jr. took the lead at the start of the backup division feature, with Matt Wachuta passing Wayne Hook for the second spot. Ward continued to lead, as Wachuta gained on the leader, catching him with two laps to go. Wachuta got up to the bumper of Ward, but Ward fended off his efforts, taking the win, followed by Matt Wachuta and George Wachuta.

The vintage modifieds of the Milwaukee Vintage Modified Stock Car Association were on hand tonight with their great looking and sounding machines, bringing back memories of racing's past. Steve Bergdorf took the lead with his '58 Chevy bodied machine, with Charlie Bergdorf taking second, and Terry Pulver following. As these drivers diced for position, Pulver appeared to be the man to beat, as he took the second spot on lap four, then moved to the outside of Steve Bergdorf for the lead on lap nine, taking home the win. Steve Bergdorf placed second, while Bruce Podlich placed third.


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