Cockrum Tops ‘Friday Night Fury’ Show at Gas City; Strunk, Losh, and the Headleys Also Triumph

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Cockrum Tops ‘Friday Night Fury’ Show at Gas City; Strunk, Losh, and the Headleys Also Triumph

GAS CITY, Ind., Sept. 7 — Shane Cockrum of Benton, Ill., who is known as the “Flying Fireman,” won a torrid, non-stop, 25-lap non-wing sprint car feature Friday night at Gas City I-69 Speedway that lived up to its billing as “Friday Night Fury.”

Brad Strunk of Mason, Ohio, the “Racing Realtor,” captured the 20-lap American Mini Sprint Association (AMSA) feature after winning a similar main event on opening night in May.

Derek Losh of Rensselaer, Ind. won the 20-lap United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) modified feature for his sixth such victory this season at Gas City.

James Headley of Marion, Ind. took a crack at the street stock division and won that 15-lap feature by inches in another barnburner.

His son, James Headley Jr. of Wabash, Ind., closed the evening with his sixth 15-lap hornet feature victory of the year at the Grant County quarter-mile dirt oval during the five-division program that attracted 100 races cars, including 33 410 sprints, but was still completed by 11:14 p.m.

Polesitter Dustin Ingle of Lima, Ohio led the first seven laps of the sprint car feature before Cockrum got by on the backstretch in Jamie and Michelle Paul’s High Asspirations Farms DRC No. 24P, which is based in Eaton, Ohio.

Point leader Thomas Meseraull of Waveland, Ind., who was going for his eighth sprint car feature victory of the year here, got under Cockrum in Turn 4 to take the lead working lap 17. The pair made contact in Turn 2 on the next lap, and Cockrum regained the lead on lap 19. 

Lap 21 was amazing, as second and third place changed hands at least twice with sliders between Meseraull and Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind. before Weir got second on lap 22. 

Meseraull faded to sixth on the last lap, reportedly due to the earlier contact. He displayed his displeasure to Cockrum afterwards, and his car had to be towed from the backstretch after the race.

Cockrum was 2.256 seconds ahead of Weir at the checkered after the 25-lap contest that took only 14:13 to complete. The lack of yellows was remarkable, as the leaders had several close calls due to lapped traffic.

Ingle ended up third. Dallas Hewitt of Fletcher, Ohio, who started tenth, came home fourth and Matt Westfall of Pleasant Hill, Ohio rounded out the top five. 

Ryan Moran of Ottawa, Ohio led the first 12 laps of the 20-lap AMSA mini-sprint feature before Strunk dug under him in Turn 2 for the lead in his No. 23S, which is sponsored by Parsons Construction Group and NRL Mortgage. Jac Nickles of Harrod, Ohio, who won two AMSA mini-sprint features at Gas City in June and July, was right on the tail of runner-up Moran’s car at the checkered. Chris Miller of Lafayette, Ind. finished fourth and Adam Schmenk of West Mansfield, Ohio placed fifth. 

Losh started on the pole of the 20-car/20-lap modified feature and led the whole way in his Superior Sales and Service No. 21. Zeke McKenzie of Claypool, Ind. placed second when he took the checkered 5.467 seconds after Losh did. Defending track champion Dillon Nusbaum of Warsaw, Ind. finished third. Dylan Woodling of Warsaw, Ind. used the high groove to finish fourth and Tony Anderson of Lima, Ohio placed fifth.  

Lapped traffic in Turn 2 played a role in determining the outcome of the 15-lap street stock feature, which was settled by inches at the line. 

Polesitter Tony Anderson led the first lap before Andy Bishop of Gas City got the lead using the outside groove in Turn 4. After two yellows for spins, Headley passed Anderson for second by slipping under him in Turn 4 working lap six. Using the low groove, Hedley passed Bishop for the lead on lap 10 only for Bishop to regain it on the following lap. 

The pair continued to duke it out the rest of the way and lapped traffic played a role. They banged wheels on the white-flag lap when Headley took the lead in the HP Auto No. 78. They took the checkered side by side, with Headley getting the victory over Bishop by mere inches.

Anderson finished third followed by Jeffery Jessup. Dalton Bishop of Montpelier, Ind., finished fifth. 

Headley Jr. started on the pole of the hornet feature and led the whole way in 

the family’s No. 00 sponsored by Dudding’s Heating and Cooling, Garriott Electric, Edwards Automotive and TJR Trucking.

His father started second and ran in that position for the first nine laps. At that point Brad Evans of Marion, Ind. had mechanical difficulties and stopped in Turn 4, and Headley had to take evasive action through the infield to miss him. After that maneuver Headley’s right-rear tire started to go flat, most likely due to the incident, and he headed for the pits before the race restarted with nine laps down. Jacob Beard took over second due to Headley’s exit and he went on to finish in the runner-up position. 

The best battle near the end of the race was for third, which eventually went to Allison Butler over Dustin Franks of Portland, Ind. Donnie Huddleston finished fifth. 

During intermission there was an Indianapolis Motor Speedway ticket give-away for the NASCAR Xfinity race there today and the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard powered by Florida Georgia Line at IMS on Sunday.

Sprint car drivers also went through the stands with their helmets and collected $887 in donations for the funeral of 10-year-old Skylea Carmack of Gas City, who was murdered last week. 

The Farmers Almanac has predicted a particularly cold winter ahead so fans won’t want to miss the track’s final four nights of operation for the 2019 season while the weather is still favorable for racing. There’s only one more Friday night show on tap, which is next week on a lucky Friday the 13th when the American Ethanol modifieds, non-wing sprint cars, USAC SpeeD2 midgets and the hornet division take center stage. On Thursday, Sept. 26 the track will present the second annual James Dean Classic featuring the USAC AMSOIL national sprint cars. The Fall Festival of Speed will close the season on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6.

Fans can get additional information on the track’s website at Fans can also follow it on Facebook (@GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas), Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway) and Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway).

The results:

Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. J.J. Hughes, 2. Ty Tilton, 3. Tyler Hewitt, 4. Adam Byrkett, 5. Evan Mosley, 6. Chris Neuwsander, 7. Jack James, 8. Brian Vaughn, 9. Cooper Welch. 

Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Shane Cockrum, 2. Anthony D’Alessio, 3. Dallas Hewitt, 4. Tony Main, 5. Garret Abrams, 6. Tim Creech, 7. Matt Cooley, 8. Brayden Clark.

Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Scotty Weir, 2. Sterling Cling, 3. Matt Westfall, 4. Cody White, 5. Tyler Kendall, 6. Aaron Davis, 7. David Gross, 8. Scott Hampton (DNF). 

Non-Wing Sprint Heat 4 (8 laps): 1. Thomas Meseraull, 2. Dustin Ingle, 3. Brandon Mattox, 4. Mike Miller, 5. Cole Ketcham, 6. Dustin Smith, 7. Joe Liguori, 8. Andrew Cockman. 

Non-Wing Sprint B Main 1 (10 laps; 2 transferred ): 1. Tyler Kendall, 2. Evan Mosley, 3. Aaron Davis, 4. Jack James, 5. Brian Vaughn, 6. David Gross, 7. Cooper Welch, 8. Chris Neuenswander (DNS), 9. Scott Hampton (DNS). 

Non-Wing Sprint B Main 2 (10 laps; 2 transferred): 1. Cole Ketcham, 2. Dustin Smith, 3. Garret Abrams, 4. Matt Cooley, 5. Tim Creech, 6. Brayden Clark, 7. Joe Liguori, 8. Andrew Cockman (DNS). 

Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps): 1. Shane Cockrum, 2. Scotty Weir, 3. Dustin Ingle, 4. Dallas Hewitt, 5. Matt Westfall, 6. Thomas Meseraull, 7. Brandon Mattox, 8. Sterling Cling, 9. J.J. Hughes, 10. Cole Ketcham, 11. Tyler Hewitt, 12. Dustin Smith, 13. Ty Tilton, 14. Tyler Kendall, 15. Tony Main, 16. Anthony D’Alessio, 17. Adam Byrkett, 18. Cody White, 19. Mike Miller, 20. Evan Mosley. (14.13; margin of victory was 2.256)

AMSA Mini-Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Austin Powell, 2. Chris Miller, 3. Jac Nickles, 4. Howard McCormick, 5. Jerry Inbody, 6. Keith Inbody.

AMSA Mini-Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Brad Strunk, 2. Ryan Moran, 3. Chris Bounds, 4. Eddie Mehl, 5. Adam Schmenk, 6. Marty Spitler. 

AMSA Mini-Sprint Feature (20 laps): 1. Brad Strunk, 2. Ryan Moran, 3. Jac Nickles, 4. Chris Miller, 5. Adam Schmenk, 6. Austin Powell, 7. Chris Bounds, 8. Howard McCormick, 9. Jerry Inbody, 10. Keith Inbody, 11. Eddie Mehl, 12. Marty Spitler.  (7.29; margin of victory was 2.105).

UMP Modified Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Tony Anderson, 2. Justin White, 3. Clayton Bryant, 4. Terry Griliott, 5. Josh Betts, 6. Todd Sherman, 7. Andy Sherley, 8. Gary Herrly.

UMP Modified Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Zeke McKenzie, 2. Bill Griffith, 3. Andy Bishop, 4. Daniel Sanchez, 5. Jessica Sroufe, 6. Braxton Strait, 7. Luke Timmerman. 

UMP Modified Heat 3 (8 laps): 1. Scott Orr, 2. Dylan Woodling, 3. Percy Gendreau, 4. Bub Roberts, 5. Tim Monroe, 6. Jim Henson, 7. Shane Coby. 

UMP Modified Heat 4 (8 laps): 1. Derek Losh, 2. Dillon Nusbaum, 3. Aaron Orr, 4. Shane O’Conner, 5. Ryan Ramseyer, 6. J.J. Butler, 7. Jeff Herbert. 

UMP Modified B-Main (8 laps;  4 transferred): 1. Todd Sherman, 2. Jessica Sroufe, 3. Josh Betts, 4. Ryan Ramseyer, 5. Jim Henson, 6. Luke Timmerman, 7. Jeff Herbert, 8. Shane Coby, 9. Tim Monroe, 10. Andy Sherley, 11. J.J. Butler, 12. Braxton Strait. 

UMP Modified Feature (20 laps): 1. Derek Losh, 2. Zeke McKenzie, 3. Dillon Nusbaum, 4. Dylan Woodling, 5. Tony Anderson, 6. Clayton Bryant, 7. Bub Roberts, 8. Todd Sherman, 9. Scott Orr, 10. Aaron Orr, 11. Shane O’Conner, 12. Andy Bishop, 13. Daniel Sanchez, 14. Terry Griliott, 15. Josh Betts, 16. Justin White, 17. Ryan Ramseyer, 18. Jessica Sroufe, 19. Percy Gendreau, 20. Bill Griffith.

Street Stock Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Andy Bishop, 2. Jeffery Jessup, 3. James Headley, 4. Mike Fincher, 5. Marty Harkinson, 6. Mark Keith, 7. Gerald Owens. 

Street Stock Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. James Watters, 2. Tony Anderson, 3. Dalton Bishop, 4. David Norman, 5. Larry Persinger, 6. J.J. Nordman. 

Street Stock Feature (15 laps): 1. James Headley, 2. Andy Bishop, 3. Tony Anderson, 4. Jeffery Jessup, 5. Dalton Bishop, 6. David Norman, 7. Larry Persinger, 8. Marty Harkinson, 9. James Watters, 10. Mike Fincher, 11. Mark Keith, 12. Gerald Owens (DNS), 13. J.J. Nordman (DNS). 

Hornet Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Jacob Beard, 2. Joey Eastes, 3. Allison Butler, 4. Donnie Huddleston, 5. Brad Evans, 6. Jesse Arenas.

Hornet Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. James Headley, 2. James Headley Jr., 3. Dustin Franks, 4. Charlie Teegarden, 5. Sean Torre, 6. Randy Brommer. 

Hornet Feature (15 laps): 1. James Headley Jr., 2. Jacob Beard, 3. Allison Butler, 4. Dustin Franks, 5. Donnie Huddleston, 6. Randy Brommer, 7. Joey Eastes, 8. Charlie Teegarden, 9. James Headley, 10. Brad Evans, 11. Sean Torre (DNS), 12. Jesse Arenas (DNS).