DAVENPORT -- Vicious lapped-traffic certainly assisted Andy Eckrich's No. 56 machine in catching and passing Matt Ryan for the lead, but in the closing laps, Eckrich found himself in the same situation as Ryan.|
It was the 24th circuit of the 40-lap, $3,000 to win, Deery Brothers Series opener at Davenport Speedway when Eckrich claimed the lead from the No. 07 of Ryan. Ryan, who led a race-high 18 laps, battled lapped traffic for several laps as Eckrich closed in.
"They weren't trying to purposely do it, they were just trying to get through traffic," said Eckrich of slower traffic in front of him. "Obviously their cars were mishandling and they would cut you down going into the corner."
Eckrich, who won the second B-Main to qualify, led the rest of the way, bringing home the victory in the series opener. It didn't come without a challenge, though, from eventual second-place finisher, Justin Kay.
"I knew that I had better be going, but the harder I pushed, the worse I was," said Eckrich, who had no idea Kay was closing at a frantic pace. "I saw him with three to go and said, 'you better get after it.'"
Kay started the race on the inside of row seven. He and Joel Callahan spun in Turn 2 on the opening lap to bring out the first of three cautions. Fast forward to the finish, and he was nose to tail with Eckrich at the finish line. If the race was 41 laps, there may have been a different outcome.
"It would have been close, that's for sure," said Kay, the 2013 IMCA Late Model National Champion. "I could just hold it a little bit lower off the corner. I could get up next to the other cars and take their line from them, and make the pass."
Milan's Ray Guss Jr. started on the outside pole, and looked to be an early favorite. He led the first five laps until the second yellow flag was waived. That's when trouble struck the Roberts Motorsports group. Guss hit the kill switch under caution, stalling the car. He recovered, but had to restart in the back of the pack. Guss finished ninth.
Brian Harris, 2013 Deery Brothers champion, finished in sixth, and Ryan finished in fourth. Todd Malmstrom led one lap, but failed to finish due to a blown oil line.
Other results from Davenport's opening night consisted of Austin Moyer holding off Jake Montoya and Doug Burkland for the 15-lap IMCA Sports Mods feature victory. Tim Current won the 15-lap Street Stock feature and Rob Dominacki won the IMCA Modifieds feature. Zach Dahl, driving his brother Brandon's D17 ride, won the 4-stock feature with Aaron Hitt finishing in the runner-up spot.
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