KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Newly-crowned Lakeside Speedway USRA Modified track champion Nic Bidinger cruised to victory in the USRA Modified “A” Main while Yancy Shepard avoided a last-lap melee to claim the USRA B-Mod main event Wednesday on opening night of the inaugural Sunflower Showdown presented by Kenny’s Tile.
Bidinger took the lead from Rick Beebe with six laps in the books, and then rode the high side in the caution-free 20-lapper to win going away over a tough field of racers in the event co-sanctioned by the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS).
Beebe, who was second-quick in his qualifying group and passed two cars on the final lap to win his heat race, jumped out front at the start of the main event with Kelly Shryock , Zack VanderBeek and Bidinger in pursuit.
Bidinger grabbed third on the first lap and got around Shryock three laps later before tracking down Beebe and slipping around the outside as they raced to the flagstand to complete lap 7.
From there, Bidinger sailed to his eight win at the historic half-mile clay oval this season and his first-ever win under the USMTS banner.
After an exciting three-way battle, Stormy Scott emerged with the runner-up finish ahead of Ryan Gustin, who started 11 on the 28-car grid.
Shryock was fourth and Austin Siebert rounded out the top 5. Sixth through tenth were VanderBeek, Beebe, Dereck Ramirez, Rodney Sanders and John Allen.
With his fourth-place finish, coupled with fast time in his qualifying group and a runner-up results in his heat race, Shryock emerged with the most overall points for the first of three nights of qualifying. The top 6 in points are locked into Saturday’s $10,000-to-win “A” Main. In addition to the nine-time USMTS national champion, also making the big dance were Bidinger, Scott, Siebert, Beebe and VanderBeek.
The USRA B-Mod “A” Main was highlighted by five lead changes in 15 laps, including the final lap where third-running Troy Hovey’s flat tire ignited a six-car crash in the final turn of the race.
Jerry Hoffman led the first three laps from the pole position, but the next 11 laps were a back-and-forth rollercoaster ride between Brad Smith and Mike Higley.
Running fourth when the field took the white flag, Shepard took the low side in turn 2 in a three-wide race for the lead. He crossed beneath the checkered flag with a half-car-length to spare over Smith and Higley, with Aaron Marrant and 17th-starting Chad Clancy taking fourth and fifth.
Involved in the final-lap excursion were Hoffman, Carter VanDenBerg, Jacob Bleess, Sam Schuler, Logan Martin and Hovey. Hoffman’s machine tipped over onto its roof, but all drivers walked away uninjured.
Randal Schiffelbein Jr., Tim Karrick and Tim Powell wound up sixth, seventh and eighth to join the top 5 with a guaranteed spot in Thursday night’s finale for the USRA B-Mods.