Lodge Latest Modified Nationals Winner

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Donovan Lodge stands in victory lane after winning Thursday's Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals feature at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)
Donovan Lodge stands in victory lane after winning Thursday’s Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals feature at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway. (Mike Ruefer Photo)

LASALLE, Ill. — Donovan Lodge outdueled race-long leader Rusty Griffaw in the final turn on the final lap to claim his first victory of the 2013 Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals on Thursday night at LaSalle Speedway.

Griffaw, of Festus, Mo. and Lodge, of Moline, Ill., led the field to green, with Griffaw quickly escaping any challenges by pulling away. Griffaw was in charge the first 20 laps before Lodge reeled him in with five laps to go. As the leaders approached lapped traffic, Lodge moved his line up one lane, which proved crucial for the eventual race winner.

Lodge got Griffaw’s door multiple times, but could never fully get around the leader until he finally got to Griffaw’s door in turn three on the last lap as the two encountered a lapped car. Griffaw had to lift out of the gas coming off turn four as he got stuck behind the lapper, giving Lodge the momentum and the lead coming to the $1,000 checkered flag, one night after fading at the finish at Jacksonville Speedway.

“After last night going from first place to fifth in the last five laps, this is great,” said Lodge, who only led for one turn on one lap the entire night. “Running with the Summer Nationals is always a class act, always 40 cars every night. It’s fast and it just makes us better. So this is great win.”

Milo Veloz, Jr., Jamie Lomax, and Jeff Leka rounded out the top five.

Heat race winners included A.J May, Jamie Lomax, Rusty Griffaw, and Donovan Lodge.

The DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals continues Friday night at Fayette County Speedway located in Brownstown, Ill.

The finish:

Donovan Lodge, Rusty Griffaw, Milo Veloz Jr., Jamie Lomax, Jeff Leka, Jeff Curl, A.J. May, Steven Brooks, Travis Kohler, Matt Goulden, Brian Lynn, Butch Weisser, Vince Cooper, Justin McCoy, Cody Bauman, Brock Bauman, Jim Farris, David Wietholder, Tommy Duncan, Jason Pershey, Ray Bollinger, Allen Weisser.