BRITT, Iowa – Kyle Strickler continued his Hawkeye State success at Hancock County Speedway’s Night of 1,000 Stars.
The IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified driver from North Carolina was the seventh and final leader in Thursday night’s 50-lap feature. After passing Scott Hogan with five circuits to go, Strickler wheeled into victory lane at Britt to collect a $3,500 check, plus another $250 in lap money.
Benji LaCrosse and Ryan Ruter, like Strickler qualifiers from the “B” features, slipped past Hogan in the very late stages to finish second and third, respectively. Brian Mullen was fifth.
Played out to a capacity crowd, the Night of 1,000 Stars was also a Karl Performance Hawkeye Dirt Tour presented by XSAN event and drew 72 Modified entries from eight states.
Austin Wolf drew the pole and led the first two laps before giving way to Mike Jergens, whose tenure up front lasted until lap eight, when Todd Shute drove by.
Mullen was scored first on a single circuit before Shute regained the spot and earned a $1,000 bonus for leading when the race was halted for a mandatory caution at midway.
With that stoppage and a handful of cautions, lapped traffic never became a factor in the second half of the race. Ryan Ruter and Hogan took turns at the front but Strickler was clearly on a mission, making the most of the middle groove to complete his charge with five laps left, then fending off LaCrosse to take the win by two car lengths.
Strickler won from the 17th starting spot while LaCrosse moved up 28 positions and Ruter 24. Jeremy Mills was sixth and a plus 26 on the night while NASCAR visitor and fan favorite Ken Schrader advanced 23 places to ninth.
Shute’s share of the purse included $1,250 in lap money in addition to the lap 25 bonus.