ROSSBURG, Ohio — Four UMP National Modified drivers won A-Features on day one of the DIRTcar Fall Nationals by Allstar Performance at Eldora Speedway Thursday night.
There were 104 entrants representing a dozen states and Canada that took part in eight heat races, four B mains and four features with the winners taking home $1,000 each.
Travis Stemler, from Ionia, Michigan, won the first A-Feature after battling with Devin Gilpin for much of the event. Gilpin took the lead from Stemler and held a car length lead when a caution came out with two laps to go. Suddenly, Gilpin, from Columbus, Indiana, pulled into the pits with a broken shock mount and was out of the race.
This gave Stemler the lead and he held off Joe Godsey to win the first A-Feature.
Kenny Wallace was third, while David Mielke and Ken Schrader rounded out the top five.
“This is awesome,” Stemler said. “We know we are in the show on Saturday. You can’t beat winning at Eldora. Devin’s a hell of a race driver and it sucks what happened to him, but we’ll take whatever we can get.”
Brian Ruhlman dominated the second A-Feature after starting second. He jumped to the lead and the Clark Lake, Michigan native lead every lap and beat veteran Jerry Bowerstock by .8 of a second. It was his 33rd career win at Eldora.
“I’m working on two hours of sleep,” Ruhlman said. “We worked on this car until 4 a.m., and then got back at it at 7 a.m. Just got it done in time to get here. This car was a hot rod.”
Will Krup was third, while Jess Hartman and Brandon Green were fourth and fifth.
The third A-Feature was quite interesting as Trent Young, from Crofton, Kentucky, started second but took the early lead. But it only lasted for four laps as he hit the wall in turn two and his chance at victory was gone.
Dean Hoffman, from Troy, Illinois, started fifth, but inherited the lead when Young fell out. His lead only lasted for four laps as he too hit the wall in turn four. He was out of the race.
That put Kyle Strickler, from Mooresville, North Carolina, in the lead after starting third and he held off his teammate and polesitter David Stremme to win by three-tenths of a second.
“The race car was pretty good,” said Strickler. “I saw Trent get in the wall and then Dean got into the fence. I knew I wasn’t going to win the battle against the fence, so I just kind of puttered around the top and knew it be tough to get around me. This car is pretty good. Looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”
Nick Stroupe was third while Aaron Orr and Jordan Bauer rounded out the top five.
Tyler Nicely, from Owensboro, Kentucky, led ever lap and won the final A-Feature by 2.9 seconds over Brandon Ramsey.
“I knew I had a real good car,” Nicely said. “I had to make sure I didn’t get caught up in lapped traffic there. This chassis has been good all year. It’s our first victory here. I told my boys this summer that we are going to win a race at Eldora. This means a lot, standing on this stage. Hopefully we can get a couple more this weekend.”
Patrick Lyon was third, while Scott Bowersock and Ed Roley were fourth and fifth.