BOONE, Iowa – Jacob Ellithorpe came to watch when the Mach-1 Sport Compact division joined the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals program of events last September.
He came to Boone Speedway to win when the 4-cylinder class returned for its second Super Nationals appearance on Tuesday night.
Ellithorpe worked his way up from 15th in the initial grid and capitalized on a restart with five circuits left, staying in front to the finish of the fast-paced 25-lapper.
Brad Chandler led much of the way and ended in second. Mick Rykhus also took his turn at the head of the pack before crossing the stripe third.
Rounding out the top five were Tyler Whalen and Cameron Meyer. Fifty-five Sport Compacts competed, six more than during the division debut in 2011.
“After starting 15th, I was thinking that finishing anywhere in the top five would be pretty good,” said Ellithorpe, who earned $250 plus a $60 IMCA Weekly Racing Bonus for the victory. “I never thought I would be able to run the bottom of the track like that.”
While defending champion Nathan Chandler exited early for the infield, Brad Chandler needed only a single circuit to race from eighth starting into the lead. Mitch Bolton and Meyer chased him much of the night.
The pack got stacked up when Chandler missed a gear on a restart with six to go. Rykhus and the 24th starting Whalen got by before another quick yellow came out.
The next restart was Ellithorpe’s time to shine as he made what proved to be the winning move all the way from inside row three. Chandler caught Whalen for second but couldn’t make up the rest of the distance.
Ellithorpe took he checkers some five car lengths ahead of Chandler.
“The Chandlers are top of the line around this part of Iowa,” noted Ellithorpe. “It’s always an accomplishment when you can beat them.”