KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Terry Phillips, Brett Heeter and J.C. Morton kicked off opening night of the third annual USRA National Championships Thursday night at the Lakeside Speedway with hard-fought victories in their respective divisions.
Morton has had everything go wrong before at the half-mile oval in Kansas City, Kan., but everything went right for him Thursday in Out-Pace USRA B-Mod action.
After winning his B Main, Morton quickly moved toward the front in the 15-lap main event, eventually settling for second at the finish line behind Jim Moody.
But Moody was disqualified for non-conforming suspension parts during post-race technical inspections, thus handing the victory to Morton.
Passing a dozen drivers and adding to it 63 bonus points for the true car count bonus, the win was a big step for Morton in keeping pace in the USRA national points with Ryan Gillmore and Kris Jackson.
Gillmore, however, claimed the runner-up finish with Jackson taking the fourth spot behind Brad Smith. Doug Keller, Iron Man Series points leader Andy Bryant, Steve Clancy, John Allen, Dan Hovden and Josh Most rounded out the top 10.
Brett Heeter’s 12th Holley USRA Stock Car win of the season came at his home track Thursday night as he led all 15 laps en route to pocketing the $500 top prize.
After surviving a flurry of early-race cautions, Heeter had to hold off Elijah Zevenbergen at the checkers to complete the wire-to-wire win.
Dillon Anderson, won the inaugural event here two years ago, finished third, followed by Dan Mackenthun and Dean Cornelius. Sixth through tenth were Todd Staley, Stefan Sybesma, Lynn Panos, Shawn Peter and Kevin Anderson.
In USRA Modified action, Phillips withstood early-race challenges from Tim Karrick and Johnny Fennewald, and then maintained his positions through four cautions in capturing the 20-lap USRA Modified nightcap.
Nic Bidinger came from 11th to claim the runner-up position while Lucas Schott edged Jake Gallardo at the finish line for third.
Gallardo, the defending USRA Modified national champ, came into the night’s event as the points leader with Schott ranked second.
Austin Siebert finished fifth, Aaron Marrant was sixth, Jesse Sobbing took the seventh spot, eighth went to Fennewald, Zane DeVilbiss came from 20th on the grid to nab ninth and Fito Gallardo rounded out the top ten.