ROSSBURG, Ohio — While Jerry Bowersock (UMP DIRTcar Modified) completed his 3-2-1 countdown, Barney Craig (Stock Car) remained stuck on number 1 in Saturday’s Mobil 1 Family Fun Night feature race action at Eldora Speedway.
In the three Modified events this season, veteran Bowersock finished third on opening night, second two weeks ago and then this week was the top of the class as the 25-car field went non-stop for 18 laps around the .500-mile clay oval. The checkered flag marked victory number 25 for Bowersock, moving him into third behind Scott Orr (34) and Brian Ruhlman (28).
Brent Hole charged from his outside pole position at the green flag to take the early lead, while pole-sitter Zach Schroeder followed in close pursuit. Before two laps could be completed, Bowersock had already moved from seventh to runner-up. Keeping him within site was opening night feature winner Brian Post as he chose the same line around the lightning quick track.
As Hole continued to rule top spot, Bowersock and Post soon found a new player, as quick qualifier of the night, Matt Westfall joined in to create a trio of challengers for Hole.
Lap after lap, Hole maintained control; until the half-way mark on lap nine, as Bowersock pulled off the pass that would take him to the checkered flag. One lap later Westfall inched ahead of Post, and then two laps after that got by Hole for second, but by that time Bowersock had built up an insurmountable lead; especially with no caution flag periods to slow the pace.
Bowersock used his knowledge of Eldora to master the lapped traffic, which placed three cars between himself and Westfall coming down for the checkered flag. Following them across the line were Post and Aaron Orr, who came on strong in the closing laps. Schroeder hung on for a top five finish, while Hole slipped back to sixth.
Attrition was the keyword in the Stock Car finale as only eleven of the 21 starters were around at the finish. Seven caution flags slowed the pace.
Those yellow flags may have slowed up the race, but it had no slowing effect on Craig (Lima, OH) who made it three-for-three in feature race action on the young season.
The first yellow came out before one lap could be completed, as a spin up in front of the field created a chain reaction that collected a total of seven cars. As the green unfurled one more time, it was lights out for the balance of the field, as third-place starter Craig got by Earnie Woodard and Jordan Conover down the back stretch to take the lead that he held to the finish.
Lady luck finally dealt Woodard a good hand this week. He found himself on the top end of a five-car battle that had the huge crowd cheering.
While Craig was out creating a new zip code for himself, Woodard, Jordan Conover, Jeremy Creech, Shawn Phillippi and Paul Pardo waged a wild race to determine who would follow Craig and in what order. Woodard hung on to finish ahead of Creech and Conover, as Phillippi and Pardo completed the top six.