WHEATLAND, Mo. – At last, Dillon McCowan was able to properly celebrate in Lucas Oil Speedway victory lane.
The 16-year-old from Urbana held off Kris Jackson to earn the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod victory in Saturday night’s Big Adventure RV Weekly Racing Series main event. While it was McCowan’s second official win of the season, the other came after the apparent winner was later disqualified and the fans had departed.
Ever since, McCowan had craved a chance to take the checkers first and get to enjoy it in front of the fans.
“It feels amazing,” McCowan said emerging from his car having led all 20 laps and collecting the $750 prize.
Other feature winners on Military and Veterans Appreciation Night Presented by KOZL 27 were Kaeden Cornell (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models), Derek Brown (O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks), Chase Domer (Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds) and Kaden Cockrun in the special guest class Mod Lites.
McCowan finished 1.4 seconds in front of Jackson, the track points leader and reigning USRA B-Mod National Champion.
McCowan started up front and took the early lead, with JC Morton advancing from fourth into second by lap three. McCowan went on to build a 1.8-second lead over JC Newell by lap 12, when a caution bunched the field.
Just two laps later another caution came out with McCowan leading Newell and Jackson, who had already advanced eight positions and into third with 11 laps remaining.
Jackson moved into second one lap after the restart and was right behind McCowan when the race’s fifth caution slowed things on lap 18. Morton was running third with Newell having dropped to fourth.
McCowan, the 2020 USRA B-Mod national points leader, clung to the low groove the rest of the way and held off Jackson by about five car lengths. Overall, it was his ninth feature victory of the year.
“I could see him up on the scoreboard and he had a little better lap times than me,” McCowan said of Jackson. “I could see him right there on my bumper after some of the restarts. I knew if I just kept it on the bottom and didn’t make a mistake, I didn’t think he could get around me because there wasn’t much for him on the top.”
Morton finished third with Newell fourth and Josh Franklin in fifth.
Cornell started on the pole and led all 20 laps, earning his second Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model feature win of the season. Cornell beat Larry Ferris by about eight car lengths in a race that had two early cautions before a long, green-flag run to the finish.
In victory lane, the Willard driver made a quick point to wish his parents, Aaron and Tracy, a happy anniversary.
“Without them, I wouldn’t be standing here. They mean the world to me,” Cornell said.
Cornell had some early pressure from Johnny Fennewald and Brad Looney and used the low groove to hang onto the lead. Looney was in second when a caution came out on lap three. On the restart, Looney spun in turn two to bring out another yellow.
Cornell checked out from the field from there. He opened up a 2.7-second lead by lap 15 and, after dealing with lapped traffic, finished 1.3 seconds in front of Ferris.
“It got a little dicey there in lapped traffic,” Cornell said. “I didn’t really know where to go because I hadn’t run anywhere but the bottom.”
Fennewald wound up third with season points leader Cole Henson in fourth and Todd Shute fifth.
Brown made it five wins in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks, leading all 20 laps of the feature. He outdistanced his dad, Tim Brown, by almost six seconds.
“I’ve been waiting for a track like this for a long time and it didn’t disappoint. That was fun,” Brown said.
Brown started outside of row one and had opened up a 2.2-second lead over Tim Brown when a caution flew on lap six. It took only four laps for Derek Brown to re-establish a two-second lead – and it just ballooned from there.
As the race stayed green the final 14 laps, he ran off to a 5.96-second win – or a straightaway’s margin – over runner-up Tim Brown. Johnny Coats finished third with Brian Brown fourth and Reggie Jackson in fifth.
Domer started on the pole and led all the way to earn the first Pitts Homes USRA Modified victory of his career at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Domer dominated in the caution-free event, rolling to a 3.2-second lead by the halfway mark of the 20-lapper. He cruised from there and finished an even two seconds in front of runner-up Robbie Reed, the season points leader.
“We’ve been racing over here for about eight years and finally got us one,” Domer said, dedicating the win to his dad, Berry, in victory lane. “We’ve had a lot of seconds and thirds. We didn’t think it was ever going to come.”
Domer said he noticed on the scoreboard after his lead margin had peaked that Reed had moved into second.
“I was getting a little nervous because I didn’t know if I was slowing down too much or not,” Domer said. “I think my right rear tire was starting to fade a little bit.”
Ryan Middaugh finished third with Joe Duvall fourth and Robert Heydenreich fifth.
Sixteen-year-old Cochrun took the lead midway through the feature and went on to capture the Mod Lites feature as the cars appeared at Lucas Oil Speedway for the first time.
Cockrun, who started fourth, edged past pole-starter Ed Griggs on the outside to complete lap seven to take over the lead. The Bakersfield, California driver held on from there, beating Griggs by just under one second at the finish.
“He kept schooling me on the restarts and I was like, ‘I need to get a good restart on this last one.’ I think I nailed it,” Cockrun said. “I love this place. I’ve watched a lot of my heroes win here. To get to race on the same track they do, being all the way from California, this is pretty cool.”
Zac Forster was third with Travis Alexander fourth and Michael Raffurty came home fifth.