PLYMOUTH, Ind. – Kyle Strickler became $5,000 richer after he won the Lane Automotive 50 Race of Champions for DIRTcar UMP modifieds Saturday night at the Plymouth Speedway, which closed out its 2014 racing season.
Coming from his outside front row starting position in the 26-car field, Strickler led every lap and held a comfortable margin at the checkered flag over Brian Shaw.
Shaw, who was the fastest qualifier Friday evening at the three-eighths mile dirt track, was the only driver to put up any challenge to take away the top spot from Strickler in the 50-lap chase. In a race slowed by six yellow flag caution periods, Shaw closed in on Strickler as the race approached the 15-lap mark as Strickler came up on a pack of slower cars. Strickler maneuvered his way around the slower traffic and kept the lead.
Following Strickler and Shaw at the finish were Steve McClees, Rusty Griffaw, Travis Stemler and Derek Losh, who turned in the best performance by a local driver. Lucas Lee, Nick Allen, Joe Rokos and Dona Marcoullier rounded out the top 10.
“I knew Brian (Shaw) was on a little bit harder tire than us and the cautions definitely helped us out a bunch,” said Strickler. “The race car was really good. I just had to keep the car straight and not burn up the right rear tire. This was the first race for this car.”
Dave Baker Jr. won the 25-lap B feature to put himself, along with the rest of the top 10 finishers, into the 50-lap feature starting lineup. Finishing behind Baker were J.D. Francis, Marcoullier, Brad DeYoung and NASCAR driver David Stremme.
Garrett Saunders was the winner of the 30-lap feature for 600 Sprints division competitors. Brad Nichols was second with 2014 Plymouth track champion Billy Cribbs taking home third.
Kyle Strickler, Brian Shaw, Steve McClees, Rusty Griffaw, Travis Stemler, Derek Losh, Lucas Lee, Nick Allen, Joe Rokos, Dona Marcoullier, Jesse Bitterling, Brad DeYoung, Curt Spalding, Frank Marshall, Roy Bruce Jr., J.D. Francis, Dylan Woodling, Tyler Fitzpatrick, John Meyer, Richard Robinson, David Stremme, Zeke McKenzie, Josh Lolmaugh, Dave Baker Jr., Jamie Lomax, Michael Thayer.