SANDUSKY, Ohio – Trent Stephens blistered the Sandusky Speedway pavement Saturday night as he drove to his fourth Midwest Supermodified Ass’n victory of 2014.
Stephens now holds a commanding lead in the overall series driver’s points standings. Stephens would capture the Jaycox/Reed Memorial 30-lap race by first blasting to the front and then hold off a charging Dave Shullick Jr. to get to the checkers first.
“Defiantly a good point’s night for sure,” said Stephens. “We had a real good car all day, we changed the set up because the track changed. We tweaked on some stuff when the track changed and we found some stuff I really liked. We got a ton of bite off the turn, not much going in, but as soon as I turned the car it would turn off. I knew that would come down to winning the race or not. The car just got better as the race went along, I was really good on the outside and that means a lot here.”
Veteran driver Jon Henes and young Danny Shirey would bring the field to the start at the Ohio track by the lake, and like a blast from a canon Shirey was on point before the field hit turn one. Shirey’s pace slowed on lap three when a car would slow and stop in turn four. Quickly pushed away and back to green flag conditions Shirey would shoot right out again.
As Shirey set a torrid pace in the Steve Stout No. 49 out front by many car lengths, the field behind was in complete disorder as cars were battling for position. Just before the halfway mark Stephens would muscle his way past his teammate, and second generation driver, Shirey, zipping by to take command. Now in front Stephens set sail, as Kyle Edwards and Shullick also got past Shirey and headed to the front.
Shullick would real in Stephens but was unable to mount a challenge for the top spot as Stephens Schaeffer’s Racing Oil, Kasper Auto Group burnt orange No. 19 was on fire and sent the checkers home to team owner Steve Stout. Shullick Jr. was followed in third by Edwards as Shirey would hold onto fourth, and Henes rounded out the top five.
“It’s OK, we had a really good car today,” said Shullick. “We did not get the best of starts in the beginning, we got pinned down on the bottom. Just had to make up a lot of ground racing back in the pack. I got to Trent the last few laps, but it is tough. He was fading and I was still coming. The laps are just so short. It was a good race, the drivers did a good job, I am sure the fans liked it.”
“I had a really strong run, a great car,” said Edwards. “I think Trent and D.J. had a 30 lap car and we had a 50 lap car. The car was really nice when it settled down about halfway through the run. The car came to us, but, just too much too late. A really strong finish for us, we have really turned it around since last year. It just feels good to come out here and be competitive every race. I am real happy with the run and thanks to BioBased.US, Health Care, Blue Arc Design, and everyone else involved.”
Now with just two MSA events to go, both at Sandusky, Stephens has opened up the driver point’s lead and it looks as if it is his to lose.
“We lost the brakes late tonight, but we will figure something out, that has never happened to this car here. Even if this team has a bad week we brush it off, who cares. It’s just on to the next week and try something different, maybe we will find something that works even better for the next race. Just a great day, all in all a great night,” said Stephens.