The Midwest Sprint Car Touring Series Nebraska 360 Sprint cars were the main attraction at Off Road Speedway Saturday night, and the winged cars didn’t disappoint.
On a track made significantly faster by damp conditions, which even forced a brief weather-delay, drivers — when asked — still told promoter Jerry Pospisil that “they wanted to race,” and the large crowd was treated to cars flying around the quarter-mile track and, at times, through the air as the initial field of 19 cars was reduced to 10 cars by race’s end.
“The computer said that these cars were reaching speeds of 97 miles per hour,” Pospisil said. “By comparison, the IMCA Sport Mods that raced tonight were in the mid-70s.”
But the speed and conditions were a factor as numerous ‘red flag’ stoppages occurred throughout the race, beginning with Rich Cerveny’s car crashing into the wall coming out of turn four, then sliding perpendicularly along that wall much of the front stretch, coming to rest near the flag stand.
Cerveny, from Omaha, was uninjured, but after the clean-up and restart, the car of Norfolk driver Seth Brahmer rolled between turns one and two, and the race went into a rain delay as well as a reduction from 20 to 15 laps — with only 13 cars still operable.
Three more restarts were needed before the field — now 10 cars and led by Eric Lutz of Sioux Falls — was able to finish the final eight laps. For Lutz, this was his first MSTS win since April of 2018. Meanwhile, Lincoln’s Jason Martin and Fort Calhoun’s John Klabunde took second- and third-place, respectively.
In regular racing action, Cameron Meyer of Pierce earned his first win of the season at Off Road Speedway and second victory overall in the IMCA Sport Mods ‘A’ feature, winning a battle with Randolph’s Wes Hochstein in the race’s final five laps.
The two drivers started the race side by side in the third row and chased last week’s feature winner Jonathan Jensen of Norfolk for nine laps before Hochstein took over the lead. Meyer then passed Hochstein coming out of a caution and restart with five laps left, but Hochstein returned to the front with three laps remaining, holding on until Meyer picked up momentum on the inside coming out of turn two and again as he moved through turns three and four on the final lap to grab the win.
Meyer, who finished third a week ago driving Colby Langenberg’s car in the feature race after blowing the engine in his own car during the heat race, said he benefited in multiple ways from that earlier third-place finish.
“To replace the motor in the car it came down to time and people first of all,” Meyer said. “We picked up the new motor Monday morning and had it in the car and running Tuesday night.”
“We tried to replicate some stuff this week in my car that I felt in (Colby’s) car that I liked; I can’t say it was 100 percent close, but it got the job done tonight,” he said. “We tried some stuff we had never done on a car; this was the unknown going out there tonight. We didn’t know what it was going to do, but it ran good on the bottom and ran good up on the top.”
Meyer said that he was “surprised” that his car “stuck so good on the bottom” during the final lap of the race, adding that he tried the inside after being passed there by Hochstein with three laps to go.
“The computer said that last lap was my fastest lap of the race,” he said. “If Wes hadn’t passed me on the bottom earlier, I don’t know if I would have had enough confidence in the bottom to make that work.”
In the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature, Neligh’s Cameron Wilkinson continued his success at Off Road Speedway — picking up his fourth win of the season and adding to his points lead in the division.
Wilkinson led the final eight laps of the 15-lap race to secure the win, while Mark Arduser of Battle Creek was awarded second and Jim Kimmel of Norfolk third place after contact late in the race between Ryan Fajman of Albion and Tanner Uehling of Norfolk--who were competing for second at the time — sent Uehling into the infield during the final lap.
A regular slate of five divisions of racing will return to Off Road Speedway on Saturday, June 29.