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Last-Lap Turn-4 Pass Sets Whitwell up for potential $14,000 weekend!

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By Dan Bailey
FOUNTAIN CITY, WI (Thursday September 6th, 2018) With blue sky, sunshine and perfect tempuratures blessing Night #1 of the "7th Annual Dahl Auto Plaza Modified Nationals" at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY racers and race fans alike had a perfect evening to start the 3-day special event!

Heartbreak for Jake Timm, though, as he lead the entire 30-lap A-Mod feature . . . that is, until R.C. Whitwell pounced on an opportunity and snuck his #96T underneath Timm's #49 HURCO Modified, coming out the final turn of the final lap, to capture the $2,000-To-Win Night 1 Victory.

At the drop of the green flag, to start the 30-lap Modified feature, Timm showed that he meant business! Timm's #49 jumped away from outside pole sitter Ryan Gustin not once, not twice, but three times as the start of the feature was brought to a crawl under cautions - forcing Timm to replicate his starting success time-after-time. Timm never faultered, however, and rocketed away from the competition to open up a commanding lead that, at one time, produced a separation between himself and Gustin of almost 1/2 a straightaway!

Gustin, of course, being no slouch behind the wheel, used the opening 15-laps to hunt the leader while formulating a plan of attack. Around the midway point of the feature, however, Gustin started showing smoke. "I could tell that he (Gustin) was pushing it hard," commented Whitwell after the feature was complete, "I could see that he was chunking his tires; I mean, I was getting blasted with chunks of flying rubber!"

Timm may have been the fasted of the field, turning in the feature's fastest lap of 15.807 seconds (a boot-scootin' 85.405 m.p.h. average speed for the lap), but as every racer and race fan knows, it's not always the fastest who end up in Victory Lane.

As the front runners entered lapped traffic late in the event, the vibe changed ever so slightly. The first view cars to go a lap down were quickly dispensed with by the leaders . . . but, as they worked into packs of cars which were, themselves, battling for positions, it became clear that lapped traffic was going to be a deciding factor on the trip towards the checkered flag.

Timm had found his speed, and built up his lead, running the extreme high line around "The Big 1/3-Mile" of MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY; right up along the cushion, and inches off the outside concrete retaining wall. Each exit off turns 2 and 4, however, became tight as competitors ahead of him drifted up off the bottom while waging their own battles.

With each passing lap, Timm's challengers (including Whitwell's #96T) closed the gap.

On lap 27, Gustin finally lost his charge for the opening night win, slamming his #19R into the turn one wall before fading to a 5th place finish which does not reflect his speed or opportunity for the Night 1 win. Whitwell pounced immediately, taking second while the sparks still settled from Gustin's scrape. Happy, TX's Rodney Sanders was the next to zip past, followed by Brad Waits; Sanders and Waits completed the night third and fourth, respectively.

The final two laps came down to Timm working on lapped traffic, and Whitwell working on Timm. Entering turn three on the final lap, Timm appeared boxed in - two cars side-by-side, directly in front of him - he entered turn three right in the middle of the banking and drifted to the top in turn four. The lane below him opened up and Whitwell used it to produce a 'drag-race' off the final turn to a side-by-side photo finish at the line as the checkered flag waived!

Whitwell stole the victory from Timm by inches! The first person to Victory Lane to congratulate Whitwell on the win? Jake Timm's dad, Bob Timm - with a smile and a hand shake, "Great Job! Congratulations! Awesome Run!" offered Timm!

The $2,000 opening night win sets Whitwell up for some potential bonus money, should the next two night's produce similar results. Friday's feature win is worth $4,000 while Saturday's feature win is worth $6,000, in the 'progressive-styled' pay-out put together for the "7th ANNUAL DAHL AUTO PLAZA MODIFIED NATIONALS". Also, there's a $1,000 bonus available to a Modified driver if they can win two features - and another $1,000 bonus if they can win all three. This means Whitwell is already flirting with a potential $14,000 weekend, if he can replicate Thursdays success just two more times!


Kris Jackson rolled into MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY with a prophetic social media post Thursday morning via his "Kris Jackson Racing" facebook account, "We made to the MTS Nationals. $2000 to win tonight wish us luck."

Five heat-races, four B-Mains and one 30-lap feature later . . . he was, indeed, hoisting the $2000 check high over his head while celebrating in MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY Dahl Auto Plaza Victory Lane!

He did catch some lucky breaks along the way - early race leader Calvin Iverson broke just two laps into the feature, then, after inheriting the lead and turning in the features fastest lap (16.618 seconds - 81.237 m.p.h.) Taylor Skauge looped his #32 in turn 3 on lap 14. Jackson took the lead at that point but still had to fend off challenges from 2018 MTS Track Champion Shaun Walski before his Victory Lane celebrations!

"Shaun is such a great racer, always races everybody really clean," commented Jackson after cementing the win, "so I didn't want to chop across his line. I moved up from the bottom earlier and actually found some great bite and good speed in the middle and didn't need to come down on him anyway. That was some fun racing!"

The crowd watched Walski lap after lap, working the inside, trying to get alongside and then past Jackson's #65 with his own #95X . . . but, Walski couldn't quite complete the move. At the end, following a late race restart, Walski settled for an opening night second place finish - followed across the line by Brandon Maitland's #2X in third; Les Duellman and Dan Hovden completed the top-5!


For Travis Krause, 2018 has been a bit of a dream season! He wrapped up the Jailhouse Saloon USRA Hobby Stock Track Championship at MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY in August, and Thursday night he survived an intense battle with Steve Dwyer at the front of the field to win the opening night Hobby Stock feature to start the "7TH ANNUAL DAHL AUTO PLAZA MODIFIED NATIONALS".

Krause led the opening 6 laps, with Dwyer battling along side; on lap 7 Dwyer took over the top spot while Krause took over the job of challenger. The two spent the entire 18-lap feature either side-by-side or bumper-to-bumper; and while the battle was intense and close (inches at most apart!) any contact was at a minimum! "That was close and fun," smiled Krause after climbing from his #X01 in Victory Lane and hoisting the $500 winner's check high over head!

While Krause and Dwyer battled for the win, Levi Sand turned in an excellent run just behind the two leaders! Sand's #11 ran a VERY close third the entire feature while Caledonia, MN driver held off challenges from multi-feature winner Brady Link (#29) and August feature winner Triton Krause (#34).

Evening #2 of the 2018 "7th Annual Dahl Auto Plaza Modified Nationals" on "The Big 1/3 Mile" gets underway Friday night immediately following the 7 PM Opening Ceremonies with green flag laps provided by A-Modifieds, B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon USRA Hobby Stocks, & REDBOX+ 600 Mods!
  • General Admission Grandstands Open at 5:00 PM
  • Family Friendly General Admission Prices continue with ALL kids 12 & Under admitted ABSOLUTELY FREE!
  • Adult Grandstand admission just $20!
  • Students (13+ with ID) only $5!
MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on Wisconsin Highway 35. For more information, call 608-687-3282 or visit www.MississippiThunder.com on the World Wide Web.

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MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY is presenting its "10th Anniversary Season" of top-notch dirt track action in Fountain City, WI. The high-banked 1/3 mile dark-clay oval has becoming known as one of the best speedways in the upper Midwest presenting dirt track racing in a fan and family friendly atmosphere Friday nights throughout the racing season.

For all details, continue visiting the MISSISSIPPI THUNDER SPEEDWAY web site: www.MississippiThunder.com

RESULTS - THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 6th - "7th Annual Dahl Auto Plaza Modified Nationals" - Night 1

full results

MTS results at MyLaps.com

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