The box scores will show Mike Harrison led every lap en route to DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified victory Saturday night at Fairbury Speedway, but his journey to get there was anything but a cakewalk.
Harrison, the six-time Summit Modified champion from Highland, IL, led comfortably from the drop of the green in the 30-lap main event and was leading the field by a considerable margin heading into the final five laps. Behind him, 18-year-old Michael Ledford had just won the battle for second between he and Mike McKinney and was approaching him quickly.
Harrison’s pace had notably dropped-off, and he feared something was amiss on his racecar.
“I thought my right-rear tire was going down – something just didn’t feel right,” Harrison said. “I just slowed down and tried to just ride around up there. I actually tried to spin my tires some on the straightaways just to keep air in the tire.”
Ledford had shrunk Harrison’s gap to almost nothing as they crossed the stripe with the white flag in the air. Ledford got a good run off of Turn 2 and carried the speed into Turns 3-4, throwing it way down low in a big slide job attempt for the lead, but was unsuccessful.
Harrison powered around the outside lane with just enough momentum to deny Ledford of his first career Summit Modified victory and the $2,000 prize.
“I knew what [Ledford] did the previous lap,” Harrison said. “I knew that I just needed to do what I had been doing, and if he did try to slide me, I’d be able to counter him and drive underneath of him.”
The Summit Modifieds will take Sunday off before returning to action for the start of Week #2 on Tuesday, June 20 at Moberly Motorsports Park in Moberly, MO. Tickets will be on sale at the gate on race day; streaming is available on DIRTVision.
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 24H-Mike Harrison; 2. 37L-Michael Ledford; 3. 8-Kyle Steffens; 4. 24Z-Zeke McKenzie; 5. 25W-Allen Weisser; 6. 96M-Mike McKinney; 7. 5CS-Curt Spalding; 8. 5-Steven Brooks; 9. 10Y-Trent Young; 10. 0F-Matt Fabrizius; 11. 45-Don Hammer; 12. 89-Austin Friedman; 13. 757-Bradley Jameson; 14. 8K-Levi Kissinger; 15. 13-Charlie Mefford; 16. 35-Ethan Weber; 17. 14-Caden McWhorter; 18. 94-Tom Pasek; 19. 36-Eric Vaughan; 20. 24T-Trevor Ringle; 21. 88S-Alan Stipp; 22. 25-Tyler Nicely; 23. 18L-Michael Long; 24. 1S-Brian Shaw