Hoffman not in attendance, win streak snapped by Elite Chassis pilot Wallace
One of dirt track racing’s most enthusiastic and recognizable names made his long-awaited return to DIRTcar Summit Racing Equipment Modified Nationals Victory Lane Saturday night. Kenny Wallace is once again on top of the heap.
“There were years where I was winning everything,” Wallace said in Victory Lane. “Now, I guess I’m back.”
Indeed, the 2012 Summit Modified champion was back – right on the top side berm of the quarter-mile Fayette County Speedway. With the utmost car control and speed, Wallace cruised to his eighth career Summit Modified victory and a $3,000 check with the American Modified Series co-sanction. But not without a frightening sight heading into Turn 3 on the opening lap.
Polesitter Rick Conoyer went into Turn 3 with a full head of steam and lost the handle right in front of Wallace, and the rest of the 24-car field, sending cars into a frenzy to try and avoid him spinning. Wallace did just that and continued on, albeit with a rapid heartbeat.
“I was ready to go, and when Rick spun out, it was one of those deals like, ‘oh my gosh.’ But we got lucky and missed it,” Wallace, of St. Louis, MO, said.
A complete restart was in order, and Wallace jumped right on the opportunity to swipe the lead away on the outside. Which, he did, making the move around Conoyer on Lap 3.
Six-time Summit Modified champion Mike Harrison, of Highland, IL, managed to track down Wallace on the top side after another restart before halfway and was getting ready to make his move for the lead when he tagged the wall at the exit of Turn 4, sending his right-side wheels above the wall and back down again, damaging the car.
Immediately, Harrison fell off the pace and took it pit-side one lap later, done for the night. This freed up Wallace to maneuver through traffic at his own pace, as Conoyer was more than four seconds behind at that point.
With the laps winding down and thin traffic in front of him, Wallace cruised to the checkers for his first win with the tour since June 2018.
Piloting a new Elite Chassis for the 2021 season, Wallace has been spending lots of time in the seat getting used to driving it. The car was fabricated by three-time and defending Summit Modified champion Nick Hoffman, who opted to race in Indiana on Saturday, ending his eight-race win streak with the tour. However, Wallace was able to pick up the win and at least keep the streak going for the Elite brand.
“Nick Hoffman’s been good to me, but he always holds an ace up his sleeve. So, I had to find what I needed, and I drove it like asphalt,” Wallace said.
The Summit Modified tour next stops at Lincoln Speedway Sunday night, July 4, for an Independence Day special. Catch all the action live on DIRTVision presented by Drydene.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (30 Laps) 1. 36-Kenny Wallace; 2. J82-Treb Jacoby; 3. 14C-Rick Conoyer; 4. 128-Zach Schantz; 5. 43A-Larry Anderson; 6. 1A-Aaron Draege; 7. 59R-Jacob Rexing; 8. 87Z-Zeb Moake; 9. 22-Wade Wenthe; 10. 88L- Rob Lee; 11. 4T-Jake Trebilcock; 12. T6-Tommy Sheppard Jr; 13. 13-Charlie Mefford; 14. 15-Richard Gibson; 15. 4TM-Timothy Monroe; 16. 10-Jason Highley; 17. 27-Keith Harre; 18. 83-Kasey Schrock; 19. 51-Phil Bible; 20. 1S-Brian Shaw; 21. 59N-Chad Evans; 22. 24H-Mike Harrison; 23. 5T-Rob Timmons; 24. 9H-John Demoss