Friday, September 24, 2021

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Chad Strawn scores first career modified victory at Sunset Speedway

On Saturday night, Chad Strawn had his modified on a roll as he held off all charges sent his way in the 30 lap feature to score his first career Hanover Holiday Modified feature victory.

Kicking off the night, the first heat didn’t go according to plan as Bobby Tolton would make contact with Max Beyore, causing Beyore to spin. Mike Westwood picked up the win in his new car ahead of Tolton, Brian McLean, Beyore, Dustin Jackson and Branden Bullen.

The second heat didn’t go much better with John Harper getting into Gary Elliott on the opening lap, resulting in both getting into the inside wall. Tommy Robb picked up the victory ahead of Brent McLean, Davey Terry and Harper.

The third heat went smoothly as Ryan Dick held off Gary McLean for the victory while Shane Stickel finished third, followed by Matt Barton. Strawn would get credited with fifth after pulling off on the last lap with a mechanical issue.

The fourth heat didn’t go well for Tolton as he would spin on lap eight as he fought to find the right handling combination for his mod. 13-year-old Dustin Jackson would score his first career heat victory ahead of Beyore, Bullen, Brian McLean, Westwood and Tolton.

Davey Terry would win the fifth heat ahead of Elliott, Brent McLean, Robb and Harper.

The final heat would go to Chad Strawn ahead of Gary McLean, Stickel, Barton and Dick.

When it came feature time, Chad Strawn would start pole ahead of Mike Westwood, Shane Stickel, Tommy Robb, Brent McLean, Davey Terry, Gary McLean, Dustin Jackson, Ryan Dick, Gary Elliott, Bobby Tolton, Brian McLean, Matt Barton, Max Beyore, John Harper and Branden Bullen.

Strawn would jump out to the early lead, though couldn’t escape the field as the caution flew at lap five for Robb going around and then Dick, Barton and Tolton getting together on the frontstretch. With 25 laps to go, Strawn led Westwood, Stickel, Brent McLean, Gary McLean, Terry, Dick, Jackson, Brian McLean, Beyore, Barton, Bullen, Robb, Elliott, Harper and Tolton.

The restart wouldn’t go smoothly as Stickel would get loose, causing Westwood and Gary McLean to attempt to split him. As the field bottled up, contact was made and Westwood would get into the wall, leaving Terry with nowhere to go but into the back of Westwood. McLean would be sent to the back as an involved car while Stickel maintained the second spot behind Strawn.

The second restart would go smoothly with Strawn holding down the fort and leading Stickel, Brent McLean, Dick and Brian McLean. Brian would then have his night go sour as he slowed with a problem on lap 13 for the caution. Behind him, contact would happen between Tolton and Harper.  With 17 to go, Strawn led Stickel, Brent McLean, Dick, Beyore, Jackson, Bullen, Elliott, Gary McLean, Barton, Robb, Brian McLean and Tolton.

Restarts would become a common problem as the night went on as this restart didn’t go much better than the previous ones with Bullen and Gary McLean going around. For McLean, it marked a disappointing end to his night as he searches for his third straight championship this season.

The second attempt at a restart would go smoothly with Stickel grabbing the lead ahead of Strawn till the caution flew at lap 16 for Brent McLean stalling on the backstretch with a problem. In the slow-up to avoid hitting Brent, Jackson would go around while Elliott slid up out of the groove.

The restart would be messy as Stickel would get loose, pushing Dick up towards the wall – Dick would make an impressive save with Beyore making an impressive save as everybody was able to keep going without incident. Once they settled, Stickel led at lap 20 ahead of Strawn, Dick, Bullen and Beyore. Stickel’s lead didn’t last long as Strawn took over the top spot at lap 21. Behind them, Beyore would pass Bullen for fourth at lap 22, and then pass Dick for third at lap 24 as the caution flew for Bullen spinning with Brian McLean and Tolton also catching a piece of it. Robb would pull behind the wall under caution, done for the event. With six laps to go, Strawn led Stickel, Beyore, Dick, Elliott, Barton, Jackson, Bullen and Tolton.

The messy restarts would continue as Stickel would get loose once again, causing everyone to check up with Gary Elliott being wrecked in the aftermath. Beyore would be sent to the back as an involved car. Now with six laps still to go, Strawn led Stickel, Dick, Barton, Jackson, Bullen, Tolton and Beyore.

Stickel would mount a charge once the field got the green, but wasn’t able to as Chad Strawn scored the victory ahead of Shane Stickel, Matt Barton, Ryan Dick, Dustin Jackson, Max Beyore, Branden Bullen and Bobby Tolton.

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