Jason Thompson wins 42nd Raintree
Jason Thompson of Shirley lead the final sixty nine laps of the 100 lap Raintree 100 at Mt Lawn Speedway Saturday night to pick up his first Raintree win in as many starts. David McConnell of Shirley led the first lap of the event and battled last year’s winner Jeff Marcum of Morristown side by side over the next 6 laps with Marcum edging ahead on lap 2. Neil Marcum of Morristown got around McConnell on lap 14 to take over second place a spot he held until Thompson, who had started 11th took over the second. With Marcum holding a 6 second lead over Thompson it looked as if Marcum may get that third Raintree win in a row. Fast qualifier Thompson had other ideas on who he thought would win and set his sights on Marcum. At the 25 lap mark the leader was Jeff Marcum, followed by Thompson, Neil Marcum, Brandon Mefford of Spiceland, and Eric Evans of Greenfield. First car out of the race was Wes Russell Jr. of Muncie after a tangle with Evans in the short turn. Tracy Burrrows of Engels left the race on lap 20 with mechanical problems. On lap 28 Neil Marcum’s engine problems sent him to the pits for good. On lap 31 Thompson got around Marcum as the two raced down the backstretch. At the 50 lap mark it was Thompson, Jeff Marcum, L J Lines of Lewisville, Evans and Mefford. Also on lap 50 David Clark of Muncie called it a night in his new Late Model. No other cars dropped out of competition over the last half of the race. At lap 75 the top five were Thompson, Jeff Marcum, Lines, Evans and Mefford. Lines kept the leader in sight and ran the second half the race about 5 seconds behind Thompson and a yellow flag for a spin by Scott Knepley on lap 92 let the field bunch up setting up an eight lap dash to the finish. On the double file restart Thompson showed he was the class of the field as he quickly jumped out to the lead and led the rest of the way. Jeff Marcum was the runner-up followed by Lines, Evans, Mefford, McConnell, Knepley, Bill Pierce Jr. of New Castle, Kent Carson of Richmond, Randy Anderson of Knightstown, Clark, Neil Marcum, Burrows and Russell. Thompson set fast time for the year at 16.962. Bill Hinshaw the father of the late Scott Hinshaw presented Thompson a 100 dollar bill in victory lane in memory of Scott who won the Raintree back to back in ’05 and ’06. Mid State Equipment in Greenfield presented $50 to LJ Lines for the Hard Charger award as he improved his starting position by 9 positions. After the race there was speculation that the car of LJ Lines may be disqualified for a rules violation but after much discussion on Sunday track officials made the decision that Lines car was not outside the rules and he was allowed to keep his third position.
Jason Walker of Sulphur Springs took the lead of the 30 lap VanHoy Oil Thunder Car feature on lap 25 and went on the win his second feature in a row. Phil Jenkins of Greenfield crossed the finish line is second place but his car was disqualified in post-race inspection giving second place to Johnny Magee of Carthage. Todd Sapp of Greenfield finished third followed by Danny Key of Rushville, Chris Bolyard of Rushville, Kyle Evans of Shirley, Dustin Foust of Rushville and David Clark of Muncie. Walker set fast time at 18.505; Magee won the Culbertson car show dash for cash and the first heat with the second heat going to Kyle Evans.
Alex Bailey of New Castle picked up his first win of the season in the Hornet division. Cody Riley of Middletown led the first 5 laps until Lenny Tungate of New Castle took over the top spot. Tungate’s lead was short lived as Bailey took over on lap 7 and led the rest of the way. Randy Owen of Anderson finished second followed by Andy Jennings of Richmond, Jeff Sorrell of New Castle, Taylor Wyman of Parker City, Keith Morris of New Castle, Tungate, Joyce Dyer of Greenfield, Emily Henderson of New Castle and Riley. Jennings set fast time at 19.789; Wyman won the dash for cash, with the heats going to Bailey and Sorrell.
Rookie Hornet action saw a familiar face in victory lane as Ben Vandyke of Morristown won for the sixth time in 2012. John Shelton of New Castle finished a close second followed by Terry Neal of New Castle, Ryan Reno of New Castle, Darian McConnell of Shirley, Cory Cook of New Castle, Rodney Sutton of New Castle and Mike Shepard of Knightstown.
In exciting street drag action Aaron Powell driving a 2006 Audi beat TJ Calloway in a Camaro. Calloway had a little difficulty negotiating the short turn in the finals.
Next week the UMRA Midgets and the Legend Cars join the VanHoy Oil Thunder Cars, Hornet, Rookie Hornets and the Indy FasKarts. Ticket prices will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for kids 6-10 with 5 and under free.