Horstman and Koz post back-to-back wins
Monday, June 17, 2013 5:58 AM
LIMA - The 2013 racing season at Limaland Motorsports Park is developing a theme of drivers winning features on consecutive weekends. Randy Hannagan accomplished the difficult feat to open the campaign in the Sprint car division, and now both Jared Horstman in the Sprints and Jeff Koz with the Thunderstocks (Keysor Memorial) have done it.
Horstman may be particularly noteworthy as until the previous week, the veteran racer from nearby Putnam County hadn't yet won a feature at the ¼-mile oval. On this night he battled another stellar field of competitors, including Hannagan, to win the 25-lap Elwer Fence showdown.
Front row starters Greg Wilson and Randy Hannagan controlled the early part of the race. Wilson was dueling with Darren Long on the cushion near the outside wall in a daring side-by-side fashion. While those two drivers were battling, Hannagan took advantage with a diving pass underneath the pair to take over race leadership on lap number 6.
Greg Wilson spun out on lap number 10, sending him to the back of the field and effectively ending his hopes for a win. By the race midpoint, Horstman had moved past Long and was challenging the point's leader Hannagan.
Often the frantic action with Sprint car racing can result in the event leader having to slow his preferred pace in order to carefully navigate through lapped or slower traffic. Randy Hannagan faced that challenge while at the same time Jared Horstman was watching the action from his perch on Hannagan's tail. Eventually the high-side riding Horstman pounced with a pass for the lead on lap number 20 and then roared through the final five circuits to record a second consecutive win at the track.
"It's great to make it two in a row," said the excited Horstman afterwards. "Definitely the lapped traffic played into my hands tonight. Hats off to Randy (Hannagan) and Darren (Long), they both run it hard and I'm just glad to be a part of this. When you get down, it's tough to run here. I love being up top and my car really came in for me and it all worked out."
The 12th Annual Keysor Memorial for the Budweiser Thunderstocks honors the great contributions of the Keysor family to Limaland Motorsports Park over the years. The list of winners is a who's who of the most successful stock car drivers at the track in recent seasons. Lima's Jeff Koz has now added his name to that list with another dominating conquest in the 15-lap event.
The inside second row starting position was enough for Koz to speed his way past Billy Siferd into the lead by the second lap. Similar to a week ago, Koz piloted his #16 machine confidently through the middle groove to lead the rest of the race. Track champion Shawn Valenti made a charge on Koz for the final five circuits and went for unsuccessful pass attempts on both the inside and outside. Valenti finished runner-up with the evening's earlier Dash for Cash winner Jordon Conover taking third.
"I saw him (Shawn Valenti) poke his nose in there so I got back down on the bottom so he would have to pass me on the high-side," said Koz following his 11th career win. "The last two laps we went down and everything worked out for us. I thank the Keysor Family for putting this on, it's always enjoyable."
A first time winner highlighted action with the K & N Modifieds 20-lap feature as Troy, Ohio's Matt Westfall broke through to post the historic success. He followed Indiana's Tyler Stump for the opening five laps before executing a clean pass to the outside and taking control of the event. Previously, Westfall's best finish had been a fifth place result in the May 3rd season opener.
Track champion and point's leader Todd Sherman made an impressive charge from his fourth row starting position to pressure Westfall, ultimately falling short for a runner-up result. Stump had a good showing, rolling third across the finish line.
"We have struggled a lot here (at Limaland) so this is pretty cool to get a win," said Westfall from the front straight winner's circle. "It was a momentum thing for us up on the high-side (of the track) and it was good to hold off Todd Sherman. He's won the past few championships here."
Limaland Motorsports Park returns to action on Friday, June 21, for the Run for the Rabbit with the K & L Ready Mix/NRA Sprint Invaders. Also the K&N UMP Modifieds and Budweiser Thunderstocks will compete. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with hot laps beginning at 6:30 p.m. Racing begins promptly at 7:30 p.m.
All the latest news and information about America's premier quarter-mile dirt track, can be found at www.limaland.com. You can also find 2013 Limaland Motorsports Park on Facebook and Twitter.