Jeff Lane and his son Colby were winners in the season opener at Mt. Lawn Speedway on Sunday. Jeff won in the Modified Division and Colby picked up the win in the CRA Street Stock Division.
Following his victory two weeks ago in a race in Missouri, Colby Lane of Knightstown looked to continue his winning ways on a Sunday in the country at Mt. Lawn Speedway in New Castle as the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks powered by Jegs returned for the season opener. Street Stocks were joined by the Claborn Motors Open-Wheel Modifieds, the Van Hoy Oil Thunder Cars, the Owens Electric Factory Stock Front Wheel Drives, the Tony Stewart Drywall Crown Vics, and the American Vintage Sprint Car Association.
In qualifying for the CRA Street Stocks, Jason Atkinson of New Castle used his many years of experience in competition at the track to set a new track record for the CRA Division with a time of 17.745 seconds around the 3/10ths mile oval. Following an inversion, Atkinson started outside of Row 3 next to Phil Jenkins of Greenfield, and placed Lane on the pole for the 75-lap feature.
The event went caution-free for the first 15 laps before Troy Phillips of Louisville, Kentucky, spun in Turn 2. Phillips would be involved in the next two cautions as well, colliding with Tyler Hopkins of New Castle in Turn 2 on Lap 24 and once again spinning coming off of Turn 4 on Lap 33.
On the Lap 33 restart, Atkinson and Ryan Amonett of New Castle made contact that sent Atkinson spinning on the front stretch in front of the crowd of cars behind him. Miraculously, no further contact was made and Atkinson would restart in last place, mildly perturbed. The remaining 42 laps of the event saw four cautions with three coming in the last five laps, but Lane held off all comers throughout, leading wire to wire for his first points paying victory of the season.
Andrew Teepee of Indianapolis finished second followed by Jake Owens of Lapel, Calvin Parham of Knightstown, and Atkinson.
For the first time since 1999, Modifieds are a regular class at Mt. Lawn. While a lot has changed in 21 seasons, many of the drivers have not including three former Raintree 100 modified class winners in Don Skaggs of Modoc, five-time winner Harold Scott of New Castle, and Jeff Lane of Knightstown and the son-in-law of another in Jeremy Jackson in the field for the 30-lap feature. Scott Coe of Ft. Wayne set fast time in his No. 28C modified and started sixth in the feature alongside Scott, with Damon Breedlove in his No. X modified on the pole.
The event’s beginning was inauspicious as the No. 4 of Andy Cowan, the No. 09 of Skaggs, the No. 96 of Scott, and the No. 6 of Richmond’s Chris Jennings would all spin in turn 2. The incident on the first lap ended Scott’s night before it ever began.
On Lap 6, Lane took the lead from Damon Breedlove of Greenfield and never surrendered it, leading the final 24 laps and surviving two more cautions as well as a last lap, last turn bottleneck to take the victory by mere inches over second place Austin Coe in his No. 28, besting his father Scott who finished third. Lane also won the 4-lap dash race earlier in the night. Fifteen Modifieds were on hand for the season opener.
In the night’s other races, Pastor David McConnell of Shirley secured the first Van Hoy Oil Thunder Cars feature of the year, leading all 30 laps of the event. Kevin Claborn of Cambridge City finished second with Alan Lambert of Kennard, Ronnie Rose of Anderson, and Tony Stewart of Straughn rounding out the top five. Dustin Sapp of Indianapolis won the dash race.
In the Owens Electric Factory Stock Front Wheel Drive’s, Jacob Johnson of Kennard emerged the victor after a hard fought 20 laps. Elliott McKinney of Anderson won the dash while Donnell Boykin of New Castle won the heat race coming from last place after colliding with Chris Morris of New Castle coming to the white flag, being sent to the rear of the field, and then passing for the lead and the win on the last turn. Johnson was also the fast qualifier.
Tyler Terry of Noblesville won the first Tony Stewart Drywall Crown Vic feature of the year, leading John Lister and Corey Wooten to the finish line. Garrett Dell was the fast qualifier.
Dan Ingram won the American Vintage Sprint Car Association feature over Joey Vallone, Gary Dunkle, Todd Meinsen, and Tim Parke.
In a battle of former and current Mt. Lawn Speedway competitors, Nick Politt of New Castle won the State Farm Insurance Spectator Drags over Adam Lee of New Castle.
The next event at Mt. Lawn will be the Raintree 100 with the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman in a 100-lap feature event. Joining the Sportsman will be the Modifieds, Thunder Cars, Factory Stock Front Wheel Drives, Crowns Vics, Spectator Drags, and the Vintage Sprint Cars.
Tickets are available online and fans are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to secure tickets as Mt. Lawn reached its limited capacity in the opener and fans were tuned away at the gate. Tickets are $10 with children 10-and-under free.