Monday, April 29, 2013

Sanders, Higley, Donaldson, Heeter top of their class at Lakeside Speedway in weekend races


Rodney Sanders wasn’t going to stop by Lakeside Speedway this afternoon.

He was on his way back home to Happy, Texas.

A USMTS regular, he was ready to make a bee-line back south - but instead, he let a fellow competitor convince him that he needed to race at Lakeside. As it turns out, it was a good thing he did, as he took home the hardware in the 20-lap USRA A-Modified division.

Starting inside Row-4, it took Sanders half the circuits to maneuver through the field,  but he still wasn’t’ catching the early leader, Aaron Marrant. Then a caution came on Lap-12 that bunched the field together. On the restart, Sanders was able set the right rear on the cushion and overtake Marrant coming out of four.

Marrant gave chase and was able to use the same move to regain the lead on lap 15 and the two then battled side by side for the remaining 5 laps. Sanders would regain the lead and eventually win, but only by a bumper.

Not to be outdone, the battle for third, fourth and fifth was every bit as entertaining.  Darron Fuqua, Austin Siebert and Chad Lyle were at times three wide for the last half of the race. Lyle, who was running third at the beginning of the race, could not hold off the advances of either Fuqua or Siebert and would settle for fifth, behind both at the drop of the checkers.

When 44 USRA B-Modifieds show up to race, it can be anybody’s race. Today that anybody was Kansas City, Mo., racer Mike Higley.

Higley, who qualified for the A by winning the fifth heat, needed both a fast running car and a bit of luck to register his eighth career win in the B-Mod division. While it took him eight of the 12 laps to catch up to and finally pass early race leader, Aaron Marrant, it was a hood pin rattling loose on the last lap that almost cost him the race.

As the white flag was being displayed and with the hood now bent up and partially obstructing his view, Higley’s speed decreased and Marrant was able to do like he had done in the A-Mod feature -- gain ground on the leader at the very end.

Had he had one more lap, Marrant may have taken the win but instead settled for a second second-place finish of the night.

For the second week in a row, Jake Richards was able to find some last lap speed to go from sixth to fourth at the line, finishing right behind defending champion, Nick Newton. Steve Goodman would round out the top five, finishing at the door of Richards.

It was decided pre-race that the Grand National division would forgo the planned double features and instead run one feature for double pay. And this 12-lap feature was all Gary Donaldson. The Liberty, Mo., driver started outside Row-1, took the lead on Lap-1 and never looked back.

While pole sitter Tim Shields did give chase, he was never able to get around Donaldson and would finish second. Jim Baker, Steve Dibben and Marshall Jewett would round out the top-five.

The 12-lap Factory Stock feature started out with a bang as a first lap crash took out several drivers from the inside starting positions. On the restart, Brett Heeter, starting outside row-three, made the gutsy move of the night going three wide coming out of two to take the lead. Sean Foster would match him lap for lap only to finish second to Heeter.

Phil Snodgrass was the biggest mover of the race, starting 21st and ending up with a third place finish. Scotty Moore and Nate Barnes would round out the top-five.

“Racing on the rivers edge” continues every Friday night through October with the USRA A-Modifieds, Grand Nationals, USRA B-Modifieds and Factory Stocks. 

Gates open at 5 p.m., hot laps at 6:45 p.m., and the first race gets under way at 7:30 p.m.  Adult ticket prices are $12, kids 7-12 $6, and children six and younger admitted free. Senior citizens and military personnel with ID are admitted for $10.

For more information on special events or ticket information, call the Lakeside Speedway office at (913) 299-9206 or visit our official website at You can also find us on Facebook at Lakeside Speedway or Tweet us at #lakeside.