Sunday Night Thunder returns to XX Speedway

Sunday Night Thunder has returned to the XX Speedway for 2013. A large crowd of spectators and drivers opened the curtain on the 2013 racing season Sunday night in California.

The cool weather was no deterrent to Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, as he wired the field in the 360 Winged Sprint division. Starting in the front row, Cornell hustled around the high side of the track and was not headed as the 25-lap feature went green to checkered. Lanny Carpenter settled into the second spot for 10 laps. Fourth-starting Tyler Blank moved passed Carpenter on lap 11 and set his sights on the #28 machine of Cornell. Blank closed in on Cornell, but couldn't muster a pass and settled for a well-deserved second place. Following Cornell and Blank under the checkered flag were Adam Jones, Carpenter, and Evan Martin in the top five. Carpenter and Cornell claimed the heat race victories in the Winged Sprint division. Top five point leaders are Cornell, 95; Blank, 91; Adam Jones, 85; Carpenter, 85; and Evan Martin, 77.

The Street Stock division had a very competitive field of cars on hand to compete for opening night honors. Andrew Roark, Henley, drove a masterful race using the low groove to hold off all challengers to claim the first feature race of the season. Knocking on his rear bumper was Centertown's Joe Miller, who claimed second place, followed by Curt Turpin in third place, Johnny Wyman in fourth and 2012 season champion Derek Henson in fifth place. Dale Berry and Wyman captured the heat race victories.

The second Street Stock heat started off with excitement as Eldon's Johnny Strange tumbled off the top of turn one, collecting Joe Miller in the process. Strange climbed out of his crumpled car under his own power. Point leaders are Roark, 95; Miller, 89; Turpin, 85; Wyman, 85; and Henson 75.

The Hobby Stock class had a healthy turn out of drivers competing on opening night. Early race leader AJ Wirts, California, held the point for five laps before being passed by eventual winner Seth Jacobs, Centertown.

Jacobs secured the win with Wirts in second, Chuck Coffey third, Mike Schrader fourth and

Racheal Olejniczak in fifth place. Heat races were won by Will Register and Wirts. The top five point leaders are Seth Jacobs, 95; Wirts, 93; Coffey, 85; Shcrader, 83; and Rodger Detherage, 73.

Rounding out the card were the 600cc Micro Sprints. Starting on the pole was Columbia's Dean Hathman and he took the lead on lap one and claimed the victory over Cole Campbell, Corey Nelson, Ryan Marsch and Cole Melby, who rounded out the top five. Dean Hathman claimed the heat race victory.

Racing continues Sunday, May 19, at the Double-X Speedway with the 360 Sprints, 600cc Micros,

Street Stocks and Hobby Stocks. Gates will open at 5 p.m.

For more information, go to www.xxspeedway.com, or check out Double-X Speedway on Facebook,

or call 573-796-4694.

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