Sunday night at the Double-X Speedway saw a large crowd in attendance to support the first annual "Race For Riley," the Riley Hudson Memorial. Riley, who passed away Aug. 16, 2012 from complications following an asthma attack, was a huge race fan.
Collecting bits of tires from the raceway or getting her pink shirt signed by her favorite drivers, Riley was a "gear-head," her mother Tara Hudson said. "Racing is a family interest that Riley had been inducted into the week after she was born, and she loved it."
Proceeds from Sunday night's Race For Riley will go to the University of Missouri Children's Hospital Health Care and the Riley Michelle Hudson Memorial Fund.
Four classes of cars were in competition Sunday at the Double-X, where the feature class of the night was the ULMA Late Models, young Riley's favorite class of cars. A total of 12 drivers competed in the feature event that saw brothers Jason Russell and Justin Russell, Henley, vying for the win. The duo started side-by-side in the front row, but it was Justin who took the lead on the opening lap. He survived some early restarts and ultimately claimed the checkered flag. Brother Justin ran a strong race to finish in second place. Henley's Earl Roark challenged the younger Russell, but had to settle for third. Chris Cox, Jefferson City, finished in fourth place to claim his best ULMA finish of the season, and Columbia's Brandon Imhoff finished fifth in the third Russell racing car.
Heat races were won by Jason Russell, Justin Russell and Todd McCoin, Barnett.
The Winged Sprints were also featured on the card Sunday night and it appeared California's Tyler Blank would secure the victory until a mechanical issue ended his chances on Lap 14. Bryan Grimes, Slater, went on to inherit the lead and held off challenges by Lone Jack's Cody Baker in the closing laps to claim his second victory of the season at the Double-X. Following Grimes and Baker under the checkered flag were Mitchell Moore, Edgerton, in third place, California's Randy Martin in fourth, and Tyler Elliott, California, in fifth. Heat races were claimed by Blank and Grimes.
A total of 17 drivers competed in the Street Stock feature event with Ted Welschmeyer, Tebbetts, holding off the field to claim the win. Pressing Welschmeyer the entire distance was point leader Derek Henson, Russellville, who finished in second place. Rounding out the top five were Tuscumbia's Dale Berry, Henley's Andrew Roark, and Riley's uncle Curt Turpin, Jefferson City, respectively.
Heat races were won by Warrensburg's Jan Lyle, California's John Clancy Jr. and Henson.
Finishing off Sunday night races at the Speedway were the Hobby Stocks. Gage Wineland, Syracuse, snatched up the victory over defending track champion Will Register, Sedalia. Chuck Coffey, Windsor, came in third place. Centertown's Seth Jacobs finished fourth, and Mike Schrader, Sedalia, came in fifth place.
Heat races were claimed by Schrader and Wineland.
Regular racing action will continue at the Double-X Sunday, July 21, with four classes in competition. Gates will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps to begin at 7 p.m. and racing to follow at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 573-796-4694.
Check out the Double-X Speedway on Facebook or go to www.xxspeedway.com. Race fans are encouraged to mark their calendars for Sunday, July 28, when the ASCS Warrior Region will be on hand for the annual Clyde Wood Memorial Race.