Sunday Night Thunder marked the 25th season of racing at the California speed plant May 4, where a large field of drivers and the faithful contingent of fans wereÂ on hand to start the year off. The track hosted four classes of competition with several new faces in attendance to challenge the old guard atop the 1/4 mile clay oval.
TheÂ Winged Sprints have been the headline class since the beginning at the Double-X and the tradition continued Sunday night. Nixa driver Kyle Bellm had a stellar run in his new ride (JHR #77) as he took the lead at the drop of the green and didn't relinquish the spot for the entire 25-lap main event.Â Bellm maintained a comfortable lead for 16 laps before the only caution of the race came out, which allowed the field to close up onÂ the rear of Bellm,Â and Jonathan Cornell, Sedalia, pressured Bellm for the remainder of the event. Cornell made a strong run on the white flag lap, but came up short at the checkered, andÂ Bellm ultimately claimed opening night honors at the Double-X. Following the lead duo across the stripe were California's Tyler Blank in third place, Lone Jack's Cody Baker fourth, and Sedalia's TJ Muths in fifth place. Rounding out the top 10 were Bryan Grimes, Higginsville's Brad Ryun, Josh Baughman, Taylor Walton and Corey Nelson, respectively. Baker, Bellm and Ryun claimed the qualifying heat races.
The Street Stock division's main event featured a familiar face in victory lane. California's John Clancy Jr. claimed the feature event, with Fulton's Johnny Wyman claiming second place, Jefferson City's Curt Turpin third, Tipton's Harlan Dowell fourth, and rookie Cole Henson, Russellville, fifth. Rounding out the field were Chris Dunham, Steve Beach and Jake Dent, respectively. Heat races were won by Beach and Clancy.
The 600cc Micro Sprints with wings were also on tap Sunday night at the Speedway. Columbia's Dean Hathman and Ayrton Gennetten, Versailles, led the field to the green flag. Hathman put his yellow #56H on the point and never looked back, claiming his first feature win of the 2014 season at the Double-X. Gennetten ran a strong second, with Columbia's Jordan Howell claiming third, Scott Hathman, Columbia, fourth, andÂ Sweet Springs' Chris KochÂ fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Garrett Williamson, Kyle Spry, Nick Schaefer, Jim Dowell and Ryan Marsch, respectively. Heat races were claimed by Hathman and Gennetten. The 600cc Micro Sprints will be back next week, competing without wings for the first time this season.
In the Hobby Stocks division, multi-time feature winner Gage Wineland, Syracuse, proved the off-season didn't slow him down as he claimed the feature trophy. Sedalia's Kevin Prall finished in second place, Windsor's Chuck Coffey third, California's AJ Wirts fourth, and Larry Dickson, Bunceton, fifth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jeff Buford, California's Rudy Wirts, Jeremiah Wallingford, Joe Reed and Laura Atkinson, respectively.Â
Sunday, May 11, the Double-X Speedway will celebrate Mother's Day with special prizes for some lucky moms in attendance. Gates will open at 5 p.m., with hot laps to begin at 7 p.m. Racing will get underway at 7:30 p.m. The agenda for the night will include races with the Winged Sprints, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks and 600cc topless Micro Sprints.
For more information, call 573-796-4694, or go to www.xxspeedway.com. Follow the Double-X Speedway on Facebook. Â