It had been three years since Liberty, Indiana heard the roar of the ferocious horsepower of a field of sprint cars. Last night, the Rick’s Trucks & Equipment BOSS tour brought the wicked machines to the newly renamed Route 44 Speedway for the first time ever under new promoter Shawn Crouch.
Like the 2014 event, the stands were filled to near capacity and an identical car count of 35 traditional sprints signed in for competition. The new staff at Route 44 provided and exceptional racing surface and the fans were treated to 4 stacked heat race events, a pair of 10 lap B-Main events and a great 22 car / 25 lap main event.
Heat races were won by Michael Fischesser, Dave Darland, Kyle Simon and Matt Westfall. The pair of B-Mains found 2014 tour champion Mike “The Magic Man” Miller and local favorite Brandon Whited picking up the wins. Following heat race action, the top 2 from each heat race redrew for starting spots in the main event. Aaron Middaugh of Polk, Ohio ran second in heat #1 and drew the pole position with Kyle Simon starting alongside. Eventual winner Shane Cottle would start from the 5th spot.
At the drop of starter Tim Montgomery’s green flag, 22 drivers rocketed into the Union County night with images of victory lane on their mind. Middaugh, who is the only driver to enter every BOSS race in history, set out to lead lap number one. The first of 2 caution flag’s flew with only one lap complete for a spinning car.
On the restart, the “People’s Champ” Dave Darland flirted with disaster on the high side to sweep past Middaugh and lead lap #2. Fifth starting Shane Cottle was quickly into the runner-up spot and in pursuit. Just when it appeared that Darland had clear sailing, mechanical gremlins caught up with him in the Hery #40 and he coasted into the infield on lap 6 just as the race’s second and final caution flew for another spinning car.
With 19 laps remaining, “The Throttle” Shane Cottle would bring the field back to green. The 20 cars remaining on the track ran the remainder of the race caution free with some wheel to wheels battles on the tight confines of Route 44 Speedway. Fans were treated with a display of drivers dancing on the ragged edge, wheeling through ruts with half the field on the wall and half the field doing the high speed ballet on the bottom.
Michael Fischesser, who sits 3rd in BOSS points, was the man on the move late. After starting 6th, it took him a few laps to get going, but he was the fastest car on the track in the closing laps. But Cottle worked traffic masterfully and managed, more than once, to use the Route 44 turn 4 wall like a cushion to propel down the track.
At the stripe, Cottle held off Fischesser’s charge with Cole Ketcham running a great race to come home 3rd. Point leader Justin Owen finished 4th with Matt Westfall completing the top 5. The balance of the top 10 were Carmen Perigo, Dustin Smith, Aaron Middaugh, Chad Wilson and Garret Abrams who got the “Hard Charger” Award.
The series moves on the Lawrenceburg Speedway tonight for the “Jason Soudrette Memorial”. We encourage fans to come out and support us in honoring one of the original BOSS drivers and one of the nicest drivers you could ever have hoped to know.