Hometown favorite Baker wins big at Grundy County

MORRIS, Ill. -- Ty Majeski's ARCA Midwest Tour (AMT) win streak is over, compliments of hometown favorite Ricky Baker, who won the Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County Speedway Saturday night in Morris, Illinois.

The 32nd running of the Rod Baker Ford/Illinois Truck & Equipment Wayne Carter Classic went down as a classic battle between a two-time Grundy County Speedway champion and three-time, defending ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment champion.

Baker and Majeski gave the fans an intense race throughout the second half of the 100-lap event with Majeski glued to Baker's back bumper. Majeski continually peeked inside of Baker  but his got his best shot with 17 laps to go when he got alongside to challenge for the lead. As the two came on the frontstretch, contact was made resulting in Majeski’s car spinning headed into turn one. Then Majeski restarted from the rear while Baker maintained the lead. Baker drove the final 17 laps with Paul Shafer Jr. in second and Travis Braden following in third.

Before the race ended, Majeski's car lost oil pressure and he fell from contention. With Majeski not finishing on the lead lap, the $1,500 bounty placed on him was not eligible to the winner.

Baker was not challenged over the final two laps.

“The trophy means more than anything…that's all I cared about,” said an emotional Baker. “The money doesn’t bother me too much. We work really hard on these cars and we busted our butt today and real happy to go as good as we did tonight.

“It was hard with having him (Majeski) in my mirror for so many laps and we burnt the tires off the car and drove as hard as I could.

The incident between Baker and Majeski ended Majeski’s five race AMT win streak.

“I race here a lot and I can race side-by-side for 10-15 laps with someone and never touch. He (Majeski) ran into me in the heat race and ran into the side of me on that deal. I will give you a line, just don’t overdrive the car,” Baker explained. “He didn’t need to do that. If he didn’t do that, he probably would have gotten the lead. I just wasn’t going to give up.”

Majeski was already looking forward to his next race.

“We had a really good car, probably the best one out there,” said Majeski. “We just tried to get around him. We will take it back home and get the other car ready for Slinger on Tuesday night. There is not too much damage. We'll pull the motor out and send it to Donnie at B&B Race Engines and go and get 'em on Tuesday.”

Shafer finished third with Braden trailing in fourth. Braden, the defending Winchester 400 winner, is also an ARCA Racing Series winner and ARCA/CRA Super Series champion.

Eddie Hoffman finished fourth while Rich Bickle Jr. finished fifth.

For Baker, this win was something special.

“Coming here as a kid, seeing Joe Shear win it all the time and other names like that, it's pretty cool,” Baker said. “This is the only big race here that I have never won. This is the one I have always tried the hardest at and never had the best luck. This just happened, it was cool.”

Toledo Speedway
Dennis Whisman zipped to the win in the 40-lap ARCA Victory Lane Quick Oil Change/PNC Bank Ohio Figure 8 Championship Friday night at Toledo Speedway.

Whisman got by early-race leader Randy Roberts  for the lead on lap three and never relinquished it. Gary Cronenwett pressured Whisman before Cronenwett's crankshaft came apart, ending his night. Dan Apperson finished second over Joe Vanderhoof, Dennis Whisman Jr., Scott Apperson, Roberts, Travis Earley, Ethen Lambert, Cronenwett, Dave Lambert, Eugene Worden and James Vanderhoof.

Jimmy Tucker grabbed top honors in the Monroe News 250-lap Enduro feature. Jesse Carrillo led the first 11 laps before Cory McCaughey took the lead. However, mechanical issues caused McCaughey to retire for the evening, giving the lead to Tucker on lap 28. Tucker built a big lead from there and was never seriously challenged. Three red flags slowed the time of the race, the first for Troy Brehmer when his engine let go, the second for Tommy O’Leary IV, whose hood came off and the third for Tony Rumble after he lost a wheel. Fast qualifier Robb Remick (11:954) finished second over Matt Ringger, Tommy O’Leary IV, Derrick Sheppard, Jimmy Gullett, Kyle Metdepenningen, Nathan Sprotberry, Cody Remick and David Rumble.

A wild Boat Figure-8 race saw Cory McCaughey survive and come out the winner. Dave Lambert, Jacob Thomas, Ethen Lambert and Mallory trailed at the finish.

Flat Rock Speedway
16-year-old Rob Moore Jr. backed up a string of strong finishes with his first-ever victory in the 25-lap ARCA DTS Drive Train Specialists Street Stock A Main Saturday night at Flat Rock Speedway on R & M Recycling/UAW Local 3000 Autograph Night.

A great four-car battle for the entire distance saw Moore Jr. lead a parade of challengers: Dan Ford Jr., Ray Morneau Jr. and Guy Fire. Ford Jr. got outside of Moore for the lead in turn four but the two made contact, sending both cars spinning. Ford was done for the night with damage to his car and took responsibility for the incident, which put Moore Jr. back in the top spot. Guy Fire took his turn looking for the win, as he looked high and low to get around the leader. It was an emotional win for Moore, whose father, Rob Sr., who finished fourth, got a great view of his son’s victory. Morneau Jr. got under Fire on the last lap to take second, Fire was third, Moore Sr. fourth and Greg Studt came from 19th spot to take fifth. Grant Hedges, Jeff Metdepenningen, Robbie Loving, Collin Barron and Jeff Luttermoser completed the top-10.

A caution-free 15-lap Street Stock B main was a great contest as Wilburn Parks nosed out a determined Jerry Farmer to win the race, his third of the season. Troy Brehmer finished third, over Chris Diovardi in fourth. Ian Jezylo was fifth followed by James Baber, Adam Jezylo, Alan Kennedy, Rich Abel and Brian Moore.

Tommy O’Leary IV led every lap on the way to the win in the 35-lap ARCA Aramark Late Model Sportsman feature event. Fast qualifier Jim Froling (13:379) started eighth and challenged for the lead before fading back. Ron Allen and Mike Young worked their way into second and third, but couldn't catch the leader O'Leary who built up a big margin and sailed away. Allen finished second over Young, Froling, Greg Stilwell, Howard Kelley Jr., Kent McCloskey, Chris Hebert, Gerald Wheaton, Craig Osenbaugh, Landon Schuster, Dan Grigsby and James Potter.

Both the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the ARCA/CRA Super Series were silent over the weekend in anticipation for each running same-day at Lucas Oil Raceway Friday, July 21.