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Postby Carl Smith » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:01 am


The 4th of July holiday began with a bang at the South Bend Motor Speedway as the Sportsman Late Models, Mini Stocks and Thunder Cars put on an exciting night of racing for a large crowd of fans. The evening got started with an autograph session on the track and a great fireworks display was enjoyed by all at intermission.

In the Sportsman Late Model Feature, Billy Rutt was the early leader before Jeff Forsythe got by on lap3. Rutt was not giving up as he again took the top spot on lap 12. Paul Scott drove his way up to challenge taking over the lead on
lap 17 with Dave Mannia close behind. Mannia made his move on the outside of Scott with 4 laps to go to take over the lead and go on for the win. Scott, Rutt, Mike Verduin and Brian Miller finished in the top 5 with 6th ­ 10th going to Forsythe, Rich Nyari, Al Mauer, Bob Golubski and Danny Brown, Jr.

John Streeting, Jr. got by Robert Haisley on lap 2 of the Sportsman “B” event and led the remainder of the event for the win. Jason Newgent, Haisley, Frank Fairchild and Les McLean rounded out the top 5.

Rookie driver, Tom Burke, led the first half of the Mini Stock Feature event before Paul Mester drove up from the back of the pack to take command of the lead. Derrick Griffin challenged the final laps but had to settle for 2nd as Mester took the checker. Dale Olivier, Sr. crossed in 3rd followed by Jim Cauffman, Ben McCallum, Jim Newman, Brian Lindsey, Bruce Pratt, Chad Lindsey and Burke in the top 10.

The Thunder Cars went 20 laps in their Main event with John Henderson leading the first 2 rounds before Paul Fontanelli got by. Fontanelli had a straight away lead on the field when the red flag flew for a fire in the Jimmy Klimowic vehicle. As the race resumed, Fontanelli was again able to get off to a great start and led the remainder of the race for the win. Matt Elliott held off Corey Woods for 3rd with Kenneth Dodd, Tony Johns, Ron Sikorski, Corey Blume, Rick Boal, Amanda White and Terry Denaway, Jr. finishing out the top 10.

Jerry Ellinger, Jr. led 14 of the 15 Thunder Car “B” Feature laps to take the win.

In earlier events, Dave Mannia was quickest in the Sportsman Late Models with a 12.549 and captured a Heat win. Keith Carter was the Dash winner with the other Heat wins going to Robert Haisley and Bill Rutt.

Derrick Griffin was fastest in the Mini Stocks with a 13.133. Rich Hensley won the Dash and a Heat with Tom Burke picking up the other Heat win.
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