Fleenor, Gilpin earn Brownstown Speedway titles

Until Saturday night, Dalton Fleenor of Salem had only won one race at Brownstown Speedway.

But he made a first-rate breakthrough, triumphing in the 23-car pure stock feature race.

Second win on the premises ever and first in about five years for the 24-year-old, Fleenor edged out Will McRoberts of Madison.

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“I didn’t know it was mine until I took the checkered flag,” Fleenor said. “It was definitely a relief.”

Glynn Neal of Nabb, Mickey Hines of Scipio and Tommy Fleenor of Salem (Dalton’s father) took the following places. Rounding out the top 10 in the pure stock feature race were Josh Hayes, Keaton Streeval, Donnie Wilson, Mark Hines and Brent McMillan.

Fleenor and his dad are running two family cars this summer, and Dalton is excited he will be racing more.

“It’s something I always wanted to do,” he said. “A lot of hard work went into it.”

Racing without the roar of fans is a bit odd, and not only when the engines are running.

“When I got out (of the car), I wanted to celebrate,” Fleenor said.

But there was no cheering crowd.

This was only the second week of racing at Brownstown this season, again without spectators allowed in. The COVID-19 pandemic, as it did for all sports, interrupted seasons and caused postponements.

“A little longer offseason than we’re used to,” Fleenor said.

Devin Gilpin triumphed in the super late model category the same night.

The Columbus driver is the three-time defending champion in that division and notched his first win of the year in the 30-lap race.

Gilpin, 29, a veteran driver, led the main event early until Greg Johnson of Bedford took over the lead from him. Johnson then led the race until seven laps to go when Gilpin got back around him while Johnson had trouble negotiating lapped traffic.

“I had a good race with Greg,” Gilpin said.

He was pulling away strongly at the end, however.

He also misses the fans not being in the grandstand.

“It’s different, but when you’re in the race car, you’re focused,” Gilpin said. “Some crew members from other cars sat in the stands. It’s definitely weird times.”

Ordinarily, Gilpin’s racing season runs from January to October, he said, but having only two races by June is hardly ideal. The fact there has been racing at Brownstown two weeks in a row is encouraging.

“It’s what I do for a living,” he said. “To get a start in is great.”

Gilpin also said it feels great to win.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Gilpin has won the last three super late model titles at the Jackson County Fairgrounds track, driving a new Rocket Chassis owned by his grandfather, Don Fleetwood of Brownstown.

Johnson finished second in the $2,200 event with Shelby Miles of Bloomington finishing third. Jared Bailey of Bedford and R.J. Conley of Wheelersburg, Ohio, completed the top five.

The remainder of the top 10 were Don O’Neal, Chad Stapleton, Brad Barrow, Bill Sheets and Austin Burns.

Brownstown Speedway is scheduled to go again this Saturday with a pure stock special, plus pro late models, modifieds, super stocks and crown vics. For information, visit brownstownspeedway.com.

In the open wheel modified division last Saturday, Tyler Nicely of Owensboro, Kentucky, led flag to flag to win the feature race. Derek Groomer of Bloomington finished a distant second with John Clippinger of Evansville, Ryan Thomas of Brownstown and Cole Falloway of Owensboro, Kentucky, completing the top five.

The rest of the of the top 10 finishers in the 28-car field in open wheel modified main listed Shawn Negangard, Adam Stricker, Jacoby Hines, John Holt Jr. and Trent Green.

Steve Hollars collected his first career Brownstown Speedway victory in the super stock division feature. Hollars passed race leader Trey Chastain of Bedford on the white flag lap for the win. Chastain was second, followed by Matt Boknecht of Seymour, Derek Clegg of Nabb and Josh Divine of Loogootee.

The hornet division feature went to Jerry Gibson Jr. of Dry Ridge, Kentucky. Shane Reed took second at the finish with Hunter Holton, Michael Paxson and Kaleb Caudill completing the top five.

James Essex, who writes a motorsports notebook for The Tribune, contributed to this story. Send comments to [email protected] aimmediaindiana.com.