Thayer wins kart race as tracks conclude seasons

Kyle Thayer won the 400 clone division last week at the Jennings County Outlaw Kart Racing event.

Some 116 karts competed in the Oct. 16 series of races.

The other division winners were Connor Perry (youth champ), Alan Metsgen (open outlaw), Ryker Williams (junior champ), Jake Roell (junior 1), Ricky Bernard (junior 2), Evan Shatto (junior 3), Bryan Wheeler (limited open), Robby Young (340 clone), Robert Doyle (senior champ), Kevin Thompson (rwyb), Chris Buchanan (380 clone) and Ryan Turner (flatheads).

The season was scheduled to conclude today, but racing was called off due to weather conditions.

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Kokomo Klash results

Kokomo Speedway hosted the 14th annual Kokomo Klash on Oct. 16 and 17.

The two-day winners were Clinton Boyles (sprint cars), Thomas Meseraull (midgets), Jordan Welch (RaceSaver sprints), David Hurst (thunder cars), Travis Stemler (late models), Dillon Nussbaum (modifieds), Branden Carr (sportsman), Kody Connor (street stocks) and Greg Garrison (hornets).

Kokomo’s 2020 racing season wraps today with the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars. For information, visit

Sheppard wins fourth DTWC

Brandon Sheppard captured the 40th annual General Tire Dirt Track World Championship presented by Optima Batteries on Oct. 17 at Portsmouth Raceway Park in Portsmouth, Ohio.

Sheppard earned $100,000 for his fourth career win in the crown jewel event sanctioned by the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series.

Ricky Thornton Jr. placed second for his best career finish in the event with Tim McCreadie claiming third at the finish. McCreadie led the first 23 laps of the 100-lap affair until yielding the top spot from Sheppard, who started 11th.

Chris Madden, making his first DTWC start in 14 years, finished fourth, and 22nd-place starter Tyler Erb rounded out the top five drivers at the finish.

McCreadie, who had already clinched second place in the championship points standings, sprinted to the lead at the start of the richest first-place prize offered in dirt late model racing this year. He held off challenges from last year’s DTWC runner-up, Mike Marlar, for several laps until Marlar lost the second spot to Sheppard on Lap 21.

Sheppard then made his move to the lead three laps later, taking over the top spot on Lap 24. Zack Dohm was on the move, taking the second spot on Lap 35 and started to challenge Sheppard for the lead.

Dohm pulled even with Sheppard a couple of times until Lap 75 when Thornton moved up to second. Thornton then held the second position until the finish.

With the win, Sheppard became the third driver in the 40-year history of the event to score back-to-back victories, joining Josh Richards and Scott Bloomquist.

In Lucas Oil victory lane for the fifth time in 2020, the 27-year-old Sheppard withstood tense caution flags laps to gain the win.

“I will tell you what, I love this place,” he said. “As hard as it has been all weekend, I knew it was going to be around the bottom at the end of the race. I knew when I rolled out there for the race, (I had to) drive as hard as I could to get to the front as soon as I could, so that was kind of the game plan. We went a little different on tires than we normally do here. We had an early game, but once we got the lead, we didn’t know what we were going to do.”

“Our car was good, just like it has been all year long. I think that’s 31 wins this year, so that’s really awesome. During those cautions, I had too much time to think about my right rear tire, for sure. When you’re in lapped traffic, I tried to pass them one time, and I didn’t feel good, and so I tucked back in behind them. Zack showed me his nose on the outside and when he showed the line a little bit different in one and two, and that got me going a little bit better.”

Thornton was coming off his first career LOLMDS win at Pittsburgh a few weeks ago.

“I honestly don’t think the cautions mattered,” Thornton said. “(Sheppard) had a really good car. I was going to try and go to the top if I got close enough. On the restarts, he would really take off, and it took me about five or six laps to get going. We ran a little hard on tires, and I knew on the restarts, we wouldn’t be as good as those other guys.”

McCreadie wound up third in the final rundown.

“I gave it my best shot. I was too good, too early, and I didn’t know where to be on the track, and then when Sheppy got by me, I just kind of got lost for a few laps and it cost us,” he said. “It then put us back in the bottom half of the top five. Then on the restarts, I just couldn’t get a clear track to make a move.”

The winner’s Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis is powered by Durham Racing Engines and sponsored by Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Gunters Honey, Ace Metal Works, Integra Racing Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Sallack Well Services Keyser and Rocket 1 Pre-Owned Motors.

Completing the top 10 were Zack Dohm, Billy Moyer Jr., Boom Briggs, Kyle Bronson and Jason Feger.

Salem Halloween 200 results

Salem Speedway closed out its 2020 racing season Oct. 18 with the traditional Halloween 200 for stock cars.

Brett Hudson of Owensboro, Kentucky, was the event winner, followed by Chuck Barnes Jr., Mike Todd, Skeeter Crum and Shawn Smith.

Completing the top 10 were Phil Jenkins, Todd Kempf, Dale Harper, Marcus Elliott and Dan Banker.

Local racers pass away

Two former regulars at Brownstown Speedway recently passed away.

Ricky Gumm Sr. of Crothersville died Oct. 11 at 73. He was a regular in the late model and hobby stock divisions at Brownstown in the 1970s. His son, Rick, was the 2019 Brownstown Speedway pure stock track champion.

Cooley Singer of Brownstown died Oct. 15. The Vallonia native was 80. Singer raced for three decades in the late model and hobby stock division. He also raced at 25th Street Fairgrounds Raceway in Columbus. His best season was in 1980 when he won three hobby stock feature races. He is a member of the Brownstown Speedway Hall of Fame.

James Essex writes a motorsports notebook for The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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