MIDDLETOWN — Chase Randall.
Sprint car fans might want to remember that name.
After the performance the 17-year-old driver from Waco, Texas, put on in the Sprint Invaders season opener Sunday at 34 Raceway, Randall showed all the signs of a great career ahead.
What Randall accomplished Sunday night at the 3/8-mile oval dirt track was nothing short of astonishing.
Randall’s car was involved in an incident on the start of the fourth heat race. His car flipped and rolled down the frontstretch and had to be towed to the pits
It appeared Randall’s night was over before it even started.
Randall’s crew worked furiously to rebuild the car for the B-Main. Randall started the B-Main outside the fifth row and worked his way to the front to win the 10-lap race. That gave Randall a starting spot in the A-Main in row eight, 16 spots out of the lead.
It didn’t matter. Randall would not be denied. He worked through lapped traffic, passing Chris Martin for the lead on Lap 22, then held off Paul Nienhiser for the win.
Yeah, sprint car fans might just want to remember the name Chase Randall.
“It was a good finish. I kind of let them get the lead on the restart and go into one the way they wanted. They made a mistake and I was their to fill in the gaps,” said Randall, who started racing when he was five. “(Martin) was really fast. I was just waiting for him to make a mistake. Lapped traffic was crucial. Luckily I didn’t have any problem with it. I was really luck, but we got it done.”
Randall, who just finished his junior year of high school, is making his home in Knoxville this summer. He currently is fourth in the points standings in the 360 class at Knoxville Raceway.
Randall made quick work in the feature, taking advantage of lapped cars to get to the front. His car got stronger as the race wore on.
“It got a little bit stronger and I figured out where I needed to be in three and four so I could get a good run off of four into one down that super-slick straightaway,” said Randall, who also is a diehard Baylor Bears fan. “I had a few cars to pass to get up front, so luckily I was able to figure out my angles to get it right and make that move on (Martin).”
Also winning feature races on Sunday were Sean Wyett of Danville in the inaugural Hart Limited Modifieds Series race and Brian Tipps of Wapello in the mini-haulers.
Wyett, driving a car with a smaller motor than most of his competitors, found a strategy in his heat race and used it to win the 15-lap feature race.In fact, Wyett led from start to finish.
“I’m happy. There were a couple cars with a lot bigger motors who were behind me. I just kept waiting for somebody. But my car was super good tonight, so we’ll take it,” Wyett said. “The car felt great. Going into tonight it was a mix-match in rules and I wasn’t sure how I would stack up against some of these other cars. In the heat race, it gave me an idea on how I was going to race against them, so I was a little more confident going into the feature.”
Tipps led the 12-lap mini-haulers feature from start to finish, holding off a late charge from Tucker Richardson for the win.
Feature results — 1. Chase Randall, Waco, Texas; 2. Paul Nienhiser, Chapin, Illinois; 3. Chris Martin, Ankeny; 4. Ryan Jamison, Mediapolis; 5. Josh Schneiderman, West Burlington; 6. Cody Wehrle, Burlington; 7. Jamie Ball, Knoxville; 8. Kaley Gharst, Decatur, Illinois; 9. Cameron Martin, Ankeny; 10. Colton Fisher, Mediapolis. Heat winners — Ball, Nienhiser, Martin and Jamison. B-Main winner — Randall. Dash winner — Jamison.
HART LIMITED MODIFIED SERIES
Feature results — 1. Sean Wyett, Danville; 2. Kevin Anderson, London Mills, Illinois; 3. Brandon Lennox, New London, Missouri; 4. Luke Gebhardt, Streator, Illinois; 5. Kirby McCormick, Farmer City, Illinois; 6. Blaise Lewis, Keokuk. Heat winner — Wyett.
Feature results — 1. Brian Tipps, Wapello; 2. Tucker Richardson, Morning Sun; 3. Tim Wagner, Wapello; 4. James Ruble, Morning Sun; 5. Don Wood, Wapello; 6. Jacob Ruble, Mount Pleasant; 7. Sheldon Brockett, no hometown listed; 8. Darin Ronner, Gladstone, Illinois. Heat winner — Tipps.
Feature results — 1. Chris Zogg, New Liberty; 2. Denny Eckrich, Tiffin; 3. Austen Becerra, Carthage, Illinois; 4. Drew Janssen, Pella; 5. Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, Illinois; 6. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk; 7. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington; 8. Jarrett Brown, Ainsworth; 9. Blaine Webster, Ottumwa; 10. Kyle Madden, Oxford. Heat winners — Burgtorf, Janssen and Becerra.
IMCA SPORT MODIFIEDS
Feature results — Logan Anderson, Eddyville; 2. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa; 3. Dylan VanWyk, Oskaloosa; 4. Adam Birck, Canton, Missouri; 5. Nicholas Profeta, Keokuk; 6. Matt Tucker, Lomax, Illinois; 7. AJ Toumear, Quincy, Illinois; 8. Trey Rock, New Boston, Illinois; 9. Will Wolf, Evansdale; 10. Barry Taft, Argyle. Heat winners — VanWyk, Wolf and Anderson.
IMCA STOCK CARS
Feature results — 1. Dustin Griffiths, Hedrick; 2. Jason Cook, Mount Pleasant; 3. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson; 4. Kirk Kinsley, Wapello; 5. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington; 6. Austin Kemper, Wapello; 7. Shane Richardson, Wapello; 8. Jerry Jansen, Plainville, Illinois; 9. Ray Raker, Danville. Heat winners — Cook and Griffiths.
Feature results — 1. Jason Ash, Burlington; 2. Barry Taft, Argyle; 3. Justin Stevenson, Burlington; 4. Larry Miller, Burlington; 5. Tim Schnathorst, Burlington; 6. Shane Vancil, Salem; 7. David Prim, Elvaston, Illinois; 8. Caleb Giese, Morning Sun; 9. Chadrick Edward Poland, Burlington; 10. Tyler Koutsky, Milan, Illinois. Heat winners — Miller and Ash.
Matt Levins is a sports reporter for the USA TODAY Network in Burlington, Iowa, who has covered local sports for 31 years. Reach him at [email protected].