Sprint Invaders' Return To Spoon River Goes To Chris Martin
By Jef Broeg 9Canton, IL) -- After a fourteen-year absence the Sprint Invaders returned to the Spoon River Speedway south of Canton, Illinois, on Saturday and despite sweltering conditions in the afternoon and the area being placed under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for the evening, twenty-three Winged Sprint Car drivers checked in. It would be the first time for many of the drivers to compete at a track that has a reputation for staging some great open wheel action and they did not disappoint using the wide and high-banked racing surface from top to bottom from the initial heat race all the way to the final checkered flag.
A pair of unrelated Martins, Chris and Randy would bring the field to green for the start of the twenty-five-lap headliner, but it would be the third starting Ryan Bunton that would sneak under both of them to lead the opening laps. With Bunton digging around the bottom, Chris Martin went to the top side and would sail by Bunton to take the point on lap six.
A two-time champion with the Sprint Invaders, Martin would extend his lead working lapped traffic like a master while the battle for second heated up well behind him with Bunton, Randy Martin and the ninth starting Colton Fisher slicing through traffic as well. The first caution of the event would wait until lap eighteen when Tyler Lee slid off the top of turn four and on the restart Josh Higday got into the mix moving to third in one lap and then to second while using the extreme low line. But when Alex VandeVoort spun in turn two with nineteen laps down Higday had to go back to third behind Fisher for the restart.
On that restart the top four all aimed for the bottom of turn one sending the field behind them roaring to the cushion. Ohio visitor Luke Griffith looked to move from seventh to fourth through the first set of turns and down the back stretch only to have that effort wiped out when Devin Wignall spun in turn three.
This would be the final restart of the race and as the leader, Martin, went to the bottom, Fisher ran the cushion and appeared to have a run on the leader with just five laps remining. The cushion couldn't hold him in turn two though and Colton had to turn the car completely sideways to stay on the gas to make the save.
This would allow Martin to get away over the final laps to make him the fourth different winner in four events completed on the 2023 Sprint Invader schedule. Higday was able to get by Fisher in the closing laps to come from fourteenth to second while it would be the second straight podium finish for Fisher on the weekend. He had started from ninth. Bunton would hold down the fourth spot with the winner's younger brother Cameron Martin filling out the top five. Griffith would finish sixth in his Sprint Invaders debut.
Two more events are on the slate for next weekend, both on a pair of quarter-mile bullrings with the Jacksonville Speedway on Friday June 30th and the Benton County Speedway in Vinton, Iowa, on Sunday July 2nd.
For more information on the Sprint Invaders visit www.SprintInvaders.net or go to our Facebook page.
Spoon River Results
Randall's Performance Heat #1 - 1. Tyler Lee, Cedar Rapids IA; 2. Cameron Martin, Ankeny IA; 3. Devin Wignall, Altoona IA; 4. Tanner Gebhardt, Burlington IA; 5. Colton Fisher, Mediapolis IA; 6. Cody Wehrle, Burlington IA; 7. Chase Richards, Burlington IA; 8. Eric Shelton, Decatur
Josh Denning & Associates Heat #2 - 1. Randy Martin, California MO; Alex VanderVoort, Knoxville IA; 3. Luke Griffith, Sandusky OH; 4. Ryan Bunton, Morton IL; 5. Kelby Watt, Adel IA; 6. Bret Tripplett, Lincoln; 7. Ryan Jamison, Mediapolis IA; 8. McCain Richards, Burlington IA
Mohrfeld Solar Heat #3 - 1. Chris Martin, Ankeny IA; 2. Dustin Selvage, Indianola IA; 3. Joey Moughan, Springfield; 4. Josh Higday, Des Moines IA; 5. Luke Verardi, Taylorville; 6. Autsin Archdale, Brimfield 7. Aidan Zoutte, Knoxville IA
Automotive Machine Shake-Up Dash - 1. Chris Martin; 2. R. Martin; 3. Bunton; 4. Lee; 5. Griffith; 6. Cam Martin
Shottenkirk Automotive Group A-Main - 1. Chris Martin; 2. Higday; 3. Fisher; 4. Bunton; 5. Cam Martin; 6. Griffith; 7. Tripplett; 8. Gebhardt; 9. R. Martin; 10. Verardi; 11. Jamison; 12. Wignall; 13. Watt; 14. C. Richards; 15. Shelton; 16. Archdale; 17. Zoutte; 18. Wehrle; 19. M. Richards; 20. VandeVoort; 21. Moughan; 22. Lee; 23. Selvage
Reid's Landscaping & Turf $50 Cash Draw Award - No Winner Tonight
DMI - Devin Wignall
Saldana - Joey Moughan
BMRS High Point Driver - Tyler Lee
Hard Charger $75 In Memory of Christine Wahl-Levitt - Josh Higday
Trophy Sponsor: Holtkamp Trailer Repair
Submitted By: Kirk Elliott