Keeter back on track at Springfield Raceway
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August 6, 2011  |  by Ronnie Williams

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- With over 100 race tems in the pits Saturday night at the Springfield Raceway, Pepsi Back-To-School Night carried an emotional beginning as drivers said goodbye to a devoted race fan while defending USRA RHS Modified track champion Mitch Keeter got back on track by holding off repeated challanges from John Yeoman III in grabbing his third feature win.

After becoming ill late last weekend, Springfield Raceway fan Wanda "Granny" Jefferies passed away this week and drivers said their final goodbye to her with a three-wide salute to start the program off with every racecar on the track and drivers outside their cars while the pole position was left open.

After telling about the love "Granny" had for the quick quarter-mile and her story from last season's banquet where she was given a season pass, the drivers filed single-file back to the pits while her son-in law, B-Mod driver Larry Tindle, was the last car to leave as he carried the checkered flag in a polish victory lap for her honor while God Bless The USA was played over the speakers.

The action put everyone in high gear for the features as small lightning stroms moved through the area.

Keeter grabbed the opening lead from his pole spot as three-wide action was the call of the night. With Keeter setting a fast pace, Darrell Jackson, Jerry Lankton, Brian Green, Turkey Classic winner Jody Tillman and others fought for position.

The first caution flew on lap 8 as Tillman slowed in turn 1 after making contact in the battles, ending the night for the runner-up in points.

Keeter pulled away again on the restart while Lankton was riding a smooth race and well-known area engine builder Yeoman began his charge forward.

The only other caution flew on lap 12 as last week's winner, Bobby Pearish, spun in front of Jackson and hard-charging Robbie Bryant. Both drivers kept going with sheet metal damage as points leader Jackie Dalton ducked into the pits with a flat tire.

Keeter found Yeoman pull even with him as for the next eight laps they went side by side with Keeter keeping his front bumper ahead at the stripe.

Keeter claimed the hard earned victory as Yeoman, Lankton, Steve Martin and Green completed the top 5 with 14 of the 17 starters finishing on the lead lap.

Action continues next Saturday night, Aug. 13, with Deer Lake Golf & Fitness Night with a contest awarding $100 to the person who can get the golf ball closest to the pin contest.

Grandstand gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 6:30 and racing at 7:15.

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American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series
Springfield Raceway, Springfield, Mo.
Saturday, August 6, 2011


Feature: 1. Mitch Keeter, Webb City; 2. John Yeoman III, Granby; 3. Jerry Lankton, Lampe; 4. Steve Martin, Ozark; 5. Brian Green, Pierce City; 6. Erik Maggard, Brighton; 7. Robbie Bryant, Willard; 8. Darrell Jackson, Carthage; 9. Billy Dalton, Exeter; 10. Kyle Slagle, Pierce City; 11. Jackie Dalton, Carthage; 12. Eric Lampe, Springfield; 13. Dairian Hendrix, Joplin; 14. Dwight Neihoff, Lockwood; 15. Nathan Cottrell, Nixa; 16. Bobby Pearish, Oronogo; 17. Jody Tillman, Branson.

Heat #1: 1. Keeter; 2. J. Dalton; 3. Jackson; 4. Pearish; 5. Lampe; 6. Slagle.

Heat #2: 1. Tillman; 2. Martin; 3. Lankton; 4. Hendrix; 5. Maggard; 6. Neihoff.

Heat #3: 1. Yeoman; 2. Bryant; 3. B. Dalton; 4. Green; 5. Cottrell.

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