Last-lap drama headlines Midway Speedway excitement
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May 23, 2008  |  by Ronnie Williams

LEBANON, Mo. - With over 80 race teams in the pits Friday night, last-lap drama and close finishes set the pace in racing action at the Midway Speedway.

In the USRA Modified division, polesitter and 2006 champion Tony Jackson Jr. brought the field down to a three-wide start with Jackson grabbing the top spot early with veteran Rex Merritt right on his bumper and current points leader Jamie Ragland running the top groove.

Jackson would set a fast pace until lap 10 when Merritt made a smooth move on the bottom of turn 2 to take control.

Last week's winner and defending champion Eric Hudson, who started 11th, was charging through the field and coming forward quickly while battling Jimmy Willis, Wayne Graybeal and Justin Neuman.

With Merritt pulling away from the field, Jackson and Ragland put on a classic battle as Hudson joined the race for second place on lap 12.

Merritt was looking for his first Midway feature win in the closing laps with Hudson gaining closer.

Heading for the white flag, Merritt stayed glued to the bottom with Hudson moving upstairs and pulling even in turn 3 as Merritt was fighting lapped traffic.

Coming out of turn 4, Hudson went to the very top of the track and overtook Merritt by a half-car length at the stripe to become the first USRA Modified repeat winner in 2008 with Merritt, Jackson, Ragland and Graybeal completing the top 5.

Racing continues next weekend with an action packed doubleheader. On Friday night, Late Model racing returns to the Midway with the Show-Me Racin' Series making their first visit of the season with drivers such as Ken Essary, Leslie Essary, Jeremy Kelley, Kevin Henson, Conner Ward and many others, along with points races in the USRA Modifieds, Bombers, Factory Stocks, B-Mods and Super Stocks. Admission will be $15 while pit passes are $30. Racing starts at 8 p.m.

Then Saturday night, May 31 a special with B-Mods, Factory Stocks and Bombers. Grandstand admission is only $5 with pit passes $25 and racing at 7:30.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
USRA Casey’s General Stores Weekly Racing Series
Midway Speedway, Lebanon, Mo.
Friday, May 23, 2008

USRA MODIFIEDS

A Feaure - 1. Eric Hudson, Rolla; 2. Rex Merritt, Billings; 3. Tony Jackson Jr., Lebanon; 4. Jamie Ragland, Lebanon; 5. Wayne Graybeal, Springfield; 6. Jimmy Willis, Macks Creek; 7. Justin Neuman, Crocker; 8. Brian Brown, Lebanon; 9. James Hartman, Eldridge; 10. Danny Atkinson, Lebanon; 11. Sam Petty, Niangua; 12. Jamie Petty, Niangua; 13. Tim Ballinger, Fair Grove; 14. Paul Snyder, Wellsville, Kan.

1st Heat - 1. Ragland; 2. Merritt; 3. Jackson; 4. Graybeal; 5. Atkinson; 6. Ballinger; 7. J. Petty.

2nd Heat - 1. Neuman; 2. Willis; 3. Snyder; 4. S. Petty; 5. Hudson; 6. Hartman; DNS - Brown.



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