‘AK’ and ‘The Real Deal’ roll to qualifying night wins at I-80 Speedway

‘AK’ and ‘The Real Deal’ roll to qualifying night wins at I-80 Speedway

The 2019 Malvern Bank SLMR Season got under way Friday night, April 5th, at the I-80 Speedway for the Spring Meltdown. 41 cars were on hand for qualifying night, a field that was highlighted by many returning Series regulars as well as lots of new faces.

The format for this weekend consists of qualifying, heat races, and two $1,000 to-win qualifying features that will help determine the line-up for Saturday night’s $4,000 to-win main event. The top 4 from each Friday night feature are locked into Saturday’s feature with the rest being forced to run heat races to qualify. The remaining drivers will be lined up in their heat races based on total points from qualifying, heat races, and the features from Friday.

To get the night started Tad Pospisil, in his new Bloomquist Chassis, set overall quick time posting a 17.773. Nick Deal, who made the jump from modifieds to super late models over the off-season, led the way for qualifying session B posting a time of 18.016. The heat races were won by Josh Leonard, Bill Leighton Jr, Andrew Kosiski, and Rece Vaught.

Brian Kosiski and Dylan Smith led the way to the green flag for qualifying feature number 1. Dylan Smith, in the Al Humphrey owned #6 machine, jumped out to the early lead. Brian Kosiski slipped to fourth in the early stages after surrendering second to Tad Pospisil and third to Nick Deal. Pospisil began reeling in Smith but before Pospisil could really challenge for the lead the field was slowed for the only yellow flag of the feature; the yellow being thrown for Gary Brown Jr whose engine had blown up.

Smith led the field back to green, followed by Pospisil, Deal, Kosiski, and Vaught. A little farther back in the pack ran 6-time and defending Series champion, Kyle Berck. Back up-front Nick Deal moved passed Tad Pospisil after Tad jumped the cushion on lap 7. Rece Vaught who ran in 5th spot for the opening stage of the race slowly began to fade after the half way point as he dropped the 5th spot to Corey Zeitner and 6th to Jeremy Grady. Corey Zeitner would soon move up to 4th and quickly look to 3rd after getting around Brian Kosiski. While all this was going on Dylan Smith was under heavy fire from Nick Deal for the lead but with three to go Smith was able to get by lap traffic a little bit better allowing him to gap Deal and pick up the win, Deal followed in 2nd, Pospisil 3rd, Corey Zeitner in 4th, and Brian Kosiski rounding out the top 5. After the race Dylan Smith was DQ’ed in tech giving Nick Deal his first win with the Malvern Bank SLMR Series.

For feature number two Atlantic, Iowa’s Jason O’Brien and Omaha, Nebraska’s Andrew Kosiski would show the way. The field was quickly halted under red flag conditions as a 10-car wreck blocked the front stretch, 2 cars rolling. Bill Leighton got turned sideways in the second row and as the field checked up behind him drivers ran out of room to avoid each other and the wreck ensued. The 10 drivers involved were Bill Leighton, Josh Leonard, Dylan Schmer, Cory Dumpert, Scott Ward, John Anderson, Jason Wallace, Curt Drake, and three with the most damage Dan Battaglia, Paul Conrad, and Jim Johnson. Johnson and Conrad being the two drivers that rolled. All drivers were ok, Leighton, Leonard, Schmer, Dumpert, and Ward received minimal damage and were able to continue the race.

Kosiski and O’Brien led the field back to the green for attempt number 2 to get the race under way. O’Brien jumped out to the early lead in the first few corners but Kosiski and his 53-machine came roaring back up to challenge and quickly take the lead. Ben Schaller quickly moved from his 9th place starting spot to 6th moving passed Allan Hopp on lap 4, and to 5th on lap 9 getting by Scott Ward. The yellow flag was thrown on lap 9 for debris. On the restart O’Brien dropped from second to fourth allowing Josh Leonard, in his Rick Hunnicutt owned #1 car, and Ben Schaller to get by. A few laps later O’Brien bobbled and slowed up Josh Krug allowing Bill Leighton Jr to move from 6th to 4th. The yellow flag was thrown on the white flag lap for debris. Andrew Kosiski led the field back to green for the first attempt at a green-white-checker finish, but the yellow was thrown again as Ben Schaller spun in turn one collecting Jason Wallace and Brad Perdue. Kosiski led the field back to green and quickly gapped the field and went on to win his first Malvern Bank SLMR Series race since I-35 Speedway in 2016. Kosiski was followed to the line by Josh Leonard in 2nd, Bill Leighton who came home 3rd, Jason O’Brien 4th, and Allan Hopp bringing home a 5th place finish.



Qualifying Group A: 1. Tad Pospisil, 2. Jason O’Brien, 3. Scott Ward, 4. Bill Leighton Jr, 5. Josh Leonard, 6. Ben Sukup, 7. Jim Johnson, 8. Troy Daly, 9. Allan Hopp, 10. Scott Carlson, 11. Kyle Berck, 12. Paul Conrad, 13. Chris Johnson, 14. Tyler Smith, 15. Kale Kosiski, 16. Dan Battaglia, 17. John Anderson, 18. Cory Dumpert, 19. Gary Brown Jr, 20. Curt Drake

Qualifying Group B: 1. Nick Deal, 2. Brian Kosiski, 3. Dylan Smith, 4. Jeremy Grady, 5. Corey Zeitner, 6. Ben Schaller, 7. Andrew Kosiski, 8. Josh Krug, 9. Blair Nothdurft, 10. Rece Vaught, 11. Robbie Andersen, 12. Brad Perdue, 13. Curt Schroeder, 14. Dylan Schmer, 15. Eric Vanosdall, 16. Matt Snoberger, 17. Jason Wallace, 18. Steve McConnell, 19. Zach Zeitner, 20. Andy Claiborne, 21. Jack Snoberger.

Speedway Motors Heat Race #1: 1. Josh Leonard, 2. Allan Hopp, 3. Tad Pospisil, 4. Jim Johnson, 5. Scott Ward, 6. Kyle Berck, 7. Paul Conrad, 8. Tyler Smith, 9. Cory Dumpert, 10. Dan Battaglia

Keyser Manufacturing Heat Race #2: 1. Bill Leighton Jr, 2. Scott Carlson, 3. Gary Brown Jr, 4. Jason O’Brien, 5. Ben Sukup, 6. Chris Johnson, 7. John Anderson, 8. Kale Kosiski, 9. Curt Drake, 10. Troy Daly

Roth Racing Heat Race #3: 1. Andrew Kosiski, 2. Nick Deal, 3. Dylan Smith, 4. Corey Zeitner, 5. Blair Nothdurft, 6. Eric Vanosdall, 7. Curt Schroeder, 8. Zach Zeitner, 9. Jason Wallace, 10. Robbie Andersen, 11. Jack Snoberger

Kosiski Auto Parts Heat Race #4: 1. Rece Vaught, 2. Josh Krug, 3. Jeremy Grady, 4. Brian Kosiski, 5. Brad Perdue, 6. Ben Schaller, 7. Dylan Schmer, 8. Steve McConnell, 9. Andy Claiborne, 10. Matt Snoberger

Qualifying Feature #1: 1. Nick Deal, 2. Tad Pospisil, 3. Corey Zeitner, 4. Brian Kosiski, 5. Jeremy Grady, 6. Kyle Berck, 7. Rece Vaught, 8. Blair Nothdurft, 9. Curt Schroeder, 10. Ben Sukup, 11. Zach Zeitner, 12. Scott Carlson, 13. Tyler Smith, 14. Troy Daly, 15. Steve McConnell, 16. Kale Kosiski, 17. Matt Snoberger, 18. Gary Brown Jr, 19. Andy Claiborne, DNS. Jack Snoberger, DQ. Dylan Smith

Qualifying Feature #2: 1. Andrew Kosiski, 2. Josh Leonard, 3. Bill Leighton, 4. Jason O’Brien, 5. Allan Hopp, 6. Scott Ward, 7. Josh Krug, 8. Cory Dumpert, 9. Chris Johnson, 10. Dylan Schmer, 11. Brad Perdue, 12. Ben Schaller, 13. Jason Wallace, 14. Curt Drake, 15. Eric Vanosdall, 16. John Anderson, 17. Jim Johnson, 18. Paul Conrad, 19. Dan Battaglia, DNS. Robbie Andersen


Contingency Awards: (F1) – Feature 1, (F2) – Feature 2

Speedway Motors Heat Race #1: Josh Leonard

Keyser Manufacturing Heat Race #2: Bill Leighton Jr

Roth Racing Heat Race #3: Andrew Kosiski

Kosiski Auto Parts Heat Race #4: Rece Vaught

Hoosier Tire Hard Charger: Zach Zeitner (F1) and Curt Drake (F2)

VP Fuels Top Qualifier: Nick Deal (F1) and Bill Leighton (F2)

Dynamic Drivelines Hard Luck Award: Andy Claiborne (F1) and Jim Johnson (F2)

Sardeson Racing Worst Draw: Andy Claiborne (F1) and Curt Drake (F2)

Speedway Motors Back-Up Award: Brian Kosiski (F1) and Ben Schaller (F2)

Keizer Wheels Last Man In: –

Wehrs Machine A Feature Pole Sitter: Brian Kosiski (F1) and Jason O’Brien (F2)

Predator Trailers B Feature King: –

Hooker Harness 5th Place: Kyle Berck (F1) and Allan Hopp (F2)

Out Pace Products 7th Place: Rece Vaught (F1) and Josh Krug (F2)

Simpson Performance Products 8th Place: Blair Nothdurft (F1) and –

Braswell Carburetion 10th Place: Ben Sukup (F1) and Brad Perdue (F2)

Brinn Transmission 12th Place: Tyler Smith (F1) and Ben Schaller (F2)

Penske Top 3 Finishers: Nick Deal, Tad Pospisil, and Corey Zeitner (F1) and Andrew Kosiski, Josh Leonard, and Bill Leighton (F2)

Rod End Supply Lap Leaders: Nick Deal and Andrew Kosiski


Series Sponsors: Beyea Headers, Braswell Carburetion, Brinn Transmissions, Dynamic Drivelines, Helmet Head Design, Hooker Harness, Hoosier Tire, JE Pistons, Keizer Wheels, Keyser Manufacturing, Kosiski Auto Parts, Malvern Bank, My Race Pass, N&W Transfer, Out-Pace Products, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Bodies, Predator Trailers, Real Wheels, Rod End Supply, Roth Racing, Sardeson Racing, Simpson Performance Products, Speedway Motors, Storm Solution Specialists, Swartz Chassis, VP Fuels, Wehrs Machine, and Zeitner and Sons Trucking.

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