Going into the 2013 short-track asphalt season at the High-Banks of the Lebanon I-44 Speedway the talk was could Nixa, Missouri lead foot Tyler Scott take home a third consecutive Budweiser Modified Championship and the 1st since 2001 under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Banner in the tier 2 division.
The "Nixa Nightmare" had his hands full all season long in the points chase with Veteran Modified Chassis Builder Scotty Allen of Urbana and his Big Surf Water Park/Ruble Racing Engines/ Allen Autosports machine. In the stretch drive home, Scott took home his third Consecutive track championship aboard his Ed Medlin/Family Pharmacy/RLB Financial/ Lefthander machine. Scott won 4 of the last 5 features of 2013, racking-up a near perfect season despite the heavy talents in the Modified field.
For Scott, his season saw the 57 car capture 6 feature wins while grabbing 6 runner-up spots and a 4th place finish. A post-race rules infraction cost him another victory as he finished ahead of Allen by 70 points in the final standings while his starting average position for 2013 was 9th on the starting grid. 22 different drivers competed in the Monster Energy Championship Chase.
The Budweiser open wheeled ground-pounders took to the high-banks on May 11th with Scott holding off veteran David Bates for the win with former NASCAR Regional Champion Ricky "The Iceman" Icenhower following as 16 cars took the green flag for the season opener after losing 2 weeks to weather.
On May 18th before a packed house on the Mercy Masters CRA/JEGS special, Icenhower showed he was ready for the challenge as he dominated the feature event as Scott came charging from the rear to finish a solid second and Mike Counterman made a podium finish in third place finish after having motor issues on the opening night while running up front.
For the May 25th event, Scott took the checkered flag first, but fell in the standings after a post race issue in tech nulled the win placing David Bates into the winner's circle and becoming the third different winner while Counterman known as the "Young Gun" came in second which placed Terry Taylor in the point lead.
For June 9th, Scott came back in a big way winning feature number 2 as a new 2013 contender Peyton Lucas grabbed the runner-up spot while David Bates was fighting an over-heating motor for a third place finish. 15 Modifieds took the opening green as the feature came down to the last lap to be decided.
After a week off, on June 22nd, Scotty Allen went back to some old school Asphalt Modified set-ups and hit the nail on the head by becoming the 4th different winner in 5 features for 2013. David Bates and current point leader Terry Taylor followed while Scott was in 4th as Allen was making a strong surge in the point standings.
The June 29th event featured yet another new winner as Peyton Lucas was smooth as the Asphalt Oval he races on as he fended-off Tyler Scott's attempts . Lucas became winner number 5 of the season as The Nixa Nightmare grabbed the runner-up spot while David Bates took home a third place spot.
During the I-44 Speedway Salute to America with a special Wednesday night program on July 3rd, Scotty Allen provided plenty of fireworks with a strong showing of horsepower in taking win number 2 of the season and sneaking back into the point lead. Tyler Scott and Ricky Icenhower followed the high-flying Ford around the oval.
After receiving a week off, the Budweiser Modifieds came back on July 27th with 14 cars starting the feature and young Peyton Lucas of Fair Grove took charge early and then held off Tyler Scott and David Bates in a nail-biter all 25 laps long as Allen's point leader started to shrink.
The speedway suffered it's 5th rainout of the season on Aug. 3rd as the stretch drive for the Monster Energy Cup Championship was just around the corner.
Returning to action on Aug. 10th, Peyton Lucas came from the 10th starting spot and flexed his muscle around the high-banks and took advantage of contact between Allen and Scott to capture his third win of the season. Scott and Allen rallied back to the second and third place spots as Scott was nipping back in the point standings.
The first of two major turning points of the season happened on Aug.17th as a major wreck on the start of the race destroyed the cars of Chris Kerperien and last year's Charger Champion Paul Jepson while ending the night of Terry Taylor, David Bates and involved most of the field. Allen and Lucas barely avoided the wreck as Scott had to pit and repair minor damage. While Allen was trying to place more distance in the standings, it was Scott charging from the rear for win number 3 and his first since June 9th. Scotty Allen and Peyton Lucas would also stand on the podium that night.
For the Aug 24th event, Scott started 10th and shot to the high side during the long green runs in capturing his 4th win of the season with again Allen and Lucas finishing behind the winner as the NASCAR tier 2 track championship was up for grabs.
The final turning point happened on Aug 31st as the starting field number of 13 proved to be unlucky for Allen. With 3 wide racing happening early in the feature event, a major crash happened in turn 2 as Ricky Icenhower, Scotty Allen, Chris Johnson and Richard Lewis were all involved in the wreck as Allen was done for the night. This night belonged to veteran David Bates as the team had been fighting constant overheating problems and replaced the motor. The move proved to be correct as win number 2 was waiting for the 91 car with Tyler Scott and Terry Taylor following the Fair Grove veteran driver.
For the last 2 features in Sept. the finishes on the podium were the same as Tyler Scott took advantage of the long green flag runs to take wins number 5 and 6 as Bates and Peyton Lucas finished in the runner-up and third place positions both nights.
The Budweiser Modifieds featured 5 different winners this season with an average car count of right at 13 for 2013 as 14 feature events were on tap for the tier 2 division which was worth $1,000 for the track championship in addition to other contingency prizes.
The top 10 in track points along with 40 plus other teams and drivers will be honored on Saturday November 23 in Springfield, Mo. at the Ramada Convention Center as over $75,000 will be handed out to drivers who competed in 70% or more of the races offered to them in 2013.
For reservations and ticket information contact General Manager Kevin Greven at 417-399-5756 and for more information about the upcoming I-44 NASCAR Whelen All American Series action on Missouri's only active Asphalt and NASCAR short-track visit www.I44Speedway.net and be sure to view and like the I-44 Speedway facebook page.