Baker wins at Grundy
By Stan Kalwasinski
Morris, Ill., July 16—Battling for the season championship, former two-time late model champion Ricky Baker captured the 30-lap late model stock car feature race at the Grundy County Speedway Friday night.
The 36-year-old Plainfield, Ill., resident drove his Rod Baker Ford-sponsored No. 52 to his third feature win of the season at the third-mile paved oval. Baker, who was the track champion in 2013 and 2014, started the evening second in the points behind Eddie Hoffman.
Coming from his outside front row starting position, Baker had a healthy 4.388-second margin over second place finisher Dean Patterson at the checkered flag. Larry Schuler, Hoffman, fastest qualifier Anthony Danta and DJ Weltmeyer rounded out the top-six in the 13-car field.
Tristan Batson of Lockport, Ill., was the winner of the 25-lap Mid American sportsman headliner – his third win of the year. Grandson of early Grundy frontrunner and champion Lee Schuler, Batson and his Chevy SS bested Aaron Shelton, Kevin Murphy, David Einhaus and Kenny Benson.
Celebrating his birthday a day early, Scotty Gardner won his first career street stock feature race at the Grundy oval. A native of Blue Island, Ill., Gardner wheeled his freshly painted Chevy to the win over Randy Weese, points leader Eddie Ligue and Rick Dawson.
Kolton Alexander was also a first-time feature winner as Alexander defeated Cameron Preisler and Trevor Starek in the 20-lap four-cylinder division main event. Landon Hocking won the 15-lap Super Cup feature race over Alex Ertman and Sy Salinas.