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Slader takes Street Stock main event at Lucas Oil Speedway; Fuqua, Morton and Marrant also earn feature wins

(WHEATLAND, MO -July 27, 2019) – With one eye toward October’s Big Buck 50 Presented by Whitetail Trophy Hunt and the other on a repeat regular-season trip to victory lane, Kyle Slader made it two-for-two in 2019 at Lucas Oil Speedway.

Slader, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, started up front and led all 25 laps to earn the O’Reilly Auto Parts Street Stocks 25-lap, $750-to-win main event on Saturday night.

Other feature winners on Ozarks Food Harvest Food Drive Night at the Races Presented by KTTS were Darron Fuqua (Pitts Homes USRA Modifieds), JC Morton (Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mods) and Aaron Marrant (Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Models).

Slader also won in his only other appearance at Lucas Oil Speedway, on July 14 during the CMH Diamond Nationals. That win was worth $1,000. The stakes will much higher Oct. 3-5 at the Big Buck 50, when the Street Stocks will chase a $10,000 first prize.

“We came here a couple of weeks ago to do some testing. We came up here tonight to do some testing,” Slader said. “We picked up two wins. You can’t get much better than that.”

Slader was working his way through lapped traffic and had opened a 1.8-second lead over James Flood when the race’s first caution came out on lap 12. It was a tight four-way battle for second at that point with Flood, Toby Ott, Johnny Coats and Cody Frazon battling it out.

Slader and Flood broke away after the restart when a yellow again bunched the field, on lap 14. The top five continued to run in the same order, with Slader sporting a 1.4-second lead when Frazon spun on lap 19 to set up a restart with six to go.

Surviving that restart plus one more with no issues, Slader held off runner-up Flood by 1.59 seconds. Season points leader Ott edged Coats for third and Frazon rallied for fifth.

“I knew I wasn’t running away with it,” Slader said. “I kind of fought an ill-handling car there. We just made it work and figured out what it needed and drove it.”

Fuqua back in USRA Mod victory lane: Darron Fuqua emerged from a caution-plagued Pitts Homes USRA Modified feature to claim his first victory of the season at Lucas Oil Speedway.

The 2018 Lucas Oil Speedway track champ and USRA Modified National Champion broke through in his fifth try at the speedway this season. He had two runner-up finishes, a ninth and a 12th at a track where he won eight times a year ago.

“It worked out. I’m sorry it took so long,” Fuqua said of a race with eight cautions. “The track has a lot of traction and everybody’s fast.”

Fuqua, of Mayetta, Kansas, quickly moved into second from his fourth starting position and had ample chances to size up leader Justin Johnson on the multiple restarts due to early cautions. Fuqua worked the high groove to stalk Johnson as the two pulled away during three green-flag laps before caution No. 7 came out on lap seven.

Fuqua was able to complete the winning pass, coming to the start-finish line to cap lap eight. He held off Johnson from there, finishing two car lengths in front of his fellow Kansas.

“It’s always good racing with him. He always drives me clean,” Fuqua said of Johnson, who’s from Olathe, Kansas. “I tried to let up a little bit and I started seeing him again. I said, ‘I gotta go, I can’t take a breath.’ ”

Pole-starting Brian Green finished third and Ryan Middaugh was fourth. Points leader Robert Reed, who started 15th, spun in turn two to bring out an early caution and had to restart 20th. Reed rallied to finish eighth.

Morton breaks through in B-Mods: JC Morton of Springfield snapped Kris Jackson’s six-race winning streak, expertly hitting his marks on numerous restarts in the Ozark Golf Cars USRA B-Mod feature.

Morton, who led all the way, started on the front row and consistently built a decent-sized lead over second-place Ryan Gillmore. Then he saw it wiped away through six caution flags in the first half of the 20-lap feature.

Winning his third feature of the season and first since April, Morton wound up 2.3 seconds in front of Gillmore with Robbe Ewing third and points leader Kris Jackson fourth.

“Our car was really good,” Morton said. “I got on the bottom and … I kind of conserved a little bit so I didn’t hit the tires (guarding the infield) or spin out or something stupid.”

Jackson brought a six-race winning streak into the action. But the Lebanon driver’s car lost power while leading his heat race and had to race through the B Feature to get into the main event – which he did by going from 10th to first in the B.

While he failed to win another feature, Jackson dodged a potential damaging night in points with a feature run from 17th to fourth. He began the night 56 points ahead of Morton.

“Kris had some trouble in the heat race and he got behind the 8-ball there,” Morton said. “It’s hard to start back where he did and make it back to even the top five.”

Marrant picks up Late Model win: Aaron Marrant of Richmond picked up his second Warsaw Auto Marine & RV ULMA Late Model feature victory of the season, taking command with five laps remaining.

“I can’t thank the crew enough. They’ve been working their tails off on this car,” Marrant said. “We just keep working at it and keep getting it better and better. They’re getting it really good.”

Chad Richwine started on the pole and he led the first 14 laps, though Marrant pulled beside him several times before finally using the inside line to get past on the straightaway to complete lap 15.

The race’s first caution flew a few seconds later, as Bob Cummings went for a spin in turn two. That set up a five-lap shootout with Marrant in front of Richwine, Larry Ferris, Kaeden Cornell and Johnny Fennewald.

Before a lap was completed, a six-car pileup behind the leaders again brought things to a halt. Marrant was flawless on the restart and the race remained green from there with Marrant earning the win by 1.6 seconds over Ferris.

Richwine was a season-best third with points leader Fennewald fourth and Cornell fifth.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Lyndal Scranton (Lscranton755@gmail.com)