By: Tom Ace

Despite a heavy rain shower which soaked Rockford Speedway for over
half an hour Wednesday evening, the sun eventually returned and the
show went on as the Independence Day tradition known as the Fireworks
Extravaganza took center stage. A large and enthusiastic crowd was on
hand not only to witness the spectacular Fireworks show but also some
exciting short track racing on America’s 242nd birthday!


It was another thriller for the fabulous four cylinder cars and when
the checkered flag flew on this night, it was Aaron Rude and the
‘Worlds Fastest Ford Pinto’ in victory lane claiming his third feature
win of the year while out-dueling points leader Franc Beldowski for
the top spot.

Rude made decisive moves in traffic to climb to the front of the field
and after a multi-lap exchange was able to pass early leader Steve
Rubeck for first place near the race’s halfway point. But soon after
Rude took the lead, Beldowski was on his tail. Over the course of the
race’s final seven laps, Beldowski made numerous challenges for the
top spot, but came up just short in each attempt.

Beldowski settled for his fourth second place finish of the year and
was followed by Rubeck in third. Former Rookie of the Year Kyle Voss
not only notched a heat race win earlier in the night, but finished
fourth place in the feature race. Nick Schmidt rounded out the top


Chad Lounsbury dominated the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, winning the
20 lap race in total darkness by nearly half a lap over Terry Gerber.
The win was Lounsbury’s sixth Roadrunner feature win of the year and
his second career win in the Midnight Ride.

Gerber came home a career best second place in the Midnight Ride and
was the only other car on the lead lap in a very bizarre race. Kevin
Memoli bounced back from early problems to notch a third place result,
with Dave Lumsden Jr fourth and Brent Garnhardt fifth. Garnhardt also
won the Roadrunner Challenge ‘Flagpole Race’ earlier in the evening.


Zach Cichon inherited the lead with three laps to go and motored onto
his first ever Rockford Speedway feature win in the 15 lap Sixermania
feature. Cichon became the leader under yellow flag conditions after
previous leader Nick Schneider’s car overheated. Jim Crozier finished
the race in second place, followed by Dave Cooter in third, Jared Lane
in fourth and Sean Worman in fifth.


Ashley Matts won her second Winged Women on Wheels feature of the year
Wednesday night, outrunning Chandale Swarthout and Lily Allen to take
the checkered flag.