West Plains Motor Speedway hosted the annual Sunoco & Simons Petroleum Firecracker Weekend July 3-5, and even with the first night being rained out, it concluded right on schedule, complete with one of the biggest and most elaborate fireworks displays ever seen in the heart of the Ozarks.
The pyrotechnic group, Air Magic, Inc. of Batesville, was responsible for the production and presentation of the ever-popular "Salute to Our Troops," that left the crowd in awe.
In a field that represented six different states, 71 different drivers had their eye on the purse that neared $30,000.
But, Jared Wagster of Scott City, Mo., emerged as the big winner.
After he qualified into the Firecracker Weekend's main event by finishing fourth on the first night of competition, Wagster had to start 10th on Saturday night in his pursuit of the top prize. He worked his way through an outstanding field of Super Stockers to claim the $5,000 top money, along with a coveted trophy.
Taking second was Brandon Smith of Batesville, followed by Kevin Salter also of Batesville, Chuck McGinty of Conway, Tony Anglin of Walnut Ridge, Buddy Parks of Marshall, Robby Arnold of Paragould, Stan Ellison of West Plains, John Hughes of Batesville and Bruce Busch of Mena, Ark.
The Round 1 support class was Hobby Stock and Jessie Shearin of West Plains scored his first feature win of the season, followed by Kevin Collins, Chris Piper and John Stiner, all of West Plains, Eric Hopper of Mountain Home, Korey Whitelock of Alton, Bill Freeman of West Plains, Dean Smith and Austin Smith, both of Mammoth Spring, and Richard Smith of Williford.
The Youth Hobby Stock points races were also run with the Round 1 program, and Dakota Frost of West Plains was another first-time feature winner. Taking second was Kyle Duke of West Plains, followed by Cody Toten of Pomona, Ben Piper of West Plains, Chase Williams of Caulfield, A.J. Smith of Mammoth Spring and Kevin May of Pomona.
The Round 2 support class was the Cruisers and Clifford Collins II of West Plains made a return appearance on Victory Lane, followed by Tyler Newcom of Hardy, Mark Doiron and Benny Grogan, both of West Plains, and Mike Haley of Yellville.
The support class for Round 3 on the final night was IMCA Modified and a field of 29 ran four heats and a B-Feature, where 24 advanced to the 20-lap points feature.
Bill Adams of West Plains has run a limited schedule this year and scored his first feature win of the season. Second went to Shawn Walsh of Ash Flat, followed by Brandon Ball of West Plains, Scott Crigler of Alton, Rustin Miller of Houston, Marlin Shehorn of Russellville, Chris Piper and Denny Dennison, both of West Plains, Ben Ledgerwood of Birch Tree and Joey Smith of Pomona.