Mihocko, Paynter, Headley and Hillman Headline Gas City Opener

With and without wings the sprint car action was fast and furious Friday night as Gas City I-69 Speedway opened its 2022 season to an enthusiastic crowd. Tye Mihocko of Phoenix, Ariz., won the 25-lap non-wing sprint car feature, while John Paynter Jr. of Bloomington, Ind., was victorious in the 25-lap main event for the 305 c.i. Schaeffer’s Oil IMCA Indiana RaceSaver winged sprint cars on Benic Enterprises and Benic Shocks Night. Two forms of stock car racing were well received too, as fans watched James Headley of Marion, Ind., dominate the 20-lap street stock feature and Topher Hillman of Camby, Ind., do the same in the 15-lap hornet feature on the quarter-mile dirt track.


Despite it being Friday the 13th none of the sprint cars flipped, although a few caught some air during the night. The well-run, four division show under new Gas City promoter Larry Boos was over a few minutes after 10 p.m. on a perfect spring evening.


Non-Wing Sprint Cars


A bull (Mihocko’s nickname) and a donkey (Mihocko drove Jamie and Michelle Paul’s High ASSpirations Farms DRC No. 24P, which is sponsored by the Pauls’ donkey farm in Eaton, Ohio) were a winning combination in the non-wing sprint car feature. But it didn’t start out that way, as Koby Barksdale of Avon, Ind., by way of Norman, Okla., started on the pole and led the first eight laps.


Barksdale’s Maxim Tranner Chevy owned by Tom and Kim Knight of Mooresville, Ind., was 3.726 seconds ahead of Mihocko when Tyler Kendall of Greenfield, Ind., spun in Turn 4 with seven laps down while 12th to bring out the first of only two yellow flags in the feature. Following the restart Barksdale got too high in Turn 4, jumped the cushion, and slid to a stop high in the turn to bring out the second yellow flag with eight laps down. He was able to restart the No. 16K sponsored by A&S and Smith’s Small Engines, but there were three cars ahead of him on the restart on lap nine, so he was penalized three positions in the final rundown.


Barksdale’s misfortune gave the lead to Mihocko, who led the rest of the way, although defending track champion Scotty Weir of Marion, Ind., kept the pressure on him at first. Mihocko had to carefully thread his way through lapped traffic, but he did so without any glitches and he took the checkered flag 1.374 seconds before Weir did the same.


“The People’s Champ,” National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Dave Darland of Atlanta, Ind., started and finished third in his DRC Claxton. Chad Boespflug of Lebanon, Ind., finished fourth and Cole Bodine of Rossville, Ind., rounded out the top five. Young Saban Bibent of Cincinnati; veteran Matt Goodnight of Muncie, Ind.; Dustin Ingle of Lima, Ohio; Evan Mosley of Lapel, Ind., and Kyle Shipley of Lebanon, Ind., rounded out the top 10.


Indiana RaceSaver Winged Sprint Cars


Polesitter Austin Powell of Wilmington, Ohio ran away and hit during the first 11 laps of the Schaeffer’s Oil IMCA Indiana RaceSaver winged sprint car feature. Jeff Wimmenauer of Indianapolis, the 2021 IMCA Indiana state champion, passed Alex Nalon of Lizton, Ind. for second on lap six and then chased Powell down, making the pass for the lead on lap 12.


Paynter, who started seventh, got sixth on lap two, fifth on lap three, fourth on lap five, third on lap 10, and second on lap 13. He took the lead from Wimmenauer on lap 15, and already had a 1.693-second lead when the driver who was eighth, Jordan Welch, spun in the middle of Turn 4 with 16 laps down to bring out a yellow. After the restart Paynter was able to build up a big lead over Wimmenauer, but it all came to naught on lap 22 when Carson Dillion of Terre Haute, Ind., and Kayla Martin of Brownsburg, Ind., stopped in Turn 2.


Paynter resumed his high-groove approach on the restart while Wimmenauer tried the low side, but instead of Wimmenauer getting close to Paynter, Powell passed Wimmenauer for second on the last lap. Paynter padded his point lead and had a 2.135-second lead over Powell at the checkered with his No. 23, which is sponsored by JPJ Concrete and Pappy Shack.


Wimmenauer held on for third. Bradley Galedrige of Indianapolis also gained a position on the last lap, as he passed Nalon for fourth. Nalon rounded out the top five.


Street Stocks


Headley, the winningest driver in track history, dominated the street stock feature in the Headley’s Tree Service No. 1, leading all 20 laps.


Defending street stock champion Andy Bishop of Gas City ran second the entire race. Lee Hobbs of Mitchell, Ind., took third from Mike Fincher of Rochester, Ind., on lap four, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process, but pulled into the infield with 15 laps down. That gave third to Kory Conner of San Pierre, Ind., who finished in that position. James Headley Jr. of Wabash, Ind., brought out the race’s only yellow flag when he spun on the backstretch while running ninth, but he came back to finish fourth. Fincher placed fifth.


Headley had a 1.918-second margin of victory.



Topher Hillman started on the pole and led all 15 laps of the hornet feature, but Landon Arcaro of Brookville, Ind., was only 0.397 of a second behind him at the checkered. Brady Hines ran in second place for most of the race until Arcaro passed him on lap 11. Jeremy Jones of Gas City started and finished third. Hines finished fourth and Tracy Runion was fifth.


Rookie Jonathon Moeller brought out a red flag with nine laps down when he hit the Turn 4 wall hard, but he got out of his car under his own power.


Hillman’s No. 11 is sponsored in part by Mooresville Discount Mattress Outlet and Furniture, Hawkins Towing and Recovery, and SNR Shooting Supplies.


What’s Next?


Next Friday night, May 20, is the “Who’s the Boss?” show featuring BOSS non-wing sprint cars, USAC SpeeD2 Midwest Thunder midgets, street stocks and hornets.


The grandstands will open at 5 p.m. with hot laps/qualifying at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. A general admission ticket for adults is only $15 and students $10, while kids 12 and under are free. Admission to the pits, which opens at 3 p.m., is $30.


Gas City I-69 Speedway is located on State Road 22, approximately a half-mile west of exit 259 of Interstate 69, about halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind.


For the complete 2022 schedule and more information see the track’s website at gascityI69Speedway.com and also follow its social media outlets.  The track is on Twitter (@GasCitySpeedway), Instagram (@GasCitySpeedway) and Facebook (GasCitySpeedwayOnTheGas).


The results:


Non-Wing Sprint Group 1 Qualifying: 1. Chad Boespflug, 12.209; 2. Dave Darland, 12.409; 3. Kyle Shipley, 12.539; 4. Cole Bodine, 12.547; 5. Jack Hoyer, 12.923; 6. Austin Nigh, 12.931; 7. Cole Ketcham, 12.988; 8. Scott James, 13.363; 9. Rob Caho, 13.869; 10. Brady Click, 14.378.


Non-Wing Sprint Group 2 Qualifying: 1. Tyler Kendall, 12.213; 2. Tye Mihocko, 12.356; 3. Saban Bibent, 12.413; 4. Tim Creech, 12.445; 5. Corey Smith, 12.465; 6. Zack Pretorius, 12.547; 7. Korbyn Hayslett, 12.622; 8. Dylan Woodling, 12.760; 9. Aaron Davis, 12.865; 10. Collin Grissom, 12.880.


Non-Wing Sprint Group 3 Qualifying: 1. Evan Mosley, 12.171; 2. Scotty Weir, 12.366; 3. Matt Goodnight, 12.405; 4. Colten Cottle, 12.449; 5. Koby Barksdale, 12.452; 6. Tyler Hewitt, 12.508; 7. Dustin Ingle, 12.715; 8. Ben Varner, 12.793; 9. Parker Fredrickson, 12.825; 10. Derek Crane, 13.300.


Non-Wing Sprint Heat 1 (8 laps, 5 to qualify): 1. Cole Bodine, 2. Dave Darland, 3. Chad Boespflug, 4. Kyle Shipley, 5. Jack Hoyer, 6. Austin Nigh, 7. Scott James, 8. Brady Click, 9. Bryar Schroeter, 10. Cole Ketcham, 11. Rob Caho.


Non-Wing Sprint Heat 2 (8 laps, 5 to qualify): 1. Tye Mihocko, 2. Tyler Kendall, 3. Tim Creech, 4. Saban Bibent, 5. Zack Pretorius, 6. Corey Smith, 7. Korbyn Hayslett, 8. Aaron Davis, 9. Dylan Woodling, 10. Collin Grissom.


Non-Wing Sprint Heat 3 (8 laps, 5 to qualify): 1. Koby Barksdale, 2. Scotty Weir, 3. Evan Mosley, 4. Colten Cottle, 5. Matt Goodnight, 6. Dustin Ingle, 7. Tyler Hewitt, 8. Ben Varner, 9. Parker Fredrickson, 10. Derek Crane.


Non-Wing Sprint Heat B-Main (10 laps, 5 to qualify): 1. Dustin Ingle, 2. Corey Smith, 3. Aaron Davis, 4. Rob Caho, 5. Korbyn Hayslett, 6. Parker Fredrickson, 7. Jack James, 8. Austin Nigh, 9. Dylan Woodling, 10. Derek Crane, 11. Tyler Hewitt, 12. Collin Grissom, 13. Bryar Schroeter, 14. Ben Varner, 15. Brady Click, 16. Cole Ketcham.


Non-Wing Sprint Feature (25 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Tye Mihocko (4); 2. Scotty Weir (2); 3. Dave Darland (3); 4. Chap Boespflug (7); 5. Cole Bodine (6); 6. Saban Bibent (11); 7. Matt Goodnight (15); 8. Dustin Ingle (16); 9. Evan Mosley (9); 10. Kyle Shipley (10); 11. Colten Cottle (12); 12. Korbyn Hayslett (20); 13. Zack Pretorius (14); 14. Corey Smith (17); 15. Tim Creech II (8); 16. Koby Barksdale* (1); 17. Jack Hoyer (13); 18. Tyler Kendall (5); 19. Aaron Davis (18); 20. Rob Caho (19).

*: Penalized three spots for not restarting on the tail.

Lap leaders: Laps 1-8, Barksdale; laps 9-25, Mihocko.

Margin of victory: 1.374 seconds

Fastest race lap: Barksdale, 13.584 seconds, lap 4.


First Indiana RaceSaver Sprints Warmup Session: 1. Jordan Welch, 12.011; 2. Nate Franklin, 12.089; 3. Austin Powell, 12.180; 4. Carson Dillion, 12.182; 5. Bradley Galedrige, 12.229; 6. Bryce Norris, 12.306; 7. Kayla Martin, 12.549; 8. Blayne Ridgley, 13.309.


Second Indiana RaceSaver Sprints Warmup Session: 1. Jordan Welch, 12.011; 2. Nate Franklin, 12.089; 3. Austin Powell, 12.180; 4. Carson Dillion, 12.182; 5. Bradley Galedrige, 12.229; 6. Bryce Norris, 12.306; 7. Kayla Martin, 12.549; 8. Blayne Ridgley, 13.309.


Indiana RaceSaver Sprints Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Nate Franklin, 2. Bryce Norris, 3. Austin Powell, 4. Jordan Welch, 5. Carson Dillion, 6. Bradley Galedrige, 7. Blayne Ridgley, 8. Kayla Martin.


Indiana RaceSaver Sprints Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Tyler Miller, 2. Alex Nalon, 3. Jeff Wimmenauer, 4. John Paynter, 5. Roman Gephart, 6. Shane O’Banion, 7. Danny Clark, 8. Alan Brown.


Indiana RaceSaver Sprints Feature (25 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. John Paynter Jr. (7); 2. Austin Powell (1); 3. Jeff Wimmenauer (6); 4. Bradley Galedrige (8); 5. Alex Nalon (3); 6. Roman Gephart (11); 7. Danny Clark (12); 8. Bryce Norris (4); 9. Shane O’Banion (13); 10. Nate Franklin (5); 11. Carson Dillion (10); 12. Blayne Ridgley (15); 13. Alan Brown (16); 14. Jordan Welch (9); 15. Kayla Martin (14); 16. Tyler Miller (2).

Lap leaders: Laps 1-11, Powell; laps 12-14, Wimmenauer; laps 15-25, Paynter Jr.

Margin of victory: 2.135 seconds

Fastest race lap: Powell, 12.256, lap 1.


Street Stock Warmup Session 1: 1. Lee Hobbs, 13.917; 2. James Headley, 14.204; 3. Kory Conner, 14.326; 4. Bill Lewis, 14.379; 5. James Headley Jr.,  14.749; 6. Andrew Short, 14.956.


Street Stock Warmup Session 2: Andy Bishop, 14.484; 2. Mike Fincher, 15.045; 3. Glenn Bradley II, 15.525; 4. Justin Rostron, 16.282; 5. Brian Kuehner, 16.427; 6. Greg Lunsford, 17.504.


Street Stock Heat 1 (8 laps): 1. Bill Lewis, 2. James Headley, 3. Kory Conner, 4. James Headley Jr., 5. Andrew Short, 6. Lee Hobbs.  


Street Stock Heat 2 (8 laps): 1. Andy Bishop, 2. Mike Fincher, 3. Brian Kuehner, 4. Glenn Bradley II, 5. Greg Lunsford, 6. Justin Rostron.


Street Stock Feature (20 laps, with starting position in parentheses): 1. James Headley (2); 2. Andy Bishop (3); 3. Kory Conner (4); 4. James Headley Jr. (7); 5. Mike Fincher (6); 6. Andrew Short (8); 7. Lee Hobbs (10); 8. Bill Lewis (5);  9. Greg Lunsford (9); 10. Brian Kuehner (1); 11. Justin Rostron (11); 12. Glenn Bradley II (DNS).

Lap leaders: Laps 1-20, Headley.

Margin of victory: 1.918 seconds

Fastest race lap: Hobbs, 14.313 seconds, lap 4.


Hornet Warmup Session: 1. Landon Arcaro, 15.943; 2. Jeremy Jones, 15.951; 3. Topher Hillman, 16.061; 4. Aydin Tumborson, 17.385; 5. Alexes Spaulding, 17.531; 6. Hunter Rasmussen, 17.644; 7. Tracy Runion, 18.031; 8. Emily Johnson, 21.501; 9. Jonathon Moeller, 23.526.


Hornet Heat (8 laps): 1. Landon Arcaro, 2 Topher Hillman, 3. Jeremy Jones, 4. Brady Hines, 5. Tracy Runion, 6. Alexes Spaulding, 7. Hunter Rasmussen, 8. Emily Johnson, 9. Aydin Tumborson, 10. Jonathon Moeller.


Hornet Feature (15 laps, with starting position in parenthesis): 1. Topher Hillman (1); 2. Landon Arcaro (6); 3. Jeremy Jones (3); 4. Brady Hines (2); 5. Tracy Runion (5); 6. Emely Johnson (8); 7. Aydin Tumborson (9); 8. Hunter Rasmussen (7); 9. Alexes Spalding (4); 10. Jonathon Moeller (10).

Lap leaders: Laps 1-15, Hillman.

Margin of victory: 0.397 seconds

Fastest race lap: Arcaro, 15.105 seconds, lap 2.

Gas City PR