BRITT — Prior to Sunday afternoon, the Hancock County Speedway was one of the tracks Hunter Marriott hadn’t solved.

It turned out he had two cracks at winning Sunday – one coming in the early morning hours during the Night of 1,000 Stars then a short time later during the Night of 10,000 Stars.

It ended up being a tale of two races for the 24-year-old from Brookfield, Missouri. His Sunday began by getting spun out in the closing laps competing for a marquee feature win.

There was no bad luck later in the day as he dominated the final half of the 50-lap Night of 10,000 Stars, and held off Ryan Ruter to earn $7,000 and set a high-water mark in terms of one-race earnings.

“We’ve always struggled here,” said Marriott, who finished ninth during the Night of 1,000 Stars. “It feels really good to get this one.”

His struggles early Sunday weren’t of his doing. The good news was he had a chance to rebound a short time later against a similar field of cars.

There were 66 cars at the Night of 1,000 Stars. Forty-two stuck around to race Sunday afternoon.

Marriott said the thirst to win only increases at certain venues where he’s struggled.

“That drives me to come back,” he said. “Anywhere we’ve struggled we always try to come back. You don’t want to be that driver who can’t race at a track. A race car driver wants to be good at every track.”

Marriott is turning into one of those IMCA racers who seems to be good wherever he pulls in.

He ran in the front pack throughout Sunday’s 50-lapper. He was second at the 25-lap pit stop to Cody Laney before he rocketed to the lead on a race track where drivers stayed tucked to the bottom groove.

It turned into a two-car sprint to the finish between Marriott and Ruter.

“It feels good to beat him here. We have a lot of respect for each other,” Marriott said. “It’s nice racing against guys like that.”

Ruter, who dominated the Night of 1,000 Stars before breaking late in the race, took second, followed by Ethan Dotson, Kelly Shryock and Kyle Brown.

Laney finished sixth. Of the top six finishers, there were three Iowans, two Californians and Marriott.

The win capped a week that featured a pair of high-profile wins for Marriott. He won the final Hawkeye Dirt Tour racer earlier this week at Buena Vista Raceway.Sunday was his 11th feature win of the year, the ninth coming during a special.

“This last month has been really good. We just keep tweaking a littler here, a little there,” Marriott said. “We are just trying to keep making it better.”

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Night of 10,000 Stars – Hunter Marriott, Ryan Ruter, Ethan Dotson, Kelly Shryock, Kyle Brown, Cody Laney, Austin Wolf, Joel Rust, Josh Ruby, Benji LaCrosse, Jason Fisher, Clint Wendel, Tom Berry Jr., Ben Kraus, Jesse Hoeft, Tad Reutzel, Scott Olson, Jon Snyder, Ricky Thornton Jr., Richie Gustin Jr., Corey Dripps, Mike Hansen, Troy Swearingen, Josh Rogotzke, Jimmy Gustin, Jeremy Mills, Mark Noble, Racer Hulin, David Brown.

Other winners – Stock Cars: David Smith. Sport Mods – Shane Swanson. Hobby Stocks – August Bach.

SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Night of 10,000 Stars – Hunter Marriott, Ryan Ruter, Ethan Dotson, Kelly Shryock, Kyle Brown, Cody Laney, Austin Wolf, Joel Rust, Josh Ruby, Benji LaCrosse, Jason Fisher, Clint Wendel, Tom Berry Jr., Ben Kraus, Jesse Hoeft, Tad Reutzel, Scott Olson, Jon Snyder, Ricky Thornton Jr., Richie Gustin Jr., Corey Dripps, Mike Hansen, Troy Swearingen, Josh Rogotzke, Jimmy Gustin, Jeremy Mills, Mark Noble, Racer Hulin, David Brown.

Other winners – Stock Cars: David Smith. Sport Mods – Shane Swanson. Hobby Stocks – August Bach.

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