MASON CITY — Six points. That’s all it came down in the Modifieds and Stock Cars points standings coming into Sunday’s points finale at Mason City Motor Speedway.
For J.D. Auringer in the Modifieds and Luke Sathoff in the Stock Cars, the ones out in front, it was all about taking care of their business. Each ended up doing so in the best way possible – winning to wrap up a season championship.
“It’s huge, especially with the USRA and the guys that we’re racing with – not taking anything away from IMCA – but we don’t run very much (one night a week) and to run with these guys and stay in the point lead all year long really feels pretty good,” Auringer said.
Auringer entered the race with a six-point lead on Jason Cummins, who tied for the class’s wins leader in Mason City this season with three. Thanks to a lucky draw to get on the pole, Auringer never got close to giving up that points lead – or the race lead either.
The driver from Evansdale led every lap of Sunday’s feature, and only Ryan Ruter was able to pull within a couple car lengths. Cummins started eighth and worked his way up to fourth before pulling out after the halfway mark. He finished eighth.
The night completely belonged to Auringer as he grabbed his third win of the season in Mason City – his best finish all of last season was third.
“Definitely night and day from last year,” he said. “We stepped up the program, motor-wise, car-wise, and on the setup, we did our homework over the winter. We were a little nervous obviously coming in because this is not a game we normally play, but everything just fell in.”
For Sathoff, the Stock Cars feature had just as much tension surrounding it.
Sathoff, who led Kevin Donlan by six points heading into the night, took the lead from Donlan in the opening circuits, and held off Donlan and Steve Jackson’s multiple attempts to pull even throughout the remainder of the race.
The feature’s second caution came with three laps to go, and Donlan, starting in third, on the bottom of the second row, tried a move into Turn 1 and nearly came door-to-door, but Sathoff was too fast on the top side. It was Sathoff’s third win of the year at MCMS.
– Brandon Hare didn’t need to do anything special Sunday night to wrap up the B-Modifieds points title, but still had to be careful enough with Jim Chisholm in shouting distance. Hare wound up third to lock up the title while Alex Zwanziger drove to his second win of the season.
– Matt White was well ahead of Andrew Borchardt in the Hobby Stocks points standings, so all he needed to do Sunday was keep the car out of trouble to win the title, which he did by finishing third. Tony Smidt won his first feature of the year.
– Ryan Bryant wrapped up a track championship with a feature win in the Tuners. Bryant trailed Oliver Monson by nine points entering the evening.
The season officially wraps up in Mason City next week with races honoring the champions.