Date: 6/22/2015 7:21:56 PM



Racing can sometimes seem like a puzzle. When the pieces are not connecting, everything else will be off. Friday, June 19th, saw the puzzle come together at Lindas Speedway for Eric Whitby and Rick Bates. Eric would bring the Bates Motorsports #43 to victory lane for the first win for Rick and his crew. He did it in high fashion with a one lap shootout with Jason Dunkleberger and topping 31 Xcel Chassis modifieds.

The story leading up to the finish is a story in itself. Heavy downpours hit the track half an hour before the gates were to open. Turns 1 & 2 were under water, which had the track crew,drivers and spectators, working together to open the gates. After pumping off the water on the track, brooming the water from the stands and spreading hay thru out the pits the gates were open and racing was on.

After losing his driver for the year due to a surgery, Rick Bates had a decision to make. Take the year off or find a driver that would fit with the team. Since the phone call last month and the agreement made, Whitby and Bates will be a team to watch. Jason Dunkleberger, Jon Josko and Whitby were heat winners. Jonathan Pepe was the consi winner and the field was set.

Mother Natureís last minute downpour gave the Xcel Chassis modifieds a fast track and two grooves of racing at the drop of the green. Whitby and Dunkleberger were side by side for the first three laps with Whitby edging Dunkleberger for the lead by a bumper. Nathan Brinker kept the top two within a car length while holding off RJ Smith. Mid pack had Ryan Higgs and Tim Van Horn jr,.running side by side, with the rookie Dylan McCrone, keeping the veterans at bay.

The battle up front waged for the next 14 laps with Whitby holding off Dunkleberger at the line. The last two cautions would set up the closest race of the year for the tour.At lap 17, Dunkleberger had just passed  Whitby, coming out of turn two. The yellow would come out putting Whitby on the point. Both drivers knew the restart would tell the finish. What they didnít know is that a classic one lap shootout would decide the race.

Spectators were on their feet, Whitby had chosen the outside lane for the restart. Rarely does a driver chose the outside at Lindas with the bottom always fast. Dunkleberger knew Whitby wanted the bottom, going into turns two and three, but he wasnít giving it to him. On the back stretch, Whitby and Dunkleberger went into the last two turns side by side with Whitby over Dunkleberger by less than a foot.

Crews were quick to congratulate Whitby and Dunkleberger for a great race and Rick for his first career win with the 600 modifieds. They say every victory is different and this would be no exception. ďIím glad I was able to bring Rick his first win in the series. I hope itís not to long before he has the second or even third.Ē stated Whitby in victory lane. Reflecting on the past years, Rick Bates talked about his first win as car owner.ĒWhen I was driving and had my first win, I was on cloud nine for a couple of days. Now that I won as a car owner, I canít wait to debrief with Eric about tonight and see how we can make  the car faster for next week. I want to thank my wife Kelly and daughter Samantha for supporting my racing thru the years. This win is has much theirs as it is mine.Ē

Current points leader, Nathan Brinker, inched his way from the top two. He has a slim lead over Jonathan Josko and Richie Hitzler by 76 points. The Xcel Chassis 600 modifieds have a busy two weeks. On Saturday, June 27th, the tour will be coming to Thunder Mountain Speedway for two full days of racing. On Sunday, June 28th, will also be a tour race along with the Xcel chassis/Brett Deyo series race.

The following weekend, July 3rd, will have the modifieds pulling into Big Diamond Speedway. The Xcel Chassis 600 modifieds will celebrate our nationís birthday at the renowned Lincoln Speedway on July 4th.  The show will also have an increased purse.

Could there be a shake up with the points or will Brinker make the gap wider.Check for updates on the web at



1)ERIC WHITBY 2)Jason Dunkleberger 3)Nathan Brinker 4)Aaron Bowes 5)RJ Smith 6)Jonathan Pepe 7)Jonathan Josko 8)Andrew Ace 9)Dylan Mccrone 10)Ryan Higgs 11)Tim Van Horn jr. 12)Korey Inglin 13)Charles Bowers 14)Abbey Price 15)Michael Burrows 16)Joe Carter 17)Shawna Schibilia 18)Chad Zornek 19)Chris Eckert 20)Josh Pepe 21)Dakota Barlet 22)Billy Koch 23)Brian Carber 24)Richie Hitzler 25)Brian Blankenbiller 26)Jason Mills 27)DJ Hunt 28)wyatt Harrar 29)Kyle Inglin 30)Josh Bewley 31)Barry Breidegan

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