Youngster The Only To Win In North, South & Challenge Series
The Missouri 150 was the sixth race of the 2006 season and the halfway point of the current campaign for the televised ASALMS Challenge Division. The famed 0.543 mile high-banked paved oval of the I-70 (MO) Speedway, located East of Kansas City, in Odessa, Missouri served as gracious hosts for the second of three appearances overall for the ASALMS as a whole.
The television crew on hand got a race for the ages for the great fans of the ASALMS to view beginning in September as 17-year-old Landon Cassill completed the ASALMS Hat Trick as the Fairfax, Iowa driver took the lead from race long leader, Peter Cozzolino with three laps to go to win his first career ASALMS Challenge Division feature.
early lead while Ryan and the rest of the star studded field settled in behind them. Tony Rosebrugh brought out the first of nine cautions during the race when he looped his mount coming down the front stretch.
On the restart Ryan applied pressure to Cozzolino, but only a few laps later, Cozzolino began pulling away from Ryan and the rest of the field. A second caution for a spinning Ryan Carlson had drivers taking evasive action but everyone came out ok and racing resumed.
All the while Cozzolino would ease out in front of the field and despite two more cautions for spins; Cozzolino would continue to lead the way. The fifth caution of the night occurred on lap 74 when Trevor Stewart backed his machine into the turns three and four wall. Since there was only one lap until the halfway break, the cars were brought down pit road for the 10-minute break!
At the halfway point, it was Cozzolino, followed by Ryan, Landon Cassill, Kris Stump, Travis Dassow, Jack Smith, Charlie Menard, Kelly Bires, Chad Wood, and Jeff VanOudenhoven the Top 10.
Landon Cassill's crew dumps water on him after winning his first-career ASA Late Model Challenge Series event. (Bob Milner photo)
On the restart, Cassill wasted no time getting by Ryan and moving into second spot behind Cozzolino as the two stout pilots negotiated around the high-banks and by lapped cars.
The most serious incident of the night occurred on lap 131 when Kris Stump, who was running in third at the time, made contact with Jack Smith and spun coming out of turn four and slammed hard into the inside front stretch retaining wall before coming to rest up in the turn one wall. He was ok, but done for the evening.
With the last 10 laps of a Challenge Division event having
Cassill is now the first driver to win races in the ASA LM North, South and Challenge Series.
Cassill, who earlier in the season won an ASALMS Northern Division event, the Erie 100 at the Lake Erie (PA) Speedway on June 9, 2006, and then an ASALMS Southern Division event at the South Georgia (GA) Motorsports Park last Monday July 3, 2006, became the first driver in ASALMS history to win a feature in all three divisions of the ASALMS!
Indianapolis Indiana veteran, Peter Cozzolino and Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year contender, Jake Ryan brought a stellar 27-car field to chief starter, Joey Aycock’s green flag to begin the century and a half feature on the fast 0.543 mile high-banked paved oval in Odessa, Missouri.
Cozzolino beat out Ryan to the first corner to take the
to be run under green flag conditions, this set up a 10-lap shootout between Cozzolino and Cassill and the two drivers wasted no time in proceeding to battle for the win!
Cassill looked high and low trying to figure out a way around the crafty Hoosier State veteran. Finally on lap 147 Cassill made a run on the inside heading into turn three as Cozzolino tried all he could to protect his lead when the two drivers touched sending Cozzolino around and tapping the turn three wall.
Cozzolino was sent to the rear giving the lead to Cassill, who now had Smith and current ASALMS Overall as well as Pat Bourdow Memorial Rookie of the Year Points Leader, Kelly Bires now on his back bumper.
Kelly Bires (left) and Jack Smith (right) joined Landon on the podium.
Both Smith and Bires tried in vain to give Cassill one last challenge, but it wasn’t to be as Cassill pulled away from both drivers and would go on to win his first career ASALMS Challenge Division Feature.
Smith held on for second as Bires, Ken Wills, Eddie Hoffman, Dean Cornelius, Jeff VanOudenhoven from 21st, Jenny White, Travis Dassow, and Ryan Carlson rounded out the Top 10.
Earlier in the afternoon, Bires won his first career Challenge Division Fast Qualifier Award with a lap measured at 16.789. The Mauston, Wisconsin freshman’s lap measured out to 116.433 MPH.
Later on, VanOudenhoven won the 12-lap GM Performance Parts Shootout over David Wood, Austin Siebert, Zach Taylor, and Kevin Foster the Top Five.
The ASALMS returns to the I-70 Speedway for its third and final appearance over the coveted World Cup Weekend on Friday-Sunday September 22-24. The cars and stars from both the ASALMS Northern and Southern Divisions will collide head to head in the running of the North VS South Shootout/World Cup 200.