SEDALIA, Mo. — Tyler Courtney earned his seventh All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory of the season in Thursday night‘s Ron Ditzfeld Memorial at Missouri State Fair Speedway.
The victory, a $10,000 score for the young man they call Sunshine, was accomplished from the inside of row two, taking command on lap eight after battling by fellow All Star full-timer and recent high school graduate Zeb Wise.
Although faced with a handful of cautions during his tenure, as well as a few peaks of the nose by Kerry Madsen, Courtney held strong, followed at the line by Madsen, Ayrton Gennetten, Justin Peck and Kahne.
“The boys got this Turbo car rolling tonight. They didn‘t stop working the whole time. We were kind of off at the beginning, but we got better every time we hit the track,” Courntey said. “I can‘t thank these fans enough for sticking it out today in this heat. These fans are what make all of this possible. We‘re rolling into the biggest two weeks of the year at Knoxville and we get to race there on Saturday, so hopefully we can keep this momentum going. The Nationals is just a whole different ball game. You have to be on your A game as soon as you step in that place.”
Wise, who started the 30-lapper from the pole, led the first seven circuits around State Fair Speedway‘s sprawling half-mile, uninterrupted until faced with a gaggle of slower cars at the start of lap eight.
During Wise‘s attempt to dive below a lapper, Courtney, who had been solidly in second since lap one, made his move, ultimately pulling even with Wise by the exit of turn two, all before using the bottom groove to pull ahead of Wise at the exit of turn four. Madsen, aboard the Tony Stewart/Curb-Agajanian Racing No. 14, also snuck by Wise in traffic, locking down second on lap nine.
Unfortunately for Wise, his potential top-five run was cut short on lap 15, eventually ending his night on the hook after getting upside-down and leaving the park.
Madsen tried his best to get by Courtney during each of the ensuing single-file restarts, four to be exact, but Courtney‘s momentum on the top was too strong.
“I kept stumbling on those last few restarts, so I knew Kerry was going to get a good run. I just tried to take any air that I could off of him and get back to the curb as quickly as I could,” Courtney said. “Kerry is obviously a really good racer and that 14 car has been really fast here the last month or so. I knew it was going to be all about the starts.”
Feature (30 Laps): 1. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 2. 14-Kerry Madsen ; 3. 3-Ayrton Gennetten ; 4. 13-Justin Peck ; 5. 9T-Kasey Kahne ; 6. 5-Paul McMahan ; 7. 11-Spencer Bayston ; 8. 26-Cory Eliason ; 9. O7-Skylar Gee ; 10. 4-Cap Henry ; 11. 21-Brian Brown ; 12. 24-Rico Abreu ; 13. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg ; 14. 25-Austin McCarl ; 15. 18T-Tanner Holmes ; 16. 17B-Bill Balog ; 17. 91-Kyle Reinhardt ; 18. 47N-Marcus Dumesny ; 19. 20G-Noah Gass ; 20. 22-Riley Goodno ; 21. 10-Zeb Wise ; 22. 14E-Kyle Bellm ; 23. 7B-Ben Brown  Lap Leaders: Zeb Wise (1-7), Tyler Courtney (8-30)