Saturday, August 1, 2015

1995 - Donlinger takes the flag at Midwestern Nationals

West Burlington, Iowa (August 1, 1995) - Strangely enough, Tim Donlinger didn’t feel comfortable in first place. It wasn't until Donlinger saw the checkered flag that he was able to relax.

Donlinger led the final 29 laps to take the win in the 40-lap Midwestern Nationals for the United State Modified Series at 34 Raceway on Tuesday night.

Donlinger picked up the $2,000 top prize for his first win in the inaugural season of the series. Donlinger started outside of polesitter Klint Pursley, and stayed behind Pursley for the first 11 laps. But he took the lead on the 12th lap and held on for the win.

“I don’t like being in the lead,” said Donlinger, who is from Rochester, Minn. “I like staying back in second and then making the move late in the race. I wasn’t sure how hard to push it, or whether to slow up, or what to do.”

Donlinger finished second in Monday night’s feature, which ended about a half hour before strong thunderstorms hit the track.

“The track was a lot different than (Monday) night,” Donlinger said. “I was able to run a lot better at the top of the track.”

Donlinger became the 10th different feature winner in 12 races in the series. These were the first feature laps he has led in the series this season. Ron Jones, who started sixth in the race, challenged Donlinger at the end but finished second. Jamie Wolfe, who started ninth, finished third. Rich Smith was fourth. Pursley, who won a heat race and then led all 16 laps of Monday's feature, had mechanical troubles as the cars took their warm-up laps before the start of the race. He faded after the pass from Donlinger and finished fifth.

There were six caution-flag periods during the race, including one following a scary incident involving USMS point’s leader Kelly Shryock. Shryock, who made the feature after qualifying through one of the early heat races on the night, had his car burst into a ball of flame while heading down the backstretch on the ninth lap.

But the flames quickly burned out as Shryock came to a stop in the third turn. He was unhurt and the car was pushed back to the pit area. Shryock finished 24th.

Results –

1. Tim Donlinger
2. Ron Jones
3. Jamie Wolfe
4. Rich Smith
5. Klint Pursley
6. Marty Thompson
7. Ken McCarry
8. Bruce Hanford
9. Darrell McGee
10. Jeff Morris
11. Eddie Martin
12. Bob Dominacki
13. Dan Helm
14. Jack Byars
15. Mike Karhoff
16. Bill Roberts
17. John Allen
18. Kelly Meyer
19. George Carroll
20. Kyle Volkers
21. Hank Delonjay
22. Ed Kosiski
23. Tim Folk
24. Kelly Shryock

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