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SLMR East Series

Leighton pulls high side hustle to win Bill Rice Memorial

September 2, 2023  |  by Anthony Ainslie

Bill Leighton Jr. won the Malvern Bank/Hoker Trucking SLMR Super Late Model Series main event.

Bill Leighton Jr. won the Malvern Bank/Hoker Trucking SLMR Super Late Model Series main event.

Bill Leighton Jr. put on a clinic in Saturday’s Malvern Bank SLMR West Series and Hoker Trucking SLMR East Series return to the Karl Chevrolet Hamilton County Speedway.

The high-speed half-mile at Webster City, Iowa, was the sight for the latest round for both the east and west tours for the track’s Bill Rice Memorial.

The race was the second appearance for the East Series after the tour visited back in May.

Tad Pospisil was the top flyer in qualifying. The Malvern Bank SLMR West Series points leader clocked in at 18.297 seconds for the overall fastest lap.

Dylan Sillman, Derrick Stewart and Andy Eckrich won their heat races in dominating fashion while Darrel DeFrance won a highly-contested fourth heat.

After Andrew Kosiski took top honors in the "B" feature, 26 cars took to the speedway for the 30-lap finale.

Leighton put his pole position starting spot to good use. He took the lead on the opening lap and proceeded to run away with the show.

As the laps progressed, Pospisil ran second while Jeff Tharp and Corey Zeitner made it a three-car battle for the second spot.

Tharp worked his way past Pospisil to take second around the halfway point of the race, but he faded late in the distance.

After 30 caution-free laps, it was Leighton to take the $3,000 payday.

One night after suffering a DNF at the Yankee Dirt Track Classic, the La Vista, Neb., driver scored his fourth win of the 2023 season and the 23rd of his career.

Pospisil finished second on the night while Zeitner took third. Tharp crossed in fourth while Jesse Sobbing rounded out the top five.

In Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series action, competitors closed out the battle for the 2023 track titles during Season Championships Night on Saturday.

Oskaloosa's Ron Ver Beek captured his second straight victory in the Olsen Family USRA Modifieds and Myles Michehl of Fort Dodge equaled his effort with a matching wire-to-wire jaunt in the Seneca Foundry USRA Stock Car feature racce.

Bryer McCoy of Webster City captured the Stein Heating & Cooling USRA B-Mod main event while Jeremy Crimmins of Fort Dodge charged from 14th on the starting grid to claim the top spot in the Diamond in the Rough USRA Hobby Stock division.

Wall Lake's Jake Paysen triumphed in the A1 Automotive USRA Tuner finale.