FORT WAYNE, Ind. – John Ivy and Clay Sanders did their parts to take home a piece of Rumble in Fort Wayne history on Friday night, winning their respective micro features during the 20th edition of the indoor racing classic.
Ivy started from the pole and led every lap of the non-winged 600cc micro feature to score his 14th-career Rumble victory, but his first-ever in the wingless class after years of competing at the Allen County Memorial Expo Center in Fort Wayne.
Driving for the Strausbaugh family, long-time Rumble competitors in their own right, the win was worth $500 to Ivy, who is also a former recipient of the prestigious David Lesiecki Award at the Rumble as well.
“I thought I was too fat to run my other car, so when the Strausbaughs wanted to run this car and have me drive it, I had this as a backup (plan),” joked Ivy in victory lane.
“They lowered me down in there a good bit; there’s been a lot of work done on this car,” Ivy added. “I gotta thank Mikey and Rusty for giving me the chance to come out and do this deal and I’m glad we were able to start up front and stay out of trouble. We’ll find out if I can repeat tomorrow … but this is pretty cool tonight.”
The crash-filled race featured three red flags in the first lap of competition, with a multi-car crash eliminating five cars on the initial start and then two more flips collecting Justin Patton and Larry Joe Sroufe after one circuit was completed.
From there, a myriad of other issues and two more caution flags meant that only five cars of the 16 that started ended up reaching the checkered flag after 25 laps.
Jason Ormsby chased Ivy to the line in second, just ahead of Sroufe, who restarted and crossed the line third.
Meanwhile, Clay Sanders took an emotional first-career Rumble win by being in the right place at the right time in the winged 600cc micro feature, assuming the lead when polesitter and leader Jason Ormsby spun by himself in turn four with seven to go.
Sanders then held off all comers, including a hard-charging Howard McCormick, to capture the checkered flag in the 25-lap main event.
“It was pretty hard to stay in the car (out of shock when Ormsby spun),” admitted Sanders. “The seat belts kept me from jumping in the air.”
“I felt him (McCormick) at the end; I knew he was there. I won’t lie, the last five laps I felt like I was gonna puke. But we did it, man. We finally did it.”
McCormick’s runner-up result was his best Rumble finish in the winged class as well, with AJ Lesiecki, Mark Zumbrun and Bobby Murany completing the top five.
Beyond the 600cc micros, there were several other preliminary events held during the day on Friday as well.
Larry Kingseed Jr. (Junior 3, Junior Caged) was the only go-kart driver to win multiple features during the Friday program, with Phillip Schneider (Senior Caged), Justin Clark (Clone 425), Jake Shelley (Clone 360), Zach Axlen (Clone 330) and Oliver Osborn (Kid Kart) all grabbing trophies during the afternoon portion of the show.
Taylor Nibert (Senior Unrestricted Animal, Heavy 160) and Abby Hohlbein (Senior Animal, Light 160) each doubled up on quarter midget victories, while Max Hulisz (Senior Honda) and Brodie Wendel also won quarter midget features on Friday.
The Rumble in Fort Wayne concludes Saturday night with a full slate of racing for the national midgets, winged and non-winged 600cc micros, go-karts and quarter midgets.
Race results can be viewed on the next page…