FORT WAYNE, Ind. – John Ivy steamrolled to a sweep of the two 25-lap 600cc mini sprint features Saturday during the conclusion to the 20th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne, winning in both the winged and non-winged classes.
Ivy started from the pole in the non-winged main and never looked back, while in the winged feature, he charged from third to first on the opening lap and set sail after that.
Leading a perfect 50 out of 50 laps across the two events, the wins were Ivy’s 15th and 16th career triumphs in Rumble competition.
“I’m blessed to drive these cars,” said Ivy. “Everyone on my crew has been busting their humps with me to get these things ready. We built the winged car especially for this event, but we’ve had some bad luck the last few years. … The non-winged deal – we just started working on that a month ago, so that was cool for us to be as good as we were this weekend.”
“Track position was key this weekend and we had a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all about, you know? It all worked out for us.”
The winged feature began with Friday night winner Clay Sanders on the pole and Ivy one row back, but Ivy used the inside groove to pass Howard McCormick in turn two for second and then got the power down off the fourth corner to edge Sanders for the lead at the start-finish line.
Once he got back to turn one, Ivy was clear and off to the races, while everyone else scrapped for position behind him.
That scrapping led to seven caution flags during the 25-lap distance, including an extended red flag with 12 laps complete when Ryan Ball grenaded an engine in turn three and came to stop at the flagstand with fire spitting out from his No. 10R.
Ball was okay, but his car was taken off on the forklift after laying down nearly a half-track’s worth of fluid.
The winged feature’s seventh and final caution nearly saw Bill Dunham turn over after he caught the backstretch barriers and caught some air time with the right side of his No. 84 before grinding to a halt.
That left the field with three laps to try and catch Ivy, to no avail.
Ivy’s teammate Cap Henry came the closest but had to settle for second, followed by Sanders, McCormick and Jason Ormsby.
In the non-winged feature, Ivy set sail from the prime starting position and cruised to victory, winning in the Strausbaugh family’s red No. 2 for the second-straight night after never having won in the non-winged class prior to the weekend.
“That was a cool deal,” admitted Ivy. “This non-winged class is crazy, man. I’m glad we finally got the chance to win a couple of these and can’t thank the Strausbaughs enough for letting me do this.”
After attrition whittled the non-winged field down to five finishers the previous night, Saturday’s feature for the class was much cleaner, with only two cautions slowing the pace in 25 laps.
The first came with nine laps complete when Lexi Adgate spun in turn three, while the second and final yellow flew with six laps to go after Justin Patton slowed to a stop off the fourth corner.
Neither restart was of any consequence to Ivy, however, who drove off from the pack both times.
Russ Gamester and Larry Joe Sroufe completed the podium, followed by Justin Harper and Josh Ross.
The 21st annual Rumble in Fort Wayne will be held Dec. 28-29 inside the Allen County Memorial Expo Center.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…