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Hoffman’s outside take wins at Grundy County Speedway

MORRIS – Eddie Hoffman used the outside to keep everybody else looking in Friday night at Grundy County Speedway. The Wheaton native scored his third late-model feature win of the season, beating fellow veteran Larry Schuler to the finish line by 0.389 seconds.

The race had three leaders in the first four laps: Chris Cooling, Schuler, then Hoffman. Hoffman was well back in the field at the start, and took a calculated risk when he threw his No. 8 to the top.

A scary incident on lap three involved Mark Sontag, Cooling and Brandon Clubb, with Cooling and Clubb going to the pits for quick repairs and Sontag being sent to the back.

Hoffman chose the high side for the double-file restart and outraced Schuler for the lead. He then had a brief challenge for the lead from Billy Knippenberg, but Schuler eventually was able to wrestle second place back. Schuler stayed close, but not close enough to have a shot at passing Hoffman.

Points leader Ricky Baker had a fair share of issues, but hung in and battled to a third-place finish. Fourth went to Scott Koerner, ahead of Knippenberg and Sontag.

Late-model heats went to Cooling and Chuck Sottosanti.

Mid-American points leader Tom Knippenberg needed some patience, but eventually dominated in a special 40-lap main event.

Knippenberg, who won for the sixth time this season, spent many laps on the back bumper of Kevin Murphy before getting underneath and passing on lap 28 in a three-car jumble that also involved Kevin Gentile.

Knippenberg went on to beat Gentile by 1.971 seconds. Murphy held on for third ahead of Ron Vandermeir Jr., John Ventrello and Luke Baldwin.

Gentile and Murphy captured the heats.

Darrell Gay led for much of the 25-lap street stock feature, but finally gave way to Eddie Ligue on lap 18. Ligue, who also won the heat, sailed to his fourth victory of the season. Christy Penrod, Jake Bradley, Billy Rud and Bob Davis completed the top six.

Mike Yuris took the lead from Danielle Dobczyk on lap nine and went on to capture his first pure stocks feature. Dobczyk checked in second, ahead of Nathan Coleman, Blaine Passini, Dan Schmeissing and Justin Mikel.

Heats were won by Yuris and Jeff Law.

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