by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher

For the second time this season, Rawson, Ohio’s Ricky Peterson had a fast car right out of the box at Wayne County Speedway. An afternoon popup shower didn’t dampen any of the action on Saturday night in Orrville. 

Twenty 410 sprinters checked in, with Peterson being the fastest in hotlaps/qualifying with a 14.870 second lap. That put Peterson starting fourth in heat race one. Peterson went up top in turn one on lap one, rocketing to the lead, and would cruise to the heat win. Jordan Ryan and Chris Myers would win the second and third heat races.

Peterson would start on pole of the 25 lap Feature event. Now, all he needed to do was lead all of those laps over Jordan Ryan, Chris Myers, TJ Michael and Cody Bova, among others, and he would sweep the night for the second time this season at Wayne County. 

Peterson would get the jump on Ryan on the start. Bova got into the rough stuff in turns three and four and bounced through on the first lap, losing a few spots. The same thing would happen to Bova on the second lap, but this time Bova ended up upside down, bringing out the red flag. This promoted Chris Myers to second for the restart.

On the restart, Peterson gapped Myers, who would fall into the clutches of Ryan. On lap four, Peterson’s lead was up to .995 seconds, and it would reach 2.114 seconds a couple of laps later, before another yellow flag came out. This erased Peterson’s lead, but would get him out of lapped traffic and back into the clean air.

The clean air was a powerful force, Peterson stretched his lead to 1.438 seconds on lap 10 after the restart. The lead grew to 1.831 seconds, and then 2.140 seconds as TJ Michael took a peak under Ryan for second place. The red flag came back out on lap 14 as Chris Myers pulled into the infield, on fire. It was a scary moment, but kudos to the safety crews and teams in the infield for pulling Chris out of the car quickly, and getting the car put out quickly as well. They said over the PA that Chris was OK and gave a thumbs up. 

Another good restart for Peterson and his lead ballooned to 1.385 seconds on lap 15. There was another yellow flag for a stopped car on lap 18, giving second place Jordan Ryan a chance at Peterson, who was in light traffic at the time of the yellow. 

Peterson was dynamite on the restarts, and this would prove to be the last one. He put 1.112 seconds between himself and Ryan, as Jamie Myers started to challenge Michael for third. Michael held off Myers, and Peterson cruised to the win by a second. 

“We’ve been solid here at Wayne County this year,” Peterson said. “We were good here last year too, but couldn’t put a full night together, so it’s nice to sweep both nights we’ve been here. 

When there are multiple restarts, sometimes a driver will switch up their strategy to keep second place guessing. That wasn’t the case for Peterson:
“I felt like I got such a good start on the initial start, so I was basically turning down and trying to get that low lane– there was a lot of moisture there from the rain. So I just tried to hit that on the restarts. 

“If I could race here [Wayne County] twice a weekend, every weekend, I should probably say I’d do it,” Peterson said with a smile. “I’m really comfortable here, stuff seems slow for me. If I could get around Attica or Fremont like I could this place, I’d love to be there. I love Wayne County, I love the fence on both ends, I like how it races; it’s a momentum track. I feel like I’m a better momentum racer than I am at setting quicktime. It’s just a good place for us,” Peterson concluded. 

Kyle Moore would go on to dominate the late model feature over Ryan Markham and Dave Hornikel. Moore was out for a Sunday drive while Markham, Hornikel and JR Gentry battled throughout the feature for second, third and fourth. Multiple times those spots were swapped, sheet metal scuffed, but as they say, rubbins racin.