FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Nate Franklin stunned the fans assembled inside Allen County War Memorial Coliseum by snapping John Ivy’s 600 micro sprint win streak at the Rumble in Fort Wayne Friday night.
Franklin snagged his first-career Rumble victory, and ended Ivy’s run of six micro wins in succession, with a shocking triumph in a topsy-turvy winged 600cc micro sprint main event that saw three different leaders and a myriad of chaos embedded within it.
It started with a lap-seven caution for the stopped car of Ivy on the frontstretch, then continued a lap later under yellow again when Howard McCormick crashed into the turn-one infield tire from second shortly after losing the top spot to Clay Sanders.
Sanders then led until lap 20, when he was the point man following a late-race restart and got turned from the top spot by second-running Cody Tyler.
Tyler was put to the tail for the incident, handing the lead – and eventual win – to Franklin.
Franklin had to hold off a hard-charging Drew Dorsett on a green-white-checkered restart in order to collect the checkers, but was ultimately able to climb atop his car and celebrate in the end.
Friday night’s score marked Franklin’s first Rumble victory of any kind in his neon orange No. 87.
“Man, to be honest, I can’t replay that race,” said Franklin in victory lane. “It seemed like I’d get close to the front, and then someone would get back in front of me or the caution would come out, or I’d make a mistake or something. Going into the race, we just had a goal of (finishing) top five. We hadn’t had a great car all day, but to be honest I don’t know what’s going on. This thing was a rocket tonight and I can’t thank my family enough. I’m about to cry. This is such a great moment.
“We just come here for a vacation, not really to win. It’s just to have fun and as a great way to end the racing season,” he added. “Hopefully we can be back here again tomorrow night.”
Dorsett came through the field from 11th to run second, his best at the Rumble in Fort Wayne in winged 600 action, trailed by 12th-starting Jason Ormsby in the final podium position.
Hard charger Alexis Adgate moved forward from last in the 16-car field to cross fourth and Rod Henning completed the top five.
Meanwhile, Larry Joe Sroufe returned to Rumble in Fort Wayne victory lane after a three-year absence Friday, topping a non-winged 600cc micro sprint feature that was nearly as wild as the winged race.
Sroufe inherited the lead after Brian Busz jumped one of Ormsby’s tires on lap 14 while trying to pass Ormsby for the top spot entering turn one.
The loss in momentum slowed up both cars and allowed Sroufe to take a position he wouldn’t relinquish. The veteran led the final 12 laps of the 25-lapper in his familiar No. 21 for the victory.
“I’ll tell you, this was a very weird night,” Sroufe noted in victory lane. “The lineup was totally weird. Everything about tonight was weird, but it was good. It’s always good when you end up here.
“I didn’t even know I was gone like I was. I thought they were on my rear bumper, so we just kept pushing.”
Justin Harper finished second to Sroufe, with Busz hanging on to collect a third-place result. Brent Busz was fourth and Ormsby faded to fifth after starting from the pole and leading the first half unchallenged.
Phillip Schneider (Senior Caged, Clone 330) led the list of go-kart feature winners on night one by collecting two wins and a runner-up finish in the three classes he ran on Friday. In all, including heat races, Schneider was eight-for-nine when he was on the race track during the course of the program.
Alex Geren took his first Rumble win in the Junior Caged main event, while Justin Clark (Clone 400), Jake Shelley (Clone 360), Tristan Chamberlain (Junior 3) and Knox Carmin (Kid Karts) also won in go-kart action Friday.
Kaylee Boston (Heavy 120, Light 160) was the only multiple quarter midget winner Friday night, joined by Elijah Anderson (Senior Honda), Hudson Roberts (Junior Honda), Landon Hathaway (Heavy 160) and Austin Geer (Animal Combined) in quarter midget victory lane during the opening night’s action.
Racing continues Saturday inside the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum with another full day of 600cc micro sprint, go-kart and quarter midget action. Preliminaries begin at 11 a.m.
To view complete race results, advance to the next page.