Defending track champions Becerra, Birck back in Victory Lane after dominant Sunday night drives


Adam Birck and his team celebrate his victory in the sport mod division feature race Sunday night at Adams County Speedway. | Photo courtesy Gregg Teel

QUINCY — Now that’s more like it.

Both Austen Becerra and Adam Birck looked more like defending track champions Sunday night, rolling to dominant feature victories at Adams County Speedway.

Becerra and Birck stumbled out of the gate on opening night back on April 23, having to drop out of their respective main events with a variety of mechanical issues.

This was different. Much, much different. 

Becerra and Birck both led their features flag-to-flag, and for the most part, they dominated those 18-lap finales with relative ease.

Becerra, who was also the modified series’ fast qualifier and a heat-race winner earlier in the evening, ran away from a deep and talented feature lineup en route to collecting a $1,000 payday.

“It was a great feeling to come back this week after the rough opening week,” Becerra said. “What an awesome racing (surface) … I was married to the top at the start, but was also able to go down low later.”

Jake Griffin, first-week feature winner Jacob Rexing and Mark Burgtorf rounded out the top four finishers. Rexing and Rick Conoyer won the other heats.

Rexing maintained the modified points lead with 140. Wietholder (125) is second, Becerra (123) third, Mike Vanderiet (111) fourth and Burgtorf (110) and Rick Stevenson (110) tied for fifth.

Birck, who also won a heat race, had a slightly more difficult time registering his feature victory in the sport mod division. Birck and Tanner Klingele were engaged in a struggle for the top spot for several laps midway through the event before Birck was able to gradually pull away.

“Track position helped me a ton,” said Birck, who started on the front row and never regressed.

Birck said all the work he and crew members had done on the car over the past two weeks — especially in the back of the hot rod — paid major dividends over the weekend.

“We finally got everything straightened out,” he said. “We won the feature Friday night at Lee County (in Donnellson, Iowa) and finished second Saturday night (at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa). It was a good week.”

Klingele wound up second, Josh Holtman third and Logan Cumby fourth. Klingele and Dakota Girard were the other heat winners.

Klingele, on the strength of two top-three feature finishes, is the series points leader with 77, followed by Cumby (76), Kyler Girard (74), Holtman (74) and Dakota Girard (73).

Capturing the other feature victories were Devin McLean in the crate late models and Jake Powers in street stocks.

The 4-Cylinder feature was called off moments before the field was set to take the green flag due to pending bad weather. The race will be made up on a yet-to-be determined date.

McLean’s crate late feature victory came in his first appearance at the Broadway Bullring.

“Man, this place is fun,” said McLean, who led all 20 laps against a 15-car field, holding off defending track champ Denny Woodworth, Jason Perry and Sam Halstead.

“I’m going to have to make some more trips back here,” said McLean, who made the haul from Mount Vernon, Ill.

Woodworth and Darin Weisinger Jr. were heat winners. Woodworth, who won the April 23 feature, built his points lead to 140-130 over Perry. Halstead (120), Weisinger Jr. (98) and Christian Miles (97) round out the top five.

Powers needed 13 laps to run down and get past Rudy Zaragoza in the street stock finale, but after he did, he not only had a feature victory but the series points lead, too.

Powers and Zaragoza battled side by side for a portion of the latter stage of the feature, but did so without incident. Troy Grotz and Steve Grotz rounded out the top four.

“I’d just like to thank Rudy for some great, clean racing,” Powers said. 

On April 23, Powers led the feature until the closing laps, eventually finishing second to Leremy Jackson. Powers has won two of the last four stock features, dating to the end of the 2022 season, and his 73 track points lead Kale Foster (67), Brandon Boden (63) and Zaragoza (37) in the stock standings.

Powers also won Sunday’s heat race and is now one of seven drivers in stock history (2008-23) at the track to show 20 overall career victories.

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