The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 19, 2011

Wells earns first MARA win of season

Aurora’s Justin Wells, pocketing $3,000, won the special late model A feature at the Monett Speedway on Sunday night.

It was Wells’ first victory of the season on the MARS DIRTcar Series.

It was Wells’ sixth win of the campaign, however, at the 3/8-mile clay track.

Wells, who started outside on the front row in the 30-lap main event, defeated Republic’s Brad Looney. Third through fifth were Ken Essary of Cape Fair, R.C. Whitwell of Tucson (Ariz.) and Terry Phillips of Springfield.

Wells led each lap despite several caution flags.

“And I could see Brad (Looney) coming after each caution,” Wells said on Tuesday.

“We were able to beat a field of quality drivers and race cars,” Wells said. “Several drivers had the ability to win. We finished second to Looney in the previous MARS race this season at Monett.

“It’s been a good season considering we’ve raced probably 20 times and won nine or 10 times,” Wells said. “Really, we haven’t ventured out that much.”

Wells’ next career milestone win will be No. 300.

Wells was coming off seventh place on Saturday night at Mid-America Speedway in Coffeyville.

“We didn’t have much luck at Coffeyville,” Wells said.

Leslie Essary (Ken Essary’s son), Crane, won the Show-Me event at Coffeyville. Larry Campbell, Van Buren, Ark., was runner-up.

Main event winners in the support classes at Monett were Dave Comer (Missouri Legends), Jeremy Jones (pure stock), Trevor Drake (Midwest Modz) and J.C. Morton (sport mod).

Heat winners in the late model class were Phillips, Wells, Ken Essary and Shane Essary (also of Aurora).

“We needed this one,” Wells said. “We bought a new frame a couple of weeks ago. We bought parts for the frame last week. So, we sort of covered the cost (with the win on Sunday).

“Remember that Johnny Cash song — ‘One Piece at a Time?’

“We’re kinda like that.”

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