Stagner and Marino Reach Winner's Circle at Fourth Jr. Dragster Race of Year; Lamont earns win in Midwest Super Comp

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JOLIET, Ill. - John Stagner can tell you exactly when he's set to officially become a fourth grader in the Nelson Ridge school district. And he knows what he'll do when he gets there - tell his friends how he made it to the Sportsman Jr. winner's circle at Route 66 Raceway.

Stagner, 9, of New Lenox, Ill. drove his 2006 Nervo Coggin to a win in 13.186 seconds at 47.20 mph when his opponent Nate Kelley went red in the final round by -.004.

Stagner, Mason Marino (Modified Jr.) and Chad Lamont (Super Comp) all earned wins on Saturday.

Stagner made a 7:30 a.m. wake-up call to get to the track.

“I liked coming out here today for racing,“ said Stagner, who thanked his family for supporting him.

Kelley, no stranger to the winner's circle, will work to get there again.

“I had a lot of fun, and I'll try harder next time to win,“ Kelley said.

Kelley's cousin Marino, 12, of Tinley Park, Ill. also earned his win on the heels of a foul-start by his opponent, hot shoe Robbie Vanderwood, who earned the Best Reaction time award for the Modified Jr. category before leaving too soon on the tree in the final round (-.166).

Marino, a fourth-year racer, is headed toward the 10 career-win milestone. He drove his '07 Gage to an 8.984 at 71.87.

“It was very exciting, knowing that I was going rounds,“ Marino said. “I think some people may have been scared because I cut good lights today.“

Vanderwood, of Homer Glen, Ill. is in his second year of racing, and first at Route 66. He has practiced his lights on a portable tree “like 3,000 times.“

Dave Kovar Jr., 8, of Coal City, Ill. earned the Best Reaction Time award in Sportsman Jr. in just his fourth career race.

Lamont, 23, of Lake Villa, Ill. earned the title in Super Comp when he piloted his dragster to an 8.878 at 158.82 to Scott Phillips' 8.869 at 159.01 behind the help of his family and best friend and racer Joey. The former Jr. Dragster driver has 15 years behind the wheel.

“I had been late on the tree all day long,“ said Lamont, who shares a racing trophy room with his father Pat and brother Ryan, with his mother Carolyn's blessing. “I just cut really good lights when I needed them the most, which was in the last two rounds of racing.“

Modified Jr.
1 Cody Medeisis 193
2 Mason Marino 175
3 Nichole Medeisis 143
4 Troy Lensing 122
5 Zach Sackman 118
6 Skylar Kunz 112
7 Jeremy Lensing 110
8 Matt Sackman 103
9 Briana Sevik 91
10 Robbie Vanderwood 90
11 Tyler Hooten 90
12 Drew Zeller 87
13 Jessica McCorkle 85
14 Meghan Hurley 74
15 Ashley Stagner 74
16 Miranda Zeller 73
17 Tyler Kovac 64
18 Nicole Dorsey 64
19 Max Lundy 56
20 Nick Mistrata 54
21 Sarah Kovac 52
22 Austin Raider 52
23 Trevor Harisma 42
24 Veronica Roscoe 41
25 Elizabeth Galdikas 41
Sportsman Jr.
1 Nate Kelley 163
2 John Stagner 135
3 Johnathan David 110
4 Todd Trench Jr. 87
5 Katelyn Rusiniak 85
6 Tylor Williams 73
7 David Kovar Jr. 51
8 Dan Kleinhoffer 51
9 Meredith Miller 20
10 Paul Douglas 20
11 Julia Hooten 10
12 Jake Hannah 10
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