Freeman enjoys successful first week on tour with Summer Nationals
Payton Freeman made the trek to the Land of Lincoln on Tuesday afternoon to kick off the DIRTcar Summer Nationals at Kankakee County Speedway (Kankakee, Ill.). (Mike Ruefer photos)
With 36 Late Models on the grounds, Freeman followed up the second-fastest time in his group with a heat race victory. Receiving the second-starting postion for the opening night feature via the redraw, Payton faded four spots in the 40-lapper to finish sixth.
On Wednesday afternoon at Peoria Speedway (Peoria, Ill.), Payton locked his spot into the $5,000-to-win A-Main with a third-place finish in his heat. Carrying a steady pace in the 40-lap affair, Freeman notched a 10th-place finish.
In a field of 39 cars on Thursday Davenport Speedway (Davenport, Iowa), Freeman laid down the fastest time in his group before placing second in his heat. With $5,000 on the line in the feature, Payton dropped five spots, crossing the line in 12th.
For the $10,000-to-win A-Main on Friday afternoon at Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, Ill.), Payton tagged the wall in his heat race, forcing him to take a provisional into the main event. Rolling off 23rd, Freeman passed 10 cars in the 50-lapper to register a 13th-place finish.
After topping the 50-car field in time trials on Saturday evening at Fairbury Speedway (Fairbury, Ill.), Freeman came in third in his heat, which positioned him 13th on the starting grid for the $10,000-to-win feature. Losing one spot in the 50-lap affair, Freeman recorded a 14th-place outing.
Wrapping up his first week with the Hell Tour, Payton stopped at Sycamore Speedway (Maple Park, Ill.) on Sunday. With a heat race victory sending him into the redraw, Freeman pulled the pole position for the A-Main. After leading the opening nine circuits, Payton faded late in the race to finish seventh.
He is currently sixth in the DIRTcar Summer National point standings with the first week in the books.