On a day when fans had to pass through state-of-the-art screening procedures to enter Cedar Lake Speedway, it was ultimately Ricky Weiss’ car that tested positive in post-race inspection.

After outrunning Cade Dillard over the final laps in a finish that brought the New Richmond, Wisc. fans to their feet, Weiss’ Drydene Performance Products No. 7 tested positive for an illegal quarter-panel height in post-race inspection; handing the victory in Thursday’s first-ever Elimination Showdown to Dillard and his MB Customs No. 97.

Taking the lead from Dillard on lap two of the third five-lap segment, Weiss roared to the front of the field and looked poised to run away with the $3,000 special event win until the final restart. With eight cars in the final eight-lap round, Weiss and Dillard distanced themselves from the rest of the pack and set themselves up for an epic showdown at the finish.

Both World of Outlaws stars ran side-by-side in turn three coming to the checkered flag, but it was Weiss who motored through the corner and gained the edge to beat Dillard to the stripe by 0.172 seconds.

The action was hot and heavy throughout the field on Thursday night at Cedar Lake Speedway. (Jacy Norgaard Photo)

However, failing to pass post-race inspection for an illegal quarter-panel height, Weiss was docked three positions to finish fourth; which handed Cade Dillard of Robeline, La. the $3,000 victory in the first-ever Elimination Showdown at Cedar Lake Speedway.

“I feel like we’ve got a great car under our belts right now,” said Dillard looking ahead to the weekend. “As long as we can keep making the right adjustments, we’ll be good. We’ve still got a long way to go and there’s a lot of good cars here, but this is for sure about as confident as I’ve ever been. Our momentum will run out eventually, it always does, we just have to milk it as long we can.”

Before the Elimination Showdown brought the house down, a pair of qualifying sessions set the stage for the rest of the weekend at Cedar Lake Speedway. With $20,000-to-win, $1,000-to-start features in play for Friday and Saturday night, drivers set their heat race lineups for both nights at the Wisconsin 3/8th-mile.

Jimmy Mars was the fastest qualifier in Friday’s portion of qualifying. (Jacy Norgaard Photo)

Jimmy Mars of Menomonie, Wisc. laid the groundwork by setting Fast Time in Friday’s portion with a lap 13.307 seconds. Driving the MB Customs No. 28, “The Iceman” earned his fifth-career Fast Time Award with the World of Outlaws Late Models over Scott Bloomquist (13.333), Dennis Erb Jr. (13.525), Darrell Lanigan (13.649), and Frank Heckenast Jr. (13.660).

Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill. was the top dog in Saturday’s show with a time of 13.907 seconds aboard his Rocket1 Racing, Valvoline No. 1 entry. “The Rocket Shepp” banked his 34th career Fast Time Award with the World of Outlaws ahead of Dennis Erb Jr. (13.927), Cade Dillard (13.986), Pat Doar (14.115), and Rodney Sanders (14.123).

Brandon Sheppard took Fast Time for Saturday’s qualifying session. (Jacy Norgaard Photo)

The Independence Day Showdown rolls on tomorrow night, Friday, July 3 with two full programs at Cedar Lake Speedway for the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. Tickets are available for purchase at the gate for the event requires fans to go through a COVID-19 screening process before being granted access. DIRTVision will have all of the live coverage for fans at home.

Morton Buildings Elimination Showdown (23 Laps) 1. 97-Cade Dillard [1][$3,000]; 2. 20-Rodney Sanders [3][$1,500]; 3. 1-Brandon Sheppard [6][$1,200]; 4. 7-Ricky Weiss [5][$1,000]; 5. 29V-Darrell Lanigan [9][$900]; 6. 99JR-Frank Heckenast [8][$825]; 7. 28-Dennis Erb [10][$775]; 8. 58-A.J. Diemel [2][$700]; 9. 12-Ashton Winger [7][$600]; 10. 20RT-Ricky Thornton [15][$600]; 11. B1-Brent Larson [14][$600]; 12. 56-Colton Horner [13][$600]; 13. 11-Pat Doar [16][$400]; 14. 11G-James Giossi [4][$400]; 15. 28M-Jimmy Mars [12][$400]; 16. 0-Scott Bloomquist [11][$400]; 17. 18-Chase Junghans [17][$200]; 18. 15-Nick Anvelink [19][$200]; 19. 99b-Boom Briggs [18][$200]; 20. 6m-Jeff Massingill [20][$200]; 21. 16-Rusty Griffaw [21][$110]; 22. 10-Paul Parker [22][$110]; 23. 15h-Steve Hucovski [23][$110]; 24. 1e-Caley Emerson [24][$110]

Friday’s Qualifying – 1. 28m-Jimmy Mars, 13.307; 2. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 13.333; 3. 28-Dennis Erb, 13.525; 4. 29v-Darrell Lanigan, 13.649; 5. 99jr-Frank Heckenast, 13.66; 6. 12-Ashton Winger, 13.682; 7. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 13.687; 8. 7-Ricky Weiss, 13.705; 9. 11g-James Giossi, 13.73; 10. 20-Rodney Sanders, 13.839; 11. 58-A.J. Diemel, 13.893; 12. 97-Cade Dillard, 13.907; 13. 56-Colton Horner, 13.958; 14. B1-Brent Larson, 14.049; 15. 20rt-Ricky Thornton, 14.068; 16. 11-Pat Doar, 14.075; 17. 6m-Jeff Massingill, 14.165; 18. 18-Chase Junghans, 14.192; 19. 99b-Boom Briggs, 14.203; 20. 16-Rusty Griffaw, 14.23; 21. 10-Paul Parker, 14.28; 22. 15-Nick Anvelink, 14.43; 23. 1e-Caley Emerson, 14.902; DNS. 15h-Steve Hucovski, NT

Saturday’s Qualifying – 1. 1-Brandon Sheppard, 13.907; 2. 28-Dennis Erb Jr., 13.927; 3. 97-Cade Dillard, 13.986; 4. 11-Pat Doar, 14.115; 5. 20-Rodney Sanders, 14.123; 6. 28M-Jimmy Mars, 14.123; 7. 7-Ricky Weiss, 14.134; 8. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 14.174; 9. 29V-Darrell Lanigan, 14.257; 10. 12-Ashton Winger, 14.271; 11. 11G-James Giossi, 14.296; 12. 99JR-Frank Heckenast Jr., 14.337; 13. 18-Chase Junghans, 14.406; 14. 56-Colton Horner, 14.407; 15. B1-Brent Larson, 14.412; 16. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr., 14.421; 17. 99B-Boom Briggs, 14.433; 18. 10-Paul Parker, 14.480; 19. 58-AJ Diemel, 14.482; 20. 15-Nick Anvelink, 14.486; 21. 6M-Jeff Massingill, 14.717; 22. 15H-Steve Hucovski. 14.829; 23. 16-Rusty Griffaw, 14.966; 24. 1E-Caley Emerson, 15.161.