Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mincer sweeps the night at 34 Raceway

BURLINGTON, Iowa (Sept. 26) - I made the trip south once more to 34 Raceway on Saturday night for the Sprint Invaders season championship. A close points battle atop the standings entering the night between Bobby Mincer and Ryan Jamison made for an exciting finale as 22 360 Sprints signed in for the event. Mincer entered the final night just 13 points on top. He added three points to that margin by winning the Shakeup Dash, taking a 16 point advantage into the feature.

Andy Huston and Mincer started the 25-lap feature on the front row. Mincer took charge at the drop of the green to lead the first circuit with outside second row starter Joe Beaver in tow. Only two laps in, Mincer extended his lead to half of a straightaway and was staring down lapped traffic just a few car-lengths ahead.

Mincer reached the backmarkers only four circuits into the event as Beaver closed the gap. Mincer put a pair of lapped cars between himself and Beaver by the nine-lap mark , but quickly saw that advantage disappear as Beaver cleared the lapped cars just a couple of laps later. With the leaders behind a pair of backmarkers running side-by-side, Beaver closed to within a couple of car-lengths on lap 15 before the race's first caution flag was displayed.

When racing resumed, Mincer again took comamand and pulled to a half-straightaway lead in just one lap. Mincer maintained his advantage until the red flag waved with only three laps remaining when Tasker Phillips got upside in turn two. Phillips was okay and exited the machine under his own power.

Mincer led the final three laps to lead the event in its entirety to take the win and the season points title. Beaver crossed the line in second ahead of Jamison, Donnie Steward and Mike Houseman.

Prior to feature time, Mincer took the win in the six-lap Shakeup Dash, a straightaway ahead of Mike Houseman. Mincer also won his qualifying heat race earlier in the evening. Steward beat Huston to score the win in the Storm Steel Super Dash, a bonus race for car owners whose rides hadn't made many dash apearances throughout the season.

In 305 Sprint action, 21 cars signed in to compete. At the start of the 20-lap feature, pole-sitter Cale Hutchings took charge with Bobby Mincer in tow. Running the high groove, Hutchings shot into the lead at the drop of the green as Mincer worked low. The 20-lapper was slowed on the third lap as Tony Davis got high and tagged the turn four wall, sending his #3 into a series of flips. Although Davis exited the machine under his own power, he did complain of a sore neck. After being checked over by paramedics, it was also determined he suffered from a broken arm and was taken to an area hospital.

When racing resumed, Hutchings continued to pace the field with Mincer in tow. The two broke away from the pack and built up a straightaway margin over the field before the race was slowed again for caution on lap five. Two laps after the green flag waved again, Mincer shot to the inside of Hutchings in turns one and two and exited the corner with the lead.

Mincer started to pull away quickly and entered lapped traffic just prior to the race's final caution on lap nine. Jayson Ditsworth brought out the yellow after he was unable to clear the track off of turn two. He suffered front end damage after contact with a tractor tire on the low side of turn one.

Mincer put the field to rest when the green flag waved one final time as he led the remaining 11 laps to take the checkers by a straightaway margin. Chad Huston made a late race pass on Hutchings to score second at the line. Dustin Whiting and Justin Newberry completed the top five.

In the Mod Lites, outside pole-sitter Daniel Keltner led the field at the drop of the green. Joe Huggins and Jason Masengard applied pressure early as the trio broke away from the field. Despite a mid-race caution that bunched up the field, the trio again pulled away for the remainder of the 12-lapper.

Keltner held the point with Huggins searching for racing room on the low side. Although Huggins pulled alongside the race leader numerous times, Keltner held on to score the close victory. Masengarb and Mike Morrill rounded out the top four.

Thanks to announcer Rich Adams for the positivelyracing plug and also acknowledging that I was able to compile racing action, results and write my blog without the assistance of Mr. Broeg, who's down in Oklahoma enjoying today's Tulsa football game.

As I write this, the Iowa Hawkeyes have once again upset the Penn State Nittany Lions... in Happy Valley, no less. Go Hawks!

See you at the races!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Notes from 34 Raceway and the best Late Model race of 2009

BURLINGTON, Iowa (Sept. 18-19) - A couple weeks ago. I set out for a trip to the famed Eldora Speedway to take in the atmosphere of the historic 1/2-mile in Rossburg, Ohio. There were tons of race cars, thousands of fans and a certain mystique following my travels to Western Ohio as I was in great anticipation of what the weekend would bring. A new experience, great racing, the thought of saying I'd been to one of the most well-known tracks in the country built my anticipation for what was certainly going to be a monumental event. When that weekend was over, all expectations were met.

Last Friday, I traveled a couple hours from home to 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa, for the finale of the Deery Brothers Summer Series for I.M.C.A. Late Models and the 18th Annual Pepsi USA Late Model Nationals. Having followed the series throughout the season (I made it to seven or eight series races this season) and for the last 20-plus seasons, I knew the racing would be great, the fans would be friendly and the sights and sounds would be just as good as Ohio, only on a smaller level. Not only were my expectations met in Burlington, the racing I witnessed surpassed what I anticipated as I was present for one of the greatest Late Model features I'd ever seen. Rossburg was a lot of fun, but there's no place, and no racing, like right here at home.

On my way out of the gate that night, I heard numerous people saying it was the "best 100-lapper" they'd ever seen. A few more said it was the "best Late Model feature" they'd ever seen and even a few more who said the "best feature" they'd ever seen.

If you've read Jeff Broeg or Brian Neal's column on, or have seen the press release from Bill Martin of I.M.C.A., I'm sure you've already made yourself familiar with the on-track happenings from every angle. If you weren't there, you missed the best Late Model racing of the summer. I'll spare an in depth recap of the races and, instead, share my thoughts on the weekend at 34.

Anytime you attend an event that concludes with a 100-lap feature, questions abound concerning what to expect. Following time trials and qualifying on Friday night, to many it seemed a forgeone conclusion that Quincy, Ill., hotshoe Mark Burgtorf would walk away with the honors for the fourth time in the event's 18-year history. Afterall, Burgtorf won the second qualifying heat race, putting him on the outside pole position for the 100-lapper. While many not only put Burgtorf as the odds-on favorite to win, an equal number felt he was a lock to finish the weekend in victory lane. With 100 laps, however, just as many people were saying, "Anything can happen over 100 laps." Tire wear, track conditions, lapped traffic, and even a dash or two of luck are always to be considered for a race of such length.

While a great number of factors are considered for the prediction of the outcome of any race, what happened Saturday night was probably not expected by anyone in the house. I don't mean that the 100-lapper was slowed only twice for caution or that Burgtorf led most of the event without taking the checkers or even the fact that Jason Frankel made a late race pass to score the thrilling win. I'm talking about how exciting each and every of the 100 laps was for fans in attendance. While Burgtorf did try to make quick work of the field by taking the lead just two laps into the event, his largest lead was only a handful of car-lengths during the first quarter of the race. Challengers were always within sight of the race lead and, throughout much of the race, the top five on the track at any given time were within a straightaway of the lead. How many 100 lap features have you seen that can boast such a statistic? Nobody dominated. Nobody looked like a "lock" to win at any point. Nobody could have guessed how the race would end with even as few as five laps to go. I even heard a few Burgtorf fans following the race say how incredible the race was even though their guy didn't see the checkers first at the end.

Race announcer and fellow blogger Jeff Broeg made note during the lap 53 caution of how many lead changes there were during the first half of the event alone. You can check out his thoughts on the "Back Stretch." Even when the battle wasn't for the lead, Terry Neal, Jeff Aikey, Burgtorf, Lonnie Bailey, Frankel and Rob Toland each periodically found themselves at the front of the pack throughout the event three-wide for the lead.

Hats off to the entire field for putting on an impressive show this past weekend and also to track owner Jeff Laue for providing the racers and fans with a superb race track all weekend.

Pepsi Notes
Frankel's series win completed book-end wins this season as he also took the Deery opener this past April, also at 34 Raceway.

A trio of Late Model specials highlighted the racing weekend. While 64 cars made the trip to Burlington, I understand 49 made the tow to Farley for the Yankee and 26 were in Harlan for the Tiny Lund. While I'm glad I made the trip to Burlington, 139 Late Models competing in Iowa for three events on the same weekend is a good sign of the strength of Late Model racing in the Hawkeye State.

Jeff Aikey wrapped up the Deery Series title earlier in the month and didn't even have to compete to take the $5,000 champion's share back to Cedar Falls. In the end, he seemed just as excited for Frankel in victory lane as anyone else, even though he was in contention for the victory right down to the final lap.

Thanks to Broeg and regular track announcer Rich Adams for letting me announce a heat race on Friday night and allowing me to hang out with the crew atop the grandstands for the entire weekend's events. I appreciate them giving me the chance to use my "unused material" from this season to reference American Idol and Cash for Clunkers. I had a blast, guys! (I saved one more for you later in this blog.)

It was also nice to watch the Late Model feature with web mistress Sue McDaniel. The antics from the crow's nest are best left alone in the crow's nest, though!

The early part of my weekend consisted of helping 34's Facilities Director Jason Goble and his crew in the concession stand and other areas where they were short-handed. For those who think all the work for any race, let alone a big two-day show, begins when the gates open and ends with the final checkered flag, is sadly mistaken. Jason and his crew were there early on Friday to get the grounds in fan-friendly order and to prepare all the great food for race time. After spending time selling the fares and even assembling a few sandwiches, I helped stock the goods following Friday night's show in preparation for Saturday's finale. I had my first visit to the suites above the grandstand and Suite 34 in turn four to help get them ready for Saturday night. I even volunteered (was elected?) to complete restroom duty on the grandstand side, laundered the concession crew's work shirts and assisted Jason's right-hand man Jordan Mohr by washing windows on Suite 34 and stocking the pit concessions. It may seem odd to include those items here, but if you take for granted all the hard work that goes on "behind the scenes" by the crew when you visit your local track, be sure to think twice the next time you go. Thank the folks who are there preparing your food and getting the facility race ready. In fact, Jordan took a blower up to the grandstands to clean them out long after the races were over on Friday... before he picked up all the trash in the grandstand, pit and parking lot areas. A thankless job, perhaps, but that doesn't mean that their work and the work of others should go unnoticed for all they do to get ready for race night. While I enjoyed pitching in and helping out where needed, what I assisted with was only a small part of what the entire staff of 34 Raceway and any track goes through to make race night an enjoyable experience for both racers and fans. Thanks(?) to Jason and his crew for the eye-opening experience and for a fun weekend!

One side note on the appeal of the two-day shows... While we were getting the grounds ready for Saturday night, a number of folks were still awake enjoying their consumption of "adult beverages" and all that goes along with it (except, ironically, the part about acting like adults). Jason took it upon himself to hop onto the race track from a six foot jump via the gate under the flagstand to meet a pair of those individuals who took it upon themselves to take their street car on the track for a few laps after the 2 a.m. hour. I'm sure whoever was driving that car will think twice before his next post-race on-track drunken venture as I could see the fire in Jason's eyes from many feet away. A few others were tearing around the grounds on four wheelers and other vehicles "all in good fun." You know the saying, "It's all fun and games until someone gets an eye poked out"... well, it would have been nice to poke out a few eyes on Friday night. Unfortunately, some folks see alcohol as an excuse. While it's nice to cut loose and have a good time, when it comes to disrespecting someone else's property and those who came for some good, clean fun, the behaviors of a few have been known to spoil it for many. Those who acted irresponsibily should be ashamed of themselves and took part in behaviors of which only Kanye West could be proud. (There's one more for you, Jeff and Rich!)

Next up for me will be the season championships for the Sprint Invaders Series next Saturday night, right back at 34 Raceway. Hope to see you there!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hartman hauls home first World 100 win

Last Thursday, I set out for my first trip to the famed Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, for the World 100. Jason Goble, the Facilities Director at 34 Raceway in Burlington, and I piled into his Chevy Trail Blazer for the trip across the Midwest.

One hundred seventy-two Late Models signed in to attempt to qualify on the 1/2-mile oval on Friday night. Only the 120 best times would be able to stick around for qualifying heat races on Saturday. It was unclear if the Late Model track records in times would be in jeopardy, but by night's end those qualifying times remained untouched. The fastest Late Model qualifying time in history entering the weekend was set in 2004 during the Dream when Rick Eckert posted a 15.215-second time. The World 100 record was set by Earl Pearson Jr., at 15.350. The big 1/2-mile proved to be difficult to tame in this year's time trials as only a handful of drivers were able to break the 17-second mark by the time both rounds of qualifying were over.

Scott Bloomquist posted the fast early time of 17.007 as he drew a low number for the first round of qualifying. Dan Schlieper eventually bested that at 16.853 in the first round of qualifying. Earl Pearson Jr., one of the very last cars to attempt to time trial, posted the second overall time of 16.860.

Following time trials, the 52 drivers who didn't make the cut took part in one of three 15-lap non-qualifier features to get some seat time at the speedway. Farley, Iowa, native Jason Rauen failed to make it past the time trials, but put on a great show in the first non-qualifier feature. Starting 12th, Rauen was a rocket and blistered through the field to take home a second place finish behind front row starter Shawn Negangard.

On Saturday, the top 120 qualifiers were divided into six heats of 20 and fast-timer Schlieper pulled the "6" out of the hat, meaning the top six in each heat would be inverted based on qualifying times with the rest of the field lined straight up by best times.

In the first heat, pole-sitter Eric Wells led from start to finish to post the victory. Fast-timer Schlieper went up in a cloud of smoke as the engine let go in the #9, forcing his crew to change engines prior to the feature. He was guaranteed a starting spot in the 28-car field by virtue of his fast time in qualifying. Dale McDowell and Brad Neat ran second and third to earn qualifying spots.

In heat two, outside front row starter Brian Birkhofer wasted little time jumping into the lead. He extended that lead until he reached lapped traffic late in the event, allowing pole-sitter Tim Fuller to close. Birkhofer held on at the line by a nose to score the win, putting him in the fifth starting spot for the 100-lap event. Matt Miller ran third.

A huge pile-up at the start of the third heat slowed that event, but front row starters Bart Hartman and Jimmy Mars escaped unscathed as they left the field behind when racing resumed. The lead pair checked out on the field with Hartman scoring the victory, placing him fourth on the starting grid for the main event. Don O'Neal crossed the line in third.

A caution in the early going of heat four also slowed that event. Involved in the turn three incident was five-time World winner Billy Moyer who pasted the wall, ending his night on the wrecker, dashing his hopes of a sixth win. Dennis Erb checked out from his outside pole start to take the win ahead of Josh Richards and John Blankenship.

Jimmy Owens, the 2007 World winner, pulled away from the field to score the win in heat five, earning him the outside front row start for the main event. Darrell Lanigan and Austin Hubbard, the second youngest driver to earn a start in the World 100, rounded out the qualifiers.

Jared Landers stole the show in heat six, placing him on the pole. Brady Smith and Terry Casey completed the heat race qualifiers.

Two 20-lap B features completed qualifying as four drivers from each of those events would join the rear of the 28-car field. Scott Bloomquist schooled the field to score the win in the first last chance race. Tim McCreadie, who was involved in a first lap caution and was forced to the pits for repairs, rebounded from that mishap and made a hard charge to finish second ahead of Eddie Carrier Jr. and Steve Francis.

In the second B feature, Chub Frank scored the win ahead of Chris Madden, Ray Cook and Rick Eckert to complete qualifying. Schlieper and Pearson Jr. made it in on time trials, however Schlieper was forced to start at the tail of the field for not making it to staging in time, due to his engine change.

Landers, Casey, Hubbard, Blankenship, Wells and Fuller all made the starting grid for the first time while 11 previous winners qualified for the start. Track announcer Bret Emerick stated it was the "stoutest field" the event had seen in a number of years.

At the drop of the green, Jimmy Owens took command and extended that advantage to a straightaway margin prior to entering lapped traffic around eight laps into the event. Landers and Hartman closed in on Owens as the leader navigated the backmarkers. Birkhofer was also making a charge as he gained on the lead trio.

Hartman made his way into the lead just prior to the lap 20 mark, and Birkhofer followed into third and inched into second just prior to the race's first caution on lap 21.

When racing resumed, Hartman held the point with Birkhofer in tow. Hartman built up a straightaway lead over Birkhofer's machine until he entered lapped traffic midway through the event as the leaders broke away from the field.

Birkhofer pulled onto Hartman's rear bumper, however Hartman worked his way through traffic and cleared the backmarkers, gaining a straightaway advantage once again over the 15B. Hartman again entered lapped traffic 15 laps later and was working on putting Chub Frank a lap down, allowing Birkhofer to close. Birkhofer pulled to the low side of the leader, but couldn't take advantage on the low line, as he remained in second when the race's second and final caution was displayed on lap 83.

On the restart and with an open track in front of him, Hartman again pulled away from Birkhofer. Once again, Birkhofer closed in the waning moments as lapped traffic slowed Hartman's progress. Off turn four of the final lap, Birkhofer dropped low and tried to make a charge off the corner, but Hartman was too strong as he drove to the win ahead of Birkhofer and Dale McDowell, who made a strong run late to finish third. Jared Landers, Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Earl Pearson Jr., Scott Bloomquist, Matt Miller and Dennis Erb Jr. completed the top 10. Pearson and Bloomquist each made strong runs through the field, advancing 13 spots from their original starting positions.

Hartman was the first Ohio-native to keep the coveted globe trophy in the Buckeye state in 12 years. Prior to the Zanesville driver's win on Saturday night, Donnie Moran was the last Ohio driver to win the event, in 1997.

Hartman definitely had the fastest car on this night, however lapped traffic and Birkhofer's patience almost made the outcome quite a bit different. Birkhofer definitely didn't want the lap 83 caution, but it's hard to say if, had he gotten around Hartman at some point, he'd have been able to hold on for the win.

Notes from Eldora
Jason and I pulled onto the grounds at around 8 p.m. on Thursday night and had a chance to visit Larry and Kathleen Kemp, the Iowa natives who Tony Stewart hired to run the speedway when he bought the facility five years ago. Having not seen the Kemps in a number of years, it was great to visit with them for a couple of hours. With all the partying that goes on right there on the grounds, it's amazing they get any sleep during an event such as the World 100. Thanks to the Kemps for their hospitality.

As we toured the pit area, we had no doubt the amount of money invested in haulers would amaze us, but we could only find two cars brought in on open trailers.

Emerick spoke of the "Eldora Experience" many times over the PA throughout the weekend. It's hard to imagine what that would entail after driving through a number of small Ohio towns to get to the speedway. Kemp expected 14-16,000 people on-hand for Friday's qualifying and around 20,000 for the big event on Saturday night. I have no reason to doubt those numbers as it was an awesome experience to take in the atmosphere from high atop our seats in turn one.

It was also nice to see Earl and Berniece Baltes make a lap around the track with Larry Kemp prior to the start of the event. The crowd remained on its feet during their entire lap around the speedway and it was an impressive sight to see the drivers lined up to shake their hands and acknowledge them on the front straightaway before competing.

Most of the day Saturday was spent in the campground across the street from the track. Jeff and Amy Laue, owners of 34 Raceway, opened up their campsite for some games and beverages of choice. Thanks for a great time Saturday afternoon and evening, guys. And if I never see Jason drink again, the memories Eldora provided will surely last a lifetime!

On our way home (and our way there, actually), Jason and I decided to leave our fate in the hands of his Garmin navigational device. While I'm one who doesn't always like to take the four-lane to get from point A to point B and I love to hit the backroads on any trip, the directions it provided us didn't always make a whole lot of sense. A seven-and-a-half hour trip to Ohio was shortened by one hour (yes, that takes into account the one hour time change), even though we were sent through downtown Indianapolis on our way home.

We questioned the route presented to us, but we went with it anyway thinking the machine knew better. While we eventually came up with many different names to call the Garmin system (none of which are appropriate to list here), it took us directly in front of Indianapolis Motor Speedway on our way home. It was quite a surprise and didn't really cost us much time. Located right in the middle of a busy city like that, I'll take Eldora Speedway over Indy any day.

Next up for me will be the finale of the 2009 Deery Brothers Summer Series for I.M.C.A. Late Models next Friday and Saturday at 34 Raceway in Burlington for the Pepsi USA Late Model Nationals. I rarely see one 100-lap feature in a year let alone two, and in back-to-back weekends, to boot. Although Jeff Aikey already has the series title wrapped up, next weekend's show should be a great one with $10,000 awaiting the winner in victory lane. See you there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Rothzen and Huls score Shootout wins at 34 Raceway

BURLINGTON, Iowa (Sept. 6) - My "non-working" race weekend turned into another night of working without the notebook as I took in the I.M.C.A. Modified and Stock Car Shootout at 34 Raceway on Sunday. Expecting to enjoy the night in the stands with friends from the Bill Roberts and Sean Wyett racing teams, I left the notebook in the car, but took some mental notes from the night's festivities.

Some questioned how many cars would be on-hand for the post-season special since the I.M.C.A. Super Nationals were set to begin Monday night at Boone Speedway, however a fine field of 26 I.M.C.A. Modifieds signed in to compete for the $1,000 top prize.

Following a six-lap dash that included the top two drivers from each heat race, Brandon Rothzen and Josh Foster started the 35-lap main event from the front row. Foster took charge early as he shot into the lead at the drop of the green flag. He appeared to be unstoppable until he entered lapped traffic midway through the event. Rothzen took advantage of the backmarkers as he closed in on the race leader.

Rothzen actually inched past the leader a few laps later, however a caution flag with around 10 laps remaining negated the pass and put him behind Foster once again for the ensuing restart. When racing resumed, Foster went back to work on the high side with Rothzen down low. Foster jumped the cushion a couple of times, allowing Rothzen to stay within striking distance. With only a handful of laps remaining, Foster exited to the pit area with mechanical problems, allowing Rothzen to coast to the $1,000 payday. Dusty Kraklio came home second followed by Cory Bauer, Kevin Goben and Dean McGee.

Only 12 I.M.C.A. Stock Cars were on-hand to compete for the $500 top prize. Since Stock Car qualifying at Super Nationals was set to begin on Monday at Boone, I assume most of those drivers were saving their machines for their luck at Super Nationals.

Abe Huls, looking to add to his $400 win the night before at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, took command only a few laps into the 25-lapper. He held off the pesky challenges of John Oliver Jr. to score the weekend sweep and make it a $900 weekend with his pair of wins. Oliver, Dave Warth, Brett Timmerman and Andrew Griffin rounded out the top five.

Travis Demint scored the victory in the final points race for the 4-cylinders this season. A nice field of 24 cars turned out for their championship night. Demint also scored the points championship to cap off a successful season.

It was nice to meet Lloyd Huls, the father of the Stock Car winner, during a brief visit in the grandstands. Although there was probably some doubt if I'd remember our quick chat, I promised him I'd make mention of the weekend sweep in my blog. Thanks for being a dedicated reader of, Lloyd!

It was nice to talk to I.M.C.A. Modified driver Dustin Crear in the pits following his sixth place run. Although he said he won't be competing at Boone this year, he said he was planning on heading that direction toward the end of the week to take in all of the Modified action.

I also had a nice visit with I.M.C.A. Modified pilot and former Pro Stock champion Dave Goble about the fond memories we both have of the Pro Stock division. A lot of old names from that division still compete in other divisions around the region so it was nice to take a trip down memory lane.

It was another great night of action at 34 as folks in that area are anxiously awaiting the 18th Annual Pepsi USA Late Model Nationals, which are scheduled for September 18-19 on the 3/8-mile oval. That event marks the final race of the 2009 Deery Brothers Summer Series for I.M.C.A. Late Models tour. Coincidentally, shirts for that event were for sale at the speedway and will be available during the two-day show later this month. Be sure to pick one up on your visit!

Up next for me is my first-ever trip to Rossburg, Ohio, next weekend for the World 100 at Eldora Speedway. For those heading to Rossburg or for those partying this week in Boone, have a safe and great trip! I'll try to blog regularly on my trip east.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Burgtorf unbelievable, nabs five grand at Lee County Speedway

DONNELLSON, Iowa (Sept. 5) - On our way to Donnellson, I told Jason Goble of 34 Raceway that I was going to "take the night off" and just watch the races. My plan was to just talk to a few drivers and enjoy the sights and sounds, I wasn't going to take notes or write a blog about the Deery Brothers Summer Series for I.M.C.A. Late Models special at Lee County Speedway. On our way home, I changed my mind and told him, "I think I'm going to write about this."

What, rather who, changed my mind to write was Mark Burgtorf. Sure, Burgtorf had won countless features and track championships in both the Late Model and Modified divisions at Donnellson, What he did Saturday night, however, was worth good mention. Not only did he top a field of 43 drivers to win the Deery Series feature, but he did it after qualifying through a B feature, starting the 35-lapper from the 19th position and with a possible $5,000 on the line for the winner.

The folks at Donnellson ran a limited number of Late Model shows this season and, if you competed in enough of them, could earn the five grand with a Deery Series victory in the Late Models' last appearance of the season for the division on September 5. In all, 11 drivers, including Burgtorf, were eligible for the bigger payday.

While I didn't take notes on any of the five divisions competing, I'll try to recap the Late Models as best as I can from memory.

It was Ray Guss and Boone McLaughlin on the front row at the start of the 35-lap event. McLaughlin set the early pace with Guss and second row starter Rob Toland in tow. McLaughlin put some early distance on the field before Guss settled in and ran down the race leader. Guss made a pass for the lead just prior to a caution around a dozen laps into the event. By that time Burgtorf, who was powering around the field on the high side of the speedway, settled into seventh before the yellow flag was displayed.

On the restart, Guss pulled away from the field, leaving McLaughlin to hold off the challenges from the rest of the field. Toland, Jeff Aikey, Burgtorf and Tom Goble, among others were doing battle for position. Jason Frankel, who was also making a strong run, brought out the previously mentioned caution when mechanical problems ended his night.

Burgtorf went back to work on the high side and survived some two and three-wide battles before settling into second place with 16 laps remaining, a full straightaway behind Guss. Burgtorf remained committed to the top side of the fast 3/8-mile oval and even clipped the back stretch wall a couple times as he attempted to run down Guss.

With around a handful of laps remaining, Burgtorf started closing in faster on the leader as Guss was working the lapped car of Charlie McKenna. A short time later, Guss unexpectedly exited to the pit area off the back chute with mechanical problems, leaving Burgtorf in command.

By that time, both Toland and Aikey had worked their way back into a challenge with Burgtorf, setting up an exciting battle for the remaining few laps. Running low, Toland powered beneath Burgtorf and pulled even on the back straightaway, but Burgtorf was too fast on the high side as he gained position exiting the corners. Despite lapped traffic, Burgtorf held on by a car-length at the line to score the impressive win, much to the delight of the fans. Toland and Aikey came home second and third.

In victory lane, Burgtorf, who was doing a good job running down Guss, admitted that he didn't know if he had enough to make the pass for the lead, saying, "I didn't want to beat Ray like that. I was trying to run him down and it was sure fun trying." He also laughed when he admitted he almost took out the retaining wall on his charge to the front.

Between conversations in the pit stands and chatting with drivers, the only other division I remember without my notebook was in the I.M.C.A. SportMod division. Kaleb Bentley of Fairbank, a regular at Independence Motor Speedway, drove to his first-ever win in the division as he topped a field of 15 competitors, including Lee County track champion Jason Cook.

From an inside third row starting spot, Bentley quickly worked his way into the top three running the low groove of the speedway. With just under a handful of laps remaining, Bentley cleared the leaders to drive to the win.

In the pits afterwards, Bentley thanked friend and Stock Car driver Dan Trimble for convincing him to make the two-and-a-half hour drive south. Even Bentley's parents thought it was a long drive so they didn't get to enjoy Kaleb's first win first-hand.

It was a great night of racing and I hope to make it back to Lee County for Shiverfest next month. For complete results, be sure to check out fellow blogger Brian Neal's race recap at

Up next for me is tonight at 34 Raceway in Burlington for the I.M.C.A. Shootout for Modifieds and Stock Cars. After that, the plan is to make the trip east next weekend for the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009 Stats Blitz! A season recap for Independence Motor Speedway

Here is the final Stats Blitz for the 2009 season at Independence Motor Speedway. These numbers include everything during the 14 weekly points races this season. I also periodically included some statistics from the past 10 (and occasionally 20) years. Enjoy!

Division - Average - High - Low
Late Model - 25.4 - 30 - 22
Modified - 29.1 - 35 - 24
Stock Car - 16.8 - 22 - 12
SportMod - 26.7 - 31 - 23
Hobby Stock - 19.5 - 23 - 13
TOTAL - 117.4 - 131 - 108

* 212 drivers earned points in 2009.
* 84 drivers spent at least one week in the top-10 of his/her division's point standings.
* Among those 212 drivers, 85 different hometowns were represented.
* Division champions accounted for 26 of 70 feature wins. Kyle Bentley (I.M.C.A. SportMods) was the only track champion not to win a feature during his championship run. Other division champs include Darren Ackerman (3 wins in I.M.C.A. Late Models), Darin Duffy (7 wins in I.M.C.A. Modifieds), Brian Irvine (9 wins in I.M.C.A. Stock Cars) and Josh Irvine (7 wins in I.M.C.A. Hobby Stocks).
* While no driver held the points lead every week throughout the season, Darin Duffy (Modifieds) had the longest run at the top of his division. After opening the season in third, Duffy led the final 13 weeks of the season. Darren Ackerman (Late Models) led the final nine weeks and 10 of the last 11. Brian Irvine (Stock Cars) led the final five weeks and nine overall, including the first three weeks of the season. Kyle Bentley (SportMods) reclaimed the lead on the final week of the season and led for a total of 10 weeks in 2009. Josh Irvine (Hobby Stocks) led for the final eight weeks and nine overall, including the first night after his opening night win.
* Brian Irvine (Stock Cars) and Josh Irvine (Hobby Stocks) were the only drivers to earn book-end victories, winning on both opening night and on season championship night. Rob Toland won the opening night Late Model feature while Darren Ackerman closed the season with a victory. Max Corporon was the opening night Modified winner while Darin Duffy won on championship night and Josh Sherbon won the first SportMod feature of the year while Joel Rust claimed championship night honors.
**HISTORY ALERT** - The most recent drivers to earn both opening night and season championship feature wins in the same season were Chris Luloff (2008 Hobby Stocks), Brian Irvine (2007 Stock Cars), Joe Docekal (2007 B Mods), Tom Schmitt (2004 Stock Cars), Brian Irvine (2004 Hobby Stocks), Roger Ciesielski (2003 Pro Stocks - had to give the Pro Stocks some love), Curt Martin (2002 Late Models), Greg Kastli (2001 Late Models), Troy Cordes (2000 Modifieds) and Dan Trimble (2000 Stock Cars).
* 20 different drivers held the points lead for at least one week this season: Four different drivers led the Late Model points, two in Modifieds, six in Stock Cars, five in SportMods and three in Hobby Stocks.

* 19 drivers remained in the top-10 in the points all season. Their season high and low positions in the standings follow each driver's name, along with where they finished overall:
Late Model (2):
Darren Ackerman - 1, 5 - finished 1st,
Jon Passick - 2, 10 - finished 7th;
Modified (3):
Darin Duffy - 1, 3 - finished 1st,
Troy Cordes - 2, 4 - finished 2nd,
Max Corporon - 1, 5 - finished 5th;
Stock Car (5):
Brian Irvine - 1, 7 - finished 1st,
Jarod Weepie - 1, 6 - finished 2nd,
Phil Holtz - 1, 9 - finished 4th,
Norman Chesmore - 1, 7 - finished 5th,
Jason Hocken - 1, 7 - finished 6th;
SportMod (3):
Kyle Bentley - 1, 4 - finished 1st,
Jim Buhlman - 1, 7 - finished 2nd,
Kaleb Bentley - 3, 8 - finished 5th;
Hobby Stock (6):
Josh Irvine - 1, 6 - finished 1st,
Quinton Miller - 1, 3 - finished 2nd,
Wes Stanek - 3, 10 - finished 3rd,
Justin Lichty - 3, 5 - finished 4th,
Jeremiah Wilson - 5, 8 - finished 7th,
Vince Buchholz - 1, 9 - finished 9th.

* 7 drivers remained in the top-5 in the points all 14 weeks:
Late Model (1): Darren Ackerman;
Modified (3): Darin Duffy, Troy Cordes, Max Corporon;
Stock Car (0): None;
SportMod (1): Kyle Bentley;
Hobby Stock (2): Quinton Miller, Justin Lichty.

* Only Darin Duffy (Modifieds) and Quinton Miller (Hobby Stocks) remained in the top-3 in the points all season.

* 35 different drivers earned feature wins in 2009, including 8 Late Models, 8 Modifieds, 5 Stock Cars, 7 SportMods and 7 Hobby Stocks.
* Within each of the five divisions, no starting position produced more than four feature winners, however four different starting positions among all divisions produced four feature winners. They are: Late Model (outside row 6), Modified (outside row 6), SportMod (outside row 2), Hobby Stock (outside row 4).

* Kyle Bentley won the SportMod crown without a feature win in 2009. Since 1990, he is the ninth driver to take a title without a trip to victory lane. Others in the last 20 seasons to do so include: Jarod Weepie (2008 Stock Cars), Troy Cordes (2008 Modifieds), Jerry Luloff (2006 Modifieds), Patrick Stansbery (2005 Hobby Stocks), Kip Siems (2005 B Mods), Scott Hogan (1997 Modifieds), Jerry Schipper (1997 Stock Cars) and Greg Kastli (1992 Late Models).
** HISTORY ALERT ** - Kyle Bentley and Jim Buhlman finished the points in first and second without a feature win in the SportMods. The last time the top two in a division's final standings did not win at least one feature between them (as far as I can tell from my records) was in the Late Model division in 1992 (Greg Kastli and Greg Hunter).

* Brian Irvine's win on championship night was the only night in 2009 a Stock Car feature winner came from the pole position.
* Only five other times this season did winners start from the pole: Dale Stolte (Late Models, week 2), Danny Dvorak (SportMods, week 2), Kurt Hogan (SportMods, week 6), Darren Ackerman (Late Models, week 14), Josh Irvine (Hobby Stocks, week 14).
* The Modified division did not produce a feature winner from the pole position in 2009.
** HISTORY ALERT ** - The Modified pole-position has gone winless for the last two full seasons. The last Modified pole-sitter to win a feature was Vern Jackson on August 25, 2007 (season championship night).

* Jason Snyder's Modified win on July 11 from inside the second row was the only inside starting position to produce a Modified feature winner all season. The Modifieds provided the greatest imbalance across the board. All other divisions had a minimum of five winners versus a maximum of nine winners from inside to outside.
* Darin Duffy won seven Modified features this season, all of them from outside starting positions. His starting positions during his feature wins were, in chronological order, 10, 10, 12, 12, 12, 12, 24.
* Brian Irvine won nine Stock Car features this season, eight of them from an inside starting position. His only win from an outside starting position came on August 8 when he started 10th. His starting positions during his feature wins were, in chronological order, 9, 11, 5, 7, 5, 9, 10, 9, 1.
* Josh Irvine (Hobby Stocks) split his time between inside and outside starting positions during his seven feature wins. His starting positions on those nights were 9, 5, 8, 8, 11, 10, 1.
* Every starting position in the first six rows of feature competition produced at least one feature winner. The deepest position in the field from which any driver started and won was Darin Duffy (started 24th) on championship night.

* 144 drivers earned at least one top-10 finish this season. Darin Duffy (Modifieds) was the only driver to finish in the top-10 all 14 weeks.
* Top-10 leaders per division with number of top-10 finishes in parentheses:
Late Model (30 drivers with at least one top-10): Darren Ackerman, Travis Smock, Curt Martin (10 each); Brian Hunter (9); Greg Kastli, Darin Burco, Tyler Bruening (8 each);
Modified (35): Darin Duffy (14); Troy Cordes (12); Jerry Luloff, Justin O'Brien, Max Corporon, Johnathan Thimmesch, Adam Johnson (8 each);
Stock Car (24): Brian Irvine, Jarod Weepie, Dan Trimble, Phil Holtz, Norman Chesmore, Jason Hocken (12 each);
SportMod (28): Jim Buhlman (12); Kyle Bentley (11); Joel Rust (10); Danny Dvorak, Josh Sherbon (9 each);
Hobby Stock (27): Quinton Miller (13); Josh Irvine, Wes Stanek (11 each); Justin Lichty, Vince Buchholz (10 each).

The drivers with the longest top-10 finish streaks during the season were as follows:
Late Model: Curt Martin (5 straight top-10s); Darren Ackerman, Travis Smock, Brian Hunter, Jon Passick, Tyler Bruening, Chad Lerch (4 each);
Modified: Darin Duffy (14); Troy Cordes (8); Adam Johnson (5); Jerry Luloff, Justin O'Brien, Max Corporon, Ronn Lauritzen, Johnathan Thimmesch, Jason Snyder, Vern Jackson, Adam Bolin (3 each);
Stock Car: Dan Trimble (10); Jason Hocken, Kevin Rose (9 each); Jarod Weepie (8); Phil Holtz, Justin Temeyer (7 each); Brian Irvine, Shane Manson (6 each);
SportMod: Danny Dvorak (6); Kyle Bentley, Joel Rust, Josh Sherbon, Chris Luloff (5 each); Jim Buhlman, Kaleb Bentley, Drew Fish (4 each);
Hobby Stock: Quinton Miller (13); Vince Buchholz (8); Wes Stanek (7); Josh Irvine (5); Justin Lichty, Justin Hanson, Joe Sprague, Don Arnold, Matt Burmeister, Dave Wheeler, Eric Larson (4 each).

* 102 drivers earned at least one top-5 finish this season. Darin Duffy (Modified) was the only driver to finish in the top-5 all 14 weeks.
* Top-5 leaders per division with number of top-5 finishes in parentheses:
Late Model (25 drivers with at least one top-5): Darren Ackerman (8); Travis Smock, Curt Martin, Darin Burco (6 each); Greg Kastli (5);
Modified (21): Darin Duffy (14); Troy Cordes (8); Max Corporon (7); Jerry Luloff (5); Justin O'Brien, Johnathan Thimmesch, Ronn Lauritzen, Jason Snyder (4 each);
Stock Car (14): Phil Holtz (11); Brian Irvine, Dan Trimble, Norman Chesmore (10 each); Jarod Weepie (9); Justin Temeyer (8);
SportMod (23): Kyle Bentley, Joel Rust, Danny Dvorak (7 each); Jake Strayer (6); Jim Buhlman, Kaleb Bentley, Josh Sherbon, Chris Luloff (5 each);
Hobby Stock (19): Josh Irvine (10); Quinton Miller, Wes Stanek, Justin Lichty, Justin Hanson (7 each); Matt Brown, Jeremiah Wilson (6 each).

The drivers with the longest top-5 finish streaks during the season were as follows:
Late Model: Darren Ackerman (4 straight top-5s); Travis Smock, Curt Martin (3 each); Darin Burco, Brian Hunter, Greg Kastli, Chad Lerch, Tom Struve (2 each);
Modified: Darin Duffy (14); Troy Cordes, Jason Snyder (3 each); Jerry Luloff, Justin O'Brien, Max Corporon, Ronn Lauritzen, Shawn Ryan, Jimmy Gustin (2 each);
Stock Car: Justin Temeyer (7); Josh Irvine, Jarod Weepie, Dan Trimble (6 each); Norman Chesmore (5); Phil Holtz (4); Jason Hocken, Shane Manson (2 each);
SportMod: Kyle Bentley, Joel Rust, Chris Luloff, Drew Fish (3 each); Jim Buhlman, Danny Dvorak, Kaleb Bentley, Jake Strayer (2 each);
Hobby Stock: Josh Irvine (5); Quinton Miller, Justin Lichty, Justin Hanson, Jeremiah Wilson, Vince Buchholz (3 each); Wes Stanek, Matt Brown, Marcus Wayne (2 each).

* 80 drivers earned at least one top-3 finish this season.
* Top-3 leaders per division with number of top-3 finishes in parentheses:
Late Model (21 drivers with at least one top-3): Darren Ackerman, Travis Smock, Curt Martin (4 each); Darin Burco, Chad Lerch, Terry Neal (3 each); Brian Hunter, Greg Kastli, Jon Passick, Rick Wendling, Rick Dralle, Luke Goedert (2 each);
Modified (15): Darin Duffy (11); Troy Cordes (7); Max Corporon (5); Jerry Luloff (3); Justin O'Brien, Ronn Lauritzen, Jason Snyder, Shawn Ryan, J.D. Auringer (2 each);
Stock Car (11): Brian Irvine (10); Dan Trimble, Justin Temeyer (7 each); Jarod Weepie (6); Phil Holtz, Norman Chesmore (3 each); Shane Manson (2);
SportMod (19): Joel Rust (6); Danny Dvorak, Josh Sherbon, Chris Luloff, Jake Strayer (4 each); Drew Fish (3); Kyle Bentley, Jim Buhlman, Kaleb Bentley, Austin Kaplan (2 each);
Hobby Stock (14): Josh Irvine (9); Wes Stanek (6); Justin Hanson (5); Matt Brown (4); Justin Lichty, Vince Buchholz (3 each); Quinton Miller, Jeremiah Wilson, Marcus Wayne, Mark Butler (2 each).

* The drivers with the longest top-3 finish streaks during the season were as follows:
Late Model: Darren Ackerman, Travis Smock, Curt Martin, Chad Lerch (2 straight top-3 finishes each);
Modified: Darin Duffy (5); Troy Cordes (3); Justin O'Brien, Max Corporon (2 each);
Stock Car: Justin Temeyer (7); Brian Irvine (6); Jarod Weepie, Dan Trimble, Shane Manson (2 each);
SportMod: Chris Luloff, Drew Fish (3 each); Kyle Bentley, Joel Rust, Jake Strayer (2 each);
Hobby Stock: Josh Irvine (4); Justin Hanson (3); Wes Stanek, Matt Brown, Vince Buchholz, Marcus Wayne (2 each).

* 76 drivers led at least one lap of feature competition.
* Division lap leaders include:
Late Model (16 different lap leaders): Chad Lerch (78 laps led), Darren Ackerman (73), Dale Stolte (25), Darin Burco, (24), Rick Wendling (18);
Modified (17 different lap leaders): Darin Duffy (78 laps led), Max Corporon (25), Don Erger (20), Cory Bauer (18), Jason Snyder (18);
Stock Car (12 different lap leaders): Brian Irvine (106 laps led), Justin Temeyer (84), Dan Trimble (35), Norman Chesmore (15), Phil Holtz (11);
SportMod (16 different lap leaders): Danny Dvorak (35 laps led), Lucas Lundry (32), Chris Luloff (28), Joel Rust (22), Austin Kaplan (22);
Hobby Stock (15 different lap leaders): Josh Irvine (59 laps led), Wes Stanek (22), Matt Brown (21), Mark Butler (15), Justin Lichty (14), Matt Burmeister (14).

* There were 90 different heat race winners in 195 heat races.
* 49 drivers won multiple heat races.
Division leaders include:
Late Model (22 different heat winners): Jon Passick, Tyler Bruening, Chad Lerch (4 wins each); Darren Ackerman (3); Darin Burco, Greg Kastli, Dale Hackwell Jr., Drew Johnson, Jared Fuller, Bryan Klein, Rick Wendling, Dale Stolte (2 each);
Modified (25 different heat winners): Darin Duffy (6); Jerry Luloff, Max Corporon, Johnathan Thimmesch, Adam Johnson (4 each); Ronn Lauritzen (3); Jason Snyder, Joe Docekal, J.D. Auringer (2 each);
Stock Car (8 different heat winners): Justin Temeyer (8); Dan Trimble (7); Phil Holtz, Norman Chesmore, Shane Manson (3 each); Brian Irvine (2).
SportMod (20 different heat winners): Danny Dvorak (6); Chris Luloff, Jake Strayer (4 each); Josh Sherbon, Lucas Lundry, Curt Hilmer, Kurt Hogan (3 each); Drew Fish, Russell Hesse, Jeramiah Boynton, Rod McDonald, Jason Niedert, Ryan Coleman (2 each).
Hobby Stock (15 different heat winners): Josh Irvine (7); Matt Brown (5); Justin Lichty, Don Arnold (3 each); Quinton Miller, Vince Buchholz, Marcus Wayne, Dave Wheeler, Russell Damme Jr. (2 each).

* A total of 307 races were run this season.
* A total of 3,066 green flag laps were completed.
* A total of 336 caution flags were thrown.
* The most races run on a given night - 26 on both June 27 and July 11.
* The most green flag laps completed on a given night - 252 on both June 20 and July 11.
* The most caution flags thrown on a given night - 36 on May 2.
* Three times did a division make it through an entire night without a single caution flag thrown - Late Models on June 6, Stock Cars on June 6 and Hobby Stocks on August 1.
* The Stock Car division had only 31 total caution flags in 42 total races and 507 laps of competition.

THE 2000s
The following statistics are for the last 10 years of competition at the speedway, from 2000 through 2009.
* 650 feature events were completed in weekly competition.
* 154 different drivers visited victory lane.
* A new face found victory lane every 4.22 races.
* There were:
31 different Late Model winners in 137 events;
30 Modified winners in 141 events;
24 Stock Car winners in 142 events;
45 Hobby Stock winners in 141 events;
24 SportMod/B Mod winners in 84 events.

* Division leaders include:
Late Model
1. Curt Martin (37 wins from 2000-2009)
2. Darren Ackerman (14)
3. Greg Kastli (11)
4. Darin Duffy (9)
5. Dale Stolte (6)
T6. Greg Hunter (5)
T6. Tyler Bruening (5)
T6. Terry Neal (5)
T9. Darin Burco (4)
T9. Jeff Aikey (4)

1. Vern Jackson (26 wins from 2000-2009)
2. Troy Cordes (23)
3. Darin Duffy (16)
4. Jerry Luloff (14)
5. Joey Schaefer (8)
T6. J.D. Auringer (6)
T6. Scott Hogan (6)
8. Max Corporon (5)
T9. Don Erger (4)
T9. Jason Snyder (4)

Stock Car
1. Dan Trimble (32 wins from 2000-2009)
2. Brian Irvine (28)
3. Jarod Weepie (17)
4. Justin Temeyer (16)
5. Tom Schmitt (13)
6. Norman Chesmore (6)
T7. Damon Murty (4)
T7. Sean Johnson (4)
T7. Tony Schimmels (4)
10. Brad Holtkamp (3)

Hobby Stock
1. Brian Irvine (16 wins from 2000-2009)
2. Chris Luloff (15)
3. Josh Irvine (13)
4. Patrick Stansbery (9)
5. Vince Buchholz (6)
T6. Chris Schares (5)
T6. Jeff Roete (5)
T8. J.R. Kahler (4)
T8. Jason Goedken (4)
T8. Paul Shepherd (4)
T8. Rod Grother (4)
T8. Scooter Dulin (4)
T8. Justin Lichty (4)
T8. Quinton Miller (4)

SportMod/B Mod
1. Joe Docekal (18 wins from 2004-2009)
2. Brian Kunkle (8)
3. Danny Dvorak (7)
4. Josh Sherbon (6)
T5. Johnathan Thimmesch (5)
T5. Kurt Roose (5)
T5. Tony Olson (5)
T8. Brett Ladehoff (3)
T8. Brett Root (3)
T8. Dan Feltus (3)
T8. Chris Luloff (3)

* The longest currently active feature qualifying streaks for weekly competition in each division include:
Late Model: Darren Ackerman has qualified for 45 consecutive features. His last miss was June 3, 2006. Others include Travis Smock (37), Jared Fuller (14), Scott Welsh (14), Randy Wheeler (13);
Modified: Jerry Luloff has qualified for 183 consecutive features (July 5, 1997), Johnathan Thimmesch (27), Troy Cordes (24), Darin Duffy (16), Max Corporon (14);
Stock Car: Jarod Weepie has has qualified for 122 consecutive features (June 9, 2001), Norman Chesmore (59), Brian Irvine (48), Jason Hocken (32), Dan Trimble (23);
Hobby Stock: Josh Irvine has qualified for 48 consecutive features (May 27, 2006), Jeremiah Wilson (37), Matt Brown (31), Joe Sprague (21), Wes Stanek (21);
SportMod/B Mod: Jim Buhlman has qualified for 45 consecutive features (July 8, 2006), Danny Dvorak (23), Kaleb Bentley (23), Kyle Bentley (20), Joel Rust (14), Lucas Lundry (14).

Points champions from the last 20 years (1990-2009)
2009 - Darren Ackerman
2008 - Dale Hackwell Jr.
2007 - Darren Ackerman
2006 - Curt Martin
2005 - Curt Martin
2004 - Curt Martin and Darren Ackerman (co-champions)
2003 - Greg Kastli
2002 - Greg Kastli
2001 - Greg Kastli
2000 - Darin Burco
1999 - Curt Martin
1998 - Kevin Pittman
1997 - Curt Martin
1996 - Rick Wendling
1995 - Rick Wendling
1994 - Greg Kastli
1993 - Gary Crawford
1992 - Greg Kastli
1991 - Curt Martin
1990 - Curt Martin

2009 - Darin Duffy
2008 - Troy Cordes
2007 - J.D. Auringer
2006 - Jerry Luloff
2005 - Jerry Luloff
2004 - Vern Jackson
2003 - Scott Hogan
2002 - Troy Cordes
2001 - Darin Duffy and Jerry Luloff (co-champions)
2000 - Jerry Luloff
1999 - Jerry Luloff
1998 - Scott Hogan
1997 - Scott Hogan
1996 - Steve Droste
1995 - Steve Droste
1994 - Steve Droste
1993 - Owen Grube
1992 - Tom Bartholomew
1991 - Tom Bartholomew
1990 - Tom Bartholomew

(Stock Cars began competing at Independence in 1993)
2009 - Brian Irvine
2008 - Jarod Weepie
2007 - Jarod Weepie
2006 - Dan Trimble
2005 - Jarod Weepie
2004 - Dan Trimble
2003 - Dan Trimble
2002 - Dan Trimble
2001 - Dan Trimble
2000 - Dan Trimble
1999 - Dan Trimble
1998 - Dan Trimble
1997 - Jerry Schipper
1996 - Jerry Schipper
1995 - Larry Portis
1994 - Dan Trimble
1993 - Lon Gadow

2009 - Josh Irvine
2008 - Chris Luloff
2007 - Josh Irvine
2006 - Paul Shepherd
2005 - Patrick Stansbery
2004 - Brian Irvine
2003 - Vince Buchholz
2002 - Patrick Stansbery
2001 - Scooter Dulin
2000 - Jeff Roete
1999 - Doug Otto
1998 - Nick Wroten
1997 - Adam Johnson
1996 - Todd Temeyer
1995 - Chris Wessner
1994 - Kevin Hoehne
1993 - Bret Dage
1992 - Forrest Frost
1991 - Jerry Luloff
1990 - Lon Gadow

(There has not been a repeat champion in the six seasons of competition)
2009 - Kyle Bentley
2008 - Danny Dvorak
2007 - Tony Olson
2006 - Brian Kunkle
2005 - Kip Siems
2004 - Joe Docekal

* Prior to August of this season, the last time there were no rain outs during a month with five Saturdays when track points were awarded was July of 2006.
* There were 70 features this season. Of the winners, 42 started on the outside and 28 started from the inside.
* Brian Irvine won nine features this season and Josh Irvine and Darin Duffy each won seven features. Only twice, however, did all three win on the same night - June 27 and August 29. Five times both Duffy and Brian Irvine won on the same night and four times both Duffy and Josh Irvine won on the same night. Five times both Irvines won on the same night. May 30, June 6 and August 22 are the only nights an Irvine was not in victory lane. At least one of them won during 11 of 14 nights of racing.
* Darin Duffy (all 7 wins) and Troy Cordes (once) are the only Modified drivers to have won from deeper than a third row starting spot.
* Eight drivers won features leading flag-to-flag in races when the time limit did not take effect.
* The top three finishers in the Late Model season championship race were as follows: 1. Darren Ackerman, 2. Travis Smock, 3. Curt Martin. It was the third time each of those drivers finished in each of those positions. They also finished in the same order in the final standings. Coincidentally, Ackerman's third win of the season propelled him to his third track championship.
* Dan Trimble (Stock Car) led all drivers with four second place feature finishes.
* Jerry Luloff (Modifieds) led only one feature lap this season - it was the final lap of the August 15 feature when he scored his feature win.
* Three times this season a driver took the lead of a feature, lost the lead, then regained it on his way to victory: Brian Irvine (Stock Cars) lost the lead to Kevin Rose, then passed Rose back for the win on May 23. Phil Holtz (Stock Cars) lost the lead to Norman Chesmore, then passed Chesmore back for the lead for the win on August 22. Mark Butler (Hobby Stocks) lost the lead to Justin Hanson, then passed Hanson back for the lead to win on August 22.
* In 54 of the 70 features, at least one lap was led by a car with a letter in its number. Only 16 feature races went letter-free in the lead.