Friday, July 30, 2010

Simpson sails to Corn Belt cash at CJ Speedway

Chad Simpson notched his eighth win of the year in the Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series when the tour made a stop at CJ Speedway on Thursday night. Simpson, who drew the number "2" pill, started outside of the front row and coasted to the win during the Louisa County Fair.

Simpson quickly pulled away when the green flag flew, but the field remained tight during two stoppages during the first four laps. With Simpson out front, Jason Rauen was working the high side and into second place just prior to the second yellow. Brian Harris, who started ninth, picked up ground early and settled into the top five prior to the lap four yellow.

On the ensuing restart, Simpson shot back out front and built up a substantial lead while Harris powered through the field and into second place by the sixth of 30 laps. Over half of a straightaway behind the leader, Harris went to work at chopping into Simpson's big lead.

Harris closed the gap and dialed in on Simpson's rear bumper a dozen laps into the event, however he made contact with the front stretch wall as the leaders completed the 14th lap, forcing Harris to slow in turn two and bringing out the yellow. Harris retired to the pit area with damage on his #21H.

On the restart, Rauen, who was now in second, spun as the leaders took the green flag, forcing him to the rear for the next restart. When racing resumed, Simpson paced the field once more as Justin Kay, who was now in second, extended his advantage over third-running Jason Utter and attempted to stay within striking distance of Simpson.

Although Kay stayed within a few car-lengths over the final half of the event, Simpson took the checkers first for his eighth series win of the year. Kay, who seemed as excited as Simpson during post-race ceremonies, came home second ahead of hometown boy Jason Utter.

Corn Belt Clash Late Models
1. 25 Chad Simpson
2. 15K Justin Kay
3. 31 Jason Utter
4. 32 Chris Simpson
5. 58 Dave Eckrich
6. 77 Kurt Kile
7. 88 Kevin Kile
8. 3 Kevin Sather
9. 50 Denny Eckrich
10. 6 Jay Chenoweth
11. 5M Jake Meier
12. 33 Nick Marolf
13. 98 Jason Rauen
14. 21H Brian Harris
15. 56 Andy Eckrich
16. 1 Mick Wiele
17. 28X Justin Mitchell
18. 74 Ron Boyse

A trio of weekly divisions were also on-hand for the fair special. Mod Lites, Stock Cars and 4 Cylinders rounded out the racing program and extra incentives were offered to drivers in those divisions. If drivers in any of those divisions were able to pick up wins on both Thursday and Friday, during regular weekly racing, they would walk away with an extra $200.

In the 4 Cylinder feature, Bill Whalen took charge at the drop of the green and paced the first three laps before Nathan Chandler challenged for the lead. As those two tussled, 75-year-old Wayne Nobel made it a three-car battle out front as the veteran powered to the front just two laps later. He held on to score the popular win ahead of Whalen. Brad Chandler made his way past Nathan Chandler late to take third.

4 Cylinder
1. 95X Wayne Nobel
2. 00W Bill Whalen
3. 2 Brad Chandler
4. 22N Nathan Chandler
5. 40K Ricky Kay
6. 77 John Whalen
7. 65B Cory Sheetz
8. 77X Travis Yakle
9. 23J Jason Kraft
10. 22 Shaun Tipps

In the Stock Cars, Jim Redmann held the point early, however Nathan Wood powered into the lead just prior to a lap three yellow. Wood then survived a handful of cautions, and the pesky challenges of Redmann, to take the victory in the 15-lapper.

Stock Car
1. 52 Nathan Wood
2. 14R Jim Redmann
3. R34 David Hemsted
4. 57D Blaine Dopler
5. 21M Kirk Kinsley
6. 4 Darrin Ealy
7. 2S Travis Finke
8. 8 Brian Holmes
9. 5 Jeremey Tompkins
10. 34 John Hemsted

From his row three start, Paul Halett quickly made his way to the front of the Mod Lite main event to drive away to a dominant victory in that 12-lapper. After starting in the sixth row, Mike Morrill made a strong run through traffic to come home second ahead of Joel Huggins.

Mod Lite
1. 26 Paul Hallett
2. 6 Mike Morrill
3. X50 Joel Huggins
4. 95 Mike Kennedy
5. 42X Kurt Kile
6. 0B Colby Oberembt
7. 64 Randy Bryan
8. 8M Dusty Masolini
9. 00B Michael Dominguez
10. 91 Robert Guss

Thanks to Don and Sharon Wood and Brian and Amanda Tipps for being such great hosts and for bringing Late Models back to CJ for a one-time visit this season. The four of them work their tails off to put on a show each and every week yet still manage to be some of the nicest people in racing! Thanks also to track announcer Gene Arnold for giving me some time behind the mic to call the Late Model action.

After a night off tonight, it's back to Independence tomorrow night as we work toward the final month of the season there. If you're a friend of Independence Motor Speedway on facebook, after three months of heat and last chance qualifying, today started the first of four feature events in the Fantasy Race Night of Champions. There are some loaded feature events coming up over the next few weeks so be sure to add us on facebook and play along throughout the month of August! See you at the races!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Aikey tops Corn Belt Clash Series at Fayette County Speedway

Jeff Aikey made his way around the outside of Jason Utter just shy of the 10-lap mark and pulled away to lead the remainder of the 35-lap Late Model feature to take his first win of the season in the Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series at Fayette County Speedway.

Pole-sitter Utter took charge at the drop of the green while Aikey, who started right behind him, battled other front row starter Kurt Kile for second. Running the low groove, Aikey broke free of Kile and powered into second a handful of laps into the event.

Moving up to the high side, Aikey quickly ran down the leader and pulled alongside Utter's #31 exiting turn four a few laps later. Aikey then pulled ahead at the start finish line and into the lead, a spot he would not relenquish.

Aikey remained committed to the high side while Utter worked low. Although Aikey held the point, Utter furiously challenged the leader multiple times, pulling even with him down the straightaways. Lapped cars slightly impeded Aikey's progress around the midway point of the event, allowing Utter to stay close as he chased the leader through the backmarkers.

Once Aikey cleared himself from traffic, he dropped to the low side and pulled away from Utter as a terrific multi-car battle for position ensued behind them. Kile, Adam Hensel, Keith Foss, Denny Eckrich and Jason Rauen jockeyed behind Utter as Utter moved to the top groove.

Utter slipped back into that fray as Hensel worked low and Rauen worked high. Hensel battled Foss while Rauen dialed in his #98 on the high side. He swept past his foes and into third, then motored around the outside of Utter late in the race.

Over a straightaway ahead of the field, Aikey drove to the impressive win with Rauen following. Utter held on for third with Hensel and Eckrich completing the top five.

CBC Notes: It was not a good night for a trio of drivers who entered the night in the top five in points. Points leader Chad Simpson pulled to the infield only a couple of laps into his heat race after suffering engine problems. He was unable to start the feature... Chris Simpson, who entered the night second in points, suffered a flat tire on the first lap of the feature to bring out the only yellow flag in the event. He returned prior to the race resuming, however pulled off again in the middle of the event to finish 15th... Dave Eckrich, fourth in points entering the night, also suffered breakage and was also unable to take the green flag in the feature despite winning his heat race.

Corn Belt Clash Late Models
1. 77 Jeff Aikey
2. 98 Jason Rauen
3. 31 Jason Utter
4. 44 Adam Hensel
5. 95 Keith Foss
6. 50 Denny Eckrich
7. 60 Dean Wagner
8. 88 Kevin Kile
9. 29R Becky Roth
10. 3 Kevin Sather
11. 61 Scott Riechers
12. 88X Roger Torgerson
13. 12 Ron Klein
14. 75 Clint Wendel
15. 32 Chris Simpson
16. 15K Justin Kay
17. 77 Kurt Kile
18. 8 Randy Wheeler
19. 45 Curt Martin
20. 25 Chad Simpson
21. 58 Dave Eckrich

Series Points (through July 27)
1. 25 Chad Simpson, 476 points
2. 98X Jason Rauen, 418
3. 32 Chris Simpson, 402
4. 31 Jason Utter, 386
5. 58 Dave Eckrich, 358
6. 3 Kevin Sather, 324
7. 20 Jake Meier, 322
8. 44 Adam Hensel, 288
9. 15K Justin Kay, 278
10. 50 Denny Eckrich, 246

At season's end, drivers will discard their two lowest point events in the 15-race schedule. The points listed above include each driver's best eight finishes through 10 events.

Also on-hand to kick off opening night of the 2010 Fayette County Fair were Modifieds, Stock Cars, B Mods and Hobby Stocks, all of which were running for weekly track points.

Junior Boyer led from start to finish in the 18-lap B Mod main event. From his outside front row starting spot, Boyer rocketed into the lead at the drop of the green flag and quickly pulled away from the field.

Behind Boyer, Ben Moudry and Brandon Hare entered an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle for the runner-up spot while Matt Jones was working through traffic after starting deep in the field in row seven. Jones made his way into the top four just as Boyer entered lapped traffic when the caution flag waved on lap 11.

When racing resumed, Jones entered the mix for second with Moudry and Hare as Boyer again powered into a big lead. Jones made his way past both Moudry and Hare to take second, but could not reel in the leader as Boyer took the checkers. Hare ran third and Greg Mitchell, who also started in the seventh row, made a nice run to come home fourth. Troy Hovey, who started last in the 20-car field, wowed the crowd to come home fifth.

B Mod
1. 42 Junior Boyer
2. 23 Matt Jones
3. 56H Brandon Hare
4. 20 Greg Mitchell
5. 76X Troy Hovey
6. 85 Ben Moudry
7. 76J Joshua Wedo
8. 88X Jimmy Broszeit
9. 16 Eric Verthein
10. 14M Brian Mahlstedt
11. 196 Ray Lundry
12. 10T Trevor Fecht
13. 25 Alan Wessels
14. 12B Paul Brandenburg
15. 17C Chad Halverson
16. 23B Brett Bumgardner
17. 96 Lucas Lundry
18. 21 Ron Kruger
19. 23A Jeramia Boynton
20. 92C Craig Cordes

A number of cautions slowed the Hobby Stock feature, but Dillon Anderson left little doubt he was the man to beat during the event, which timed out with only a couple of laps remaining.

Justin Bigler held the early lead as he took charge at the drop of the green from his outside front row start. Running the top side, Bigler got caught running a little too high which allowed Anderson to sneak past for the lead midway through the event.

Kyle Anderson and Dan Hovden also made charges to the front, but were unable to reel in the leader as Dillon Anderson scored the win in his first visit to the speedway this season. Steve Larson, who started inside of row seven, proved patience was a virtue as he dodged the cautions and snuck through traffic to come home second. Kyle Anderson held on for third ahead of John Roete and Denny Sacquinte. Hovden ran 14th in the finishing order after being penalized when the rear bumper fell off of his machine to bring out a late caution.

Hobby Stock
1. 44 Dillon Anderson
2. 22 Steve Larson
3. 98 Kyle Anderson
4. 98R John Roete
5. 6 Danny Sacquinte
6. 70 Steve Holthaus
7. 8 Jason Kupka
8. 23 Justin Hanson
9. 64 Nick Taylor
10. 30 Steven Ritter
11. 29 Mick Zweibomer
12. 000 Ruth Fels
13. 8W Dave Wheeler
14. 16 Dan Hovden
15. 5K Keith Schwartzhoff
16. 32 Casey Colsch
17. 41 Jason Hovey
18. 18 Scott Spilde
19. 70C Chris Hovden
20. 88 Robert Anderson
21. 20 Justin Bigler
22. 32X Don Arnold

Pole-sitter Gary Rotenberger led the early stages of the Stock Car feature until a pesky push on his #20R forced him to the high side one too many times in that 18-lap event. Mitch Hovden, who started alongside him and had dropped a few positions early in the race, made his way into second just in time to take advantage of Rotenberger's tight machine midway through the event.

Hovden went on to lead the remainder of that contest to score the victory ahead of a hard-charging Dan Trimble. Trimble, who started eighth, made his way into second with only a few laps remaining and was able to nip away at Hovden's big lead. He came up a car-length short at the line to settle for second. Tory Reicks made his way around Rotenberger late to take third.

Stock Car
1. 15 Mitch Hovden
2. 20 Dan Trimble
3. 27T Tory Reicks
4. 20R Gary Rotenberger
5. 69 Jake Ludeking
6. 97 Lynn Panos
7. 5 Mike Bergan
8. 77D Kirk Fauser
9. 37 Loren Kuennen
10. 98 Jeff Roete
11. 55 Derek Dettmann
12. 00 Jeffory Fels
13. 67 Kyle Falck
14. 7 Rodney Rema
15. 09M Brett Mather
16. 17 Donald Tellin
17. 29X Paul Fauser
18. 00C Danny Cole Jr.
19. 12I Ken Irvine
20. 68 Tracy Quigley

In the evening's finale, Jerry King looked strong early in the Modified feature in his first night in a race car this season. From his pole position start, King, piloting the #91 normally driven by Shawn Ryan, shot into the lead at the drop of the green.

While King led, Kevin Pittman was working through the field from a third row start and into a challenge for second with Mike Darnall just prior to the midway point. Pittman made his way around Darnall then snuck past King a short time later to score the victory. King ran second ahead of J.D. Auringer and Darin Duffy, who both started in the middle of the pack.

1. 26P Kevin Pittman
2. 91K Jerry King
3. 00 J.D. Auringer
4. 19D Darin Duffy
5. 7M Mike Darnall
6. 27M Mark Schulte
7. 12J Justin O'Brien
8. 41P Keith Pittman
9. 24R Adam Johnson
10. 60 Kurt Krauskopf
11. 24 Tim Heins
12. 93K Jeff Kriz
13. 11B Mike Burbridge
14. 24M Jan Messer
15. 73 Rory Metcalf
16. 8W Duane Roth

A busy night to kick off the fair on a Tuesday night, Chuck and Todd Ihde and the gang did a good job of getting the show in by 10:50. Since other grandstand events fill the schedule for the remainder of fair week, there are no races scheduled for this Friday. Due to that, they wanted to make sure their weekly drivers had the chance to get a race in this week.

Next up for the Ihdes is this Thursday night when the JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour for IMCA Modifieds invades their other venue, Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah. Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks are also on the card for the July 29 show, with hot laps scheduled for 6:45 p.m. and racing to follow.

After a night off tomorrow, I'll be back in Corn Belt Clash mode on Thursday when the tour makes a stop at CJ Speedway in Columbus Junction during the Louisa County Fair. July 29 is the only appearance for the Late Models on the 4/10-mile oval this season, so take the opportunity to see some of the best Late Model drivers in the region. See you there!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Docekal does it in the dark, scores Vinton fair win

With the Jones County Fair events in Monticello canceled on Sunday, I made a trip to Vinton for the annual "Watch Where You Walk Weekend" at Benton County Speedway as the annual Benton County Fair was in the final day of its 2010 edition.

Just one week ago, Joe Docekal earned his first career IMCA Modified victory. His attempt to go back-to-back on this night provided a catch as it was discovered the track lights were not working when the evening's finale, the 20-lap IMCA Modified headliner, rolled onto the speedway shortly before 8:30.

Despite that hurdle, Docekal overcame the odds and rolled into victory lane for the second consecutive Sunday on the 1/4-mile oval.

From his outside third row start, Docekal rocketed into the lead after just one lap. A trio of cautions slowed the event as the field attempted to get a second lap in the books. Thursday night fair race winner Jerry Luloff also made a quick move to the front from his fourth row start. He split through the field and into second by the time that second lap was completed.

Docekal built an advantage of over half of a straightaway while J.D. Auringer and Scott Hogan were maneuvering through the field from mid-pack starts. Auringer worked past Buck Swanson for third just prior to a lap seven caution while Hogan sat fifth.

On the restart, Docekal again pulled away leaving Luloff to do battle with Auringer. Running the low side, Auringer pulled even with Luloff and took a slight edge at the line the next time around. As those two battled, Hogan made his way under Swanson for fourth.

Just as leader Docekal was starting to show signs of smoke under the hood of his #12D, Luloff and Auringer made contact exiting turn two on the 10th lap. As those two got together on the low side of the speedway, Hogan breezed past them on the high side of the back stretch into second. One final caution waved after the 12th circuit as dusk was rapidly attempting to turn into nightfall.

On the restart, Smoky Joe continued to lead although he was heavily pressured by Hogan. Those two pulled away from the field and Docekal was able to hold off Hogan to score the win. Auringer ran third ahead of Patrick Flannagan and Luloff.

In victory lane, when asked about the smoke, all Docekal could say was, "We had oil pressure and it wasn't hot, so what the hell?" What more could you say?

Kyle Parizek led wire-to-wire to take the victory in the 15-lap IMCA Hobby Stock main event. From his outside row two start, Parizek quickly made his way into the lead with Justin Stander and Al Sweerin in tow. A number of cautions littered over the next handful of laps did not deter Parizek as he built up a lead of over half of a straightaway by the event's midway point.

Rod Grother, who had been running the low line from his fourth row start, and Vince Buchholz, who came from the fifth row, engaged in an exciting battle for the runner-up spot until Grother broke free with only five laps to go. Grother then briefly challenged for the lead until he slowed on the back straightaway, taking him out of contention.

Parizek led the remainder of the event unchallenged to score the victory ahead of Buchholz. Points leader Scott Pippert, who was 20th on the starting grid, made a great showing by coming home third. Brad Forbes and Michael Peterson completed the top five. In her first appearance of the season, Malena Betzer drove to an impressive sixth place finish.

Steve Miedke led at the drop of the green in the 12-lap IMCA Sport Compact feature. Miedke paced the field, but was pestered by Brett Vanous throughout the early stages of the event. Vanous worked beneath Miedke for the lead just prior to a lap seven caution, however his stay out front was short-lived as he stopped on the high side of turn two one lap later to bring out another yellow flag.

Gary Peiffer inherited the point and led the final six circuits to score the victory ahead of Bryce Bailey. Dallas Chandler, Miedke and Merv Chandler rounded out the top five.

Outside front row starter Kevin Rose led early in the IMCA Stock Car main event while Justin Temeyer was making his way through the field. From his fourth row starting spot, Temeyer worked the low groove into the top five after one lap and into the runner-up spot the next time around. On lap three, Temeyer worked under Rose and into the lead while Damon Murty was working the high groove.

As Temeyer led, Murty made his way into second place a few laps later, but was sitting many car-lengths out of the lead. Temeyer maintained his advantage out front to take the checkers first in the caution-free event. Murty ran second ahead of Norman Chesmore and Rose. Scooter Dulin made a late-race pass on Jason Deshaw to take fifth.

A number of cautions in the IMCA SportMod feature didn't slow Jake Strayer. Strayer led at the drop of the green and continued to pull away from the pack following a number of restarts. Austin Kaplan, Danny Dvorak and Drew Fish engaged in a thrilling three-car battle for the runner-up spot midway through the event with Kaplan breaking free late. Strayer, however, could not be touched as he drove away to the win. Kaplan ran second at the line ahead of Fish, Jared VanDeest and Jim Buhlman.

Great job to the BCS crew for getting the show in with (just) enough daylight to spare for the Modifieds... Richie Gustin was on-hand tonight breaking in his new Harris chassis. While he went from the back to the front in what seemed like a split second in his heat, Gustin pulled off early in the Modified feature while running in the middle of the pack... Dvorak, who challenged throughout the SportMod feature, spun late in the event taking him out of contention... Ronn Lauritzen, who was forced to restart at the rear of the Modified feature when he pulled to the infield for assistance with his window net during an early caution, made a nice run through the field to finish sixth.

Next on my schedule is the Corn Belt Clash at Fayette County Speedway in West Union on Tuesday. Along with series Late Models, the weekly divisions will be competing for points as this year's Fayette County Fair gets underway. Race time is set for 7 p.m. See you there!

Weather woes force racing to take a back seat

As I was traveling south to Bloomfield on Friday afternoon, the busy week ahead was running through my mind. I was attempting to determine how I was going to manage five or six races and a demo derby in the next seven days without being forced to take too much time off work. I've never been a big fan of using my vacation time to go racing; I always thought vacation time was meant for, well, vacation.

After what happened Saturday, I'd have much rather used those vacation hours for racing than to see what folks in northeast Iowa were forced to deal with as band after band of heavy rains pelted the area.

10:15 p.m. Friday - As I was traveling from Bloomfield Friday night after the race season wrapped up there, I received a call from Independence promoter Cam Granger who was less than enthused about Saturday. The thought of being forced to cancel the races wasn't a concern as much as why he would probably have to cancel. Another heavy shower was going through Independence, in an area that was already expecting near record flooding. As he stood on the deck of his West Union home watching the weather to the south, a lightning display was in full force. "I think they're getting hit again," he said of already saturated areas to the south of West Union.

Cam was already entertaining the idea of calling Saturday's program - not due to too wet of a track (yet) - but out of respect to the families that were going to be enduring an excruciatingly painful and wet weekend. I could almost sense guilt in his voice at the thought of even trying to race knowing what the people of Independence and surrounding communities were going to be forced to go through in the coming day or two. Classy move on Cam's behalf. He had also already received calls from drivers in eastern Iowa who had reported 8.5 inches of rain in Dubuqe and 8 inches in Delhi. "I'll call you in the morning," he said, "but I can't see us racing."

9:30 a.m. Saturday - Another call from Cam in the morning confirmed the cancellation of Saturday's show. Another 2.5 inches of rain fell in Independence overnight, not only guaranteeing there would be no racing on this night, but adding insult to injury for those who live in the area. On top of that, roads leading into and out of Independence had already been closed (along with many streets in town) and the Wapsipinicon River had yet to peak.

Lake Indee - This is what greeted promoter Cam Granger when he arrived at Independence Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. While the track was saturated, the infield was even wetter. (photo courtesy of Cam Granger)

Since I stayed in the Burlington area Friday night following Bloomfield, I sent out a quick text to 34 Raceway Facilities Director Jason Goble who said the races were still on, however he didn't know if that would hold true as the day progressed.

10:00 a.m. - Playing the waiting game, I decided to log on to a few message boards and see what others were saying about area tracks. Knowing rain was in the area, if 34 was able to race, it may draw a good crowd and car count. I saw that Jackson County Speedway canceled early, as did Aledo, leaving West Liberty Raceway as the only other area track running in my estimate. While perusing the words of wisdom online, I noticed a thread about the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello. Reading through the posts, not only were Saturday's racing events canceled, but it said that "according to so and so" the whole weekend of racing was canceled there. Since I was scheduled to be in Monticello to call the mid-day races and demolition derby on Sunday, I figured I better get some confirmation of this "news" and called Jim Roper, the longtime member of Jerry and Donna Blue's Greater Iowa Racing - the crew that puts on the Monticello fair motorsports events every year.

Jim confirmed that Saturday's event was rained out and, in fact, he wasn't even in Monticello anymore - he was back home in Independence. Apparently, the water had risen so fast in Monticello that everyone in low lying areas of the fairgrounds was being evacuated. It was so bad that water was literally running through the livestock buildings on the fairgrounds so that part of the fair was nixed, as well. He added that the Sunday portion of the show had not yet been canceled, saying that a decision would be made at 6 a.m. Sunday. Another reason to take a grain (or bottle) of salt with anything you read on a message board.

In the meantime, I received a couple calls from area drivers in Independence who wanted to go racing. I told them I knew 34 was planning on racing, but wasn't sure of anywhere else where their cars competed. It looked like Burlington's car count would be pretty decent if there were a few who were willing to make last minute two and three-hour drives south...

1:00 p.m. - I made a quick drive over to 34 early in the afternoon to see what the chances were of racing. While the track looked good, the overcast skies and very humid conditions weren't allowing for much drying in the pits, although the track crew was out working the pits to give them a little air. Shortly into my visit, the sprinkles started again. Off I went to get the latest on-line....

2:00 p.m. - Shortly before 2 p.m., I received a text alert from our local news station in Waterloo, KWWL - the Delhi Dam has been compromised and everyone south of it was asked to evacuate. Early numbers indicated that the Dam breach affected 12,000 people. Not only was the city of Hopkinton directly south of there, but the city of Monticello was just a few miles down the road, as well.

I then checked the station's web site to see photos and reports of the flooding. Independence alone received 14 inches of rain in a 36 hour period. The previous river level racord was just over 23 feet in Independence, that coming in 1999. The river wasn't expected to crest on Saturday until late in the evening... at 24 feet or higher. I then went back to the message boards for the latest - nothing new... for now.

4:45 p.m. - I made my way to the track in Burlington after receiving a text saying the races were on, although the opening of the gates was delayed to 5:30 with racing planned for around 7:30. When I got there, a number of cars were already in line and a few spectators had also made their way to the track. The skies looked less than friendly so the delay to 5:30 was delayed even more as it was unsure if Mother Nature had anything else in store for the night. A sprinkle here or there, then nothing. A light shower, then nothing. By this time, cars had lined the pit entrance out onto the road outside the track. Additional haulers were scattered throughout the parking lot, as well as street cars, littered in random formation. It was quite the scene as nobody really knew what to expect.

As the waiting game continued, the pits eventually opened a few minutes before 7 p.m. Some made their way to their stalls while others feared getting stuck and waited out the weather in the parking lot and street. During this time, I did have the chance to speak with a few people hanging out in the parking lot. A number of people asked why I was so far south when they knew we raced on Saturdays. Showing them the above photo on my phone, all they could do was shake their heads. They knew it was a long season already and that it had affected nearly every track in the region.

I also managed to talk to a gentleman who came down from Monticello. He, too, said the weekend grandstand events were canceled, but took it a step farther. "The entire fair is shut down for the rest of the weekend." Upon hearing this, I made a call back to Jim in Independence to ask how things were going in town there. While he didn't want to be in the way by driving around town to survey the flooding, Jim did say it wasn't good as he listed a number of roads in Independence that had been closed. He also said the program for Sunday in Monticello was still tentatively scheduled for Sunday and that 6 a.m. was still the time the official call would be made, if necessary. He added that it was highly unlikely that we'd race as the front stretch of the track in Monticello was reportedly submerged by three feet, yes, three FEET of water.

Constant checks of the radar in Burlington showed a massive red blob (the technical term for heavy rain) positioned directly over the track for around two hours.... yet nothing really came of it. As the hours wore on, the red blob moved out of the area, leaving only a small patch of dark green (heavy showers, but not as intense as red blob showers), followed by light green (pesky nuisance showers that irritate you more than do anything to affect your plans). We were in the clear, right?

7:45 p.m. - As always seems to be the case, just after a majority of the cars made their way to the pits, the rains started coming a little harder in Burlington. I understand that nearly 75 haulers made the trip to the pits, with another 25 or so waiting things out in the parking lot and access road, when the heavier showers arrived. The show was then canceled. Note to self: Radar is just as reliable as racing message boards. If you want to know the truth, get your tail outside and go to where you want to go. Don't rely on the words (or digital weather photos) of others.

While many felt they were fighting a losing battle, my hat's off to the folks at 34 for trying to salvage the show and beat Mother Nature. While it seemed a possibility, she finally had her way in the end, as she often does.

10:00 p.m. - After all of the cars were safely out of the pits and Jason locked up the facility, we called it a night. I was going to make it an early night as things were still up in the air for Monticello the next day. Although it didn't look good, the way things have gone this spring and summer, anything was possible.

6:15 a.m. Sunday - The alarm went off at 6 a.m. as I was intending to get ready for my two hour trip north to Monticello to help check in cars. Although I hadn't heard from Jim yet, I hit the snooze to give myself an extra 15 minutes. You know, just in case the call was coming. I mean, who really wants to get out of bed at 6 on a Sunday, anyway?

At 6:15, the call came. On the other end of the line Jim said, "We're done. The whole day is canceled."

11:10 a.m. - As I sit and write this, I'm pondering what to do with the rest of my "busy" racing week. Truck and tractor pulls are set to start out at 34 as I type this, and Vinton is racing tonight for their annual points race during the fair. After a short trip back to 34, I think I'll make the trip back north to the old stomping grounds in Vinton to see mom and dad - who were seriously affected by the flood two years ago. Whether or not they race (although the forecast looks good at this point), a little quality time with the family is always a good thing. And it's always good to not take for granted how lucky some of us are during a crisis like severe flooding.

To everyone affected by this weekend's flooding, there are many who have you in their thoughts and prayers. Here's too a much drier end to the summer of 2010. Hope to see you at the races!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kirkland, Elliott among winners in Bloomfield finale; Indee washed out Saturday

The season finale at Bloomfield Speedway was held on Friday night and, despite repeated threats from Mother Nature, the season came to a successful close. Derrick Kirkland, Dennis Elliott, Mike Fisher, Tyler McClure and Jason McDaniel etched their names in the record books as the final victors of the season.

The A Mods kicked off feature action with Mike Kaller taking the lead from his pole position start. Running the low side, Elliott quickly made his way into second place after his second row start as the leaders distanced themselves from the pack early.

Nearly a straightaway ahead of the field by the completion of the fourth lap, Elliott worked the low side past Kaller at the start-finish line one lap later to take charge. Elliott encountered lapped traffic three laps later, but navigated with ease through the backmarkers. By the time both leaders made their way through the lapped cars, Elliott maintained a straightaway lead over Kaller with only a couple of laps to go.

Elliott charged to the checkers with Kaller in second. Beau Taylor took third, a straightaway behind Kaller. Troy Alexander finished fourth.

Clayton Crump took the early lead in the 14-lap Hobby Stock feature. He quickly extended a lead that disappeared when the yellow flag waved on lap five. Kirkland powered from his fourth starting spot on the restart to sweep around his competitors and into second just one lap later.

Kirkland dropped to the low side and into a challenge for the lead, taking over the top spot one lap later. Kirkland then survived a pair of late race cautions to take the win ahead of a hard-charging Donovan Nunnikhoven, who started the event outside of row six. Tony Teninty, Crump and Nick Ulin rounded out the top five.

Fisher led wire-to-wire in the 13-car 4-cylinder feature. Fisher, Kevin Kirkpatrick and David Probasco made it a three-car breakaway out front early in that 10-lapper. As Fisher held a narrow advantage, Probasco worked the low side of Kirkpatrick in an exciting battle for second. Fisher pulled away late for the win as Probasco made the late race pass for second to finish ahead of Kirkpatrick.

Tyler McClure took the early lead in the Stock Car main. He settled into the top spot from his outside front row starting spot when the green flag waved. As McClure led, Mike Robinson was racing through traffic from his third row start and into the second after just two laps.

The leaders started to pull away from the field and engaged in an entertaining battle out front. Robinson worked the high side of McClure a handful of laps into the event and briefly took the lead before dropping back into second. Robinson then made a strong challenge on the low side before mechanical problems sidelined him on the 10th of 14 laps.

McClure proceeded to dominate the rest of the event to score the win ahead of Mike Harward and Miles McClure. Sam McClure and Greg Harsch ran fourth and fifth, respectively.

Jason McDaniel motored into the lead at the drop of the green in the B Mod feature. He made quick work of the field, pulling away to victory by more than a straightaway in that caution-free event. Mike Shelton, Scott Vanbuskirk and Jim Walker completed the top four.

It was a good night of racing at Bloomfield. While the car count was a little lower than normal at 67, fans were provided with great racing on an excellent surface. The extreme heat and threat of severe weather were both working against the program as the crowd in the stands was also a bit light... The format on the night, as it had been all year, was a draw-redraw format. Since there were no point standings, the program was run the same as all previous race nights... After six years of running the track, Ron and Jerry Potts announced in the drivers meeting that this was their last race at the helm of the speedway... Similar to many fairgrounds speedways, once the county fair has come and gone and the new school year and family vacations approach, the crowds start to dwindle at Bloomfield. That appeared to have led to the decision for the shorter season in 2010... Stock Car driver Miles McClure enjoyed a strong second place run. According to track announcer Tony Paris, McClure suffered heart damage when receiving radiation and chemotherapy for cancer, which forced him to have a heart transplant this past spring... Despite the late start due to the light shower after check-in time and the late arrivals, the show ended right at the 10 p.m. hour.

I was ready to head back north today for the races at Independence, but got word from Cam Granger this morning that the heavy rains from the past week continued overnight. Those rains caused record flooding in the area, thus forcing the cancellation of tonight's program. I'll stick around the southeast Iowa area and hope the weather holds off so I can take in the weekly show at 34 Raceway in Burlington. It's Christmas in July at the speedway tonight and, as much as I don't care for snow, it sure would be nice to have a little to cool things off a bit!

Tomorrow I'm going to head back north to the Great Jones County Fair in Monticello to announce the mid-day stock car races and the evening demolition derby. If you need something to do on your Sunday, make a day of it and join us at the fair!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Duffy does it - takes HDT win at Fayette County

When he signed in at the pit gate, Darin Duffy drew the poker chip numbered "1" out of the bag of 100. He made sure he ended the night right where he started it - by winning the JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour feature at Fayette County Speedway in West Union.

Twenty-seven IMCA Modifieds signed in to compete in the series' fifth of 10 events this season. All but one made the starting call for the 30-lap feature event on the 3/8-mile oval.

At the drop of the green, outside front row starter Nate Caruth made his way around pole-sitter Jeff Waterman to lead the first circuit. A number of caution periods slowed the early stages of the event, which allowed Duffy to work from a fourth row start and into the top three only a handful of laps into the event.

When the first long green flag run followed a lap five restart, Duffy worked the low groove of the speedway to sneak past Mike Jergens and put the move on Caruth. Around 10 laps into the event, Duffy made his way under the leader in the first set of turns to take charge.

Duffy continued to pace the field, extending his lead to over half of a straightaway before Jergens eventually made his way past Caruth a few laps later. By that time, Duffy entered lapped traffic, which allowed Jergens to stay within striking distance.

As Duffy's lead was down to just a few car-lengths over Jergens by the time the leader entered heavier backmarkers, the race's final yellow flag waved with just five laps to go. Duffy held serve over the final five circuits to score the victory ahead of Jergens and Jeff Waterman, who made a late pass on Caruth to come home third. Vern Jackson completed the top five.

Mod Notes: Not only did Duffy win the feature, he also won his heat, putting an extra $100 in his pocket for his clean sweep on the night... If my quick math is correct, Ed Thomas was the hard charger on the evening. After starting in the 25th position, Thomas gained 13 positions to come home 12th... Series points leader Josh Foster was not in attendance tonight and apparently won't be racing for a few more weeks. Word going around the pits was that he suffered a broken leg due to a non-racing related incident over this past weekend... Riley Emmel made the longest tow of all drivers in competition tonight as he came down from Saskatchewan, Canada. Emmel has also done some time at other area tracks in Iowa over the course of the summer.

Hawkeye Dirt Tour Modifieds
1. 19D Darin Duffy
2. 37X Mike Jergens
3. 71W Jeff Waterman
4. 7C Nate Caruth
5. 64 Vern Jackson
6. 8 Rich Smith
7. 19G Richie Gustin
8. 12J Justin O'Brien
9. 11B Mike Burbridge
10. 27M Mark Schulte
11. 98 Jason Snyder
12. 01 Ed Thomas
13. 10K Ronn Lauritzen
14. 60 Kurt Krauskopf
15. 12EH Riley Emmel
16. 57B Dennis Betzer
17. 11T Toby Hartman
18. 86D David McClain
19. 45 Ron Pope
20. 86 Jeff Morris
21. 12 Mark Elliott
22. 62 Greg Cox
23. 19J Jimmy Gustin
24. 91 Shawn Ryan
25. 12C Kent Croskey
26. 32 Rick Speck
DNS 12T Ty Glass

Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks were also on-hand for the event as those two divisions were racing for weekly points. As an added bonus, fans were provided with double features in both of those divisions. Last Friday's weekly program was cut short due to rain, so make-up features were run in addition to the regular features.

In the regular Tuesday night Stock Car feature, Dan Trimble, Mitch Hovden and Danny Cole Jr. engaged in a thrilling three-car battle out front for most of the 20-lap event. Cole held the point for much of the event after starting on the pole, but was heavily pressured by Hovden and Trimble as those three drivers broke away from the field.

Running the high side, Trimble worked into that battle after starting in the third row as Hovden worked the low side of the speedway. Trimble took over for good late in the race and held off Hovden at the line to score the victory. Lynn Panos made a late pass on Cole to steal third.

Stock Cars
1. 20 Dan Trimble
2. 15 Mitch Hovden
3. 97 Lynn Panos
4. 00C Danny Cole Jr.
5. 33 Kevin Donlan
6. 37 Loren Kuennen
7. 47 Mike Mauer
8. 98 Jeff Roete
9. 20R Gary Rotenberger
10. 55 Derek Dettmann
11. 00 Jeffory Fels
12. G1 Mike Padden
13. 29X Paul Fauser
14. 7 Rodney Rema
15. 67 Kyle Falck
16. 57V Mike VanGenderen
17. 15T Tim Helle

Trimble made it a clean sweep on the night by also winning the July 16 make-up feature. This time, starting inside of the third row, Trimble made much quicker work of the field as he moved to the front of the pack early. From there, he pulled away from his competitors to score the win by nearly a straightaway ahead of Panos, Donlan and Falck in the caution-free event.

Stock Cars (July 16 make-up)
1. Trimble
2. Panos
3. Donlan
4. Falck
5. Hovden
6. Rotenberger
7. Mauer
8. Cole
9. Kuennen
10. Dettmann
11. Helle
12. Padden
13. Roete
14. Rema

The Hobby Stocks provided another barn-burner in that division's regularly scheduled main event. Pole-sitter Steve Holthaus, Chris Hovden and Troy Hovey battled out front for much of that event. Working the high groove, Holthaus shot into the lead from his pole position start while Hovden worked low from a row three starting spot and Hovey worked a groove higher.

The leaders started to distance themselves from the field before a late caution bunched the field. On the restart, Hovey didn't make it up to speed when the green flag waved, allowing Hovden to skate by with little effort. Hovden remained committed to the low groove before finally making the pass on Holthaus, his step-father, to drive to the exciting win. Scott Spilde made a nice run through traffic from a fourth row start to take second ahead of Holthaus.

Hobby Stocks
1. 70C Chris Hovden
2. 18 Scott Spilde
3. 70 Steve Holthaus
4. 16 Dan Hovden
5. 76X Troy Hovey
6. 98R John Roete
7. 32 Casey Colsch
8. 8 Justin Kupka
9. 000 Ruth Fels
10. 30 Steven Ritter
11. 22 Steve Larson
12. 17 Andy Shannon
13. 98 Kyle Anderson

Spilde didn't have to run through as much traffic to make his way to the front of the make-up Hobby Stock feature. From his pole position start, Spilde checked out on the field at the drop of the green to lead that event in its entirety. He took the checkers a straightaway ahead of Larson and Holthaus.

Hobby Stocks (July 16 make-up)
1. Spilde
2. Larson
3. Holthaus
4. D. Hovden
5. Anderson
6. C. Hovden
7. Kupka
8. Roete
9. Ritter
10. Fels
11. Colsch
12. Shannon

As always, the Fayette County Fairgrounds was a great place for racing. Despite the slow start to the Modified feature, those in attendance were treated to a fantastic show from start to finish. It was nice to see promoters Chuck and Todd Ihde offer the make-up features to those in attendance tonight and still have everyone on the way home by 10:30. I admit, I did question the move at first given the lengthy intermission that followed heat race qualifying, but it turned out to be a good choice as the two make-up features were completed in just under 20 minutes.

The next date for the HDT is next Thursday, July 29, at Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah. While that race was originally scheduled for July 28, it has been pushed back to July 29. If you're planning on going, point the car north next Thursday night. If you get there Wednesday, it'll be a long, lonely wait before the first green flag waves.

Up next for Fayette County Speedway is the second appearance this season of the Dart Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series. The Late Models roll into town next Tuesday, July 27, to kick off the Fayette County Fair. Lance Matthees earned a thrilling win there last month in a great battle with Adam Hensel. I understand regular weekly divisions will also be competing for points that night. Check out for details.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Luloff scores Dick Frye Memorial win at Independence

One day shy of his 45th birthday, IMCA Modified driver Jerry Luloff gave himself an early birthday present by winning the feature during the Dick Frye Memorial at Independence Motor Speedway. The win marked his 21st in Independence history and moved him to within a single victory of being tied for third with Tom Bartholomew on the all-time wins list at the speedway.

While it was Luloff standing in victory lane at night's end, it was Darin Duffy and Joe Docekal who put on a show for the fans throughout much of the 20-lapper.

At the start of the event, Docekal powered into the lead from his outside front row start. He paced the field while Duffy worked through traffic from a fourth row start. He made his way into fifth by the time the race's first yellow flag waved and into third just prior to the second caution one lap later.

On the lap four restart, Duffy, who realigned outside of the second row,quickly pressured Docekal out front while Luloff was battling Vern Jackson for fourth. Just shy of the midway point, Duffy and Docekal entered an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle out front as the two exchanged the top spot over numerous laps.

With Duffy out front, Luloff made his way into the top three with only three laps to go. Two laps later, just after the white flag was displayed, Duffy suffered a flat tire in turn two, setting up a thrilling three-car race to the checkers between Duffy, Docekal and Luloff.

Running the low side, Luloff swept beneath his foes and onto the thrilling victory. Duffy held on for second ahead of Docekal and Jackson. Patrick Flannagan completed the top five.

The first win of the season for Luloff, 2010 marks the 14th different season at Independence during which he has won at least one Modified feature. He is ahead of Jackson by two in that category. It also means Luloff has won at least one feature in half of the 28 seasons the division has competed at Independence.

Jerry Luloff (18) drove to his first IMCA Modified win of the season. The win, one day shy of his 45th birthday, was the 21st of Luloff's Modified career at Independence. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Russel Damme Jr. added his name to the record books as he earned his first career victory in the IMCA Hobby Stock division. Pole-sitter Don Arnold held the early advantage in that 15-lapper while Damme and Jim Ball pressured. Ball ran the high side around the leaders to the front at the midway point of the event, but bobbled which allowed Arnold and Damme to steal back their positions just prior to a caution with five laps to go.

On the restart, Arnold failed to get up to speed when the green flag waved, which allowed Damme to sneak past for the lead. Damme held off a hard-charging Wes Stanek Jr. to score the milestone win. Stanek and Ball chased Damme to the checkers. Josh Irvine and Chris Wiltse completed the top five. Damme became the 83rd different Hobby Stock winner in the division's 22-year history at the speedway.

Russel Damme Jr. (4JR) scored the first IMCA Hobby Stock win of his career. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Rick Suckow led the early stages of the 20-lap IMCA Stock Car feature. As Suckow led, Dave Stricker worked his way into second by the third lap after starting outside of the third row. He assumed the lead one lap later, but bobbled a short time later to allow Suckow to regain the lead just prior to a lap six caution.

When racing resumed, Stricker took just two laps to work back around Suckow to assume the lead once more. He then held off the challenges of Norman Chesmore and Jarod Weepie to drive to victory, his second of the season. Chesmore ran second and Weepie, who finished third, took over the points lead. Dan Trimble and Thomas Thompson completed the top five.

Dave Stricker (89B) picked up his second IMCA Stock Car win of the season. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Despite being involved in a first lap yellow that required him to restart from the tail, IMCA Late Model points leader Tyler Bruening piloted to the win in the 25-lap feature.

Rick Wendling held the early lead and attempted to pull away from the field, however Jeremiah Hurst kept him within his sights throughout much of the event. Meanwhile, Bruening was running the low groove through traffic and into the top five by lap nine.

Bruening then methodically worked his way past his competitors. He first made his way below Dale Hackwell Jr. for fourth on lap 15, then around Darren Ackerman for third two laps later and Hurst for second on lap 19. With the white flag in the air, Bruening ducked under Wendling for the lead and powered to the front en route to the victory, his first of the season. Wendling, Hurst, Ackerman and Hackwell rounded out the top five.

IMCA Late Model points leader Tyler Bruening added to his lead by scoring the feature win, his first of 2010. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Josh Sherbon scored his third win of the season in the IMCA SportMod division. A number of cautions slowed the event early which put the event in peril of the time limit with only one lap in the books.

At that time, Curt Hilmer was leading the way while Sherbon was running the high groove to perfection after starting in the fifth row. Sherbon motored into second after just four laps and proceeded to chase down the leader. Sherbon made his bid for the lead on lap nine, just prior to the final caution of the event at which point the race timed out. Hilmer finished a close second ahead of Chris Luloff, Ray Lundry and Joel Rust.

Josh Sherbon earned his third IMCA SportMod win of the season and the seventh of his career at Independence. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Race Night Numbers: Jerry Luloff qualified for his 192nd consecutive Modified feature, his last miss coming on July 5, 1997. He has won at least one Modified feature each of the last four seasons and has at least one win in 14 of the last 15 years... Tyler Bruening moved into a tie for 23rd on the all-time wins list for the Late Models at Independence. His victory made it six straight different winners in the Late Model division this year. It was also Bruening's second win in the last three Dick Frye Memorial events... Four Hobby Stock drivers ended the night separated by a mere five points at the top of that division's standings. After nine nights of racing, Vince Buchholz and Rod Grother are tied for the lead while Justin Hanson sits just three points back and Jamie Whitaker is five out of the lead... Three-time Stock Car track champions Jarod Weepie took over that division's points lead for the first time in 2010. He will enter next week with a slim four point lead over Sean Johnson and a seven point edge over Norman Chesmore... Josh Sherbon became the fourth straight different winner in SportMod competition. His win, the seventh in his career at the speedway in the division, tied Sherbon with Danny Dvorak at the top of the all-time wins list for the division at Indee.

My next report will come following the Hawkeye Dirt Tour's visit to Fayette County Speedway in West Union on Tuesday night. Series announcer Blake Anderson will be out of state so I'll be filling in for him behind the mic. While I do have a few years on you and am not quite as enthusiastic, I'll do my best to keep 'em on their feet, Blake!

The county fair season is in full swing so there will be many more specials in the coming weeks. Be sure to check the race schedule at for a fair special near you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rauen rolls to Corn Belt Clash win at Independence

Jason Rauen passed leader Dave Eckrich on the 10th of 35 circuits and drove away from the field to take the Corn Belt Clash Late Model Series win at Independence Motor Speedway on Wednesday.

At the drop of the green, pole-sitter Dave Eckrich pulled away from fellow front row starter Terry Neal to take command. Eckrich distanced himself by a few car-lengths over his competitors as Curt Martin and Kurt Kile also gave chase.

Rauen, who started inside the fourth row, quickly made his way through traffic and into the top five on lap three, then swept past Kile, Martin and Neal in just one trip around the 3/8-mile oval to take second place on the following circuit. Rauen spent little time running down the leader, pulling alongside Eckrich on lap nine, just after the leaders encountered lapped traffic. Rauen motored past Eckrich and into the lead on the following lap. Rauen quickly pulled away from the field and survived a late race caution to take the victory.

Jason Utter, who started ninth, made a strong run through traffic and into the third spot on lap 11. He made his way past Eckrich for second following the late caution on lap 26 to drive to the second place finish.

Chad Simpson, the winner of seven of the first eight series races and who started eighth on the night, engaged in a thrilling side-by-side battle with Martin throughout the entire second half of the race. Martin pulled ahead in the waning laps to take third. Simpson ran fourth ahead of his brother, Chris. Eckrich faded toward the end running the high side to settle for sixth.

1. 98X Jason Rauen
2. 31 Jason Utter
3. 45 Curt Martin
4. 25 Chad Simpson
5. 32 Chris Simpson
6. 58 Dave Eckrich
7. 88 Kevin Kile
8. 78 Rick Wendling
9. 20 Jake Meier
10. 28C Terry Neal
11. 15K Justin Kay
12. 29 Jeremiah Hurst
13. 16 Tyler Bruening
14. 40 Joel Callahan
15. 22 Jill George
16. 77K Kurt Kile
17. 3 Kevin Sather
18. 75 Clint Wendel
19. 98 Travis Smock
20. 21B Joel Brasch
21. 8 Randy Wheeler
22. 77 Jeff Aikey

IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA SportMods were also on-hand in a non-track points night.

Although small in number, the Stock Cars put on an exciting 15-lap feature. Front row starters Brett Mather and Jarod Weepie swapped the lead over the first two laps before Dan Trimble made his way to the front on lap three.

Trimble, Weepie and Sean Johnson entertained the crowd with an exciting three-car battle up front until contact from Johnson sent the Weepie machine into a spin in turn four on the eighth lap. Weepie, Johnson and Phil Holtz, who was collected in the incident, all restarted at the tail.

When racing resumed, Trimble maintained the point, but received heavy pressure from John Emerson, who made his way around Mather for second when the green flag waved following the caution. Trimble held on for the victory ahead of Emerson. Holtz made a nice run through traffic to rebound to a third place finish ahead of Dain Sires, who was in his first race of the season.

1. 20 Dan Trimble
2. 287 John Emerson
3. 7H Phil Holtz
4. 3D Dain Sires
5. 9E Austin Evens
6. 83E Thomas Thompson
7. 09M Brett Mather
8. 8R Sean Johnson
9. 3 Jarod Weepie

Austin Kaplan led wire-to-wire in the 20-lap IMCA SportMod feature. Kaplan took charge at the drop of the green when he pulled away from fellow front row starter Chris Luloff to motor to the victory.

Luloff ran the 20-lap distance in second place to come home in the runner-up spot. Ray Lundry, who was involved in a first lap yellow, made a great run through the field. He made his way around Danny Dvorak with just four laps to go to finish third at the line, not far behind Luloff.

1. 1 Austin Kaplan
2. 18 Chris Luloff
3. 196 Ray Lundry
4. 3R Danny Dvorak
5. 52R Marty Rouse
6. 10 Kaleb Bentley
7. 26J Joel Rust
8. 63 Matt McCahen
9. 22H Curt Hilmer
10. J2 Dave Schulze
11. 16X Mike McDonald
12. 92 Tyler Droste
13. 72 Mike Hogencamp
14. 00 Jim Buhlman
15. 40J Jason Doyle
16. 83 Russell Hesse
17. 54 Wayne Hesse
18. 96 Lucas Lundry
19. 20T Scott Thomas
20. 92C Craig Cordes

It was evident that the heat and threat of bad weather affected both the car count and the grandstand attendance tonight, however those in attendance were provided with some great racing. The track was in excellent shape, which allowed drivers to race in multiple grooves.

Motorsports events for the Buchanan County Fair continue this Friday night with the annual demolition derby. The word is, monster truck Bigfoot will be making an appearance at that event, as well. racing will resume this Saturday for weekly points racing and the annual Dick Frye Memorial, held in honor of the late longtime fair board president. A combione demo derby will close the "motorsports" portion of the fair on Sunday afternoon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scott Hogan wins Hogan Memorial at Benton County Speedway

Scott Hogan dueled Richie Gustin throughout the first 34 laps, then held off Tim Murty over the final six circuits to drive to victory in the Hogan Memorial at Benton County Speedway. It was Hogan's fourth win in the 16-year history of the event that honors the memory of his parents, Dick and Janet Hogan.

Pole-sitter Tim Stevens grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag as Gustin drove into second from his inside second row starting spot. Hogan, who started alongside Gustin, made his way past J.J. Wise for third on lap three.

Using the high line, Gustin worked past Stevens for the lead exiting turn two on the fourth lap. Hogan followed him to the front one lap later just prior to a lap five caution. Hogan spent the next handful of laps running down Gustin before making his way beneath Gustin's #19G on lap 12. Hogan snuck past the leader  just as they encountered lapped traffic.

Hogan and Gustin then swapped the top spot while navigating the backmarkers in a thrilling battle out front before a mandatory caution at the midway point of the event halted the field on lap 20. During that time, pit crews were given five minutes to make any changes to the cars before racing resumed.

MODIFIEDS (Running order following first 20-lap segment - starting positions in parentheses)
1. (4) 33D Scott Hogan
2. (3) 19G Richie Gustin
3. (2) 68 J.J. Wise
4. (5) 19M Tim Murty
5. (14) 19J Jay Schmidt
6. (6) 12D Joe Docekal
7. (21) 71 Troy Cordes
8. (7) 18 Jerry Luloff
9. (11) 25C Ricky Stephan
10. (26) 18L Michael Long
11. (10) 17 Brian Krall
12. (15) 3C Max Corporon
13. (18) 27M Mark Schulte
14. (16) 57B Dennis Betzer
15. (19) T23 Tony Olson
16. (20) 7L Landon Cassill
17. (24) 15M Jason Murray
18. (13) 7M Mike Weikert
19. (17) 85 Johnathan Thimmesch
20. (12) 24R Adam Johnson
21. (8) F7 Patrick Flannagan
OFF (22) 32X Chris Snyder
OFF (23) 01 Ed Thomas
OFF (9) 1 Dan Chapman
OFF (1) 49T Tim Stevens
DNS (25) 00 J.D. Auringer

When the green flag fell to start the second half of the event, Hogan again took charge with Gustin in tow. The leaders built more than half of a straightaway lead over the field when the yellow flag waved once again on lap 25.

Prior to returning to green flag conditions, Gustin suffered a broken tie rod on the front left of his machine, however he was deemed able to continue since it did not affect his ability to race. Hogan, continuing to run the top side, powered out front once more when racing resumed as Gustin pressured from the low side. At this time, Murty worked past Wise for third . The leaders swapped positions numerous times before Gustin finally came to a stop in the middle of turn four on lap 34 when he dropped a drive shaft, ending his impressive run on three wheels.

On the final restart, Murty started on Hogan's rear bumper, however his multiple challenges were denied as Hogan drove to victory lane. Murty ran second ahead of Troy Cordes, who made an impressive run through the field to finish third after starting 21st.

The event, which guaranteed $1,250 to the winner, offered a number of other bonuses, including lap money. While the potential payout was $3,500 to the winner, Hogan pocketed a cool $2,900 for his efforts.

MODIFIEDS (final results - lap 20 running order in parentheses)
1. (1) 33D Scott Hogan
2. (4) 19M Tim Murty
3. (7) 71 Troy Cordes
4. (5) 19J Jay Schmidt
5. (8) 18 Jerry Luloff
6. (10) 18L Michael Long
7. (9) 25C Ricky Stephan
8. (3) 68 J.J. Wise
9. (11) 27M Mark Schulte
10. (16) 7L Landon Cassill
11. (6) 12D Joe Docekal
12. (11) 17 Brian Krall
13. (18) 7M Mike Weikert
14. (19) 85 Johnathan Thimmesch
15. (2) 19G Richie Gustin
16. (15) T23 Tony Olson
17. (21) F7 Patrick Flannagan
18. (12) 3C Max Corporon
19. (14) 57B Dennis Betzer
20. (20) 24R Adam Johnson
21. (17) 15M Jason Murray
22. (OFF) 32X Chris Snyder
23. (OFF) 01 Ed Thomas
24. (OFF) 1 Dan Chapman
25. (OFF) 49T Tim Stevens
26. (DNS) 00 J.D. Auringer

A total of 33 Modifieds signed in to compete. Defending race champion Michael Long started the event at the tail of the field after taking the recent champion provisional. He failed to qualify through his heat race after he intentionally spun Jerry Dedrick while under caution, resulting in his disqualification from that event. Long advanced 20 positions in the feature to come away with hard charger honors.

Points racing was held in all other weekly divisions at the speedway. Two and three-wide racing was common throughout the racing in those divisions, as well.

In the 15-lap IMCA Stock Car feature, Jason Deshaw held the early advantage until Phil Holtz was able to work beneath him to steal the top spot on lap four. Mechanical problems sidelined the leader a handful of laps into the event, allowing Damon Murty to take charge. Murty powered to the lead and distanced himself from the field by over a straightaway by the time he saw the checkers fly. Deshaw ran second ahead of Justin Temeyer, who was relegated to restart at the tail following a lap four caution.

Feature (top 10)
1. 99D Damon Murty
2. 21 Jason Deshaw
3. 56T Justin Temeyer
4. 83E Thomas Thompson
5. 10 John Schaefer
6. 15 Norman Chesmore
7. 6X Bob Ahrendsen
8. 9 Kendall Arp
9. 4Q Richard Quail
10. 7H Phil Holtz

Curt Hilmer drove to the win in the IMCA SportMod 15-lapper. Although he started outside of the front row, Hilmer was pressured throughout the event by Mike McDonald and Dave Schulze. McDonald applied pressure early before Schulze stole second away a handful of laps into the event. Schulze's challenges over the final 10 laps were unsuccessful as Hilmer drove to the win.

Feature (top 10)
1. 22H Curt Hilmer
2. J2 Dave Schulze
3. 95 Mike McDonald
4. 40J Jason Doyle
5. 08 Bryan Rodman
6. 1 Austin Kaplan
7. 14 Shane Ebaugh
8. 26J Joel Rust
9. 3R Danny Dvorak
10. 00 Jim Buhlman

Jacob Keiser led wire-to-wire in the 15-lap IMCA Hobby Stock feature. Keiser survived a trio of cautions and late pressure from Wes Stanek Jr. to take the win. Brad Forbes raced from a sixth row start to take third ahead of Doug Laughridge.

Feature (top 10)
1. 07 Jacob Keiser
2. 16 Wes Stanek Jr.
3. 09 Brad Forbes
4. 25 Doug Laughridge
5. 55 Vince Buchholz
6. 67 Justin Stander
7. 77 Rod Grother
8. 19X August Bach
9. 4JR Russell Damme Jr.
10. 16J Josh Bly

Brad Chandler drove the low groove to the front of the pack in the IMCA Sport Compact feature. Chandler worked beneath Dustin Stansberry on the third lap to take charge. He held off late pressure from Nathan Chandler and Gary Peiffer to score the victory.

Feature (top 10)
1. 2nd Brad Chandler
2. 22 Nathan Chandler
3. 36DD Gary Peiffer
4. 3 Dallas Chandler
5. 88 Neil Nabholz
6. 11 Steve Miedke
7. 88J Jim Hanson
8. 07 Joe Goodenbauer
9. 57K Ross Kitner
10. 8M Jacob McVay

It was another successful running of the Hogan Memorial. While a lot of tracks run memorial races throughout the course of the season, the Hogan Memorial has really grown into quite an attraction. A packed house witnessed some of the best racing the region has offered so far this season. It truly has the feeling of a special event and all of the hard work the Hogans and BCS officials put into it really pays off.

Next up for me is the Corn Belt Clash on Wednesday night to kick off the 2010 Buchanan County Fair. It's your one shot to see the CBC in action at Independence this season. IMCA-sanctioned Stock Cars and SportMods will also be competing. See you there!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kastli conquers Late Models at Independence

Entering Saturday night, Greg Kastli had 38 Late Model wins to his credit at Independence Motor Speedway, placing him fourth on the all-time list. His most recent win, however, came on August 12, 2006. Kastli updated his resume on July 10 as he scored his first win in the division at Independence in nearly four years.

At the start of the 25-lap IMCA Late Model feature, second row starter Drew Johnson swept beneath pole-sitter Blake Anderson to take the early lead before the race's only caution flag waved after the first lap. When racing resumed, Johnson rocketed away from the field while Kastli, who restarted fourth, worked the low groove past Anderson on lap two, then Joel Brasch one lap later to take the second spot.

Johnson quickly distanced himself from the pack by the time Kastli made it to second as the veteran went to work to run down the leader. Kastli pulled onto the rear bumper of Johnson's #88 just seven laps later, then swept around his outside exiting turn two on lap 11.

Just two laps later, Kastli encountered his first of many lapped cars as he navigated through the backmarkers with ease to notch the victory by over a straightaway margin. Curt Martin raced through the field from a fourth row start to take second ahead of Johnson. Tyler Bruening finished fourth to regain the points lead and Dean Wagner finished fifth.

The veterans of the division proved that while there may be a "youth movement" in the sport and, especially in the Late Model division, they still have what it takes to run up front. Four of the top five finishers of tonight's feature - Kastli, Martin, Johnson and Wagner - can be found looking back through the division's results from 20 years ago.

Kastli's win also moved him into second place in another all-time category at the speedway. His first Late Model win at Independence came on June 30, 1979. The 11,333 days between first and most recent wins leaves him trailing only Red Dralle on that list - by 399 days. The way the calendar works for next season, if Kastli can notch a win on August 13 next year, he'll match Dralle at 11,732 days between first and most recent wins. If he can win one later than that, he'll be the record-holder. That's just me trying to keep you out of considering retirement, Greg... assuming the thought has even entered your mind!

IMCA Stock Car points leader Sean Johnson added to his lead in that division by scoring his second win of the season. Pole-sitter Tim Helle held the early lead of that 20-lapper as Norman Chesmore gave chase. The lead pair ran unchanged over the first four circuits before Helle spun in turn two to bring out the yellow flag.

On the restart, Chesmore and Dave Stricker swapped the lead before Johnson powered to the inside to steal the lead on lap six. Johnson paced the field until the race's final caution flag on lap 14. By that time, Justin Temyeyer worked into the top three after starting in the fifth row.

When racing resumed, Temeyer pulled to Johnson's outside as the leaders engaged in an exciting wheel-to-wheel battle at the front of the pack, swapping the lead over the final six circuits. The low groove proved too strong as Johnson pulled away to victory ahead of Temeyer and Jarod Weepie. Chesmore and Dan Tirmble completed the top five.

Chris Wiltse was in search of his first career IMCA Hobby Stock victory. If not for a late race caution that negated his huge lead, he may have been celebrating at night's end instead of Vince Buchholz. From his outside front row starting spot, Wiltse shot into the lead and quickly pulled away from his competitors. He paced the field while Buchholz was working through traffic from a fourth row starting spot.

Just past the midway point, Buchholz motored past Mark Butler into second and attempted to chase down the leader. His efforts were assisted when the race's only caution flag waved with just three laps to go. On the restart, Buchholz went to work on the low side of Wiltse and came away with the lead as the white flag was displayed, driving to the victory a car-length ahead of Wiltse. Butler finished third ahead of Quinton Miller and Justin Lichty.

Lucas Lundry scored his second career IMCA SportMod win at Independence, nearly a year to the day after he won his first. First-year driver Matt McCahen held the early lead as he extended his advantage over the field out of the gate. Lundry quickly moved into second place after starting in the second row and, following a lap five caution, made his way around the leader one lap later.

Lundry survived another caution late in the event along with pressure from Josh Sherbon to drive to the win. His first win in the division came on July 18 of last year. Kaleb Bentley finished third ahead of points leader Austin Kaplan and Jim Buhlman.

Justin O'Brien survived a caution-plagued IMCA Modified feature to score his second win in three weeks. O'Brien took command from leader Ed Thomas following a lap four caution and never looked back en route to the win. Tony Olson ran second ahead of Darin Duffy, who made an impressive run through the field after a tire change during a first lap yellow. J.D. Auringer and Thomas completed the top five.

Up next for Independence is the Corn Belt Clash which kicks off the 2010 Buchanan County Fair this Wednesday. Along with the Late Models, also competing will be Stock Cars and SportMods.

Up next for me is a trip to Vinton tomorrow night for the annual Hogan Memorial. With a possible $3,500 going to the winner, there's bound to be a stellar turn-out for that great event. Details on that event are located by scrolling to the very bottom of this page. See you in Vinton tomorrow!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Holtz, Jackson, Dralle among Independence winners

A full grandstand celebrated the Saturday night before Independence Day at Independence Motor Speedway as 114 teams signed in to compete for the holiday racing program.

Phil Holtz scored his first win of the year in the IMCA Stock Car division. He topped a field of 16 cars to take the victory in the 20-lapper. After Austin Evens and Kevin Rose exchanged the lead over the first two laps, Holtz took charge from his third row start. Following a pair of lap two stoppages, he motored to the front. Holtz survived another pair of yellow flag situations shortly thereafter to drive to the victory. Jarod Weepie ran second ahead of points leader Sean Johnson, who held onto his lead in the standings over Weepie by three points at night's end. Brian Irvine ran fourth and Shane Manson, who started 11th, rounded out the top five.

Vern Jackson drove the high side to victory in the 20-lap IMCA Modified feature. From his outside third row start, Jackson swept around the high side of the competition and settled into the lead after just two laps. He held off periodic challenges from Adam Bolin to drive to victory, his first of the season and the 33rd in his Modified career at Independence. His win Saturday night left him a single victory behind Darin Duffy atop the all-time Modified wins list at the speedway. Adam Johnson came home to a third place finish in his first night out after having his tonsils removed just over a week ago. Johnathan Thimmesch and J.D. Auringer completed the top five.

Pole-sitter Rick Dralle led wire-to-wire to score the IMCA Late Model victory. As Dralle led, a pair of cautions bunched the field midway through the event, which allowed Curt Martin to remain within striking distance. Martin challenged late, but was unable to find a way around Dralle as he settled for second. Tyler Bruening and Darren Ackerman ran third and fourth, respectively. By virtue of their heat and feature finishes on the night, those two drivers enter next week tied atop the Late Model standings. Greg Kastli finished fifth.

Ray Lundry led throughout the IMCA SportMod 15-lapper to score his first win of the season. Lundry withstood pressure from Joel Rust to take the win. Rust spun late in the event, which allowed Jim Buhlman to come home second ahead of Scott Thomas and Danny Dvorak. Lundry's son, Lucas, finished fifth.

In a wildly entertaining IMCA Hobby Stock feature, a handful of drivers positioned themselves for a shot at the win throughout that 15-lap event. Numerous times, the leaders ran three-wide at the front of the pack as Jim Ball, Josh Irvine and Vince Buchholz put on an exciting show for the fans. In the end, however, it was Jamie Whitaker surging through the field from a sixth row start to challenge for top honors. He made his way around Ball as the white flag waved to score the thrilling win. Ball, Rod Grother, Irvine and Justin Hanson rounded out the top five.

Wes Stanek Jr. crossed the line in second in the Hobby Stock main, however he was later disqualified after officials learned he changed cars between his qualifying heat and the feature. The track rule at Independence states that when you take the green flag in an event, you are committed to that machine throughout the duration of the program. Stanek blew an engine in his heat event and made a trip to his shop a few blocks away prior to the feature to make the switch to his other car, which is nearly identical in appearance. While a number of tracks do allow car changes in the middle of the program, Independence has never allowed it. Trying to keep the "economy racing" theme in check, the track prefers not to give multi-car race teams an unfair advantage. Along with that, not everyone who competes would have the same luxury of driving across the street to pull the back-up car out of the shop.

Another driver who had his share of misfortune was Modified driver Darin Duffy. Duffy blew an engine in his heat race, as well. Unable to start the feature, Duffy, who was second in points entering the night, lost ground to points leader Troy Cordes. Cordes opened up a 36-point lead over now-second place Jerry Luloff in that division's standings.

The program started an hour earlier than normal in attempt to accommodate the Independence Day fireworks scheduled for 10 p.m. in Independence. The show was completed at 8:50, which allowed for race fans to scamper across town or to make their way to the pits to view the display.

That's all for my holiday racing weekend, unless, of course, I get restless Sunday! Whether or not you find yourself at the races, have a great 4th of July!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Foster fastest in Hawkeye Dirt Tour at Donnellson

Two months ago, Josh Foster became the first driver in history to win a feature in the JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour. Last night, at his "hometown" Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Foster added to that as he became the first driver to win his second feature in series history.

An impressive 47 IMCA Modifieds signed in to compete on the 3/8-mile oval as part of Liberty Cup action to provide an early kick-off to the 4th of July holiday weekend.

At the start of the 30-lap feature, Davenport's Rich Smith took the lead from his pole position start. He survived a pair of yellow flags early to pace the field while Richie Gustin followed and Vern Jackson settled into the third position. Foster was running the high groove after starting in the fifth row and swept into the top three just prior to the next stoppage on lap five.

When racing resumed, Smith continued to work low while Foster went back to work up top. Just one lap later, Foster motored around the outside of his competitors and into the lead, a position he would not give up. While Foster extended his advantage, Smith also started to separate from the pack, leaving Gustin and Jackson to engage in a terrific wheel-to-wheel battle for third. As those two thrilled the crowd, Mark Elliott was working through the field from an eighth row start and into a challenge with Gustin and Jackson.

Out front, Foster came upon lapped traffic with only a handful of laps to go, however he eased through the backmarkers to score the win and extend his series points lead. Smith came home comfortably ahead of the rest to take second. Gustin edged Jackson for third while Elliott completed the top five.

Also on the card for the night was the final of four straight nights for the IMCA Great American Stock Car Series. While down in number (25 cars signed in), the field provided a great show, as the Stock Car division always seems to do.

Pole-sitter Kenneth Hansen held the point at the start of the 30-lap event. Hansen took charge at the drop of the green with John Oliver Jr., Matt Greiner and series points leader Damon Murty in pursuit. Murty made his way into second just prior to a lap five caution, however he quickly went backwards upon the restart while Chris Webb made his way into the mix out front after starting in the third row.

Following another caution on lap seven, Webb went to work on the inside of Hansen and made his bid for the lead just one lap later as the leaders navigated turns one and two. As a majority of the field went to work on the low side, Kyle Frederick, Jim Redmann and Jeff Anderson were the lone rangers working the high groove of the speedway.

Advancing through the field running the bottom was Jason Cook as he worked the low side of Hansen when the flying green waved. Webb continued to lead, however Cook chased him down as soon as he cleared Hansen.

Trying to reel in the leader in the final lap, Cook came up short as Webb drove to the win and $1,000 payday. Cook ran second ahead of Hansen. Frederick and Redmann completed the top five.

Also in action were the Hobby Stocks as 18 of those machines signed in to compete. Pole-sitter Alex Buffington led the entirety of that 15-lap event to take the victory.

It was nice to see a strong field of Modifieds travel to southeast Iowa for this event. I know this was one date that many were questioning as far as car count since it isn't necessarily in the center of HDT country. The Stock Car count was a little disappointing as only 25 showed up for their series finale. Location may have been a factor for the drivers who had been following the series from Kansas and Wisconsin, or it may have been the three straight days of competition prior to that before heading back to their weekly tracks for weekend shows. Regardless, it was a good show overall, with only a couple of snafus.

One thing that admittedly alarmed me was the size of the Modified heats. Knowing there were nearly 50 Mods in the pits, I was expecting no fewer than five, and maybe six, heat races. When the first 12-car heat hit the track, I had a feeling we may be in for a little more carnage than originally anticipated. The four heats that ran had numerous cautions and took almost an hour to complete. While the drivers on-hand were some of the best, this is the first year that many of these guys have been a part of a traveling series and a great number of them have had limited experience at Lee County, if any. At least one driver, Mark Schulte of Delhi, didn't make it through turns one and two on the first lap of his heat before being involved in an accident (that was no fault of his own), forcing him to end his night far earlier than he planned. It is nice to see a lot of cars competing and earning their feature qualifying spots, but many times, fewer cars in more heats not only moves the show quicker, it provides for even better racing.

Other than that, the night did go a bit later than many hoped, especially for a mid-week show, as it was nearly 11:20 when the final checkered flag waved. I've long been a believer that any race night should have its first feature on the track no later than 9 p.m. If not, it's best for the powers-that-be to scrap any intermission or other planned events for the program. While I understand the novelty of Thursday night's boxcar races and draw/redraw intermission in front of the grandstand, I think it's best to do what you can to save time and get people on the road as close to 10 p.m. as possible. That's a rule that's good to follow for a weekly racing program on Friday and Saturday nights, so it's especially important to do when running a mid-week show and most of your competitors and fans have traveled from long distances.

Overall, the racing was good and provided fans their money's worth. Plenty of two, three and four-race racing throughout the night made for an entertaining evening. The Late Models and 305 Sprints are part of the show tonight in Donnellson as their Independence Day weekend of racing continues.

No racing for me tonight. I'm going to take a night off before heading back to Independence tomorrow night for the seventh night of weekly points racing. After that, I'm hoping to find a new track to hit on Sunday. Having Monday off work for the holiday, I may try to venture to Quincy, Ill., for my first visit. It's a long weekend though, so we'll see what happens.

Regardless what you decide to do, have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Toland Tops Deery, Irvine wins in Stock Car Series at Independence

For Rob Toland, it had been over three years since his last win in the Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models. At Independence Motor Speedway on Wednesday night, it was more relief than celebration for the veteran Davenport driver as he emerged from his car in victory lane.

Early on, it looked like pole-sitter Mark Burgtorf was going to notch another mark in the win column as he put his #7B into the lead at the drop of the green of the 50-lapper. Following a first lap caution, Burgtorf quickly pulled away from the field, leaving Toland and Kevin Blum to battle for second.

Burgtorf extended his advantage to a straightaway margin by lap 13 when he encountered a pair of backmarkers exiting turn four. When those lapped cars got together and spun, Burgtorf was left with no where to go as he drove into the pile-up, ending his night.

On the restart, Toland started inside the front row with Blum to his outside. That pair, along with Terry Neal, who restarted outside of row two, engaged in a thrilling three-car battle at the front of the pack. Blum shot into the lead when the green flag waved, but was quickly pursued by Toland, who inched ahead on lap 19. Those two drivers swapped the lead for numerous laps, while Neal was looking for racing room behind them.

With around 15 laps to go, Toland started to pull away from his competitors while Blum and Neal battled for second. Neal eventually cleared Blum with only six laps to go, but could not reel in the leader as Toland drove to the win. Dan Shelliam made a strong run through the field from an 11th place start to finish fourth. Likewise, Ray Guss Jr. finished fifth after starting 13th.

Rob Toland (39) battles to the inside of Kevin Blum (54) for the lead midway through the Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models feature. Toland went on to win while Blum finished third. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)

Late Model Results
1. 39 Rob Toland
2. 28C Terry Neal
3. 54 Kevin Blum
4. 16S Dan Shelliam
5. 58 Ray Guss Jr.
6. 16 Tyler Bruening
7. 29 Jeremiah Hurst
8. 69 Tom Goble
9. 57 Mark Preston
10. 56 Andy Eckrich
11. 93 Jay Johnson
12. 99D Darrel DeFrance
13. 73 Greg Kastli
14. 22 Charlie McKenna
15. 25 Bryan Klein
16. 78 Rick Wendling
17. 44 Luke Goedert
18. 21G Cory Goldbeck
19. 27 Darin Burco
20. 98 Travis Smock
21. 92 Josh Most
22. 7B Mark Burgtorf
23. 77 Jeff Aikey
24. 40 Joel Callahan

In conjunction with the Deery Series, the IMCA Great American Stock Car Series held its third race in four nights. With a couple of pivotal late-race cations, it was Brian Irvine making his way to the winner's circle.

At the start of the 30-lap event, pole-sitter Chris Ullrich assumed command as he led the first two circuits while second row starter Sean Johnson went to work on the high side. The leaders ran in side-by-side formation for a handful of laps before Johnson finally broke free on lap nine.

While Johnson started to pull away from the pack, Jarod Weepie challenged Ullrich as Brian Irvine and Damon Murty were working through traffic from respective fourth and fifth row starts. Irvine made his way into third at the midway point of the event and Murty followed him through two laps later.

Johnson's lead, over half of a straightaway at the time, disappeared when the yellow flag waved on lap 22. When racing resumed after another pair of cautions, Irvine challenged to the inside of Johnson before making his way to the front on lap 24.

Irvine led the final six laps to score the victory, his second in three nights of the series. Irvine also won at Marshalltown Speedway on Monday. Johnson ran second at the line ahead of Murty, Norman Chesmore and Ullrich.
Brian Irvine (26) works to the inside of Sean Johnson (8R) late in the IMCA Great American Stock Car Series feature. Irvine made the winning pass with only six laps remaining. Johnson finished second. (photo courtesy of Scott Tjabring/Action Track Photography)
Stock Car Results
1. 26 Brian Irvine
2. 8R Sean Johnson
3. 99D Damon Murty
4. 15 Norman Chesmore
5. 01U Chris Ullrich
6. 7H Phil Holtz
7. 78 Jeff Anderson
8. 27J Jason Cook
9. 89B Dave Stricker
10. 56T Justin Temeyer
11. 3 Jarod Weepie
12. 21 Shane Manson
13. 57 John Heinz
14. 17 Kenneth Hanson
15. 199 Justin Jacobsen
16. 35 Donavon Smith
17. 19J Jay Schmidt
18. 22K Kevin Rose
19. 50F Kyle Frederick
20. 30C Abe Huls
21. 40R Perry Misner
22. 09M Brett Mather
23. 66 Jeff Joldersma
24. 5B Stefan Sybesma

A total of 83 cars signed in on the night - 48 Late Models and 35 Stock Cars... By virtue of third place finishes in all series races thus far, Damon Murty moved into the lead of the Stock Car standings, just two points ahead of Irvine... Three of the top four finishers in the Stock Car feature - Irvine, Johnson and Chsmore - are regular competitors at Indee. While he doesn't run there weekly, Murty has appeared for a number of weekly shows over the years.

The large crowd on-hand not only got to see some great wheel-to-wheel racing throughout the night, but the show was completed at 9:55.

Kevin Trittien of Tapfan's Tours was also in the house tonight so be sure to check out his blog at

Up next for me is Lee County Speedway in Donnellson tomorrow night for the final night of the Stock Car Series. Also running will be night number for of the 10-race JR Motorsports Hawkeye Dirt Tour. See you there!