by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, May 22, 2015) – After two straight weeks of rain outs the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa got back to action on Friday night with PEPSI Memphis Bottling Night. When the final checkered flag waved Tyler Groenendyk (Budweiser IMCA Modifieds), Abe Huls (Donnellson Tire and Service IMCA Stock Cars), Tony Dunker (Shottenkirk of Ft. Madison IMCA SportMods), Nick Ulin (Coors Light IMCA Hobby Stocks), and Travis DeMint (Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts) found their way to victory lane.
The 15 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature was the first to take to the track, with Brandon Lambert and Barry Taft leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Lambert would take advantage of his front row starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Brandon Reu, who started 6th, and William Michel. Reu worked the bottom of the track to slip under Lambert for the top spot on lap 3. The action up front was slowed on lap 4, when debris in turn 4 brought out a caution. On the restart Reu jumped back out front, but now had Travis DeMint, who started 9th, glued to his back bumper. DeMint tried to get around Reu for the lead over the next 4 laps, but Reu was able to hold him off each lap. That was until lap 9, when DeMint was able to slip under Reu to grab the lead. DeMint then led the final 7 laps to claim his second win of the season at the track. Reu held on for 2nd, Kimberly Abbott started 8th and finished 3rd, Lambert was 4th, with Josh Barnes, who fell to last on the start, recovering to finish in 5th.
Up next was the 14 lap Coors Light IMCA Hobby Stock feature, with Kevin Koontz and Nick Ulin on the front row. Ulin used his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Dustin Griffiths, and Brandon Symmonds. Griffiths would look under Ulin over the entire 14 laps, as Symmonds followed both of them waiting for them to make a mistake. But Ulin was able to hold on the entire 14 laps to pick up his first win of the season at the track. Griffiths settled for 2nd, Symmonds was 3rd, John Irwin was 4th, with Koontz rounding out the top 5.
Brandon Ruffcorn and Brian Woodruff was suppose to lead the field to the green in the 20 lap Shottenkirk of Ft. Madison IMCA SportMod feature, but when Woodruff elected to go to the rear that would move Austin Howes to the outside of the front row. Just as the green flag waved the yellow light would come on, as Ashton Johnson spun in turn 4 to bring out the caution. On the restart Ruffcorn moved out front to lead lap 1 over Howes and Phillip Cossel. Howes, who was working the top of the track, was able to take the top spot away from Ruffcorn on lap 2. The action up front was slowed on lap 3 when Travis Hartman came to a stop in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Howes jumped back out front on the restart, with Cossel over taking Ruffcorn for the runner up spot. While Howes set the pace out front, Adam Birck, who started 10th, Joey Gower, who started 11th, and Tony Dunker, who started 12th, were working their way towards the front. Howes lead, which was a half a straight away, was wiped out on lap 8 when Colton Bowman spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart a tire was clipped in turn 4 and pushed out onto the track to bring the caution light back on. The following restart saw Howes move back out front over Birck and Gower. Birck, who was working the bottom of the track, was able to slip under Howes to grab the lead away on lap 14. At the same time Dunker joined the battle up front to make it a three car battle for the top spot. With Birck and Howes both working the bottom of the track, Dunker decided to got to the top. Coming to the white flag Dunker was able to take over the lead. But Birck wouldn’t give up as he pulled even with Dunker coming off turn 2. Dunker would use the momentum off of turn 4 coming to the checkered flag to pick up his first win of the season at the track. Birck settled for 2nd, Howes was 3rd, Robert Gould was 4th, with Ruffcorn coming home in 5th.
Up next was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire and Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Ryan Fullenkamp and Jim Redmann making up the front row. Redmann took advantage of his front row starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Jeremy Pundt and Fullenkamp. Redmann, who was working the top, and Pundt, who was working the bottom, ran the second lap side-by-side. Pundt would use the bottom of the track to edge out Redmann for the top spot on lap 3. Just as lap 3 was scored complete Jason See spun in turn 2 to bring out the caution. On the restart Andrew Hustead, who was running 4th, spun in turn 4 to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Redmann get into the back of Pundt, who spun in turn 3 and collected Derrick Agee, who started 10th and had worked his way to 5th, to bring the yellow light back on. A third attempt of a restart saw Abe Huls, who started 6th, slip under Fullenkamp to take the top spot, with David Brandies, who started 7th, close behind in 3rd. Brandies would slip under Fullenkamp on lap 5 to move into second and then set his sights on Huls for the lead. Huls and Brandies, who were both running the bottom, then started to pull away from the two wide racing going on behind them. Brandies tried to get under Huls for the top spot over the next 10 laps, but Huls was able to hold him off every lap. Then coming off turn 2 on lap 14 Brandies was able to get up beside Huls, as the two raced into turn 3. Contact between the two resulted into Brandies cutting down a right rear tire, as he pulled into the infield on lap 15 to end his night. From there Huls pulled away to claim his third win of the season at the track. Jason Cook, who started 11th, was able to slip under Nathan Wood, who started 8th, on the last lap to finish 2nd, with Wood in 3rd, Pundt recovered from the spin on lap 3 to come back up to finish 4th, with Fullenkamp holding on for 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, with AJ Johnson and Jerad Fuller leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Johnson would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Fuller and Jeff Waterman. Johnson, who was running the bottom, and Fuller, who was up top, ran the first 7 laps side-by-side with Johnson edging out in front on each lap. That was until lap 8, when Fuller was able to taker the top spot away. Once Johnson got passed he would move to the top of the track, which allowed Tyler Groenendyk to use the bottom to make it a three car battle for the top spot. Coming off turn 4 on lap 11 Groenendyk was able to edge out Fuller at the line to take over the top spot. One lap later, lap 12, Ryan Cook, who was running 7th, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Groenendyk jumped back out front, with Fuller, Johnson, Scott Hogan and Bill Roberts Jr. battling for second. The final 8 laps went caution free, with Groenendyk pulling away to pick up his second win of the season at the track. Fuller won the battle for 2nd, Roberts Jr. was 3rd, Johnson was 4th, with Hogan rounding out the top 5.
Coming up next week at the Lee County Speedway will be the first visit of the season by the Sprint Invaders, which is being presented by Mohrfeld Electric. Also in action on the night will be the Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire and Service IMCA Stocks Cars, Shottenkirk of Ft. Madison IMCA SportMods, Coors Light IMCA Hobby Stocks, and Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts.
Gates will open at 5 pm, with hot laps at 6:45 pm, and racing starting at 7:15 pm. Grandstands will be adults $16, seniors (60+) $14, students (11-17) $8, and kids 10 and under FREE! Pit passes will be $30, ages 7-13 $20, and ages 6 and under $10.
For more information about the Lee County Speedway you can call Mike Van Genderen at 641-521-0330.
For complete results and updated point standings, please click on the tabs at the top of the page.