by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Saturday, October 15, 2016) – What a difference a night makes. After Friday nights temperatures hoovered around the high 50’s, Saturday nights temperatures never fell out of the 70’s on night two of the “5th Annual Fall Extravaganza” at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. Plus if you thought you seen some good racing action on Friday, well Saturday nights action was even better. Once again the nights action was brought to you by Budweiser, Casey’s General Stores, Donnellson Tire and Service, Randall’s Performance, and Trump Trucks.
The 15 lap Mod Lite / Micro Mod feature was the first to take to the track, with Josh May and Jason Masengarb drawing the front row for the event. May would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Masengarb and Kevin Blum. While May set a fast pace out front, Blum went to the top of the track to over take Masengarb for the runner up spot on lap 7. Blum then tried to track down May for the top spot. But without a caution May would go on to pick up his second win of the weekend at the track. Blum settled for 2nd, Jason Bahrs started 6th and finished 3rd, Masengarb was 4th, with Darrick Knutsen coming home in 5th.
Up next was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire and Service Stock Car feature, with Jason Cook and John Oliver Jr. leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Cook used his front row starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Oliver Jr. and Johnny Spaw. But Cook’s lead only lasted for 1 lap, as Oliver Jr. went to the top of the track coming off turn 4 to take over the top spot on lap 2. Oliver Jr. then went to the bottom of the track, which forced Mike Hughes, who started 5th, to go to the top to try and get by him for the lead. Hughes would use the momentum off the top of turn 4 to grab the lead away from Oliver Jr. on lap 8. But Oliver Jr. would come back on the bottom to grab the top spot back on lap 9. Once again Hughes used the momentum off the top of turn 4 to get the lead back from Oliver Jr. on lap 10. Hughes then went to the bottom of the track to try and slow down Oliver Jr. But coming off turn 4 to complete lap 13 Oliver Jr. was able to slip under Hughes to grab the lead back. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 14. On the restart Oliver Jr. jumped back out front, with Hughes working to hold off Cayden Carter, who started 11th, for the runner up spot. Carter who used the top of the track to work himself up from 11th, used the momentum off the top of turn 4 to edge out Oliver Jr. at the line to lead lap 17. Coming off turn 2 Oliver Jr., on the bottom, Hughes, in the middle, and Carter, up top, went three wide down the backstretch and into turn 3. Hughes would slip up into Carter, which allowed Spaw to join the battle for the lead. Then coming off turn 2 on the final lap Hughes tried to get under Oliver Jr., as the two got hooked together going down the backstretch. This would allow Spaw to enter turn 3 in the middle of the track next to Oliver Jr., but he would slid to high coming off turn 4. Which allowed Oliver Jr. to go on to claim his first win of the season at the track and the $1,000 top prize.
Gunner Frank was suppose to lead the field to the green flag in the 25 lap Steffes Late Model feature, but mechanical troubles forced him to the pits on the parade lap. This would move Brian Harris, who was driving Lynn Richard’s #26R, to the pole next to Richie Gustin, who was once again driving the #15k for Justin Kay Racing. Gustin would jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Harris, and Jeremiah Hurst. Disaster would strike Harris on lap 4, as he spun from the second spot in turn 2 and collects Chad Holladay to bring out the yellow. On the restart Gustin moved back out front, with Tommy Elston, who started 8th, over taking Hurst for the second spot. Gustin then had to try and hold off Elston over the next 4 laps, as the two drivers used different grooves around the track. But coming off turn 4 on lap 9, Elston was able to slip under Gustin to take over the top spot. Only to have Gustin come back on the top of the track off turn 4 on lap 10 to get the lead back. Despite a few more challenges from Elston over the final 15 laps, Gustin was able to hold on to claim his second win in a row and another $1,000 top prize. Elston was 2nd, Sam Halstead started 10th and finished 3rd, Hurst was 4th, with Jeff Guengerich finishing 5th after starting in 12th.
The 12 lap Coors Light Hobby Stock feature was up next, with Dustin Griffiths and Jacob Keiser leading the field to the green flag. But just as the green flag waved the caution light came on, as Kenser Ellis spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart Griffiths jumped out front to lead lap 1 over Nick Ulin and Aaron Martin. But debris in turn 3 on the completion of lap 1 would slow the action for the second time. Griffiths once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Ulin and Martin close behind. Ulin, who worked the bottom of the track, was able to slip under Griffiths, who was working the top of the track, coming off turn 2 to take over the top spot on lap 6. The two would race side-by-side over the next 4 laps, with Griffiths grabbing the lead back on lap 10. Coming out of turn 4 on the final lap Ulin would clip a tire and almost rolled, but ended up spinning. Which allowed Griffiths to go on to claim the win and the $500 prize to go with it. Martin was 2nd, Keiser was 3rd, Randy Byerly was 4th, with Rob Wilsey completing the top 5.
John Oliver Jr. and Logan Anderson drew the front row for the 20 lap Shottenkirk Parts Express SportMod feature, with Oliver Jr. leading lap 1 over Anderson and Carter VanDenBerg. Anderson would use the bottom of the track to take the top spot away from Oliver Jr. on lap 5. Then the action was slowed for the first time on lap 9, as Mike Goben stopped down the backstretch to bring out the yellow. On the restart Jason Riegel spun in turn 4 to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Anderson jump back out front, with Brayton Carter over taking Oliver Jr. for the runner up spot. Austen Becerra would spin in turn 4 on lap 14 to slow the action down for the third time. Anderson once again grabbed the lead on the restart, only to have another caution come out one lap later. This time Jared Boumeester, who started 9th and was going for 3rd, slid up in front of Oliver Jr. in turn 4 and then spun to bring out the yellow. On the restart Anderson jumped back out front, but was slowed for the final time one lap later. As John Brandies and Becerra collided in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Anderson moved back out front on the restart, with Oliver Jr. getting back around Carter for second. Coming off turn 4 on the final lap Oliver Jr. tried to use the momentum off the top of the track to get the win. But Anderson would hold him off to pick up the win and the $1,000 prize to go with it. Oliver Jr. settled for 2nd, Carter was 3rd, Tim Plummer passed 12 cars from his 16th place starting spot to come home in 4th, with Tyler Soppe finishing 5th after starting in 10th.
Up next was the 15 lap Armstrong Tractor Sport Compact feature, with Nathan Chandler and Dan Schmidt making up the front row. Schmidt would take advantage of his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Chandler and Barry Taft. Taft would use the momentum off the top of the track in turn 2 to take the top spot away from Schmidt on lap 6. While Taft paced the field out front, Schmidt, Kimberly Abbott, Brandon Reu, and Darin Weisinger Jr., who started 7th, were all looking for racing room to get to Taft. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 11, when Adam Gates spun in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Taft moved back out front, with Weisinger Jr. over taking Schmidt for the runner up spot. As the battle for second raged on Taft would pull away over the final laps to claim the win and the $300 top prize to go with it. Weisinger Jr. won the battle for 2nd, Abbott was 3rd, Reu was 4th, with Schmidt holding on for 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 25 lap Budweiser Modifieds, with Kyle Brown and Jason Murray leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Brown would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Murray and Michael Long. Just after the completion of lap 1 the first caution of the race appeared, as Bruce Hanford slowed to a stop in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Brown jumped back out front, with Long over taking Murray for second. While Brown set the pace out front, Jenae Gustin, who started 7th, used the bottom of the track to work under Long for second on lap 4. Gustin then tried to track down Brown for the lead, when the second caution of the race slowed the action on lap 10. Shawn Ritter would spin in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. Once again Brown grabbed the lead on the restart, with Long getting back around Gustin for second. Three laps later another caution appeared, as Patrick Flannagan spun in turn 2 on lap 14 to bring out the yellow. Brown jumped back out front on the restart, only for the caution to come back out one lap later. This time Milo Veloz, who was running 5th, slowed to a stop in turn 4 with front end troubles to bring out the yellow. The final restart saw Brown jump back out front, with Gustin getting back by Long for second. Long, who was working the top of the track, over took Gustin for second on lap 17 and then went to work on Brown, who was working the bottom, for the lead. But Brown would hold on to pick up the win and the $1,000 check to go with it. Long settled for 2nd, Jenae Gustin was 3rd, Richie Gustin started 13th in the #15k Justin Kay Racing Modified and finished 4th, with Cayden Carter finishing 5th after starting in 8th.
The 2016 racing season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa will come to a close on Saturday, October 29th, with the annual running of “Shiverfest”. A practice, along with king of the hill races, grudge races and mechanics races are scheduled to take place on Friday, October 28th. In action both nights will be the Steffes Late Models, Budweiser Modifieds, Donnellson Tire and Service Stock Cars, Shottenkirk Parts Express SportMods, Coors Light Hobby Stocks, and Armstrong Tractor Sport Compacts.
Gates on Friday will open at 5:30 PM, with everything set to get started at 7 PM. Then on Saturday gates will open at 1 PM, with hay rack rides thru the pits being held from 3 PM until 4 PM. Trick-or-treating sponsored by the drivers will take place from 4 PM until 4:30 PM, with box car races following that. Hot Laps will get started at 5 PM, with Racing at 5:30 PM. Grandstand admission for Saturday will be adults $10, seniors (60+) $9, students (11-17) $5, and kids 10 & under FREE! Pit passes on Friday are drivers $20, non drivers $15, ages (7-13) $10, and ages (6 & under) $5. Then on Saturday pit passes will be $25, ages (7-13) $15, ages (3-6) $10, and ages (2 & under) $3.
For more information you can call Mike Van Genderen at 641-521-0330