by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, April 21, 2017) – Mother nature has not been on the side of the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa for the first four weeks of racing in 2017, as wet weather was the fight the first three weeks. But this week it was the cool temperatures and breezy conditions that wasn’t on there side. The hot racing action helped to keep the fans warm, with five new winners ending up in victory lane at the end of Budweiser Night.
Daniel Fellows and Barry Taft led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 15 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature, which was the first to take to the track on this night. Taft would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Kimberly Abbott and David Prim. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the caution would appear, as Mike Hornung Jr. stopped down the backstretch to bring out the yellow. On the restart Taft moved back out front, with Abbott and Josh Barnes, who started 8th, close behind. Abbott tried to work under Taft over the next 5 laps, when the second caution of the race appeared on lap 6. Hornung Jr. would spin in turn 4 and collected Fellows to bring out the yellow. Taft again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Abbott and Barnes following. Taft, Abbott and Barnes would race the next two laps three wide for the lead, with Taft able to hold them off at the line each lap. While the lead trio battled for the top spot, Jake Dietrich, who started 7th, was working the top of the track to move into the battle. Dietrich would over take Barnes for 2nd on lap 13, and then went to work on Taft for the lead. But Taft was able to hold on over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the track. Barnes would edge out Dietrich at the line for 2nd, Brandon Reu came from 9th to finish 4th, with Abbott holding on for 5th.
Next to take to the track was the 20 lap Steffes UMP Pro Late Model feature, with Derek Liles and Gunner Frank drawing the front row. Liles jumped out front on lap 1 over Gunner Frank and Sam Halstead, and then held it until coming off turn 4 to complete lap 2. Liles would spin in front of the field to bring out the yellow. On the restart Halstead slipped past Gunner Frank to take the top spot, with Todd Frank moving into second. Todd Frank tried to stay in Halstead’s tire tracks over the next 6 laps, when the second caution of the race slowed the action. This time Chase Frank spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Halstead jumped back out front on the restart, with Todd Frank and Gunner Frank close behind. Again Todd Frank tried to stay with Halstead, but Halstead started to pull away until the final caution of the race brought the field back to his back bumper on lap 18. Chase Frank spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow for the second time to end his night. On the restart Todd Frank went low going into turn 3 and slid up in front of Halstead, only to have Halstead turn under him to edge him at the line for the lead. Halstead then held him off on the final lap to claim his first win of the season at the track. Tommy Elston came from 9th to edge out Denny Woodworth at the line for 3rd, Liles recovered from his lap 1 spin to come back up to finish 5th.
Up next was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Les Blakley and Corey Strothman leading the field to green. But it was third place starter Jeremy Pundt who jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Abe Huls and Strothman. With Pundt working the bottom of the track, Huls went to the top to try to work past Pundt. But disaster would strike Huls on lap 7 when he got into the guardrail in turn 3 and pulled off with troubles. This would move Jason Cook into second. While Cook tried to cut into Pundt’s lead, the battle for third between John Oliver Jr., Strothman, and Jason See went two and three wide at times. Without a caution there was no catching Pundt on this night, as he went on to win his first feature of the year at the track. Cook was 2nd, See won the battle for 3rd, Strothman was 4th, with Oliver Jr. coming home in 5th.
Mitch Boles and Kelly Buckallew led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Boles jumping out front to lead lap 1 over Dennis LaVeine and rookie Modified driver Dakota Simmons, who moved out of the SportMod class for 2017. Coming off turn 2 to complete lap 2, LaVeine went low, Jeff Waterman was in the middle, with Boles up top, to race three wide for the top spot. LaVeine emerged as the new leader on lap 2. LaVeine worked the bottom of the track over the next 3 laps, while Waterman used the top. Which turned out to prevail for Waterman, who grabbed the top spot away from LaVeine coming off turn 4 on lap 6. Waterman then started to pull away, when the first and only caution of the race appeared on lap 15 to bring the field back to his back bumper. Boles slowed in turn 4 with troubles to bring out the yellow. On the restart Waterman moved back out front, with LaVeine working to hold off Blake Woodruff, who started 6th, for second. Waterman then led the final 5 laps to score his first win of the season at the track. LaVeine held on for 2nd, Woodruff was 3rd, Bobby Six started 9th and finished 4th, with Simmons rounding out the top 5.
The final feature to take to the track was the 18 lap Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods, with Austin Howes and Brandon Symmonds leading the field to green, when Tom Lathrop elected to start in the rear. Howes took advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Logan Anderson, who originally started 14th and moved up to 6th on the start, and Symmonds. The action was slowed for the first time on lap 2, when Brandyn Ryan spun in turn 3 and collected Dave Kraus to bring out the yellow. On the restart Howes moved back out front, with Tony Dunker, who started 8th, over taking Anderson for second. Howes, who was running the bottom of the track, then held the top spot until lap 4, when Dunker went high off turn 4 to take over the lead. Just as Dunker started to pull away from the battle behind, the second caution of the race slowed the pace on lap 12. This time debris in turn 1 brought out the yellow. Dunker moved back out front on the restart, with Howes and now John Oliver Jr. close behind. Dunker again started to pull away from the battle behind him, and looked to be heading to the win, when the final caution appeared on lap 17 to set up a overtime finish. But Dunker got a good restart and held on over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the track. Howes settled for 2nd, Anderson was 3rd, Oliver Jr. was 4th, with Brandon Dale finishing 5th after starting in 9th.
Coming up next Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa will be another weekly racing night brought to you by Donnellson Tire & Service. In action on the night will be the Steffes UMP Pro Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods, and the Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts.
Gates will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps at 7 PM, and racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission will be adults $10, seniors (60+) $9, students (11-17) $5, and kids 10 & under FREE!! Pit passes are $25, age 7-13 $15, ages 4-6 $10, and ages 3 & under $3.
Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, IA
Friday, April 21, 2017 – Budweiser Night
Steffes UMP Pro Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 2. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 3. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 4. Dennis Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 5. Derek Liles, Eldon, IA; 3. Brian Crebo, Hannah City, IL; 7. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 8. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 9. Chase Frank, Montrose, IA; 10. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 11. Derek Sammons, Luray, MO (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Tommy Elston; 2. Jeff Guengerich; 3. Todd Frank; 4. Gunner Frank; 5. Brandon Savage; 6. Chase Frank
Heat 2: 1. Sam Halstead; 2. Derek Liles; 3. Dennis Woodworth; 4. Brian Crebo; 5. Derek Sammons
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 3. Blake Woodruff, Galesburg, IL; 4. Bobby Six, Warsaw, IA; 5. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 6. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 7. Jardin Fuller, Memphis, MO; 8. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 9. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 10. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 11. Dave Wietholder, Liberty, IL (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Dennis LaVeine; 3. Bobby Six; 4. Mitch Boles; 5. Craig Spegal; 6. Dave Wietholder
Heat 2: 1. Blake Woodruff; 2. Dakota Simmons; 3. Jardin Fuller; 4. Bill Roberts Jr.; 5. Kelly Buckallew
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 2. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 3. Jason See, Albia, IA; 4. Corey Strothman, Mt. Union, IA; 5. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 6. Les Blakley, Fairfield, IA; 7. Jim Redmann, Lockridge, IA; 8. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, Ia; 9. Jake Wenig, Burlington, IA; 10. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 11. Dakota Girard, Moberly, MO; 12. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 13. Chase Exlline, Centerville, IA; 14. Scott Jordan, Wapello, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Jason See; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Jeremy Pundt; 4. Jim Redmann; 5. Les Blakley; 6. Kevin Koontz; 7. Chase Exlline
Heat 2: 1. Abe Huls; 2. Jason Cook; 3. Corey Strothman; 4. Jake Wenig; 5. Dakota Girard; 6. Dean Kratzer; 7. Scott Jordan
Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Tony Dunker, Quincy, IL; 2. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 3. Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 4. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 5. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 6. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 7. Kyle Hill, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 8. Dan Keltner, Grandview, IA; 9. Brandon Symmonds, Keokuk, IA; 10. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 11. Tom Lathrop, Ottumwa, IA; 12. Dave Kraus, Keokuk, IA; 13. Brandyn Ryan, Coatsburg, IL; 14. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Austin Howes; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Kyle Hill; 4. Brandon Dale; 5. Brandyn Ryan; 6. Bob Cowman; 7. Austen Becerra
Heat 2: 1. Brandon Lennox; 2. Tony Dunker; 3. Brandon Symmonds; 4. Dan Keltner; 5. Tom Lathrop; 6. Dave Kraus; 7. Logan Anderson
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 2. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 3. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 4. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 5. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 6. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 7. Travis DeMint, Warsaw, IL; 8. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 9. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 10. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 11. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 12. Clayton Webster, Ottumwa, IA; 13. Justin Canaday, Moberly, MO; 14. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 15. Colton Keck, Mt Pleasant, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Kimberly Abbott; 2. Jake Dietrich; 3. Brandon Reu; 4. Daniel Fellows; 5. David Prim; 6. Travis DeMint; 7. Justin Canaday; 8. Colton Keck
Heat 2: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Barry Taft; 3. Darin Weisinger Jr.; 4. Brandon Lambert; 5. Mike Reu; 6. Mike Hornung Jr.; 7. Clayton Webster