by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Thursday, May 4, 2017) – A rare Thursday night of racing was held at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, as the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models made there first of two stops at the track for 2017. The action was being presented by Roberts Tire Center out of Burlington, Iowa, and if you missed the racing then you missed out on some close finishes.
The first feature to take to the track was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, with Jake Wenig and Abe Huls drawing the front row. But just as the green flag was dropped the caution light would come on, as Chad Krogmeier and Dean Kratzer spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart third place starter John Oliver Jr. slipped under Wenig and Huls to grab the lead on lap 1. Oliver Jr. then started to put some distance on the two and three wide battles going on behind, when the second and final caution of the race appeared on lap 9 to bring the field back to his back bumper. This time Kevin Koontz spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Oliver Jr. jumped back out front on the restart, but now had Damon Murty, who started 12th, and Jeff Mueller, who started 11th, close behind him. Murty and Mueller raced side-by-side over the next several laps in the battle for second, when Mueller finally settled into the spot on lap 16. Mueller quickly closed on Oliver Jr.’s back bumper, as the two came off turn four for the white flag bumper to bumper. Going into turn 3 on the final lap Muller was able to get under Oliver Jr., as the two raced off turn 4 side-by-side. Oliver Jr. would edge Mueller at the line by inches to claim his first win of the year at the track and the $1,000 top prize that went with it. Mueller was 2nd, Murty finished 3rd, Mike Hughes started 10th and finished 4th, with Jeremy Pundt coming home in 5th after starting in 8th.
Up next was the 40 lap Lucas Oil MLRA Late Model feature, with Chris Simpson and Terry Phillips leading the field to the green flag. But just as the green was waved the caution light would come on, as Brent Larson, Chase Junghans, Jordan Yaggy, and Al Humphrey got together in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. The following original restart saw Chris Simpson grab the lead on lap 1 over Chad Simpson and Phillips. Chris Simpson was setting such a torrid pace, that by lap 10 he started to enter lapped traffic. While Chris paced the field out front, Tony Jackson Jr., who started 5th, and Jimmy Mars, who started 7th, were working their way towards the front. Jackson Jr. would slip into 3rd on lap 10, and then used the middle of the track trough heavy lapped traffic to grab the runner up spot on lap 15. On lap 22 Mars made the move to take over the 3rd spot, as he and Jackson Jr. went to work on cutting into Chris Simpson’s lead.
By lap 28 Jackson Jr. and Mars were within striking distance of Chris for the lead, as they worked heavy lapped traffic that raced side-by-side in front of them. Coming off turn 2 to complete lap 30, Chris Simpson went three wide off the top of the track to clear the two lap cars in front of him. The move then helped Chris Simpson to put some distance between himself and Jackson Jr. and Mars. As Chris Simpson went on to pick up the win in a caution free race after the caution on the start. Jackson Jr. settled for 2nd, Mars was 3rd, Chad Simpson was 4th, with Billy Moyer coming from 11th to round out the top 5.
Tony Dunker and Carter VanDenBerg drew the front row for the 20 lap Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMod feature, with VanDenBerg grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Dunker and Kyle Hill. VanDenBerg then had to work to hold off Dunker over the next 5 laps, when the first caution of the race appeared on lap 6. Austen Becerra spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Dunker used the momentum off the top of the track in turn 4 to grab the lead away from VanDenBerg, with Logan Anderson, who started 7th, moving into third. VanDenBerg then followed in Dunker’s tire tracks, until disaster struck him on lap 16. He would slow off turn 4 with a right rear flat to bring out the second and final caution of the race. Dunker grabbed the lead on the restart, with Brandon Lennox, who started 9th, over taking Anderson for second. While Lennox and Anderson raced side-by-side for the runner up spot, this allowed Dunker to pull away over the final laps to pick up his second win in a row at the track, and the $1,000 top prize that went with it, Anderson won the battle for 2nd, Lennox was 3rd, Jim Gillenwater started 12th and passed 8 cars to come home in 4th, with Brian Efkamp finishing 5th after starting in 10th.
Up next was the 25 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Jacob Murray and Kelly Shryock leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Shryock would take advantage of his starting spot to jump out front on lap 1 over Murray and Hunter Marriott, who started 5th. Shryock, who was mostly using the top of the track, set a torrid pace out front that forced him to maneuver through heavy lapped traffic by lap 12. The lapped traffic would allow Marriott to slip into the runner up spot on lap 18, and also cut into Shryock’s lead. A lap car running the high side of the track, slowed Shryock enough coming off turn 4 on lap 22 to allow Marriott to grab the top spot. But a lapped car running the bottom of the track, allowed Shryock to use the momentum off the top of the track in turn 4 coming to the white flag to take the lead back. Shryock then held off Marriott at the line in a caution free race to claim his first win of the season at the track, and pick up the $1,000 top prize to go with it. Murray was 3rd, Richie Gustin was 4th, with Chris Zogg rounding out the top 5.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 15 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts, with Kimberly Abbott and Steven Struck drawing the front row. But it was third place starter Josh Barnes who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Abbott and Barry Taft, who started 5th. Barnes then held the top spot until lap 6, when Abbot slipped under him to grab the lead. While Abbott set the pace out front, Jake Dietrich, Taft and Barnes battled for the runner up spot. Taft would secure second on lap 10, and then went to work on Abbott for the lead. Coming off turn 4 for the white flag Taft was able to get under Abbott to grab the lead away. But Abbott would slip under Taft going into turn 3 to edge him out at the line to claim her first win of the season at the track and the $300 top prize. Taft settled for 2nd, Dietrich was 3rd, Barnes was 3rd, with Travis DeMint coming home in 5th after starting in 10th.
Coming up next Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa will be another weekly racing night. 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
Thursday, May 4, 2017 – Roberts Tire Center Night
Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Chris Simpson, Oxford, IA; 2. Tony Jackson Jr., Lebanon, MO; 3. Jimmy Mars, Menominie, WI; 4. Chad Simpson, Mt. Vernon, IA; 5. Billy Moyer, Batesville, AR; 6. Terry Phillips, Springfield, MO; 7. JC Wyman, Griswold, IA; 8.Tyler Bruening, Decorah, IA; 9. Dave Eckrich, Oxford, IA; 10. Raymond Merrill, Sallisaw, OK; 11. Jesse Stovall, Galena, MO; 12. Rodney Sanders, Happy, TX; 13. Spencer Diercks, Davenport, IA; 14. Jason Feger, Bloomington, IL; 15. Bob Gardner, Germantown Hills, IL; 16. Payton Looney, Republic, MO; 17. Ricky Thornton Jr., Chandler, AZ; 18. Brent Larson, Lake Elmo, MN; 19. Brantlee Gotschall, Nevada, MO; 20. Randy Timms, Wheatland, OK; 21. Justin Asplin, Birch Tree, MO; 22. Al Humphrey, Giltner, NE; 23. Chase Junghans, Manhatten, KS; 24. Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, MN
B-Feature: 1. Payton Looney 2. Chase Junghans 3. Brantlee Gotschall 4. Bob Gardner 5. Randy Timms 6. Jordan Yaggy 7. Jeremy Grady, Story City, IA; 8. Rickey Frankel, Quincy, IL; 9. Gordy Gundaker, St. Charles, MO; 10. Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 11. Justin Asplin 12. Al Humphrey 13. Mike Stadel, Rapid City, SD; 14. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 15. Richard Weber, Kirksville, MO; 16. Rob Toland, Colona, IL; 17. Justin Reed, Quincy, IL
Heat 1: 1. Payton Looney 2. Jason Feger 3. Spencer Diercks 4. Raymond Merrill 5. Bob Gardner 6. Payton Looney 7. Justin Reed 8. Justin Asplin 9. Richard Weber
Heat 2: 1. Dave Eckrich 2. Jimmy Mars 3. JC Wyman 4. Ricky Thornton Jr 5. Jeremy Grady 6. Randy Timms 7. Chase Junghans
Heat 3: 1. Terry Phillips 2. Jesse Stovall 3. Brent Larson 4. Tyler Bruening 5. Brantlee Gotschall 6. Al Humphrey 7. Jay Johnson 8. Todd Frank
Heat 4: 1. Chad Simpson 2. Tony Jackson Jr 3. Billy Moyer 4. Rodney Sanders 5. Rob Toland 6. Gordy Gundaker 7. Rickey Frankel 8. Mike Stadel
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, IA; 2. Hunter Marriott, Brookfield, MO; 3. Jacob Murray, Hartford, IA; 4. Richie Gustin, Gilman, IA; 5. Chris Zogg, New Liberty, IA; 6. Johnny Scott, Cameron, MO; 7. Jesse Hoeft, Forest City, IA; 8. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 9. Colby Springsteen, Wapello, IA; 10. Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 11. Kyle Brown, Madrid, IA; 12. Rob Toland, Colona, IL; 13. Corey Dripps, Reinbach, IA; 14. Jardin Fuller, Memphis, MO; 15. Shawn Ritter, Keystone, IA; 16. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 17. Luke Merfeld, Dubuque, IA; 18. Blake Woodruff, Galesburg, IL; 19. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 20. Dave Wietholder, Liberty, IL; 21. Steve Stewart, Burlington, IA; 22. Dugan Thye, Burlington, IA; 23. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 24. Craig Spegal, New London, MO
B-Feature: 1. Corey Dripps; 2. Luke Merfeld; 3. Blake Woodruff; 4. Craig Spegal; 5. Dave Wietholder; 6. Dugan Thye; 7. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 8. Matt Bodman, Muscatine, IA; 9. David Brown, Kellogg, IA; 10. Larry McConnell, Danville, IA; 11. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO
Heat 1: 1. Chris Zogg; 2. Bill Roberts Jr.; 3. Jardin Fuller; 4. Dakota Simmons; 5. Dennis LaVeine; 6. Kyle Brown; 7. Luke Merfeld; 8. Larry McConnell; 9. Blake Woodruff; 10. Mitch Boles
Heat 2: 1. Richie Gustin; 2. Johnny Scott; 3. Colby Springsteen; 4. Rob Toland; 5. Jesse Hoeft; 6. Michael Long; 7. Dave Wietholder; 8. David Brown; 9. Corey Dripps; 10. Craig Spegal
Heat 3: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Jacob Murray; 3. Hunter Marriott; 4. Kelly Shryock; 5. Steve Stewart; 6. Shawn Ritter; 7. Matt Bodman; 8. Dugan Thye; 9. Kelly Buckallew
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. John Oliver Jr., Danville, Ia; 2. Jeff Mueller, Albion, IA; 3. Damon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 4. Mike Hughes, Oskaloosa, IA; 5. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 6. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 7. Cole Mather, Fairbank, IA; 8. Louis Lynch, Glenwood, MO; 9. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 10. Norman Chesmore, Rowley, IA; 11. Jay Schmidt, Tama, IA; 12. Corey Strothman, Mt. Union, IA; 13. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, IA; 14. Michael Larsen, Monroe City, MO; 15. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 16. Chase Exlline, Centerville, IA; 17. Scott Jordan, Wapello, IA; 18. Derrick Agee, Huntsville, MO; 19. Jim Redmann, Lockridge, IA; 20. Shane Paris, Wilton, IA; 21. Jake Wenig, Burlington, IA; 22. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 23. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 24. Les Blakley, Fairfield, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Mike Hughes; 2. Jake Wenig; 3. Louis Lynch; 4. Jeremy Pundt; 5. Jim Redmann; 6. Norman Chesmore; 7. Dean Kratzer; 8. Michael Larsen
Heat 2: 1. Abe Huls; 2. Damon Murty; 3. Shane Paris; 4. Corey Strothman; 5. Jay Schmidt; 6. Scott Jordan; 7. Kevin Koontz; 8. Les Blakley
Heat 3: 1. Jeff Mueller; 2. Derrick Agee; 3. John Oliver Jr.; 4. Cole Mather; 5. Chad Krogmeier; 6. Chase Exlline; 7. Cayden Carter; 8. Jason Cook
Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Tony Dunker, Quincy, IL; 2. Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 3. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 4. Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 5. Brian Efkamp, Ankeny, IA; 6. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 7. Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 8. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 9. Kyle Hill, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 10. Kevin Dickey, East Moline, IL; 11. Jacob Whittington, Davenport, IA; 12. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 13. Travis Hartman, Burlington, IA; 14. Carter VanDenBerg, Oskaloosa, IA; 15. Brandyn Ryan, Coatsburg, IL; 16. Ryan Walker, Wilton, IA; 17. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO (DNS); 18. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA
Heat 1: 1. Tony Dunker; 2. Jim Gillenwater; 3. Sean Wyett; 4. Austin Howes; 5. Bob Cowman; 6. Travis Hartman
Heat 2: 1. Carter VanDenBerg; 2. Austen Becerra; 3. Ryan Walker; 4. Jacob Whittington; 5. Brandyn Ryan; 6. John Oliver Jr.
Heat 3: 1. Brandon Lennox; 2. Logan Anderson; 3. Brian Efkamp; 4. Kyle Hill; 5. Brandon Dale; 6. Kevin Dickey
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 2. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 3. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 4. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 5. Travis DeMint, Warsaw, IL; 6. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 7. Steven Struck, Atalissa, IA; 8. Levi Heath, Wilton, IA; 9. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 10. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 11. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 12. Ron Kibbe, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 13. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 14. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 15. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 16. Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 17. Brandon Cruise, West Liberty, IA; 18. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 19. William Michel, Muscatine, IA; 20. Jacob Smith, Atalissa, IA
Heat 1: 1. Daniel Fellows; 2. David Prim; 3. Levi Heath; 4. Brandon Lambert; 5. Ashton Blain; 6. Brandon Cruise; 7. Jacob Smith
Heat 2: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Jake Dietrich; 3. Travis DeMint; 4. Mike Reu; 5. Darin Weisinger Jr.; 6. Brandon Reu; 7. Mike Hornung Jr.
Heat 3: 1. Barry Taft; 2. Steven Struck; 3. Kimberly Abbott; 4. Ron Kibbe; 5. Kenny Smith; 6. William Michel