by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, April 20, 2018) – Finally mother nature provided the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa with some spring like weather to get their 2018 points season started. Armstrong Tractor was the sponsor for the night, that saw action in seven classes. At the end of the night Tommy Elston (Steffes Late Models), Jeff Waterman (Budweiser IMCA Modifieds), Damon Murty (Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars), Brandon Lennox (Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods), Baiden Heskett (Legend Cars); Nathan Ballard (Coors Light Hobby Stocks), and Josh Barnes (Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts) all ended up in victory lane.
The first feature to take to the track was the 30 lap Legend Cars, with Edward Farrington and Jason Utter drawing the front row. Utter used his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1 over Mike Mueller and Tim Brockhouse. Utter then held the top spot until lap 7, when Brockhouse slipped under him coming off turn 4 to take the lead. One lap later, lap 8, Farrington would spin in turn 1 to bring out the first yellow of the race. On the restart Brockhouse jumped back out front, with Utter and Mueller close behind. Brockhouse and Utter battled side-by-side for the top spot over the next 3 laps, when the second caution of the race slowed the battle on lap 12. Debris in turn 2 would cause the yellow. Brockhouse and Utter continued their battle for the lead on the restart, only to be slowed 4 laps later. Craig Peekenschneider spun in turn 1 on lap 17 to bring out the yellow. Utter would get under Brockhouse on the restart to grab the lead away. Only to be slowed 1 lap later, lap 19, for Peenkenschneider spinning in turn 4 to bring out another yellow. On the restart Brockhouse got into Utter in turn 1, which caused Utter to spin and bring the yellow light back on. Both driver’s would be sent to the back, with Baiden Heskett, who started 7th, inheriting the lead for the restart. The action was slowed after the completion of lap 20, when Adam Meyer spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Heskett moved back out front on the restart, with Mueller and Drew Papke, who started 12th, close behind. The final caution of the race appeared on lap 22, when Ryan Sullivan, who was running 4th, spun in turn 1 from contact from Brockhouse to bring out the yellow. On the restart Heskett grabbed the lead, with Papke over taking Mueller for the runner up spot. Papke, who was running the top of the track, would over take Heskett for the top spot on lap 28. But coming to the white flag Heskett was able to slip under Papke to edge him at the line for the lead. Heskett then held off Papke to claim the win. Papke was 2nd, Utter recovered from the spin on lap 19 to come back up to finish 3rd, Mueller was 4th, with Warren Ropp rounding out the top 5.
Up next was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Damon Murty and Brandon Lambert, who moved up from the Sport Compact class, drew the front row. But it was fourth place starter Jason See who used the top of the track to lead lap 1 over Murty and Jeff Mueller, who started 5th. The lead for See lasted for 1 lap, as Murty was able to get by him to lead lap 2. Then disaster would strike See on lap 5 when he clipped a tire in turn 2 and rolled to bring out the red. He would climb from his car okay. On the restart Murty moved back out front, with Mueller and Abe Huls, who started 8th, close behind. The action up front was slowed on lap 9, when John Oliver Jr., who was running 4th, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Murty jumped back out front on the restart, with Huls over taking Mueller for the runner up spot. Two laps later, lap 12, Mitch Meyer spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow light on. Once again Murty grabbed the lead on the restart, with Huls and Mueller glued to his back bumper. Mueller’s night would come to an end on lap 14 when his throttle stuck going into turn 3 causing him to go straight into the guardrail to bring out the yellow. On the restart Huls used the top of the track to take the lead away from Murty. But Murty would slid up in front of Huls coming off turn 4 to get the lead back on lap 16. Huls would continue to challenge Murty for the lead until lap 17, when his part of his dash flew up and blocked his vision. This would allow Murty to pull away for the win. Huls was able to hold on for 2nd, Beau Taylor came from 11th to finish in 3rd, Jason Cook started 10th and finished 4th, with Oliver Jr. recovering from his spin on lap 9 to come back up to finish 5th.
Jeff Waterman and Gatlin Leytham drew the front row for the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature. Just as the green flag was waved the caution came out, as contact sent Mitch Boles spinning in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart Waterman jumped out front, with Leytham and David Brown following. Brown would over take Leytham for the runner up spot on lap 6, and then tried keep pace with Waterman. But with out another caution to slow the action, Waterman would go on to pick up the win. David Brown was 2nd, Dennis LaVeine was 3rd, Kyle Brown nipped Bill Roberts Jr., who started 10th, at the line by inches to claim 4th, with Roberts Jr. in 5th.
The Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMod feature was scheduled to go 20 laps. But with 5 cautions within the first 3 laps, the race was cut to 15 laps. Under green flag racing Ethan Braaksma, who started 9th, lead the field. Braaksma would hold the top spot until lap 7, when Brandon Lennox, who came from the rear after being involved in one of the early cautions, slipped under him for the lead. The only thing to slow Lennox down over the final laps was 3 more cautions. But on each restart Lennox grabbed the lead that he held until the checkered flag. Braaksma was 2nd, Tim Warner, who came down from Malone, Wisconsin, was 3rd, Ryan King was 4th, with Dakota Sapp coming home in 5th after starting in 16th.
Brandon Savage and Todd Frank drew the front row for the 20 lap Steffes Late Model feature, with Frank grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Savage and Sam Halstead. The action was slowed for only one time, as Savage tried to slid up in front of Frank in turn 4 on lap 2 and spun to avoid contact to bring out the yellow. On the restart Frank moved back out front, with Tommy Elston, who started 5th, over taking Halstead for 2nd. A couple of laps later Elston used the top of the track to grab the top spot away from Frank. While Elston set a fast pace out front, Ron Boyse, who started 7th, worked his way into second on lap 11. But without a caution Boyse ran out of time to chase down Elston, who went on to pick up the win. Boyse was 2nd, Jeff Guengerich was 3rd, Frank was 4th, with Halstead finishing 5th.
Up next was the 15 lap Coors Light Hobby Stock feature, with Gene Nicklas and Nathan Ballard drawing the front row for the event. Ballard took advantage of his draw to grab the lead on lap 1 over Nicklas and Aaron Martin. Martin’s run up front came to an end on lap 3, as he spun in turn 1 with a left front flat to bring out the yellow. On the restart Ballard moved back out front, with Nicklas and Mike Kincaid, who started 8th, close behind. While Ballard paced the field out front, Eric Stanton used the bottom and top of the track to move into second on lap 13. Then coming to the white flag he was able to get up next to Ballard for the lead. But Ballard was able to hold him off on the final lap to claim the win. Stanton settled for 2nd, Nicklas was 3rd, Brok Hopwood was 4th, with Kincaid rounding out the top 5.
The final feature to take to the track was the 14 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts, with Josh Barnes and Darin Weisinger Jr. drawing the front row. Barnes used his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Kimberly Abbott, who started 7th, and Chuck Fullenkamp, who started 5th. While Barnes paced the field out front, the action behind him was for second, third, fourth and fifth. With no caution to bunch the field up, Barnes went on to pick up the win. Abbott held on for 2nd, Brandon Reu was 3rd, Barry Taft came from 10th to finish 4th, with Fullenkamp coming home in 5th.
Coming up next week Friday, April 27th at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be another points night, as West Point Auto and Powersports brings you the nights action. In action will be the Steffes Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods, Coors Light Hobby Stocks, and 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.
For more information about the Pepsi Lee County Speedway you can visit their website at www.leecountyspeedway.com, like them on Facebook, or call Brian Gaylord at 319-371-6744 or Mike Van Genderen at 641-521-0330.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, April 20, 2018 – Armstrong Tractor Night
A-Feature: 1. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 2. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 3. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 4. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 5. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 6. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 7. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 8. Chase Frank, Montrose, IA
Heat: 1. Todd Frank; 2. Gunner Frank; 3. Brandon Savage; 4. Sam Halstead; 5. Tommy Elston; 6. Jeff Guengerich; 7. Ron Boyse; 8. Chase Frank
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. David Brown, Kellogg, IA; 3. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 4. Kyle Brown, Madrid, IA; 5. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 6. Chris Zogg, New Liberty, IA; 7. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 8. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 9. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 10. Blake Woodruff, Galesburg, IL; 11. Gatlin Leytham, Toledo, IA; 12. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 13. Shawn Ritter, Keystone, IA
Heat 1: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Dennis LaVeine; 3. Gatlin Leytham; 4. Mitch Boles; 5. Bill Roberts Jr.; 6. Dakota Simmons; 7. Blake Woodruff
Heat 2: 1. Shawn Ritter; 2. Kyle Brown; 3. Chris Zogg; 4. Kelly Buckallew; 5. David Brown; 6. Craig Spegal
A-Feature: 1. Damon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 2. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 3. Beau Taylor, Canton, MO; 4. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 5. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 6. Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 7. Steven Mast, Palmyra, MO; 8. Mitch Meyer, Chilton, WI; 9. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 10. Jeff Mueller, Albion, IA; 11. Jason See, Albia, IA; 12. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA (DNS); 13. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Jeff Mueller; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Damon Murty; 4. Jason See; 5. Abe Huls; 6. Beau Taylor; 7. Mitch Meyer
Heat 2: 1. Jason Cook; 2. Ray Raker; 3. Steven Mast; 4. Brandon Lambert; 5. Jeremy Pundt; 6. Kevin Koontz
A-Feature: 1. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 2. Ethan Braaksma, Newton, IA; 3. Tim Warner, Malone, WI; 4. Ryan King, Montour, IA; 5. Dakota Sapp, Ottumwa, IA; 6. Jared Miller, Iowa City, IA; 7. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 8. Jami Ritter, Keystone, IA; 9. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 10. Ron Kibbe, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 11. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 12. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 13. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 14. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 15. Hunter Gainer, Palmyra, MO; 16. Nathan Bringer, Lewistown, MO
Heat 1: 1. Brandon Dale; 2. Austen Becerra; 3. Daniel Fellows; 4. Brandon Lennox; 5. Austin Howes; 6. Jami Ritter; 7. Hunter Gainer; 8. Kyle Hamelton
Heat 2: 1. Ethan Braaksma; 2. Ron Kibbe; 3. Nathan Bringer; 4. Tim Warner; 5. Ryan King; 6. Jared Miller; 7. Bob Cowman; 8. Dakota Sapp
A-Feature: 1. Baiden Heskett, Alvarado, TX; 2. Drew Papke, Bismarck, N.D.; 3. Jason Utter, Columbus Junction, IA; 4. Mike Mueller, Waupun, WI; 5. Warren Ropp, Kalona, IA; 6. Dave Eberle, Freeport, IL; 7. Ryan Sullivan, Waupun, WI; 8. Zach Less, Hopkinton, IA; 9. Carson Less, Hopkinton, IA; 10. Jeremy Meyer, Cedar Rapids, IA; 11. Keith Meyer, Cedar Rapids, IA; 12. Adam Meyer, Cedar Rapids, IA; 13. Tim Franz, Oshkash, WI; 14. Tim Fredericks, Cedar Rapids, IA; 15. Craig Peekenschneider, Davenport, IA; 16. Edward Farrington, Cross Plains, WI; 17. Gary Dyer, Blue Grass, IA; 18. Brock Haines, Fairfield, IA; 19. Tim Brockhouse, Shakopee, MN
Heat 1: 1. Jason Utter; 2. Drew Papke; 3. Zach Less; 4. Baiden Heskett; 5. Tim Fredericks; 6. Brock Haines; 7. Adam Meyer
Heat 2: 1. Craig Peekenschneider; 2. Keith Meyer; 3. Dave Eberle; 4. Edward Farrington; 5. Tim Franz; 6. Jeremy Meyer
Heat 3: 1. Mike Mueller; 2. Tim Brockhouse; 3. Warren Ropp; 4. Ryan Sullivan; 5. Gary Dyer; 6. Carson Less
A-Feature: 1. Nathan Ballard, Marengo, IA; 2. Eric Stanton, Carlisle, IA; 3. Gene Nicklas, Grinnell, IA; 4. Brok Hopwood, Ottumwa, IA; 5. Mike Kincaid, Cincinnati, IA; 6. Dakota Simonsen, Fairfax, IA; 7. Kenzie Ritter, Keystone, IA; 8. Aaron Martin, Richland, IA
Heat: 1. Nathan Ballard; 2. Aaron Martin; 3. Eric Stanton; 4. Gene Nicklas; 5. Brok Hopwood; 6. Dakota Simonsen; 7. Kenzie Ritter; 8. Mike Kincaid
A-Feature: 1. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 2. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 3. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 4. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 5. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 6. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 7. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 8. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 9. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 10. Pat Schantz, Luray, MO; 11. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 12. Alyssa Steele, Keokuk, IA
Heat 1: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Darin Weisinger Jr.; 3. Pat Schantz; 4. Chuck Fullenkamp; 5. Alyssa Steele; 6. Jake Dietrich
Heat 2: 1. Brandon Reu; 2. Kimberly Abbott; 3. Mike Reu; 4. Barry Taft; 5. Mike Hornung Jr.; 6. David Prim