by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, May 11, 2018) – The crazy spring weather here in the Midwest continued on Friday, as you could find temperatures in the low 80’s in Donnellson, Iowa. But if you traveled about 20 miles north you could find temperatures in the low 70’s, and getting colder the farther north you went. With overcast skies most of the day, the Pepsi Lee County Speedway had plenty of moisture in it to provide the driver’s with another great racing surface. Which in turn treated the fans to plenty of side-by-side racing, with two new driver’s visiting victory lane for the first time in 2018.
The first feature to take to the track on the night was the 14 lap Armstrong IMCA Sport Compacts. Jake Dietrich and Mike Reu was scheduled to lead the field to green, but when Dietrich elected to go to the tail this moved Robert Sturms to the pole. Mike Reu used his front row outside starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Chuck Fullenkamp, who started 5th, and Barry Taft, who started 7th. Taft would look under Mike Reu for the top spot over the next 3 laps, but Mike Reu was able to hold him off each lap at the line. That was until lap 5, when Taft was able to slid under Mike Reu coming off turn 2 to take over the lead. One lap later, lap 6, the first and only caution of the race appeared, as Ashton Blain lost a right front tire in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Taft jumped back out front, with Kimberly Abbott, who started 8th, and Brandon Reu, who started 6th, glued to his back bumper. Abbott would follow in Taft’s tire tracks over the next 6 laps. Then going into turn 3 on the final lap Abbott looked under Taft, as the two came off turn 4 side-by-side. Taft would hold off Abbott by a fender to pick up his second win in a row and third of the season at the track. Abbott settled for 2nd, Brandon Reu was 3rd, Mike Reu was 4th, with Fullenkamp coming home in 5th.
Up next was the 20 lap Steffes Late Model feature, with Gunner Frank and Todd Frank making up the front row. Todd Frank took advantage of his starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Gunner Frank and Jay Johnson. Gunner Frank tried to work under his dad Todd over the next 4 laps, only to have dad edge him out at the line each lap. The battle up front was slowed for the first time on lap 5, when Brandon Queen spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Todd Frank moved back out front, with Gunner Frank and Sam Halstead close behind. Once again Gunner tried to work under Todd over the next 3 laps, but Todd was able to hold him off. Todd then started to put some distance between himself and the battle behind him for second between Gunner and Halstead. Just when it looked like Todd was heading for his first win of the season at the track, disaster struck him coming off turn 4 on lap 14 when he lost an engine to bring out the yellow. On the restart Halstead went to the bottom of the track to edge Gunner Frank at the line by inches to take over the top spot. Halstead then went on to lead the final 5 laps to pick up his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Johnson came home in 2nd, Ron Boyse started 7th and finished 3rd, Gunner Frank was 4th, with Tommy Elston finishing in 5th.
Austen Becerra and Brandon Dale led the field to green in the 18 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMod feature, with Becerra grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Dale and Brandon Lennox. Dale and Lennox followed in Becerra’s tire tracks over the next 3 laps, when the action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 4. Kyle Hamelton spun down the front stretch to bring out the yellow. On the restart Dale would edge out Becerra at the line to take over the top spot. Dale then held the lead until lap 7, when Lennox used the momentum off the top of the track coming out of turn 4 to edge out the top spot at the line. Dale wouldn’t give up on the lead, as he stayed close to Lennox over the next 5 laps. When Lennox started to enter lapped traffic on lap 13, Dale would look under him for the top spot. But wasn’t able to make the pass. Then coming off turn 4 for the checkered flag Dale looked under Lennox. But Lennox would hold him off by half a car length to claim his second win of the season at the track. Dale settled for 2nd, Becerra was 3rd, Sean Wyett was 4th, with Dakota Sapp finishing 5th after starting in 10th.
The 14 lap Coors Light Hobby Stock feature was up next, with Aaron Martin and Brok Hopwood making up the front row. Martin used his front row starting spot to lead lap 1 over Hopwood and Nathan Ballard, who started 5th. The battle for the lead went three wide coming off turn 4 on lap 6, with Martin holding off Ballard and Hopwood to keep the lead. Then coming off turn 4 to complete lap 8 Ballard went low under Martin to take over the top spot. Ballard then looked to be heading for his second win of the season at the track, when he had a right rear tire go flat on lap 11. This handed the lead back over to Martin, who cruised to his second win in a row at the track. Gene Nicklas was the only car left on the track at the finish.
Up next was the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with nineteen of the twenty cars checked in taking to the track. Jeremy Pundt and John Oliver Jr. made up the front row for the event. Just as the field took the green the caution light came on, as Kevin Koontz got sideways in turn 2 and collected Jake Wenig to bring out the yellow. On the original restart Pundt moved out front to lead lap 1 over Oliver Jr. and Jason Cook. Then after lap 1 was scored complete the second caution of the race appeared, as Brandon Lambert spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Pundt once again grabbed the lead on the restart, only to be slowed for the third time of the race. This time Jesse Wegs spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Pundt jumped back out front, with Cook edging out Oliver Jr. for the runner up spot. The action up front came to a slow for the final time on lap 5, as debris in turn 4 brought out the yellow. Pundt again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Cook and Oliver Jr. glued to his back bumper. Oliver Jr., who was working the top of the track, used the momentum off the top to take the lead away from Pundt on lap 10. Going into turn 3 to come to complete lap 13 the battle up front went four wide, with contact up front bottling up the field. This allowed Abe Huls, who started 6th, to shoot off the bottom for the lead. Todd Reitzler, who started 8th, worked the middle of the track to edge out Huls at the line for the lead on lap 13, only to have Huls come back on the bottom to take it back on lap 15. Reitzler would stay glued to Huls back bumper over the final laps. Then coming off turn 4 on the final lap Reitzler was able to get under Huls. But Huls would hold on by half a car length to pick up his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Reitzler settled for 2nd, Oliver Jr. was 3rd, Pundt was 4th, with Cook holding on for 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, with Craig Spegal and Blake Woodruff leading the field to green. Woodruff jumped out front on lap 1 over Spegal and Kelly Buckallew. The lead for Woodruff only lasted 1 lap, as Spegal slipped under him to take over the top spot on lap 2. Just after the completion of lap 2 the first and only caution of the race appeared, as Buckallew, who was running 4th, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Spegal jumped back out front, with Dakota Simmons and Jeff Waterman, who started 7th, close behind. Spegal would hold the lead until lap 5, when Waterman used the bottom of the track to take the lead away. Waterman then pulled away to claim his second win of the season at the track. Spegal was 2nd, Bill Roberts Jr. started 8th and finished 3rd, Woodruff was 4th, with Simmons rounding out the top 5.
Coming up next week Friday, May 18th at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be another points night, being presented by Darkside Tint & Graphix, Driftwood 13, and Lee County EMS. 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, Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts, and Vintage Cars.
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, May 11, 2018
Steffes Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 2. Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 3. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 4. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 5. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 6. Aric Becker, Cedar Rapids, IA; 7. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 8. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 9. Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 10. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 11. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Gunner Frank; 2. Sam Halstead; 3. Ron Boyse; 4. Todd Frank; 5. Aric Becker; 6. Darin Weisinger Jr.
Heat 2: 1. Jay Johnson; 2. Tommy Elston; 3. Brandon Savage; 4. Brandon Queen; 5. Jeff Guengerich (DNS)
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 3. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 4. Blake Woodruff, Galesburg, IL; 5. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 6. Jerad Fuller, Memphis, MO; 7. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 8. Austin Emry, Kellogg, IA; 9. Dean McGee, Galesburg, IL; 10. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 11. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 12. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA
Heat 1: 1. Kelly Buckallew; 2. Bill Roberts Jr.; 3. Jerad Fuller; 4. Craig Spegal; 5. Dennis LaVeine; 6. Dean McGee
Heat 2: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Blake Woodruff; 3. Austin Emry; 4. Dakota Simmons; 5. Mitch Boles; 6. Levi Smith
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 2. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell, IA; 3. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 4. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 5. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 6. David Brandies, Wilton, IA; 7. Corey Strothman, Mt. Union, IA; 8. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, IA; 9. Jake Wenig, Burlington, IA; 10. Cody Washburne, New London, IA; 11. Spenscer Hopwood, Ottumwa, IA; 12. Jesse Wegs, Quincy, IL; 13. Dustin Griffiths, Hedrick, IA; 14. Beau Taylor, Canton, MO; 15. Les Blakley, Fairfield, IA; 16. Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 17. Garrett Alexander, Russell, IA; 18. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 19. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 20. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Dean Kratzer; 2. David Brandies; 3. Jeremy Pundt; 4. Beau Taylor; 5. Kevin Koontz; 6. Les Blakley; 7. Jake Wenig (DNS)
Heat 2: 1. Jason Cook; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Dustin Griffiths; 4. Jesse Wegs; 5. Cody Washburne; 6. Brandon Lambert; 7. Garrett Alexander
Heat 3: 1. Todd Reitzler; 2. Abe Huls; 3. Corey Strothman; 4. Ray Raker; 5. Spenscer Hopwood; 6. Chad Krogmeier (DNS)
Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 2. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 3. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 4. Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 5. Dakota Sapp, Ottumwa, IA; 6. Jim Walker, Mystic, IA; 7. Michael Benjamin, Montrose, IA; 8. Jeffrey DeLonjay, Quincy, IL; 9. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 10. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL
Heat: 1. Austen Becerra; 2. Brandon Dale; 3. Jeffrey DeLonjay; 4. Brandon Lennox; 5. Sean Wyett; 6. Bob Cowman; 7. Jim Walker; 8. Michael Benjamin; 9. Kyle Hamelton; 10. Dakota Sapp
Coors Light Hobby Stocks
A-Feature: 1. Aaron Martin, Richland, IA; 2. Gene Nicklas, Grinnell, IA; 3. Nathan Ballard, Marengo, IA; 4. Ricky Miller Jr., Gorin, MO; 5. Brok Hopwood, Ottumwa, IA
Heat: 1. Nathan Ballard; 2. Aaron Martin; 3. Brok Hopwood; 4. Gene Nicklas; 5. Ricky Miller Jr.
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 2. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 3. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 4. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 5. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 6. Robert Sturms, Burlington, IA; 7. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 8. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 9. Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 10. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 11. Jason Ash, Burlington, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Barry Taft; 2. Mike Reu; 3. Chuck Fullenkamp; 4. Ashton Blain; 5. Jake Dietrich; 6. Jason Ash (DNS)
Heat 2: 1. Kimberly Abbott; 2. Brandon Reu; 3. Kenny Smith; 4. Robert Sturms; 5. Mike Hornung Jr.