by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, June 8, 2018) – It’s hard to believe were are already halfway thru the 2018 points season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, as Friday night was Mid-Season Championship Night presented by Midwest Performance & Power and Coors Light. When the final checkered flag of night waved at 9:25 PM, two driver’s visited victory lane for the first time of the season at the track and three others recorded multiple wins.
The 14 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature took to the track first, with Kenny Smith and Jake Dietrich leading the field to green. Dietrich took advantage of his starting spot to lead lap 1 over Josh Barnes and Smith. But that lead only lasted for 1 lap, as Barnes slipped past him to take over the top spot on lap 2. While Barnes set the pace out front, Brandon Ruffcorn, who was driving Barnes’ back up car and started 9th, worked himself into second on lap 6. Two laps later, lap 8, the first and only caution of the race appeared for debris in turn 3. On the restart Barnes moved back out front, with Ruffcorn and Dietrich close behind. Ruffcorn looked under and even got up beside Barnes a couple of times over the final 5 laps. But Barnes was able to hold him off to claim his second win of the season at the track. Ruffcorn was 2nd, Brandon Reu started 6th and finished 3rd, Barry Taft finished 4th after starting in 8th, with Dietrich holding on for 5th.
Up next was the 18 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMod feature, with Ron Kibbe and Bob Cowman making up the front row. Kibbe used his starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Daniel Fellows and Brandyn Ryan. Fellows would then try to work under Kibbe over the next 9 laps, with Kibbe holding him off each lap. That was until lap 10, Fellows was able to get under Kibbe to take over the top spot. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 11, when a tire was clipped in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Fellows jumped back out front, with Brandon Lennox, who started 8th, and Kibbe following. For the next 3 laps Lennox tried to work under Fellows, but when he had no luck making the pass Lennox went to the top of the track on lap 16 to try and complete the pass. Despite Lennox pulling even with Fellows at the line on lap 17, Fellows was able to hold on to pick up his second win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Lennox settled for a close 2nd, Austin Howes finished 3rd, Brandon Dale started 7th and finished 4th, with Kibbe finishing in 5th.
Jeremy Pundt and John Oliver Jr. led the field to green in the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Pundt grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Oliver Jr. and Jason Cook. Oliver Jr. would then try and work under Pundt over the next 4 laps, with Pundt holding him off each lap. That was until lap 5, when Oliver Jr. finally made the pass to take over the top spot. Meanwhile Cook, Abe Huls, and David Brandies, who started 5th, joined the battle up front. The action would go two and even three wide several times, while Oliver Jr. pace the field out front. Huls who had tried the bottom to wrestle the lead from Oliver Jr. for several laps, decided to go to the top on lap 11. Using the momentum off the top of turn 4 Huls edged out Oliver Jr. on lap 13 to take over the lead. Only to have Oliver Jr. come back on the bottom to take the lead back on lap 14. Brandies would take the battle for the lead three wide on lap 17 to grab the top spot. Then coming to the white flag Huls once again used the momentum off the top of turn 4 to edge out the lead. But Brandies would get under him coming off turn 2 on the final lap and then held him off to score his first win of the season at the track. Huls settled for a close 2nd, Cook was 3rd, Oliver Jr. was 4th, with Pundt completing the top 5.
Up next was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Levi Smith and Mitch Boles leading the field to green. But it was third place starter Dean McGee who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Jeff Waterman, who started 7th, and Boles. McGee then held the top spot until lap 3, when Waterman slipped by to take over the lead. While Waterman set a very fast pace out front, Logan Anderson, who started 6th, and Colby Springsteen, who started 10th, were working their way towards the front. On lap 9 Anderson moved into second and one lap later, lap 10, Springsteen took over third. Anderson, who was working the top, then worked to hold off Springsteen, who was on the bottom, over the final laps. As Waterman built up a straight-away lead, and without a caution to bunch up the field, Waterman would go on to claim his second win in a row and fourth overall at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Springsteen got by Anderson for 2nd on the final lap, Anderson was 3rd, McGee was 4th, with Bill Roberts Jr. coming from 9th to finish in 5th.
The final feature to take to the track was the 20 lap Steffes Late Models, and when Darin Weisinger Jr. electing to go to the rear this would move Todd Frank up next to Brandon Savage. Frank used this move to his advantage, as he grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Ron Boyse, who started 5th, and Savage. The lead for Frank only lasted for 1 lap, as Boyse slipped under him coming off turn 4 to take over the top spot on lap 2. On lap 6 the action was slowed for the first and only time, as Weisinger Jr. spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Boyse jumped back out front, with Tommy Elston, who started 7th, and Frank close behind. Elston would try the bottom and top of the track over the final 13 laps to get the lead away from Boyse. But Boyse would hold him off to pick up his first win of the season at the track. Elston settled for 2nd, Sam Halstead started 6th and finished 3rd, Todd Frank was 4th, with Gunner Frank rounding out the top 5.
Coming up next at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be the Inaugural 305 Winged Nationals on Friday, June 22, being presented by Mohrfeld Electric and Hoenig Lawn Service. As there will be no racing on Friday, June 15th. The 305 Sprint Cars will be racing for $1,000 to win and $100 to start, in a draw / redraw format. Also in action will be the Steffes Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods, and Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts.
There will be NO RACES June 15th, 2018 at the Lee County Speedway but we will return to action on June 22nd with the 305 Sprints joining the action.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, June 8, 2018 – Midwest Performance & Power / Coors Light Night
Steffes Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 2. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 3. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 4. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 5. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 6. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 7. Aric Becker, Cedar Rapids, IA; 8. Chris Richard, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 9. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 10. Russ Schoonover, Horwich, Can.
Heat 1: 1. Tommy Elston; 2. Ron Boyse; 3. Todd Frank; 4. Darin Weisinger Jr.; 5. Russ Schoonover
Heat 2: 1. Gunner Frank; 2. Sam Halstead; 3. Brandon Savage; 4. Aric Becker; 5. Chris Richard
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. Colby Springsteen, Wapello, IA; 3. Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 4. Dean McGee, Galesburg, IL; 5. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 6. Larry Herring, Lone Tree, IA; 7. Dustin Smith, Taylor Ridge, IL; 8. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 9. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 10. Rich Smith, Taylor Ridge, IL; 11. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 12. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 13. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 14. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA
Heat 1: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Dennis LaVeine; 3. Bill Roberts Jr.; 4. Levi Smith; 5. Dean McGee; 6. Dustin Smith; 7. Craig Spegal
Heat 2: 1. Larry Herring; 2. Colby Springsteen; 3. Kelly Buckallew; 4. Mitch Boles; 5. Logan Anderson; 6. Rich Smith; 7. Dakota Simmons
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. David Brandies, Wilton, IA; 2. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 3. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 4. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 5. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 6. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 7. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, IA; 8. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO
Heat: 1. David Brandies; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Jason Cook; 4. Jeremy Pundt; 5. Abe Huls; 6. Dean Kratzer; 7. Chad Krogmeier; 8. Kevin Koontz
Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 2. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 3. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 4. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 5. Ron Kibbe, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 6. Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 7. Brandyn Ryan, Coatsburg, IL; 8. Rick Barlow Jr., Montrose, IA; 9. Brett Lowry, Ottumwa, IA; 10. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 11. Michael Benjamin, Montrose, IA; 12. Jim Walker, Mystic, IA; 13. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 14. John Renier, Ursa, IL
Heat 1: 1. Daniel Fellows; 2. Brandon Lennox; 3. Brandyn Ryan; 4. Sean Wyett; 5. Austin Howes; 6. Jim Walker; 7. Kyle Hamelton
Heat 2: 1. Brandon Dale; 2. Ron Kibbe; 3. Brett Lowry; 4. Bob Cowman; 5. Rick Barlow Jr.; 6. John Renier; 7. Michael Benjamin
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 2. Brandon Ruffcorn, Donnellson, IA; 3. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 4. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 5. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 6. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 7. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 8. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 9. Robert Sturms, Burlington, IA; 10. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 11. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 12. Jacob Houston, Burlington, IA; 13. Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA
Heat 1: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Mike Reu; 3. Jake Dietrich; 4. Kimberly Abbott; 5. Jacob Houston; 6. Cody Bowman; 7. Mike Hornung Jr.
Heat 2: 1. Brandon Ruffcorn; 2. Brandon Reu; 3. Barry Taft; 4. David Prim; 5. Kenny Smith; 6. Robert Sturms