by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, June 29, 2018) – The track crew at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa had to over come mother nature in the past two days. It started on late Thursday afternoon when more than 1″ was dumped on the grounds after a strong thunderstorm went thru the area. Then on Friday the crew had to work thru high heat index’s and humidity to get the track ready for Friday’s Pilot Grove Savings Bank Night. There was still some soft spots in the track from last weeks conditions, but the driver’s were able to provided the fans with some great two and three wide racing.
The 14 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature was up first, with Jacob Houston and Mike Reu leading the field to green. Mike Reu took advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Brandon Reu and Barry Taft, who started 5th. Brandon Reu, Barry Taft and Mike Reu raced three wide off turn 4 on lap 3 for the lead, with Brandon Reu edging out front to be credited with leading the lap. Brandon Reu then held the lead until lap 6, when Taft slipped under him for the top spot. But Brandon Reu would slip back under Taft coming off turn 4 to lead lap 7. Taft then used the momentum off the top of the track to grab the lead back on lap 8. Then despite being challenged from Brandon Reu over the final laps, Taft would hold on to claim his sixth win of the season at the track. Brandon Reu was 2nd, Kimberly Abbott was 3rd, Houston was 4th, with Kenny Smith coming home in 5th.
Up next was the 18 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMod feature, with Jim Walker and Michael Benjamin on the front row. But it was fourth place starter Austen Becerra who shot out into the lead on lap 1 over Daniel Fellows, who started 5th, and Brandon Dale, who started 7th. While Becerra set the pace out front, Fellows and Dale raced side-by-side for the runner up spot. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 10, as Walker spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Becerra jumped back out front, with Dale, Fellows and Brandon Lennox, who started 8th, racing for the runner up spot. Coming off turn 4 to complete lap 13 Lennox, Fellows and Dale raced three wide for second, with Lennox edging them out to move into second. Lennox then went to work on Becerra for the win. But Becerra would hold him off to pick up his second win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Lennox was 2nd, Austin Howes started 6th and finished 3rd, Dale was 4th, with Fellows rounding out the top 5.
Chad Krogmeier and Jeremy Pundt led the field to green in the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Pundt using his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over John Oliver Jr. and Krogmeier. The action up front was slowed on lap 2, as Eric Glass spun in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Glass spun in turn 1 to bring the yellow light back on, and ending his night. The following restart saw Pundt jump back out front, with Oliver Jr. and Abe Huls, who started 5th, close behind. On lap 4 Huls went to the top of the track to go from third into the lead, with Oliver Jr. slipping under Pundt to take over the second spot. While Huls started to pull away, Pundt tried to work back under Oliver Jr. for second. Without another caution to bunch up the field, Huls would pull away for his third win of the season at the track. Oliver Jr. held on in the battle for 2nd, Pundt settled for 3rd, Jason Cook finished 4th, with Scott Jordan coming home in 5th after starting in 7th.
Up next was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Mitch Boles and Dennis LaVeine making up the front row. LaVeine used his starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Boles and Dakota Simmons. Disaster would strike Boles and Jeff Waterman, who was running 5th, on lap 2, as Boles got sideways in turn 4 and Waterman having nowhere to go made contact and spinning to bring out the yellow. On the restart LaVeine moved back out front, with Simmons and Larry Herring battling for the runner up spot. While LaVeine paced the field out front, all eyes were on Waterman, who was working his way back to the front. On the halfway point of the race Waterman would over take Herring for second, and then went to work on LaVeine for the top spot. Two laps later, lap 12, Waterman used the top of the track to over take LaVeine for the lead. Waterman then went on to claim his fifth win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. LaVeine was 2nd, Herring was 3rd, Bill Roberts Jr. came from 9th to finish in 4th, with Dean McGee finishing 5th after starting in 7th.
When Chase Frank dropped a driveshaft in his heat and was unable to make repairs, and Darin Weisinger Jr. electing to go to the rear in the 20 lap Steffes Late Model feature, this would move Aric Becker and Gunner Frank to the front row for the event. Gunner Frank used the move to move out into the lead on lap 1 over Becker and Todd Frank. Ron Boyse, who started 7th, quickly worked his way into second on lap 3 and then went to work on Gunner Frank for the top spot. But the action up front was slowed on lap 7 when Sam Halstead spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Gunner Frank jumped back out front, with Todd Frank over taking Boyse for second. On lap 11 Tommy Elston, who started 9th and was working the top of the track, moved into second and then went to work on Gunner Frank for the lead. Elston would try the top and bottom of the track to wrestle the lead away from Gunner Frank over the next four laps. But Gunner Frank would hold him off each lap, that was until lap 16 when Elston finally was able to make the pass. Elston then pulled away over the final laps to score his second win in a row and third overall at the track. Boyse would grab the 2nd spot, Gunner Frank was 3rd, Todd Frank was 4th, with Halstead recovering from his spin on lap 7 to come back up to finish 5th.
Next Friday, July 6th the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be off to get things set up for the Lee County Fair. Action in the Steffes Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods, and Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts will return on Thursday, July 12th during the fair. All classes will be draw / redraw. Look for more details in the coming week.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, June 29, 2018 – Pilot Grove Savings Bank Night
Steffes Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 2. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 3. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 4. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 5. Sam Halstead; New London, IA; 6. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 7. Aric Becker, Cedar Rapids, IA; 8. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 9. Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 10. Chase Frank, Montrose, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Tommy Elston; 2. Todd Frank; 3. Ron Boyse; 4. Aric Becker; 5. Chase Frank
Heat 2: 1. Gunner Frank; 2. Jeff Guengerich; 3. Sam Halstead; 4. Brandon Queen; 5. Darin Weisinger Jr.
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 3. Larry Herring, Lone Tree, IA; 4. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 5. Dean McGee, Galesburg, IL; 6. Dustin Crear, West Burlington, IA; 7. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 8. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 9. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 10. Mitch Boles, New London, IA
Heat: 1. Dennis LaVeine; 2. Jeff Waterman; 3. Mitch Boles; 4. Dakota Simmons; 5. Larry Herring; 6. Craig Spegal; 7. Dean McGee; 8. Kelly Buckallew; 9. Bill Roberts Jr.; 10. Dustin Crear
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 2. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 3. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 4. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 5. Scott Jordan, Wapello, Ia; 6. Beau Taylor, Canton, Mo; 7. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 8. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 9. Eric Glass, Memphis, MO
Heat: 1. John Oliver Jr.; 2. Abe Huls; 3. Jeremy Pundt; 4. Jason Cook; 5. Chad Krogmeier; 6. Beau Taylor; 7. Scott Jordan; 8. Kevin Koontz; 9. Eric Glass
Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 2. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 3. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 4. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 5. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 6. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 7. Michael Benjamin, Montrose, IA; 8. Jim Walker, Mystic, IA; 9. Jason McDaniel, Eldon, IA; 10. Colton Pohren, Keokuk, IA; 11. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Jason McDaniel; 2. Austen Becerra; 3. Brandon Lennox; 4. Austin Howes; 5. Michael Benjamin; 6. Kyle Hamelton (DNS)
Heat 2: 1. Daniel Fellows; 2. Brandon Dale; 3. Bob Cowman; 4. Jim Walker; 5. Colton Pohren
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 2. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 3. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 4. Jacob Houston, Burlington, IA; 5. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 6. Robert Sturms, Burlington, IA; 7. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 8. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA (DNS)
Heat: 1. Barry Taft; 2. Brandon Reu; 3. Mike Reu; 4. Kimberly Abbott; 5. Jacob Houston; 6. Kenny Smith; 7. Robert Sturms; 8. Jake Dietrich