Long and Houston Repeat, While Bluhm, Murty and Becerra Become New Winners at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway

by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Saturday, March 23, 2019) – The second and final night of the 7th Annual Spring Extravaganza was held on Saturday, March 23rd at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. And with a slight chance of rains moving in sometime in the night, the action would be rushed through as fast as possible to beat any weather. And when the final checkered flag waved it was Michael Long (Budweiser Modifieds) and Jacob Houston (Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts) who repeated their wins from Friday night. While Dustin Bluhm (I-Smile Silver Late Models), Damon Murty (Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars), and Austen Becerra (Roberts Tire Center SportMods) picked up their first wins of the season at the track.

Once again the I-Smile Silver Late Models kicked off the nights action, with Dustin Bluhm and Brandon Queen drawing the front row. Bluhm used his starting spot to his advantage by jumping out front on lap 1 over Jay Johnson and Tommy Elston, who started 5th. With Bluhm out front, Elston was working on Johnson to try and get the second place from him. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 6, as Chris Morefield spun into the turn 4 guardrail to bring out the yellow. On the restart Bluhm moved back out front, with Elston once again trying to get second from Johnson. On lap 8 Elston finally made the move around Johnson and then set his sights on Bluhm for the top spot. While Bluhm worked the bottom of the track, Elston would work the middle to upper groove to try and get by. The momentum almost paid off coming off turn 4 coming to the white flag, as Elston raced Bluhm side-by-side into turn 1. Bluhm was able to hold off Elston down the backstretch. Elston again tried to use the momentum off the top of turn 4 coming to the checkered to get past Bluhm. But Blum was able to hold him off by a car length to claim his first ever win at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway, which was worth $900 thanks to Jimmie Sykes and David Weeks. Elston settled for 2nd, Johnson was 3rd, Denny Woodworth was 4th, with Sam Halstead coming home in 5th.

Up next was the 22 lap Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars, with Todd Reitzler and Damon Murty leading the field to green. Reitzler would edge Murty out at the line to lead lap 1, only to have Murty slip back by to lead lap 2. While Murty set the pace out front, the battle was for second between Reitzler, Jeemy Pundt, Derek Green, who started 5th, Cayden Carter, who started 6th, and Abe Huls, who started 7th. Just as Murty started to pull away the first caution of the race would slow him down on lap 5. Chad Krogmeier and Michael Bilyeu collided in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Murty jumped back out front, with Reitzler and Pundt battling for second. Huls would emerge from the pack in the runner up spot on lap 11, and he then quickly closed in on Murty for the lead. Huls would look under Murty over laps 14 thru 17, when the second caution of the race slowed the action. This time Peter Stodgel spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. Murty once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Huls and Carter glued to his back bumper. Going into turn 1 on the white flag lap Carter tried to get under Murty, but he would get sideways and collected Jeremy Pundt to bring out the yellow. On the green-white-checkered overtime restart Adam Klocke, who started 15th and was running 4th, and Huls made contact and spun in front of the field to collect four other cars to bring the yellow light back on. The follow attempt of an overtime restart saw Murty jump back out front, and then he held off a last lap challenge from Green to pick up a $1,250 payday. Green settled for 2nd, John Oliver Jr. came from 12th to finish in 3rd, Jay Schmidt started 8th and finished 4th, with Kyle Brown finishing 5th after starting in 9th.

Brandon Dale and Brandon Jewell drew the front row for the 20 lap Roberts Tire Center SportMod feature, with Jewell leading lap 1 by a nose over Dale. Dale would come back to slip past Jewell on lap 2 to take the top spot. With Dale setting the early pace, all eyes were on Austen Becerra, who started 10th, as he was slicing his way through the field. On lap 4 Becerra worked himself into the runner up spot, only to be slowed on the completion of that lap for debris in turn 3. On the restart Becerra shot past Dale to take the top spot, only to be slowed one lap later. As Colton Livezey, who was running 2nd, got into turn 3 to hot and looped it to bring out the caution. On the restart Brandon Lambert spun in turn 2 and collected Brandon Tharp, Bob Cowman and Colton Bowman to bring the yellow light back on. The next restart brought out another caution, as debris in turn 1 slowed the action. Becerra jumped back out front on the third restart, with Dale and Tyler Soppe, who started 7th, following behind. Just as Becerra started to pull away the final caution of the race appeared on lap 9, this time Cowman spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. Once again Becerra jumped out front on the restart, with Soppe, Nathan Bringer, who started 8th, and Brayton Carter, who started 11th, battling it out for second. Without another caution to bunch the field back up, Becerra would cruise to an easy win and claim the $1,250 check to go with it. Soppe won the battle for 2nd, Carter was 3rd, Earl Pryor would finish 4th, with Bringer rounding out the top 5.

Up next was the 22 lap Budweiser Modified feature, with Mike Van Genderen and Austin Howes leading the field. Howes used the momentum off the top of the track to edge Van Genderen at the line to lead lap 1. But Van Genderen would slip past him on lap 2 to take over the top spot. Michael Long, who started 4th, would over take Howes for the runner up spot on lap 4 and then went to work on Van Genderen for the lead. Long tried to look under Van Genderen over the next 5 laps. But going into turn 3 to complete lap 10 Long would change his entrance, as he went in high and shot to the bottom coming off turn 4. And when Van Genderen left the bottom opening going into turn 1 Long would take advantage by slipping under him to lead lap 11. Van Generen would keep pace with Long for a couple of laps, before Long pulled away for the sweep of the weekend. Which was worth $1.600 thanks to the extra money from David Weeks. Van Genderen settled for 2nd, Howes was 3rd, Jeremy Mills finished 4th after starting in 7th, with Derrick Stewart coming home in 5th.

The final feature of the night was the 14 lap Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts. And when twenty-six of the twenty-seven cars signed in came to the track, many people thought this was going to be a caution plagued race. But that was far from the case. Barry Taft and Drake Bohlmeyer drew the front row for the event, with Taft grabbing the lead by inches over Jacob Houston to lead lap 1. Houston would slip past Taft on lap 2 to grab the top spot away. The top five cars would start to pull away from the rest of the field, when the action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 11. Cody Staley would spin in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Houston jumped back out front, with Jason Ash, who started 12th, coming from 5th, to second. Ash would try to get past Houston on the final lap. But Houston would hold him off to score the sweep of the weekend, and collect $400 for his efforts. Ash settled for 2nd, Taft was 3rd, Jeffrey DeLonjay started 7th and finished 4th, with Chris Vannausdle finishing 5th after starting in 10th.

The Pepsi Lee County Speedway will hold an open practice on Friday, April 5th, before kicking off the regular points season on Friday, April 12th. Keep a eye on the Facebook page and the website, www.leecountyspeedway.com, for more information about upcoming events.

Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Saturday, March 23, 2019 – Spring Extravaganza Night 2

I-Smile Silver Late Models

A-Feature: 1.  Dustin Bluhm, Herman, MN; 2.  Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 3.  Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 4.  Denny Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 5.  Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 6.  Mike Smith, Newton, IA; 7.  Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 8.  Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 9.  Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 10. Bryan Berger, Ortley, SD; 11. Brian Harris, Davenport, IA; 12. Chris Morefield, Edwards, IL

Heat 1: 1.  Mike Smith; 2.  Sam Halstead; 3.  Dustin Bluhm; 4.  Brandon Queen; 5.  Brian Harris; 6.  Bryan Berger

Heat 2: 1.  Denny Woodworth; 2.  Gunner Frank; 3.  Tommy Elston; 4.  Jay Johnson;. 5.  Chris Morefield; 6.  Todd Frank

Budweiser Modifieds

A-Feature: 1.  Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 2.  Mike Van Genderen, Newton, IA; 3.  Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 4.  Jeremy Mills, Britt, IA; 5.  Derrick Stewart, Ainsworth, IA; 6.  Aaron Johnson, Brainard, MN; 7.  Vance Wilson, Quincy, IL; 8.  Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 9.  Dalton McKenney, Clarksville, MO; 10. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, IA; 11. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 12. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO

Heat 1: 1.  Aaron Johnson; 2.  Jeremy Mills; 3.  Vance Wilson; 4.  John Oliver Jr.; 5.  Derrick Stewart; 6.  Kelly Buckallew; 7.  Bill Roberts Jr.

Heat 2: 1.  Michael Long; 2.  Chad Holladay; 3.  Austin Howes; 4.  Dalton McKenney; 5.  Mike Van Genderen

Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars

A-Feature: 1.  Damon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 2.  Derek Green, Granada, MN; 3.  John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 4.  Jay Schmidt, Tama, IA; 5.  Kyle Brown, Madrid, IA; 6.  Adam Klocke, Carroll, IA; 7.  Tyler Pickett, Boxholm, IA; 8.  Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 9.  Jared Miller, Iowa City, IA; 10. Peter Stodgel, Fowler, IL; 11. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 12. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 13. Dallon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 14. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 15. Michael Bilyeu, Indianola, IA; 16. Chase Woodside, Hannibal, MO; 17. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell, IA; 18. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, MN; 19. Jeff Mueller, Albion, IA

Heat 1: 1.  Damon Murty; 2.  Todd Reitzler; 3.  Abe Huls; 4.  Jared Miller; 5.  Jeff Mueller; 6.  Peter Stodgel

Heat 2: 1.  Dan Mackenthun; 2.  Derek Green; 3.  Dallon Murty; 4.  Jay Schmidt; 5.  Chad Krogmeier; 6.  Tyler Pickett

Heat 3: 1.  Cayden Carter; 2.  Kyle Brown; 3.  John Oliver Jr.; 4.  Jeremy Pundt; 5.  Adam Klocke; 6.  Chase Woodside; 7.  Michael Bilyeu

Roberts Tire Center SportMods

A-Feature: 1.  Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 2.  Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, IA; 3.  Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 4.  Earl Pryor, Troy, MO; 5.  Nathan Bringer, Lewistown, MO; 6.  Ryan Maitland, Waterloo, IA; 7.  Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 8.  Cole Queathem, Troy, MO; 9.  Brandon Jewell, Clinton, IA; 10. Randy LaMar, Buffalo, IA; 11. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 12. Patrick Profeta, Keokuk, IA; 13. Andrew Swailes, Riverside, IA; 14. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 15. Brandon Tharp, Center Point, IA; 16. Colton Bowman, Burlington, IA; 17. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 18. Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 19. Colton Livezey, New Sharon, IA; 20. James Roose, Grandview, IA

Heat 1: 1.  Austen Becerra; 2.  Tyler Soppe; 3.  Colton Livezey; 4.  Bob Cowman; 5.  Cole Queathem; 6.  Brandon Tharp; 7.  Andrew Swailes

Heat 2: 1.  Brayton Carter; 2.  Adam Birck; 3.  Earl Pryor; 4.  Brandon Jewell; 5.  Randy LaMar; 6.  Colton Bowman; 7.  James Roose

Heat 3: 1.  Daniel Fellows; 2.  Brandon Dale; 3.  Nathan Bringer; 4.  Ryan Maitland; 5.  Brandon Lambert; 6.  Patrick Profeta

Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts

A-Feature: 1.  Jacob Houston, Burlington, IA; 2.  Jason Ash, Burlington, IA; 3.  Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 4.  Jeffery DeLonjay, Quincy, IL; 5.  Chris Vannausdle, Villisca, IA; 6.  Oliver Monson, Humboldt, IA; 7.  Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 8.  Nathan Wahlstrom, Beatrice, NE; 9.  Zach Bohlmeyer, Beatrice, NE; 10. Ricky Miller Jr., Gorin, MO; 11. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 12. Jaden DeLonjay, Quincy, IL; 13. John Gill, Marshalltown, IA; 14. Brandon Allison, Oskaloosa, IA; 15. Kyle Roose, Allison, IA; 16. Bruce Hower, Indianolia, IA; 17. Nathan Forey, Waverly, IA; 18. Shannon Desherlia, Keokuk, IA; 19. James Harring, Oskaloosa, IA; 20. Jake Smith, St. Joseph, MN; 21. Drake Bohlmeyer, Beatrice, NE; 22. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 23. RJ Esqueda, Madelia, MN; 24. Cody Staley, Muscatine, IA; 25. Zach Jackson, Bemidji, MN; 26. Dustin Forbes, Rock Falls, IL; 27. Mitchell Bunch, Des Moines, IA (DNS)

Heat 1: 1.  Brandon Reu; 2.  Jake Smith; 3.  Nathan Wahlstrom; 4.  David Prim; 5.  Kimberly Abbott; 6.  Brandon Allison; 7.  Cody Staley; 8.  Mitchell Bunch; 9.  Bruce Hower

Heat 2: 1.  Drake Bohlmeyer; 2.  Chris Vannausdle; 3.  Jason Ash; 4.  Barry Taft; 5.  Jaden DeLonjay; 6.  John Gill; 7.  Dustin Forbes; 8.  James Harring; 9.  Zach Bohlmeyer; 10. Shannon Desherlia

Heat 3: 1.  Jacob Houston; 2.  Jeffery DeLonjay; 3.  Zach Jackson; 4.  Oliver Monson; 5.  RJ Esqueda; 6.  Ricky Miller Jr.; 7.  Nathan Forey; 8.  Kyle Roose

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