by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, June 28, 2019) – After having two weeks off, one for a scheduled night off and one lost to mother nature, the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa got back to racing action on Friday, June 28th. But mother nature tried her best to put a damper on the night, as showers moved thru the area early afternoon. After the rains stopped the track crew went to work to see if the grounds could be ready in time for some racing. A late decision to race paid off with some very fast racing on a nice smooth racing surface. At the end of Pilot Grove Savings Bank and Donnellson Tire & Service Veterans Night two driver’s earned their first wins of the season at the track, while three others won for multiple times.
The 18 lap Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods took to the track first, with Derek Goble and Josh Holtman leading the field to green. But it was fourth place starter Brandon Lambert who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Holtman and Austen Becerra, who started 8th. Lambert then held the top spot until lap 3, when Becerra slipped past him for the top spot. Then just after the lap was scored complete the action was slowed for a spin in turn 4 by Brian Bergheger. On the restart Becerra jumped back out front, with Daniel Fellows, who started 10th, and Ron Kibbe, who started 6th, following close behind. While Becerra worked the top of the track, Fellows would work the low line, as the two raced the next 4 laps side-by-side. With Becerra holding off Fellows at the line each lap, that was until lap 9 when Fellows finally edged out front. The action was slowed for the second time of the race on lap 12 when a cone in turn 4 brought out the yellow. On the restart Steven Berry got into the wall down the front stretch to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Fellows move back out front, with Becerra and Kibbe close behind. Fellows would pull away over the final laps to claim his fifth win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Becerra was 2nd, Adam Birck started 7th and finished 3rd, Kibbe was 4th, with Brandon Dale coming from 9th to finish in 5th.
A nice field of fifteen I-Smile Silver IMCA Late Models took to the track next for their 20 lap feature, with Stacy Griffis and Brian Harris making up the front row. Harris would take advantage of his starting spot by jumping out into the lead on lap 1 over Jay Johnson and Matt Strassheim, who started 6th. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the first caution appeared for a cone in turn 4. On the restart Harris moved back out front, with Johnson and Nick Marolf, who started 5th, close behind. The caution would appear after the completion of the lap, as Tommy Elston and Sam Halstead spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Once again Harris jumped back out front on the restart, with Marolf over taking Johnson for second. Marolf would try to work under Harris over the next 6 laps, with Harris holding him off each lap at the line. Harris then tried to pull away from Marolf over the next 5 laps, when heavy lapped traffic on lap 15 allowed Marolf to close back in on Harris. Coming off turn four for the checkered flag Marolf tried to use lapped traffic to get under Harris for the win. But Harris would hold him off at the line to score his first win of the season at the track. Marolf finished 2nd, Johnson was 3rd, Strassheim was 4th, with Ron Boyse who started 8th rounding out the top 5.
The Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars struggled to get their 18 lap feature going, as three cautions in the first three laps would slow the action. Once the action went green it would stay green for the final 15 laps, as Blakley held the lead on the restart of lap 3, with Abe Huls and Todd Reitzler, who started 8th, following him. While Blakley worked to hold off them two, David Brandies was working his way into the mix. On lap 7 Brandies would slip past Blakley to grab the top spot, leaving Blakley to battle Reitzler for the runner up spot. While the battles went on behind Brandies, he would pull away to earn his second win of the season at the track. Reitzler won the battle for 2nd, Blakley had a great run in 3rd, Jeremy Pundt was 4th, with Dean Kratzer making his debut with a fifth place finish after starting in 9th.
Nick Marolf and Levi Smith led the field to green in the 18 lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Marolf grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Smith and Bill Roberts Jr. Just after lap 1 was scored the first and only caution of the race appeared, as Craig Spegal lost a left front wheel in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Marolf moved back out front, with Roberts Jr. and Dennis LaVeine, who started 9th, close behind. On this night Marolf was fast, as he cruised to his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Roberts Jr. was 2nd, Jeff Waterman was 3rd, John Oliver Jr. was 4th, with LaVeine finishing in 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 15 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts, with Ricky Miller Jr. and David Prim making up the front row. Prim would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Dylan Schantz and Miller Jr. Schantz would slip past Prim to take over the top spot on lap 2, and then held it until lap 7. When Trent Orwig, who started 5th, got past him for the lead. The action was slowed for the first time on lap 8, as Cody Bowman slowed to a stop in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Orwig jumped back out front, with Jason Ash, who started 8th, and Schantz close behind. Debris in turn 3 would slow the action for the final time of the event on lap 8. Orwig once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Schantz and Barry Taft, who started 7th, following. While Orwig paced the field out front Taft, Chuck Fullenkamp, who started 10th, Schantz, Ash, and Brandon Reu, who started 9th, battled for positions two thru sixth. As the battles went two and three wide behind him, Orwig was able to pull away to claim his second win in a row at the track. Fullenkamp won the battle for 2nd, Taft was 3rd, Schantz was 4th, with Ash completing the top 5.
The Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be off on Friday, July 5th. But will return to action on Thursday, July 11th during the Lee County Fair, the longest running county fair in the state of Iowa. In action on the night will be the Sprint Invaders, as this will be their second scheduled event at the track this year. The first event was scheduled back in late May, but fell to mother nature. Also in action will be the Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods, and Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts. All classes will be racing for points, and will be draw / redraw.
On Thursday, July 11th Gates will open at 5:30 PM, Hot laps at 7 PM, and Racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission will be Adults $15, Ages (4-12) $5, and ages (3 & under) FREE. Pit passes will be $30.
For more information about the Lee County Fair events you can visit their website at www.leecountyfairiowa.com or like them on Facebook.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, June 28, 2019 – Pilot Grove Savings Bank and Donnellson Tire & Service Night
I-Smile Silver IMCA Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Brian Harris, Davenport, IA; 2. Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 3. Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 4. Matt Strassheim, Morning Sun, IA; 5. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 6. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 7. Dalton Simonsen, Fairfax, IA; 8. Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 9. Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 10. Jared Miller, Iowa City, IA; 11. Laine Vanzandt, Camp Point, IL; 12. Stacy Griffis, Solon, IA; 13. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 14. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 15. Tegan Evans, Clinton, IA
Heat 1: 1. Brian Harris; 2. Tommy Elston; 3. Dalton Simonsen; 4. Jay Johnson; 5. Stacy Griffis; 6. Brandon Queen; 7. Jared Miller; 8. Tegan Evans
Heat 2: 1. Matt Strassheim; 2. Ron Boyse; 3. Nick Marolf; 4. Sam Halstead; 5. Ray Raker; 6. Laine Vanzandt; 7. Darin Weisinger Jr.
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 2. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 3. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 4. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 5. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 6. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA; 7. Dustin Smith, Taylor Ridge, IL; 8. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 9. Chad Giberson, Richland, IA (DNS)
Heat: 1. Nick Marolf; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Bill Roberts Jr.; 4. Levi Smith; 5. Jeff Waterman; 6. Craig Spegal; 7. Dustin Smith; 8. Chad Giberson; 9. Dennis LaVeine
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. David Brandies, Wilton, IA; 2. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell, IA; 3. Les Blakley, Fairfield, IA; 4. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 5. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, IA; 6. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 7. Craig Bangert, Golden, IL; 8. Cody McClure, Bloomfield, IA; 9. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 10. Peter Stodgel, Fowler, IL; 11. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 12. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO
Heat 1: 1. Abe Huls; 2. Les Blakley; 3. Dean Kratzer; 4. Jeremy Pundt; 5. Cody McClure; 6. Kevin Koontz
Heat 2: 1. Chad Krogmeier; 2. Todd Reitzler; 3. David Brandies; 4. Craig Bangert; 5. Peter Stodgel; 6. Brandon Savage
Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 2. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 3. Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 4. Ron Kibbe, Danville, IA; 5. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 6. Jim Walker, Mystic, IA; 7. Josh Holtman, Quincy, IL; 8. Brandon Symmonds, Keokuk, IA; 9. Jim Powell, Hannibal, MO; 10. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 11. Michael Benjamin, Montrose, IA; 12. Brian Bergheger, Keokuk, IA; 13. Steven Berry, Ottumwa, IA; 14. Derek Goble, Burlington, IA; 15. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA
Heat 1: 1. Jim Walker; 2. Adam Birck; 3. Brandon Dale; 4. Derek Goble; 5. Steven Berry; 6. Brandon Symmonds; 7. Jim Powell; 8. Brian Bergheger
Heat 2: 1. Daniel Fellows; 2. Ron Kibbe; 3. Brandon Lambert; 4. Josh Holtman; 5. Austen Becerra; 6. Michael Benjamin; 7. Kyle Hamelton
Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Trent Orwig, Ottumwa, IA; 2. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 3. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 4. Dylan Schantz, Luray, MO; 5. Jason Ash, Burlington, IA; 6. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 7. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 8. David Prim, Elvaston, IL; 9. Jerrod Nichols, Stronghurst, IL; 10. Aaron Berry, Salem, IA; 11. Wesley Talley, Monmouth, IL; 12. Adam Christy, Ft. Madison, IA; 13. Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 14. Ricky Miller Jr., Gorin, MO
Heat 1: 1. Chuck Fullenkamp; 2. Jason Ash; 3. Kimberly Abbott; 4. Ricky Miller Jr.; 5. Cody Bowman; 6. Jerrod Nichols; 7. Wesley Talley
Heat 2: 1. Barry Taft; 2. Dylan Schantz; 3. David Prim; 4. Brandon Reu; 5. Trent Orwig; 6. Aaron Berry; 7. Adam Christy
by Brian Neal