by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, April 21, 2023) – The first race of the 2023 season at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa took place on Friday, April 21st, despite mother nature trying to spoil the fun. The racers in attendance on night one of the Spring Hooray, presented by Roberts Tire Center, provided the fans with some hot racing action to help keep them warm. At the end of the night, five out of the six feature winner’s were no strangers to victory lane.
First to take to the track was the 15 lap Sonny’s Super Market Sport Compact feature, with Brandon Reu and Terry Bickford drawing the front row. Reu took advantage of his draw to grab the lead on lap 1 over Barry Taft and Justin Stevenson. Coming off turn 4 to complete lap 4, Taft used the momentum off the top of the track to take the top spot from Reu. While Taft paced the field out front, Reu, Stevenson, and Chandler Fullenkamp battled for the runner up spot. Without a caution to bunch the field up, Taft would pull away to pick up his first win of the season. Stevenson won the battle for 2nd, Reu was 3rd, Fullenkamp was 4th, with Luke Fraise completing the top 5.
Up next was the 18 lap Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Car feature, with Jeremy Pundt and John Oliver Jr. leading the field to green. Oliver Jr. used his front row starting spot to his advantage by jumping out into the lead on lap 1 over Pundt and Josh Foster. On lap 5 Foster overtook Pundt for the runner up spot, and then went to work on Oliver Jr. for the lead. The battle up front was slowed on lap 8, when Leremy Jackson spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Oliver Jr. jumped back out front, with Foster and Chad Krogmeier close behind. One lap later Rowdee Van Genderen, who started 8th and was battling for third, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Foster would slip past Oliver Jr. coming off turn 4 on the restart to grab the lead. Then after the lap was scored complete Pete Stodgel and Eric Glass got together in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Foster moved back out front, with Oliver Jr. and Krogmeier close behind. Despite two more caution flags in the final laps of the race, Foster was able to hold off the challenges of Oliver Jr. to claim the win. Pundt would finish 3rd, Krogmeier was 4th, with Van Genderen recovering from his spin to come back up to finish 5th.
Troy Cordes and Austen Becerra drew the front row for the 18 lap J&J AG Auto and Truck Modified feature, with Becerra grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Cordes and Mark Burgtorf. After lap 1 was scored complete the first and only caution of the race appeared, as third place runner Burgtorf slowed to a stop in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Becerra jumped back out front, with Ethan Braaksma and Cordes battling behind. While Becerra set a fast pace out front, the battles going on behind him were two and three wide. The man on the move was eleventh place starter Drew Janssen, as he worked himself into third on lap 9. Then on lap 14 he overtook Braaksma for the runner up spot. But without a caution to bunch the field up, Becerra would cruise to an easy win. Janssen settled for 2nd, Braaksma was 3rd, Cordes was 4th, with Jadin Fuller coming from 10th to round out the top 5.
The 25 lap Iowa Corn Growers Association Late Model feature was up next, with Tommy Elston and Jay Johnson drawing the front row. Elston took advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over CJ Horn and Johnson. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the caution light would come on for debris in turn 1. On the restart Elston moved back out front, with Horn and Johnson close behind. The yellow light would come back on on lap 3, as Christian Miles spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Elston grabbed the lead on the restart, with Johnson and Horn battling for second. The action was slowed for the third time of the race on lap 6, when Miles spun in turn 4 to bring the yellow light on for the second time to end his night. Once again Elston grabbed the lead on the restart, with Horn and Johnson close behind. Horn tried to work under Elston for the top spot over the next 14 laps, with Elston holding him off each lap. That was until lap 22 when Horn was finally able to get under Elston to grab the top spot, in heavy lapped traffic. While the lap cars raced side-by side in front of the leaders, this allowed fifteenth place starter Nick Marolf, who was working the top of the track, to close in. Marolf used the top of the track to take the lead from Horn coming to the white flag. But before they came around to get the white flag the yellow light would come on for a tire in turn 2, which gave Horn the lead back for the restart. On the restart Marolf went back to the top to grab the lead away from Horn, and then held on for the win. Horn was 2nd, Elston was 3rd, Andy Eckrich came from 7th to finish 4th, with Johnson coming home in 5th.
Brayton Carter and Dylan VanWyk led the field to green in the 18 lap Roberts Tire Center SportMod feature. Three cautions in the first two laps would slow the action, but once they got going the racing was intense. VanWyk had to hold off Carter for the top spot, while the rest of the field battled for third behind them. One final caution on lap 14 allowed Carter to mount a few last lap challenges of VanWyk. But VanWyk would hold him off to pick up the win. Carter was 2nd, Dakota Girard was 3rd, John Oliver Jr. recovered from an earlier involvement in a caution to come back up to finish 4th, Sean Wyett finishing 5th after starting in 11th.
The final feature to take to the track was the 10 lap Mini Hauler Trucks, with Sheldon Brockett and Don Wood making up the front row. Sheldon Brockett jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Wood and Roger Brockett. The action was slowed on lap 6, when Wood, who was battling for the lead, got up on his side in turn 2 to bring out the red. Wood climbed from his truck okay. On the restart Sheldon Brockett moved back out front, with Tim Wagner challenging him. Coming off turn 4 to the white flag, Wagner got under Sheldon Brockett to grab the top spot. Wagner then held off Sheldon Brockett on the final lap to score his first win at the track. Roger Brockett was 3rd, Wood was credited with 4th, with Jeff Bockes credited with 5th.
Night two of the Spring Hooray presented by Roberts Tire Center scheduled for Saturday, April 22nd fell to the unfavorable weather conditions. With temperature in the low 40’s by race time, and wind chills close to the mid 30’s, a decision was made to cancel the second night.
Coming up next Friday, April 28th will be the first of seven qualifying rounds of the Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Model “Drive For 5”, presented by Floyd’s Waste Systems, JJ Nichting Company Case IH Company, Ideal Ready Mix, Triple 777 Trucking, Woodworth Attorney at Law, Triple R Performance Engines, B&B Propane, Budweiser, Conrad Trucking, Donnellson Tire & Service, KQ92, and Big Country 103.1. In action will be the Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Models, J&J AG Auto and Truck IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Roberts Tire Center IMCA Northern SportMods, and Sonny’s Super Market Sport Compacts.
Gates open at 5:30 PM, Hot Laps at 7 PM, and Racing to follow. Grandstand admission will be Adults $10, Seniors $9, Veterans & Students (11-17) $5, with Kids (10 & under) FREE! Pit passes will be $30, ages (7-13) $20, ages (4-6) $10, and ages (3 & under) $5.
For more information about the Lee County Speedway you can visit their website at www.leecountyspeedway.com, like them on Facebook, or call Brian Gaylord at 319-371-6744.
Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, IA
Friday, April 21, 2023 – Spring Hooray Night 1 presented by Roberts Tire Center
Iowa Corn Growers Association Late Models
A-Feature: 1. 33-Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 2. 01-CJ Horn, Cedar Rapids, IA; 3. 54-Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 4. 56-Andy Eckrich, Oxford, IA; 5. 93-Jay Johnson, WestBurlington, IA; 6. 45DW-Dennis Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 7. 52J-Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 8. 21-Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 9. 84-Sam Halstead, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 10. 15R-Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 11. 72-Jerod Ballhagen, Parkersburg, IA; 12. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 13. 5J-Matt Jones, Monmouth, IL; 14. 7B-Blaire Barton, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 15. 45-Jason Oenning, Ursa, IL; 16. 7C-Christopher Miles, Paloma, IL
Heat 1: 1. 15R-Jeff Guengerich; 2. 54-Tommy Elston; 3. 56-Andy Eckrich; 4. 72-Jerod Ballhagen; 5. 21-Brandon Savage; 6. 45DW-Dennis Woodworth; 7. 7B-Blaire Barton; 8. 7C-Christopher Miles
Heat 2: 1. 01-CJ Horn; 2. 93-Jay Johnson; 3. 52J-Jeremy Pundt; 4. 84-Sam Halstead; 5. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr.; 6. 45-Jason Oenning; 7. 5J-Matt Jones; 8. 33-Nick Marolf
J&J AG Auto and Truck Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. 22-Austen Becerra, Carthage, IL; 2. 127-Drew Janssen, Pella, IA; 3. 111-Ethan Braaksma, Newton, IA; 4. 71C-Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, IA; 5. 26J-Jadin Fuller, Memphis, MO; 6. 50-Denny Eckrich, Tiffin, IA; 7. 5R-Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 8. 2Z-Zack Rawlins, Kellogg, IA; 9. 56-Dustin Kroening, Hebron, IL; 10. 57V-Mike Van Genderen, Newton, IA; 11. 30M-Maguire DeJong, Montezuma, IA; 12. 70-Jerry King, Waterloo, IA; 13. 28D-Matt Diaz, Quincy, IL; 14. 2R-Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 15. 03B-Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, IL
Heat 1: 1. 111-Ethan Braaksma; 2. 71C-Troy Cordes; 3. 50-Denny Eckrich; 4. 5R-Bill Roberts Jr.; 5. 2Z-Zack Rawlins; 6. 127-Drew Janssen; 7. 56-Dustin Kroening; 8. 28D-Matt Diaz
Heat 2: 1. 22-Austen Becerra; 2. 03B-Mark Burgtorf; 3. 30M-Maguire DeJong; 4. 57V-Mike Van Genderen; 5. 26J-Jadin Fuller; 6. 2R-Michael Long; 7. 70-Jerry King
Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. 77-Josh Foster, Fairfax, IA; 2. 05-John Oliver Jr., West Burlington, IA; 3. 52J-Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 4. 12-Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 5. 57VG-Rowdee Van Genderen, Newton, IA; 6. 37-Kylie Rawlins, Kellogg, IA; 7. 35G-Eric Glass, Memphis, MO; 8. 82-Pete Stodgel, Fowler, IL; 9. 35-Leremy Jackson, Unionville, IA; 10. 06-Jerry Jansen, Plainville, IL (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. 52J-Jeremy Pundt; 2. 12-Chad Krogmeier; 3. 37-Kylie Rawlins; 4. 35G-Eric Glass; 5. 82-Pete Stodgel
Heat 2: 1. 05-John Oliver Jr.; 2. 77-Josh Foster; 3. 35-Leremy Jackson; 4. 57VG-Rowdee Van Genderen; 5. 06-Jerry Jansen
Roberts Tire Center SportMods
A-Feature: 1. 117-Dylan VanWyk, Oskaloosa, IA; 2. 01-Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 3. 0-Dakota Girard, Moberly, MO; 4. 55-John Oliver Jr., West Burlington, IA; 5. 12S-Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 6. 12D-Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 7. 42-Tyler Heckart, Ottumwa, IA; 8. 2W-Reed Wolfmeyer, Liberty, IL; 9. 8T-Tony Johnson, Oskaloosa, IA; 10. 5-Josh Holtman, Quincy, IL; 11. 10C-Cole Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 12. 7R-Tom Ruble, Ft. Madison, IA; 13. 00-Matt Tucker, Lomax, IL; 14. 59A-Jamie Aleshire, Moberly, MO; 15. 57-Brandt Ames, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 16. 113-John Renier, Mendon, IL; 17. 10-Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 18. 00X-Kyler Girard, Moberly, MO; 19. 20-Nicholas Profeta, Keokuk, IA; 20. 14-Austin Penick, Kirksville, MO; 21. 112-Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 22. 7M-Steven McLaughlin, Des Moines, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. 0-Dakota Girard; 2. 01-Brayton Carter; 3. 55-John Oliver Jr.; 4. 112-Adam Birck; 5. 8T-Tony Johnson; 6. 59A-Jamie Aleshire; 7. 7R-Tom Ruble; 8. 113-John Renier
Heat 2: 1. 117-Dylan VanWyk; 2. 00X-Kyler Girard; 3. 42-Tyler Heckart; 4. 57-Brandt Ames; 5. 20-Nicholas Profeta; 6. 14-Austin Penick; 7. 7M-Steven McLaughlin (DNS)
Heat 3: 1. 10-Jim Gillenwater; 2. 12D-Brandon Dale; 3. 2W-Reed Wolfmeyer; 4. 12S-Sean Wyett; 5. 5-Josh Holtman; 6. 00-Matt Tucker; 7. 10C-Cole Gillenwater
Sonny’s Super Market Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. 57-Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 2. 94X-Justin Stevenson, Burlington, IA; 3. 27-Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 4. 48C-Chandler Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 5. 9-Luke Fraise, Houghton, IA; 6. 71-Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 7. 63B-Terry Bickford, Shannon City, IA; 8. 63-Tim Schnathorst, Burlington, IA; 9. 24M-Darrian Hammitt, Burlington, IA; 10. 11E-Ethan Prim, Elvaston, IL; 11. 7H-Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA; 12. 20C-Caleb Giese, Morning Sun, IA; 13. 8K-Noah Kayser, Burlington, IA (DNS); 14. 18L-Blaine Lambert, Carthage, IL (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. 57-Barry Taft; 2. 63B-Terry Bickford; 3. 9-Luke Fraise; 4. 20C-Caleb Giese; 5. 71-Kimberly Abbott; 6. 7H-Mike Hornung Jr.; 7. 11E-Ethan Prim
Heat 2: 1. 94X-Justin Stevenson; 2. 27-Brandon Reu; 3. 48C-Chandler Fullenkamp; 4. 63-Tim Schnathorst; 5. 18L-Blaine Lambert; 6. 24M-Darrian Hammitt; 7. 8K-Noah Kayser
Mini Hauler Trucks
A-Feature: 1. 95-Tim Wagner, Wapello, IA; 2. 74-Sheldon Brockett, Burlington, IA; 3. F1-Roger Brockett, Burlington, IA; 4. 41-Don Wood, Wapello, IA; 5. 10-Jeff Bockes, Morning Sun, IA; 6. 5-Randy Tedrow, Douds, IA (DNS)
Heat: 1. 41-Don Wood; 2. 95-Tim Wagner; 3. 74-Sheldon Brockett; 4. F1-Roger Brockett; 5. 10-Jeff Bockes; 6. 5-Randy Tedrow (DNS)