Mars Releases 2020 Series Schedule, Kicks Season Off with 9th Annual Thaw Brawl

(Photo Credit: Ryan Roberts)

(January 11, 2020) – The Mars Dirt Car Series is pleased to release the dates of the 2020 season. The current schedule will see the series travel to 9 different venues in three different states. The 21st season of the Mars tour will kick off at Lee Country Speedway with the 9th Annual Thaw Brawl. This will be a two day show March 27th and 28th. Friday night will feature two features paying $2,500 to win each. The finale on Saturday will pay $12,000 to win.

A trio of $10,000 to win events also highlight the 2020 Schedule. This includes a return to Farmer City May 8th for the 4th Annual Farmer City 74 followed by a May 9th visit to Fairbury Speedway for the FALS Spring Showcase, both races paying $10,000 to the winner. The other $10,000 to win show is the Hall of Fame Classic at Brownstown Speedway Saturday August 8th.

The Series will also be making first time visits to Peoria Speedway and East Moline at the Bullring of RICO Fairgrounds. The season will wrap up Labor Day weekend with a pair of $5,000 to win shows at Farmer City and Fairbury. The Series still has a few dates they are looking to secure before the season begins.

Friday, March 27thLee County Speedway (Donnellson, IA)9th Annual Thaw BrawlTwin $2,500-to-win
Saturday, March 28thLee County Speedway (Donnellson, IA)9th Annual Thaw Brawl$12,000-to-win
Sunday, March 29thLee County Speedway (Donnellson, IA)9th Annual Thaw BrawlRAIN DATE
Friday, April 10thTBATBATBA
Saturday, April 11thPeoria Speedway (Peoria, IL)Steve Lance Sr. Night$5,000-to-win
Friday, May 8thFarmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL)Farmer City 74$10,000-to-win
Saturday, May 9thFairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL)FALS Spring Showcase$10,000-to-win
Saturday, May 16thBrownstown Speedway (Brownstown, IN)TBA$3,000-to-win
Sunday, May 17thBullring at RICo Fairgrounds (East Moline,IL)TBA$5,000-to-win
Sunday, May 24thSpoon River Speedway (Banner, IL)Gary Cook Jr. Memorial$5,000-to-win
Monday, May 25thTBATBATBA
Friday, May 29thTBATBATBA
Saturday, May 30thShadyhill Speedway (Medaryville, IN)TBA$5,000-to-win
Friday, Aug 7thTBATBATBA
Saturday, August 8thBrownstown Speedway (Brownstown, IN)Hall of Fame Classic$10,000-to-win
Saturday, August 22ndPeoria Speedway (Peoria, IL)Illinois State Championship$5,000-to-win
Sunday, August 23rdQuincy Raceways (Quincy, IL)Sunday Funday$5,000-to-win
Friday, September 4thFarmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL)Casey’s General Stores Nationals$5,000-to-win
Saturday, September 5thFairbury Speedway (Fairbury, IL)Late Model Shootout$5,000-to-win

*All events are tentative and subject to change.

For more information on the MARS Racing Series, contact Sixteens Race Promotions at (815) 715-1616 or log onto or


With the 2019 racing season coming to a close, Brian and Marcie Gaylord would like to say THANK YOU to every race fan, every driver, their families and pit crews for your support during the entire season!!!! We also need to say THANK YOU to each and every sponsor who helped to bring the racing action to the small town of Donnellson, Iowa!!! They would also like to say THANK YOU to the entire track crew, fire and ambulance crews, the wrecker crews, the kitchen staff, and the Lee County Fair Association for all your hard work during each race night!! Without all of you we couldn’t keep bringing you all the great racing action to the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. So once again THANK YOU SO MUCH!

As first year promoter’s, yes we did have some hick-ups along the way. But we look to improve on them for the 2020 season. Plans are already in the works on the 2020 schedule, so stay tuned to our website and our Facebook page when we have things finalized. We are also looking at having the 2019 banquet in late January or early February, so stay tuned for more information. Until next year, we hope everyone has a very happy holiday season. And we look forward in seeing everyone in 2020!

Marolf, Eckrich, Oliver Jr., Anderson, and Ash Claim Shiverfest Finale Wins

Donnellson, IA (Sunday, October 27, 2019) – Mother nature tried to put a damper on the final event of the 2019 racing season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, as cool temperatures, along with rain showers, forced the 21st Annual Shiverfest to be pushed back one day to Sunday, October 27th. The Shiverfest event always offers things for families to come out early and enjoy, such as hay rack rides thru the pit area, box car races for the kids, and trick-or-treating. At the end of the nights racing action, which was brought to you by Midwest Performance & Power, Casey’s General Stores, and Donnellson Tire & Service, Nick Marlof (I-Smile Silver Late Models), Denny Eckrich (Budweiser Modifieds), John Oliver Jr. (Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars), Logan Anderson (Roberts Tire Center SportMods), and Jason Ash (Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts) claimed victories for the final time in 2019.

Twenty-six of the twenty-nine Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts took to the track first for their 15 lap feature event, with Jason Ash and Kimberly Abbott drawing the front row. Just as the green flag was waved the caution light would come on, as contact from Cody Bowman sent Adam Christy spinning in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart Ash jumped out front to lead lap 1 over Trent Orwig, who started 7th, and Codey Phillips, who started 5th. The action up front was slowed on lap 3, when Chance Bailey slowed to a stop in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Once again Ash moved back out front on the restart, with Orwig and Phillips following close behind. Then just after that lap was scored complete, Zyan Triplett got into the guardrail in turn 2 to bring out another caution. On the restart Ricky Miller Jr. would get upside down in turn 1 to bring out the red. He would climb from his car okay. The following restart saw Ash jump back out front, with Orwig and Phillips still close behind. While Orwig and Phillips tried to keep pace with Ash, the driver on the move towards the front was Jeffery DeLonjay, who started 22nd. When Phillips pulled off with troubles on lap 9, and then when Orwig pulled off on lap 11th, this would move DeLonjay up to the runner up spot. But without another caution to slow the action, DeLonjay wasn’t able to cut into Ash’s lead. As Ash held on to claim his first win of the season at the track. DeLonjay was 2nd, Cody Staley came from 10th to finish 3rd, Abbott was 4th, with Chuck Fullenkamp rounding out the top 5.

Up next was the 18 lap Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Car feature, with Chad Krogmeier and Jason Cook leading the field to the drop of the green flag. But it was seventh place starter John Oliver Jr. who emerged out of the pack coming out of turn 2 to grab the lead on lap 1 over Jeremy Pundt and Krogmeier. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the first and only caution of the event appeared, as Chris Wibbell spun down the backstretch to bring out the yellow. On the restart Oliver Jr. moved back out front, with Krogmeier over taking Pundt for the runner up spot. While Oliver Jr. set a fast pace out front, Abe Huls, who started 8th, worked his way into the runner up spot on lap 3. Huls then spent the final 16 laps to try and chance down Oliver Jr. for the top spot, while Krogmeier, Pundt, Cook, Andrew Schroeder, and Louis Lynch raced two and three wide for positions third thru sixth. Without another caution to bunch the field up, Huls wasn’t able to mount a challenge on Oliver Jr. Who went on to claim his first Stock Car feature win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Huls was 2nd, Cook won the battle for 3rd, Krogmeier was 4th, with Schroeder coming home in 5th.

Nick Marolf and Ray Guss Jr. drew the front row for the 20 lap I-Smile Silver Late Model feature, with Marolf jumping out into the lead on lap 1 over Chad Holladay and Guss Jr. While Holladay battled to hold off Guss Jr. for the runner up spot, this would allow Marolf to pull out to a straight-away lead by the halfway mark. Marolf would get into lapped traffic on lap 17, which allowed Holladay to close in on him coming to the white flag. But Marolf would use the lap car to his advantage to pick up his third win of the season at the track. Holladay settled for a close 2nd, Guss Jr. was 3rd, Dave Wada held off several challenges from Tommy Elston to finish 4th.

Up next was the 20 lap Budweiser Modified feature, with Derek Thompson and Daniel Fellows, in only his third start in a Modified, leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Thompson took advantage of his draw to edge out Fellows at the line to lead lap 1, with Tyler Madigan close behind in third. Fellows would use the momentum off the top of the track in turn 4 to take over the top spot on lap 2. Coming off turn 2 Fellows and Madigan got together while battling for the lead, which allowed Thompson to squeeze by them both to grab the lead back. He was followed by Denny Eckrich, who started 5th. Thompson then held the top spot until lap 8, when Eckrich slipped past him to grab the lead. Eckrich then started to pull away from the several side-by-side battles going on behind, until the first and only caution of the race appeared on lap 14. Debris in turn 2 would bring out the yellow. On the restart Eckrich jumped back out front, with Thompson, Jeff Waterman, Mike Van Genderen, Madigan, and Ethan Braaskma, who started 11th, racing two, three and even four wide for the runner up spot. The battles going on behind Eckrich would allow him to pull away to claim his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Thompson won the battle for 2nd, Madigan was 3rd, Waterman was 4th, with Braaskma edging out a 5th place finish.

The 18 lap Roberts Tire Center SportMod feature was the final event of the year, and the season, to take to the track. With Reed Wolfmeyer and Logan Anderson drawing the front row. Anderson used his starting spot to his advantage by grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Colton Livezey, who started 6th, and Sean Wyett. The action was slowed on lap 2 when Jace Gay, who was running seventh spun in turn 2 and collected Steven Berry to bring out the yellow. On the restart Anderson jumped back out front, with Livezey and Wyett close behind. Four more laps were completed, when another caution slowed the action on lap 7. This time Kyle Hamelton spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Anderson once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Austen Becerra, who started 11th, over taking Livezey for the runner up spot. Becerra would slip past Anderson on lap 10 to take over the top spot. One lap later, lap 11, Livezey’s run up front came to an end as he slowed down the front stretch to bring out the yellow. Becerra moved back out front on the restart, with Anderson and Jason Roth, who started 7th, making it a three car battle for the lead. Coming off turn 4 to complete lap 13 Becerra drifted high, which allowed Anderson to slip under him for the lead. But Becerra would return the pass on the following lap to get the top spot back. With Anderson coming back on lap 15 to get the lead back. Then just after lap 15 was scored complete, James Thompson came to a stop in turn 4 with his car on fire to bring out the red. He would climb from the car okay, while fire crew got the fire extinguished. On the restart Anderson jumped back out front, with Roth over taking Becerra for the runner up spot. Coming out of turn 2 to get the checkered flag, Anderson and Roth got together, with Roth loosing ground down the backstretch. Which allowed Anderson to hold on to claim his second win of the season at the track. Roth settled for 2nd, Becerra was 3rd, Brandon Dale came from 13th to finish 4th, with Bobby Six finishing 5th after starting 8th.

Brian and Marcie Gaylord, in their first year of promoters of the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, would like to say a big thank you to all the fans, driver’s, their families and crews, and every sponsor who supporting them in their first year. They would also like to say thank you to the entire track crew, kitchen help, the fire and ambulance crews, and the wrecker crews for your hard work all season long. Stay tuned to the website,, and the Facebook page for any news on the 2020 racing season, as Brian and Marcie Gaylord will return for a second year.

Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Sunday, October 27, 2019 – Shiverfest

I-Smile Silver Late Models

A-Feature: 1.  Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 2.  Chad Holladay, Muscatine, IA; 3.  Ray Guss Jr., Milan, IL; 4.  Dave Wada, Wilton, IA; 5.  Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 6.  Mike Smith, Newton, IA; 7.  Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 8.  Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 9.  Shane Watts, Burlington, IA; 10. Matt Strassheim, Morning Sun, IA; 11. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA (DNS)

Heat 1: 1.  Nick Marolf; 2.  Ray Guss Jr.; 3.  Mike Smith; 4.  Todd Frank; 5.  Shane Watts; 6.  Gunner Frank

Heat 2: 1.  Tommy Elston; 2.  Matt Strassheim; 3.  Chad Holladay; 4.  Dave Wada; 5.  Ray Raker

Budweiser Modifieds

A-Feature: 1.  Denny Echkrich, Tiffin, IA; 2.  Derek Thompson, Monroe, WI; 3.  Tyler Madigan, Dubuque, IA; 4.  Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 5.  Ethan Braaksma, Newton, IA; 6.  Mike Van Genderen, Newton, IA; 7.  Bruce Hanford, Davenport, IA; 8.  Matt Werner, Colona, IL; 9.  Austin Paul, Newton, IA; 10. Eric Barnes, Colona, IL; 11. Patrick Flannagan, Cedar Rapids, IA; 12. Jordan Walker, Cedar Rapids, IA; 13. Josh Starr, Tipton, IA; 14. Brian Bushong, Ottumwa, IA; 15. Thomas Patz, Silvis, IL; 16. Chris Spalding, Montgomery, MO; 17. Scott Bryant, Baring, MO; 18. Donavan Lodge, Andover, IL; 19. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 20. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA (DNS)

Heat 1: 1.  Mike Van Genderen; 2.  Denny Echkrich; 3.  Ethan Braaksma; 4.  Derek Thompson; 5.  Jordan Walker; 6.  Thomas Patz; 7.  Scott Bryant

Heat 2: 1.  Jeff Waterman; 2.  Daniel Fellows; 3.  Eric Barnes; 4.  Tyler Madigan; 5.  Patrick Flannagan; 6.  Bruce Hanford; 7.  Bill Roberts Jr.

Heat 3: 1.  Austin Paul; 2.  Matt Werner; 3.  Donavan Lodge; 4.  Brian Bushong; 5.  Chris Spalding; 6.  Josh Starr

Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Cars

A-Feature: 1.  John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 2.  Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 3.  Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 4.  Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 5.  Andrew Schroeder, Fremont, IA; 6.  Louis Lynch, Glenwood, MO; 7.  Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 8.  Shane Richardson, Morning Sun, IA; 9.  Jerry Jansen, Plainville, IL; 10. Shaun Bistline, Van Horn, IA; 11. Chris Wibbell, Dallas City, IL; 12. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO

Heat 1: 1.  John Oliver Jr.; 2.  Abe Huls; 3.  Louis Lynch; 4.  Jeremy Pundt; 5.  Kevin Koontz; 6.  Shane Richardson

Heat 2: 1.  Jason Cook; 2.  Andrew Schroeder; 3.  Chad Krogmeier; 4.  Chris Wibbell; 5.  Jerry Jansen; 6.  Shaun Bistline

Roberts Tire Center SportMods

A-Feature: 1.  Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 2.  Jason Roth, Hazel Green, WI; 3.  Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 4.  Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 5.  Bobby Six, Warsaw, IA; 6.  Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 7.  Tanner Klingele, Quincy, IL; 8.  Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 9.  Reed Wolfmeyer, Quincy, IL; 10. Aaron Hitt, Davenport, IA; 11. Jim Powell, Hannibal, MO; 12. Rob Nylin, Colona, IL; 13. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 14. James Thompson, Mineral, IL; 15. Colton Livezey, New Sharon, IA; 16. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 17. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 18. Jarrett Van Den Berg, Oskaloosa, IA; 19. Jace Gay, Farber, MO; 20. Steven Berry, Ottumwa, IA; 21. Jeff Frana, Ottumwa, IA; 22. Jeremy Gustaf, East Moline, IL (DNS); 23. Dakota Hayden, Wilton, IA (DNS); 24. Hayden Hillgartner, Harlan, IA (DNS); 25. Tyler Burton, Quincy, IL (DNS)

Heat 1: 1.  Sean Wyett; 2.  Tanner Klingele; 3.  Colton Livezey; 4.  Reed Wolfmeyer; 5.  Brandon Dale; 6.  Jeff Frana; 7.  Brandon Lambert; 8.  Dakota Hayden

Heat 2: 1. Bobby Six; 2.  Austen Becerra; 3.  Jace Gay; 4.  Jarrett Van Den Berg; 5.  James Thompson; 6.  Aaron Hitt; 7.  Jeremy Gustaf; 8.  Hillgartner Hayden; 9.  Tyler Burton

Heat 3: 1.  Brayton Carter; 2.  Logan Anderson; 3.  Jason Roth; 4.  Steven Berry; 5.  Barry Taft; 6.  Rob Nylin; 7.  Kyle Hamelton; 8.  Jim Powell

Discount Tire & Service Sport Compacts

A-Feature: 1.  Jason Ash, Burlington, IA; 2.  Jeffery DeLonjay, Quincy, IL; 3.  Cody Staley, Muscatine, IA; 4.  Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 5.  Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 6.  Darin Smith, Wapello, IA; 7.  Jared Heule, Keokuk, IA; 8.  Shane Barnes, Washington, IA; 9.  Billy Cain, Bloomfield, IA; 10. Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 11. Bryerson Tharp, Grandview, IA; 12. Landon Neisen, LaGrange, MO; 13. Derek Simpson, Atalissa, IA; 14. Trent Orwig, Ottumwa, IA; 15. Codey Phillips, Ottumwa, IA; 16. Chance Williams, What Cheer, IA; 17. William Michel, Columbus Junction, IA; 18. Ricky Miller Jr., Gorin, MO; 19. Casey Lambert, Carthage, IL; 20. Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 21. Michael Grossman, Keokuk, IA; 22. Zyan Triplett, Edina, MO; 23. Mark Williams, Packwood, IA; 24. Chance Bailey, Quincy, IL; 25. Jaden DeLonjay, Quincy, IL 26. Adam Christy, Ft. Madison, IA; 27. Kyle Boyd, Ottumwa, IA (DNS); 28. Ashley Reuman, Hills, IA (DNS); 29. Steve Williams, Sigourney, IA (DNS)

Heat 1: 1.  Codey Phillips; 2.  Michael Grossman; 3.  Cody Staley; 4.  Adam Christy; 5.  Ashley Reuman; 6.  Jared Heule; 7.  Casey Lambert; 8.  Jeffery DeLonjay; 9.  Derek Simpson; 10. Darin Smith

Heat 2: 1.  Kimberly Abbott; 2.  William Michel; 3.  Landon Neisen; 4.  Ricky Miller Jr.; 5.  Bryerson Tharp; 6.  Ashton Blain; 7.  Zyan Triplett; 8.  Chance Williams; 9.  Steve Williams; 10. Mark Williams

Heat 3: 1.  Trent Orwig; 2.  Jason Ash; 3.  Chuck Fullenkamp; 4.  Kyle Boyd; 5.  Cody Bowman; 6.  Billy Cain; 7.  Jaden DeLonjay; 8.  Shane Barnes; 9.  Chance Bailey