Monday, April 24, 2017

Three Exciting Feature Finishes Highlight Quincy Raceways Action

Quincy, IL (Sunday, April 23, 2017) - After taking last Sunday off for Easter, the Quincy Raceways in Quincy, Illinois returned to action on Sunday, April 23rd. A beautiful evening in late April helped to produce some great racing action.

On this night the UMP Modifieds and  IMCA Stock Cars were given the night off, with the 305 Sprints replacing one of the classes. Only five 305 Sprints showed up, which was narrowed to 4 by feature time when Chris Campbell had motor troubles in his heat. Jeff Wilke and Jarrod Schneiderman, driving Roger Grant's #27, led the field to green in the 12 lap feature, with Schneiderman grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Wilke and Justin Standridge. The race would caution free, with Schneiderman pulling away to an easy win. Wilke was 2nd, Standridge was 3rd, with Dylon Tuxhorn 4th, and Campbell credited with 5th.

The UMP Pro (Crate) Late Models returned for the second time in 2017 at Quincy Raceways, with Tommy Elston and Denny Woodworth leading the field to the green in the 20 lap feature. Elston would take advantage of his starting spot to jump out front on lap 1 over Tommy Sheppard Jr. and Woodworth. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 2, when Derek Sammons spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Elston moved back out front, with Sheppard Jr. and Woodworth battling for second. Woodworth, who was working the top of the track, slipped past Sheppard Jr. for second on lap 6 and then went to work on Elston for the lead. With two laps to go Woodworth was able to close on Elston's back bumper. Then coming off turn 4 to the checkered Woodworth used the momentum off the top to edge Elston at the line by inches to claim the win. Elston settled for 2nd, Sheppard Jr. was 3rd, Vance Wilson was 4th, with Sam Halstead coming home in 5th.

Jeffrey DeLonjay and Darin Weisinger Jr. led the field to green in the 15 lap IMCA Sport Compact feature, with DeLonjay leading lap 1 over Weisinger Jr. and David Prim. DeLonjay then held the top spot until lap 3, when Weisinger Jr. slipped under him to take over the lead. While the battle was happening out front, Daniel Fellows, who started 10th, was working his way towards the front. By lap 7 Fellows had worked his way into second. Three laps latter, lap 10, Fellows went to the top to take the lead away from Weisinger Jr. Fellows then held off Jake Dietrich, who started 7th, over the final laps to pick up his second career win (with his first coming on Saturday at the Eldon Raceway in Eldon, Iowa) in only his fourth start of the season. Dietrich was 2nd, Weisinger Jr. was 3rd, Prim was 4th, with Barry Taft coming from 9th to finish in 5th.

Up next was the 25 lap UMP Super Late Model feature, with Jamie Wilson and Rickey Frankel making up the front row. Wilson jumped out front on lap 1 over Denny Woodworth and Frankel. Just as Wilson started to pull away the first and only caution of the race appeared time on lap 9. Justin Reed got into the turn 2 guardrail and ripped the right rear tire off to bring out the yellow. On the restart Wilson moved back out front, with Woodworth and Frankel close behind. Woodwoth, who was working the top of the track, jumped the cushion in turn 1 on lap 13 and fell back to 3rd behind Frankel. This would allow Wilson to put some distance on the battle for second. Three laps later, lap 16, Woodworth was able to get back by Frankel for second, but was a straight-away behind Wilson for the lead. By lap 20 Woodworth had cut the lead in half, and by lap 22 he was on Wilson's back bumper. Going into turn 3 on the final lap Woodworth was able to get up beside Wilson, who was working the bottom. But Wilson was able to hold off Woodworth at the line to claim the win. Woodworth was 2nd, Frankel was 3rd, Alan Westling was 4th, with Dustin Hodges rounding out the top 5.

To say they saved the best for last can be true on this night, as the 18 lap IMCA SportMod took to the track. Tanner Klingele and Justin Bartz  made up the front row, with Klingele grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Joey Gower and Austen Becerra. Klingele worked the bottom of the track to hold off Gower, until the first caution on lap 6 slowed the action. Mike Goodwin stopped down the front stretch to bring out the caution. On the restart Klingele moved back out front, with Gower and Becerra still close behind. The second and final caution appeared on lap 10, when Dakota Anderson spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Klingele again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Tony Dunker, who started 8th, using the top of the track to get past Gower for second. While Klingele worked the bottom of the track, Dunker worked the top to pull even with Klingele coming off turn 2 on lap 13. But Klingele was able to pull away coming off the bottom to keep the lead. Then coming off turn 4 to take the white flag Dunker was able to edge Klingele at the line to take over the top spot. The two would race around the track side-by-side on the final lap, with Dunker using the momentum off turn 4 to edge Klingele at the line by .13 seconds to claim the win. Klingele settled for a close 2nd, Gower was 3rd, Justin Ebbing was 4th, with Austin Howes coming from 9th to finish in 5th.

Notes from Quincy: The final checkered flag waved just before 8:30 PM, which helped to get everyone home at a decent time on a Sunday evening. This was helped with only 4 cautions in 90 feature laps.....Rudy Zaragoza made his debut in the UMP Pro Late Model class. He didn't make it to the track in time to run his heat, so he had to start the feature in 11th. He would stay out of trouble to come home in 9th....Brianna Sheppard called the track to check in, in hopes of making it in time to race. But they never made it......The Sport Compact feature went CAUTION FREE!!!....Brandon Lambert was going for the lead in his heat race, when he rolled in turn 4. They were able to fix the car good enough to race the feature, where he finished 10th......Brandon Lennox, who started 7th in the SportMod feature and was up to 3rd by lap 10, pulled out under the caution on lap 10 with front end troubles to end his night in 9th....Bobby Anders, Nathan Anders and Tim Anders all had troubles in their heat races that forced them to scratch from the feature.

Guernsey, Keltner, McDermand; Masengarb, and Abbott Score First Wins of the Season at 34 Raceway

West Burlington, IA (Saturday, April 22, 2017) - After three weeks of special race events at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 22nd began weekly racing action. As Mt. Dew Kick Start helped to bring the action in the seven classes, with five new winners visiting victory lane at the end of the night.

Austen Becerra and Dan Keltner drew the front row for the 15 lap IMCA SportMod feature, which was the first to take to the track. Becerra would edge out Keltner at the line by inches to lead lap 1. Then after lap 1 was scored complete the caution came out for debris down the front stretch. At the same time leader Becerra went to the pits to change a flat tire, giving the lead over to Keltner for the restart. On the restart Keltner jumped out front, with Sean Wyett and Andrew Burk following. Another lap scored complete produced another caution, as Dustin Ravelin spun in turn 2 on lap 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Scott Williams spun off turn 1 with front end troubles to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Keltner moved back out front, with Wyett and Burk close behind. The action up front was slowed for the final time on lap 5, when Ravelin stopped in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Keltner again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Wyett and Burk still following. Keltner would pull away over the final 10 laps to pick up his first win of the season at 34 Raceway. Wyett was 2nd, John Oliver Jr. started 10th and finished 3rd, Kyle Hill was 4th, with Becerra recovering from his flat on lap 1 to come back up to finish 5th.

Up next was the 15 lap IMRA Midget feature, with Chase McDermand and Gedd Ross leading the field to the drop of the green flag. McDermand would take advantage of his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Ross and Brent Burrows. While McDermand set a fast pace out front, the battle for second was going on between Ross, Burrows, and Adam Taylor, who started 5th. Taylor was able to slip into the runner up spot on lap 5. But without a caution there was no catching McDermand, who went on to win his first of the season at the track. Taylor was 2nd, Ross was 3rd, Burrows was 4th, with Jeff Mallonee coming home in 5th.

Jake Wenig and Ray Raker drew the front row for the 20 lap IMCA Stock Car feature, with Wenig moving out front on lap 1 over Raker and Tom Bowling Jr. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 5, when debris in turn 3 brought out the yellow. On the restart Wenig jumped back out front, with Bowling Jr. and John Oliver Jr., who started 7th, close behind. When Wenig drifted high in turn 4 on lap 7, this would allow Bowling Jr. to slip under him for the lead. A couple of laps later Oliver Jr. was able to clear Wenig for second, and then went to work on Bowling Jr. for the top spot. Oliver Jr. would close to the back bumper of Bowling Jr., with 5 laps to go. He would look under Bowling Jr. over the next few laps, with Bowling Jr. able to hold him off each time. Coming off turn 4 to get the checkers, Oliver Jr. again looked under Bowling Jr. But Bowling Jr. was able to hold him off to claim his second win of the season at 34 Raceway. Oliver Jr. settled for 2nd, Raker was 3rd, Wenig was 4th, with Chad Krogmeier edging out a 5th place finish.

The next feature to take to the track was the 20 lap IMCA Modifieds, with Darrow Lille and Brandon Rothzen leading the field to green. Rothzen jumped out front on lap 1 over Ryan Cook and Bill Roberts Jr., with the action being slowed for the first and only time on lap 3. Jacob Copley spun in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Rothzen moved back out front, with Roberts Jr. edging Cook for second. While the battle for second going on, Rothzen started to pull away. Cook would close the gap on Rothzen late in the race, but ran out of laps. As Rothzen went on to score his second win of the season at the track. Cook was 2nd, Roberts Jr. was 3rd, Dugan Thye was 4th, with Dennis LaVeine coming from 8th to finish in 5th.

Up next was the 15 lap Mod Lite feature, with Erin Turner and Jason Masengarb drawing the front row. Masengarb would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Turner and Scott Sappington Jr. Masengarb then started to pull away from the battle for second going on behind, when the first and only caution of the race appeared on lap 6. Austin Bowling would spin in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Masengarb moved back out front, with Mike Morrill, who started 6th, and Scott Naggatz, who started 5th, close behind. Morrill tried to work the outside to get by Masengarb, but Masengarb was able to hold him off early before pulling away late to claim his first win of the season at the track. Morrill was 2nd, Naggatz was 3rd, Turner was 4th, with Devon Rouse rounding out the top 5.

Wesley Talley and Eric Eye drew the front for for the 15 lap 4 Cylinder feature. But just as the green flag waved the red light came on, as Randy Magnuson rolled in turn 2 to bring out the red. He would climb from his car okay. On the original restart Kimberly Abbott, who started 3rd, grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Brandon Lambert and Eye. Then after lap 1 was scored complete Ron Kibbe stopped in turn 2 to bring out the second caution of the race. Abbott once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Lambert and Jerrod Nichols, who started 9th, battling for second. While Abbott pulled away, Nichols tried to look under Lambert for second. Abbott would cruise to her first win of the season at 34 Raceway. Lambert was able to hold off Nichols for 2nd, Larry Miller was 4th, with Eye holding on for 5th.

The final feature to take to the track was the 20 lap 305 Sprints, with Nick Guernsey and Andy Krieger drawing the front row. Krieger would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Guernsey and Shane Quam. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the first and only caution of the race appeared, as Travis Porter stopped in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Krieger jumped back out front, with Guernsey and Quam following. Krieger was setting a fast pace out front, and was pulling away from the field when he pulled off with troubles on lap 19. Which handed the lead over to Guernsey, who went on to lead the final 2 laps to claim his first win of the season at 34 Raceway. Quam was 2nd, Ben Wagoner started 10th and finished 3rd, Tanner Gebhardt was 4th, with Jarrod Schneiderman coming from 8th to finish 5th.

Notes from 34: The IMRA Midget feature went 15 laps CAUTION FREE!!!....Mitchell Davis started 9th and finished 6th....Broc Hunnell started 12th and finished 9th......Cody Washburne started the Stock Car feature in 10th and finished 6th....Derek Schwandt finished 7th after starting in 11th....Mark Bowman and Odie Cook had troubles after their heats that forced them to scratch from the feature......Booby Six started the Modified feature in 9th and finished 6th....Dustin Smith finished 7th after starting in 10th....Creston Williams came from 11th to finish in 8th....Mitch Boles had troubles after his heat race that forced him to scratch from the feature......David Prim started the Sport Compact feature in 12th and finished 7th....Casey Lambert finished 9th after starting in 13th....David Judd started 14th and finished 11th....Cody Bowman came from 18th to finish in 12th....Kyle Franey, Kevin Favorite, and Wayne Chamblee all had troubles after their heat races that forced them to scratch from the feature......Daniel Bergquist started the 305 Sprint feature in 9th and finished 6th....Colton Fisher finished 10th after starting in 13th....Wyatt Wilkerson started 14th and finished 11th....Brayden Gaylord had motor troubles in hot laps that forced him to scratch for the night.

Halstead, Waterman, Pundt, Dunker, and Taft Become Five New Winners at the Lee County Speedway

Donnellson, IA (Friday, April 21, 2017) - Mother nature has not been on the side of the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa for the first four weeks of racing in 2017, as wet weather was the fight the first three weeks. But this week it was the cool temperatures and breezy conditions that wasn't on there side. The hot racing action helped to keep the fans warm, with five new winners ending up in victory lane at the end of the night.

Daniel Fellows and Barry Taft led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 15 lap IMCA Sport Compact feature, which was the first to take to the track on this night. Taft would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Kimberly Abbott and David Prim. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the caution would appear, as Mike Hornung Jr. stopped down the backstretch to bring out the yellow. On the restart Taft moved back out front, with Abbott and Josh Barnes, who started 8th, close behind. Abbott tried to work under Taft over the next 5 laps, when the second caution of the race appeared on lap 6. Hornung Jr. would spin in turn 4 and collected Fellows to bring out the yellow. Taft again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Abbott and Barnes following. Taft, Abbott and Barnes would race the next two laps three wide for the lead, with Taft able to hold them off at the line each lap. While the lead trio battled for the top spot, Jake Dietrich, who started 7th, was working the top of the track to move into the battle. Dietrich would over take Barnes for 2nd on lap 13, and then went to work on Taft for the lead. But Taft was able to hold on over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the track. Barnes would edge out Dietrich at the line for 2nd, Brandon Reu came from 9th to finish 4th, with Abbott holding on for 5th.

Next to take to the track was the 20 lap UMP Pro Late Model feature, with Derek Liles and Gunner Frank drawing the front row. Liles jumped out front on lap 1 over Gunner Frank and Sam Halstead, and then held it until coming off turn 4 to complete lap 2. Liles would spin in front of the field to bring out the yellow. On the restart Halstead slipped past Gunner Frank to take the top spot, with Todd Frank moving into second. Todd Frank tried to stay in Halstead's tire tracks over the next 6 laps, when the second caution of the race slowed the action. This time Chase Frank spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Halstead jumped back out front on the restart, with Todd Frank and Gunner Frank close behind. Again Todd Frank tried to stay with Halstead, but Halstead started to pull away until the final caution of the race brought the field back to his back bumper on lap 18. Chase Frank spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow for the second time to end his night. On the restart Todd Frank went low going into turn 3 and slid up in front of Halstead, only to have Halstead turn under him to edge him at the line for the lead. Halstead then held him off on the final lap to claim his first win of the season at the track. Tommy Elston came from 9th to edge out Denny Woodworth at the line for 3rd, Liles recovered from his lap 1 spin to come back up to finish 5th.

Up next was the 20 lap IMCA Stock Car feature, with Les Blakley and Corey Strothman leading the field to green. But it was third place starter Jeremy Pundt who jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Abe Huls and Strothman. With Pundt working the bottom of the track, Huls went to the top to try to work past Pundt. But disaster would strike Huls on lap 7 when he got into the guardrail in turn 3 and pulled off with troubles. This would move Jason Cook into second. While Cook tried to cut into Pundt's lead, the battle for third between John Oliver Jr., Strothman, and Jason See went two and three wide at times. Without a caution there was no catching Pundt on this night, as he went on to win his first feature of the year at the track. Cook was 2nd, See won the battle for 3rd, Strothman was 4th, with Oliver Jr. coming home in 5th.

Mitch Boles and Kelly Buckallew led the field to the drop of the green flag in the 20 lap IMCA Modified feature, with Boles jumping out front to lead lap 1 over Dennis LaVeine and rookie Modified driver Dakota Simmons, who moved out of the SportMod class for 2017. Coming off turn 2 to complete lap 2, LaVeine went low, Jeff Waterman was in the middle, with Boles up top, to race three wide for the top spot. LaVeine emerged as the new leader on lap 2. LaVeine worked the bottom of the track over the next 3 laps, while Waterman used the top. Which turned out to prevail for Waterman, who grabbed the top spot away from LaVeine coming off turn 4 on lap 6. Waterman then started to pull away, when the first and only caution of the race appeared on lap 15 to bring the field back to his back bumper. Boles slowed in turn 4 with troubles to bring out the yellow. On the restart Waterman moved back out front, with LaVeine working to hold off Blake Woodruff, who started 6th, for second. Waterman then led the final 5 laps to score his first win of the season at the track. LaVeine held on for 2nd, Woodruff was 3rd, Bobby Six started 9th and finished 4th, with Simmons rounding out the top 5.

The final feature to take to the track was the 18 lap IMCA SportMods, with Austin Howes and Brandon Symmonds leading the field to green, when Tom Lathrop elected to start in the rear. Howes took advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Logan Anderson, who originally started 14th and moved up to 6th on the start, and Symmonds. The action was slowed for the first time on lap 2, when Brandyn Ryan spun in turn 3 and collected Dave Kraus to bring out the yellow. On the restart Howes moved back out front, with Tony Dunker, who started 8th, over taking Anderson for second. Howes, who was running the bottom of the track, then held the top spot until lap 4, when Dunker went high off turn 4 to take over the lead. Just as Dunker started to pull away from the battle behind, the second caution of the race slowed the pace on lap 12. This time debris in turn 1 brought out the yellow. Dunker moved back out front on the restart, with Howes and now John Oliver Jr. close behind. Dunker again started to pull away from the battle behind him, and looked to be heading to the win, when the final caution appeared on lap 17 to set up a overtime finish. But Dunker got a good restart and held on over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the track. Howes settled for 2nd, Anderson was 3rd, Oliver Jr. was 4th, with Brandon Dale finishing 5th after starting in 9th.

Notes from LCS: Friday's action got started right at 7:30 PM, and the five class program, which included a pit crew challenge at intermission, was completed at 10:01 PM. The excellent track prep helps to produce some of the best racing in the area on Friday nights. That is very cost efficient for the fans to come and enjoy,.....Travis DeMint started the Sport Compact feature in 11th and finished 7th....Daniel Fellows recovered from his involvement in the lap 6 caution to come back up to finish 8th....Mike Hornung Jr. came back from the lap 6 caution to finish 11th....Colton Keck had troubles in his heat that forced him to scratch from the feature......Dean Kratzer started the Stock Car feature in 12th and finished 8th....Scott Jordan had troubles in hot laps that forced him to scratch for the night......Dave Wietholder had troubles in hot laps that forced him to scratch for the night in the Modified class......Austen Becerra started the SportMod feature in 13th and passed 7 cars to come home in 6th....Dan Keltner, who was suppose to start 6th, elected to start at the rear. He would come up to finish 8th....Bob Cowman finished 10th after spinning on lap 17 to set up a two lap overtime finish....Brandon Lennox had troubles after his heat that forced him to scratch from the feature.

Make sure to mark your calendars for Thursday, May 4th, as the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models invade the Lee County Speedway. This will be the first of two visits for 2017. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Quincy Raceways Opener Goes to Schlenk, Elston, Bollinger, Huls, Howes, and Taft

Quincy, IL (Sunday, April 9, 2017) - After having their 2017 racing season fall to rain last Sunday, the Quincy Raceways in Quincy, Illinois was able to kick-off their season on Sunday. It also marked the debut of the UMP Pro (Crate) Late Model class to a limited schedule for this season.

The 18 lap IMCA SportMod feature was the first to take to the track, with Brandon Lennox and Joey Gower drawing the front row. But it was third place starter Austin Howes who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Gower and Lennox. Jim Gillenwater, who was running 4th, spun in turn 4 on lap 4 to bring out the first caution of the race. On the restart Howes moved back out front, with Lennox over taking Gower for the runner up spot. Two laps later, lap 6, Tim Anders spun off turn 4 and into the wall to bring the yellow light back on for the second time of the race. Once again Howes grabbed the lead on the restart, with Lennox, Austen Becerra, and Tony Dunker battling for the second spot. Howes started to pull away from the battle going on behind him, when the final caution of the race slowed the action. This time Brandon Symmonds slowed to a stop in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Howes jumped back out front, with Lennox and Dunker close behind. Dunker went to the top of the track to clear Lennox for second on lap 16, and then set his sights on Howes, who was running the bottom, for the top spot. But Howes was able to hold him off at the line to claim the win. Dunker was 2nd, Lennox was 3rd, Justin Ebbing, who was suppose to start 9th, had to go to the rear after being pushed out of staging climbed his way up to finish 4th, with Becerra rounding out the top 5.

Up next was the 20 lap UMP Pro Late Model feature, with AJ May, the 2016 UMP Pro Late Model National Champion, and Tommy Elston leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Elston would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over May and Denny Woodworth. Just after the completion of lap 1 the first caution appeared, as Derek Sammons spun off turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Sam Halstead, who was running 4th, spun in turn 4 to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Elston move back out front, with Woodworth over taking May for second. Elston then started to pull away from the battle behind him, when he encountered a couple of lapped cars racing side-by-side. This would allow Woodworth and May to cut into his straight-away lead. In fact Woodworth was able to pull up next to Elston down the front stretch on lap 17. But Elston would slice his way through the lapped cars coming off turn 2, and was able to hold on over the final laps to pick up the win. Woodworth was 2nd, May was 3rd, Tommy Sheppard Jr was 4th, with Halstead recovering from his spin on the lap 1 restart to come back up to 5th.

Russ Coultas and Rick Conoyer made up the front row for the 20 lap UMP Modified feature, when Ray Bollinger, who won the first heat race, rolled a 6 to invert the first 3 rows of the feature. Conoyer would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Coultas and Shawn Deering. While everyone went to the bottom of the track, Jason Frankel, who started 5th, decided to try the top. The move would pay off early, as he moved into second on lap 4. But on lap 12 he slipped over the track in turn 1 and fell back to 4th. After seeing how well the top worked for Frankel, Bollinger and Dave Wietholder, who started 7th, went to the top to try and work their way towards the front. On lap 15 Bollinger pulled into the runner up spot, but was a full straight-away behind Conoyer for the lead. Coming off turn 4 on the white flag lap, Bollinger was able to slip past Conoyer for the lead, and then held him off on the final lap to pick up the win. Conoyer was 2nd, Wietholder was 3rd, Deering was 4th, with Frankel coming home in 5th.

The 25 lap UMP Super Late Model feature was up next, with Rusty Schlenk and McKay Wenger leading the field to the drop of the green flag. Schlenk jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Jason Perry and Wenger. Wenger used the top of the track to over take Perry for the runner up spot on lap 2, and then tried to keep pace with Schlenk. Even though Schlenk entered lapped traffic on lap 11, and with out a caution to slow him down, there was no catching Schlenk on this night. He would cruise to an easy win. Followed by Wenger in 2nd, Denny Woodworth in 3rd, Alan Westling started 7th and finished 4th, with Justin Reed coming from 8th to round out the top 5.

Despite the IMCA Stock Car field only having four start the race, after Rudy Zaragoza hit the wall hard in the heat race and had to scratch from the feature, the action up front was very entertaining for the first half of the 12 lap race. Jerry Jansen and Abe Huls drew the front row, with Jansen edging out Huls at the line to lead lap 1. Jansen then held the lead until lap 3, when Huls used the top of the track to take over the top spot. This would leave Jansen to have to defend off Michael Larsen and Brian Hoener, for the runner up spot. While Huls started to pull away, the battle for second went two and three wide at times. That was until late in the race when Larsen pulled off with a right rear flat. This would leave Jansen and Hoener left to battle for second, as Huls held on to claim the win. Hoener edged out Jansen at the line by inches for 2nd, Jansen was 3rd, Larsen was credited with 4th, with Zaragoza credited with 5th.

The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 15 lap IMCA Sport Compacts, with Colton Kleck and Wesley Talley leading the field to green, after outside front row starter Andrew Hughes was a scratch. But it was fourth place starter Barry Taft who shot out into the lead on lap 1 over Craig Bangert, who started 6th, and Darin Weisinger Jr., who started 7th. Weisinger Jr.'s run up front came to an end on lap 4, when he pulled off with a right front flat. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 8, when Brandon Lambert slowed to a stop in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Taft jumped back out front, with Bangert and Brandon Reu, who started 10th, now running third. While Bangert tried to work under Taft over the final laps, Reu had to fight off Jake Dietrich for the third spot. But Taft was able to hold off Bangert at the line to pick up the win. Bangert settled for 2nd, Dietrich edged out Reu at the line for 3rd, giving Reu 4th, with Kimberly Abbott coming from 11th to finish in 5th.

Notes from Quincy: 17 IMCA Sport Compacts, 15 IMCA SportMods, 14 UMP Pro Late Models, 12 UMP Super Late Models, 11 UMP Modifieds, and 5 IMCA Stock Cars made up the 73 cars signed in on opening night......Jim Gillenwater recovered from his spin on lap 4 of the SportMod feature to come back up to finish 6th....Chuck Ancell climbed back into a race car after several years, and finished 9th after starting in 15th....Nathan Anders had troubles after his heat race to for him to scratch from the feature......Brandon Savage moved out of the Stock Car class to the Pro Late Models for 2017. He looked real racy in finishing in 7th....Josh Jackson started 11th and finished 8th....Trent Grotz started 12th and finished 9th......Donovan Lodge finished 7th in the Modified feature after starting in 11th......Clint Kirkham drove a car for Charles VanZandt in the Super Late Model feature. Where he started 12th and finished 9th....Rickey Frankel had troubles in the heat race that forced him to scratch from the feature......Casey Lambert started 9th in the Sport Compact feature and finished 6th....Mike Hornung Jr. came from 13th to finish in 9th....Ashton Blain finished 10th after starting in 14th....Andrew Hughes, Josh Barnes and Jeffrey DeLonjay all had troubles in their heat races that forced them to scratch from the feature....While Aylssa Steele rolled a couple time in her heat race to force her to scratch from the feature. She did climb from the car okay.

This Friday the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa will try for the third time to get their 2017 racing season started, as the two day Spring Extravaganza fell to rain. This will also mark the first night that the Crate Late Models will be sanctioned by UMP. Also racing will be the IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA SportMods, and IMCA Sport Compacts. If you haven't been to the Lee County Speedway, then I would encourage you to come check it out. The racing is always entertaining, and at a cheap price of $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, students 11-17 $5, and kids 10 & under FREE to get into the grandstands with Late Models racing weekly. The fairboard has also did some upgrades over the winter, with a new kitchen and bathrooms put up in the pits. As well as a new PA system being installed.

Then on Saturday is the event everyone looks forward to every year, that is the "Slocum 50" at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. This is the 9th year friends and family have put together this race to honor Brent Slocum, who lost his life in a pit accident several years ago at the track. With the help of many sponsors and contributors the Open Late Model purse will again pay $10,555 to win. But the to start the 50 lap feature it has been raised to $750. The 305 Sprints will be going for $1,555 to win, while the IMCA Stock Cars will race for $1,055 to win.

We need everyone to think go vibes for the weekend, as mother nature keeps hinting on the "R" word for the next 3 days. Let's hope to go racing this weekend!!!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mueller Only Driver to Sweep "Memphis Spring Nationals"

Memphis, MO (Saturday, March 18, 2017) - Saturday night was the final night of the "Memphis Spring Nationals" at the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri presented by J&J Ag. And with temperatures expected to fall in the 30's, the nights action was moved up an hour from the scheduled time. That move paid off with a fast paced show, as the first green flag waved at 5:55 PM and the final checkered flag falling at 8:20 pm.

The 14 lap Hobby Stock feature was the first to take to the track, with Scott Shull and Daniel Wauters drawing the front row. Wauters would take advantage of his front row start to grab the lead on lap 1 over Nathan Ballard, who started 4th, and Shull. But his lead only last for 1 lap, as Ballard went to the very top of the track coming off turn 4 to take over the top spot on lap 2. Ballard then started to pull away, as Wauters, Shull and Damon Murty, who won Friday nights feature in Bill Bonnett's #19, battled for the runner up spot. Without a caution there was no catching Ballard, who cruised to an easy win. Shull won the battle for 2nd, Wauters held on for 3rd, Murty was 4th, with Mike Kincaid  coming home in 5th.

Up next was the 18 lap SportMod feature, with Jason McDaniel and Tyler Soppe leading the field to the drop of the green flag. McDaniel jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Soppe and Carter VanDenBerg. Just as McDaniel started to put some distance on the battle behind him, the first caution of the race appeared on lap 5. Brandon Symmonds would spin in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart VanDenBerg slid up in front of McDaniel coming off turn 2 to grab the lead going down the backstretch. But third place runner Soppe would drive it hard into turn 3 on the bottom and slid up in front of VanDenBerg coming off turn 4 to take the lead. Three laps later, lap 9, the second and final caution of race came out for debris in turn 2.

Soppe moved back out front on the restart, while Brandon Lennox, who started 20th and used the bottom of the track to get to the front, over took VanDenBerg for second. Lennox then followed in Soppe's tire tracks over the next 5 laps, when he got sideways in turn 3 and fell back to 3rd. This would allow Soppe to pull away over the final 3 laps to pick up the $1,500 top prize. McDaniel was 2nd, Lennox was 3rd, VanDenBerg was 4th, with Brayton Carter, who won Friday night, rounding out the top 5.

Michael Larsen and Dustin Griffiths drew the front row for the 20 lap Stock Car feature, with Griffiths grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Jeff Mueller, who started 4th, and Damon Murty, who started 6th. Griffiths, who was working the top of the track, then held off Mueller, who was working the bottom, until lap 5 when Mueller slipped under him coming off turn 4 to take over the top spot. Just after the completion of lap 5 the first caution of the race appeared, as Cody Washburne spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Mueller jumped back out front, as Murty and Mike Hughes went to the bottom of the track to get past Griffiths for second and third. While the lead trio worked the bottom of the track, Cayden Carter, who started 10th, worked the top of the track to move into fourth by the midway portion of the race.

The action up front was slowed for the second time, as Washburne spun in turn 4 on lap 12 to bring out his second involvement caution to end his night. Mueller once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Murty and Carter glued to his back bumper. Murty and Carter tried to get under Mueller over the next 4 laps, when the final caution appeared on lap 17 to set up a 3 lap shootout. This time Larsen would spin in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Mueller moved back out front, with Carter slipping past Murty for the runner up spot. Despite several challenges from Carter over the final laps, Mueller was able to hold on to claim his second win of the weekend and the $1,500 top prize to go with it. Carter settled for 2nd, Murty was 3rd, Hughes was 4th, with Griffiths holding on for 5th.

Up next was the 14 lap Sport Compact feature, with Brandon Lambert and Steven Struck leading the field to the drop of the green. Struck took advantage of his draw to jump out front on lap 1 over Brandon Lambert and Casey Lambert. While Struck worked the top of the track, with Brandon Lambert following in his tire tracks, Brandon Reu, who started 9th, was working his way towards the front by using the bottom of the track. On lap 8, Reu would slip under Brandon Lambert for the runner up spot and then went to work on Struck for the lead. Struck and Reu would come off turn 4 on lap 11 side-by-side, with Reu grabbing the top spot away from Struck on lap 12. Reu then held off Struck over the final 2 laps of the caution free race to pick up the win. But Reu was later disqualified in tech for a ported cylinder head. This would give Struck the win. Brandon Lambert held off Cody VanDusen, who started 8th, on the final lap to be moved up to 2nd. VanDusen was moved to 3rd, Luke Benischek was moved to 4th, with Levi Heath being moved to 5th after starting in 12th.

The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 25 lap Modifieds, with Friday nights winner Hunter Marriott and Blake Woodruff drawing the front row. Marriott quickly shot out into the lead on the drop of the green flag, with Colt Mather and Cayden Carter close behind. While Marriott was setting a fast pace around the top of the track, Kyle Brown, who started 10th, was using the bottom of the track to work his way towards the front. Marriott started to enter lapped traffic on lap 10, which slowed his pace down. On lap 16, Brown worked his way into the runner up spot and then went to work on chasing down Marriott for the lead. Marriott and Brown came off turn 4 on lap 21 side-by-side, with Brown grabbing the top spot away on lap 22. Brown then held on over the final 3 laps of the caution free race to pick up the win and the $2,000 top prize. Marriott was 2nd, Carter was 3rd, Kelly Shryock was 4th, with Kurt Kile coming from 12th, for the second night in a row, to finish in 5th.

The Scotland County Speedway will now sit idol until Thursday, June 1st, when the Lucas Oil MLRA Late Models take to the big wide 3/8th mile. Joining the Late Models will be the Modifieds, Stock Cars, SportMods and Sport Compacts. Coming up this weekend, Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th, will be the 5th Annual "Spring Extravaganza" at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. Check out the tracks website at www.leecountyspeedway.com for more information.

Notes from SCS night 2: 23 Modifieds, 23 Stock Cars, 21 Sport Compacts, 20 SportMods, and 10 Hobby Stocks made up the 97 cars signed in for the final night of the "Memphis Spring Nationals"......Dylan Nelson started the Hobby Stock feature in 10th and finished 6th......Brian Efkamp finished 8th in the SportMod feature after starting in 11th....Scott Walker once again drove his son Ryan Walker's #9w car and finished 12th....Brandon Symmonds recovered from his spin on lap 5 to come back up to finish in 14th....Dakota Anderson had troubles after his heat race that forced him to scratch from the feature......Kyle Frederick from Oconto, Wisconsin finished 7th in the Stock Car feature after starting in 11th....Nathan Wood came from 12th to finish in 8th....Jason Cook finished 9th after starting in 16th....Tyler Pickett passed 10 cars from his 22nd place starting spot to come home in 12th....Dean Kratzer started 23rd and finished 18th......Dustin Forbes started the Sport Compact feature in 14th and finished 8th....Travis Tedrow passed 10 cars from his 21st place starting spot to finish in 11th....Alvin Cooney finished 12th after starting in 16th....David Prim came from 17th to finish in 13th....Alyssa Steele started 19th and finished 14th....Cameron Poci had troubles in his heat race that forced him to scratch from the feature......Andrew Schroeder started the Modified feature in 11th and finished 6th....Tyler Droste charged from 22nd to finish in 8th....Jeff Waterman finished 9th after starting in 14th....Jason Murray passed 13 cars from his 23rd place starting spot to come home in 10th....Jardin Fuller started 16th and finished 12th....David Wietholder for the second night in a row had troubles in hot laps that forced him to scratch for the night.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Marriott, Mueller, Carter, Murty, and Barnes Score "Memphis Spring Nationals" Opening Night Wins

Memphis, MO (Friday, March 17, 2017) - St. Patrick's Day 2017 turned out to be the season kick-off for the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri. As J&J Ag helped present  the "Memphis Spring Nationals", on what started out to be a decent night and turned into somewhat of a brisk cool evening.

The 14 lap Sport Compact feature started the night off, with Brandon Reu and Levi Heath drawing the front row for the event. But it was fourth place starter Josh Barnes who jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Reu and Brandon Lambert. Just after the completion of lap 1, Casey Lambert slowed to a stop in turn 1 to bring out the caution. On the restart Barnes moved back out front, with Reu and Brandon Lambert close behind. Three laps later, on lap 5, Brandon Lambert's night came to an abrupt stop. As he came to a stop in turn 3 with fire coming out of the rear of the car. Barnes once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Reu and now Jake Benischek, who started 14th, following close behind. Neither Reu nor Benischek could find away around Barnes, who held on to pick up the win. Reu settled for 2nd, Luke Benischek was 3rd, Heath was 4th, with Kenny Smith rounding out the top 5.

Up next was the 20 lap Stock Car feature, with Cayden Carter and Jeff Mueller drawing the front row. Mueller would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Mike Hughes and John Oliver Jr. The action up front was slowed only 1 time, as Tyler Pickett spun in turn 4 on lap 3 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Mueller jumped back out front, with Hughes and Carter following close behind. Hughes and Carter would follow in Mueller's tire tracks around the top of the speedway over the final 17 laps, and was waiting for him to make a mistake. But Mueller would hold them off to pick up the $1,000 top prize. Hughes was 2nd, Carter was 3rd, Damon Murty started 10th and finished 4th, with Todd Reitzler coming from 12th to finish in 5th.

The SportMod 18 lap feature was next to take to the track, with Brayton Carter using his front row starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Tyler Soppe and Brandon Lennox. Just after the completion of lap 1, the caution would appear to slow the action down. As Jake Whittington and Kevin Dickey spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Carter moved back out front, with Lennox getting by Soppe for the runner up spot. Carter then started to pull away from the battle behind, when a second caution appeared on lap 7. This time Brian Efkamp spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Once again Carter jumped out front on the restart, with Lennox and Carter VanDenBerg, who started 11th, moving into third. Two laps later, on lap 9, Jason McDaniel spun in turn 4 to bring the yellow light back on.

Carter would grab the lead on the restart, with Lennox, VanDenBerg, Soppe, Austin Luellen battling for the runner up spot. With the battle going on behind him, Carter started to pull away. Carter's almost straight-away was erased on lap 13, when Jami Ritter spun in turn 1 and collected Whittington to bring out the final caution of the race. On the restart Carter moved back out front, with Soppe going from fourth to second to get around Lennox and VanDenBerg. There was no catching Carter, as he pulled away over the final 7 laps to pick up the $1,000 top prize. Soppe held on for 2nd, Lennox was 3rd, VanDenBerg was 4th, with Luellen coming home in 5th.

Only 9 Hobby Stocks showed up for night 1, with Damon Murty, who was driving Bill Bonnett's #19 car, moving out front on the drop of the green flag in the 14 lap race. Just like the Stock Car feature, August Bach and Scott Shull followed in Murty's tire tracks around the top of the speedway and was waiting for him to make a mistake. But disaster would strike Bach on lap 12 when he got into the backstretch guardrail and rolled to bring out the red. Bach would climb from his car okay. On the restart Murty jumped back out front, with Shull and Mike Kincaid close behind. Murty would hold off a last lap challenge from Shull to claim the win. Shull settled for 2nd, Kincaid was 3rd, Dylan Nelson was 4th, with Daniel Wauters rounding out the top 5.

The 25 lap Modified feature was the last to take to the track, with Cayden Carter and Michael Dotson leading the field to the green flag. But just as the green flag waved the yellow light would come on, as David Snyder lost a drive shaft down the front stretch to bring out the caution. On the restart Carter would take advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap 1 over Hunter Marriott and Shawn Ritter. Marriott would slid up in front of Carter coming off turn 4 to take the lead away on lap 2. The trio would then start to pull away from the rest of the field. Carter was able to get up beside Marriott for the top spot, as they entered lapped traffic on lap 13. But when Dotson spun in turn 4 on lap 14 that would slow the action down and bring the field back to the top two's back bumper.

On the restart Ritter spun in turn 1 and collected Johnny Wyman to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Marriott jump back out front, with Carter, Kelly Shryock, who started 9th, and Clint Luellen battling for the runner up spot. Just like before the caution appeared, Marriott and Carter started to pull away from the battle behind them. And once again they would enter lapped traffic on lap 22, which allowed Carter to get up beside Marriott. But Marriott was able to hold him off over the final lap to pick up the $1,000 check. Carter was 2nd, Luellen was 3rd, Kurt Kile started 12th and finished 4th, with Shryock coming home in 5th.

Notes from SCS night 1: 26 Modifieds, 26 Stock Cars, 23 Sport Compacts, 20 SportMods, and 9 Hobby Stocks made up the 104 cars signed in for competition......Travis Tedrow passed 12 cars from his 20th place starting spot in the Sport Compact feature to come home in 8th....Alyssa Steele started 13th and finished 9th....Ashton Blain came from 17th to finish 11th....Mike Hornung Jr. finished 12th after starting in 21st....Jaden DeLonjay came from 23rd to finish 15th....Jake Benischek was running 3rd when he pulled off on the last lap to finish 16th....Jeffrey DeLonjay was suppose to start 12th, but had troubles after the heat race that forced him to scratch from the feature......Dustin Griffith started the Stock Car feature in 11th and finished 6th....Kyle Frederick, who made the long pull down from Oconto Falls, Wisconsin, finished 9th after starting in 15th....Tyler Pickett, who spun on lap 3 to bring out the caution, recovered to come home in 14th....Dallon Murty, Damon Murty's 13 year old son, raced his dads back-up car and elected to start from the rear. He would come up to finish in 15th....Chase Exline started 22nd and finished 16th....Odie Cook, Dan Gordon, and Greg Harsch all had troubles in the heat that forced them to scratch from the B-Main for a chance to move onto the feature......Brandon Dale finished 8th in the SportMod feature after starting in 12th....Scott Walker, who drove his son's Ryan Walker's #9w, started 18th and passed 9 cars to come home in 9th....Kevin Dickey recovered from being involved in the lap 1 caution to come back up to finish 10th....Colton Livezey, Andrew Swailes, and Austen Becerra all had troubles in their heat races that forced them to scratch from the feature......Colt Mather started the Modified feature in 11th and finished 7th....Jardin Fuller passed 10 cars from his 18th place starting spot to come home in 8th....Matt Fulton finished 10th after starting 13th....Blake Woodruff passed 9 cars from his 20th place starting spot to finish 9th....Zach Rawlins started 21st and finished 13th....Andrew Schroeder, who started 7th and was up to 3rd, pulled off under the lap 14 caution with right front troubles to end his night in 16th....Michael Long had engine troubles in hot laps and scratched for the night....David Wietholder also had troubles in hot laps that forced him to scratch for the night.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Look Back at 2016

Monmouth, IL (Thursday, March 16, 2017) - For the many of you who know me, know how much I spend my time trying to make sure the sport we all enjoy survives for years to come. But during the 2016 racing season I discovered how hard it is to please everyone, and how much social media is going to kill off this sport.

Many times during 2016 I contemplated walking away from this sport that has been a part of my life for 30 years. I also found out who my true friends and supporters are through the good and bad times. Thanks to the many good people I have gotten to know through those 30 years, they showed me over the final three months of the season what great times can still be had.

My 2016 number came in with 80 race nights attended, with most of them coming at the three tracks I worked at during the season. The most being at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa with 17 nights, followed by another track I worked most the season at with 11, and then finishing off with 10 at the Quincy Raceways in Quincy, Illinois. Coming in next was the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa with 6 nights. A track I returned to working at on Friday nights late in the season, and will be returning to again in 2017. Another track coming in with 6 nights was the Boone Speedway in Boone, Iowa, where I attended the week long IMCA Super Nationals. The Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa was next with 5 nights, and was followed by the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri with 4 nights. Also with 4 nights was the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois, where I attended the NASCAR weekend. Other tracks with multiple nights include the Dirt Track at Charlotte, North Carolina with 3 nights of the World Finals events, The Benton County Speedway in Vinton, Iowa and the Marshalltown Speedway in Marshalltown, Iowa both with 2 nights. Then my final event of 2016 was taking in the two nights of racing inside the Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Finally the tracks I went to on a single night included the West Liberty Raceway in West Liberty, Iowa, the Fairbury American Legion Speedway in Fairbury, Illinois, the LaSalle Speedway in LaSalle, Illinois, the Knox County Fair race in Knoxville, Illinois, the Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, Illinois, and the Eldon Raceway in Eldon, Iowa. One last track that I made 1 visit to, which was also the first ever visit to this track, was the Beatrice Speedway in Beatrice, Nebraska.

The following subject matter may be controversial to some of you, but it is something that should be talked about. For several years the major sanctioning bodies have awarded national champions in each of their divisions. And each of those sanctioning bodies have a different way in determining who will be crowned national champions. Is there a correct way to go about determining these nationals champions? One can say yes, and another person may say no. But there is one sanctioning body that does it in a way to promote not only winning races, but winning track championships along the way. While another one awards bonus points to a competitor for the car counts they race against. One may ask why I bring this up, well let me fill you in.

Everybody knows the main reason why a racer takes to the track each night, and that is to hopefully end up in victory lane at the end of that night. The UMP DIRTcar Racing uses a driver's best 30 races towards earning points for the national points chase. And in 2016 Michael Long of Fowler, Illinois ended up in victory lane more than 30 times, which one would thought he would have maxed out his best 30 finishes in the national title. But unfortunately he didn't win the UMP National Championship, he came in a close second to Highland, Illinois native Mike Harrison. Harrison only ended up in victory lane 21 times, which was 9 less than what Long won towards the national title. One might ask how is that possible.

Well what made up the difference was the bonus points award for competing against 20 to 25+ cars in an event. Long, who punches a time clock at work, had to hope each weekend race that he showed up at had more than 20 cars to compete against. Unfortunately that wasn't the case many a times during the season. On the other hand Harrison, who is a farmer, was able to pick and choose the races he wanted to compete in during the season. As a result the majority of his wins came with 20 to 25+ cars to earn the maximum points towards the national championship. So one may ask is UMP set up for a weekend racer or for one who can travel throughout the season.

This Friday, March 17th and Saturday, March 18th kicks off the 2017 racing season in my area, as the "Spring Nationals" takes place at the Scotland County Speedway in Memphis, Missouri. The Modifieds, Stock Cars and SportMods will race Friday for $1,000 to win. Then if you raced on Friday the Modifieds will have a shot at $2,000 to win on Saturday, the Stock Cars and SportMods will have a chance at $1,500 to win. Otherwise if you can only race Saturday, the Modifieds, Stock Cars, and SportMods will race for $1,000 to win. Both nights will also feature racing in the Hobby Stocks and Sport Compacts, with both shooting for a top prize of $300 to win each night. For more information about the "Spring Nationals" you can call Mike Van Genderen at 641-521-0330, or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Scotland-County-Speedway-531042493650646/.

There is plenty of weekly and special events planned for the 2017 season, and to make it easy for one to plan there schedule you are encouraged to check out the calendar page on Positively Racing at http://www.positivelyracing.com/calendar.shtml. But we remind you that schedules are subject to change without notice, so make sure you call or check the tracks website before attending a race.