I decided at the last minute to venture west several hours to the US 30 Speedway in Columbus, Nebraska on Thursday, May 14. This track runs their weekly show on Thursdays, giving me my first opportunity to visit the facility. The track was in great shape tonight and provided some good racing action for the fans. The later start time allows fans to get off work and still make it to the races on time. The track only runs four classes which made for a quickly run program.
Up first would be the hornets. Six cars started the feature and it would be Darik Lamberson taking home the checkers ahead of Shannon Pospisil, Jared Rodgers, Beth Wombacher, and Jeremy Barg. Jeff Davis finished a distant sixth.
Next to hit the track would be the hobby stocks. Sixteen cars set to do battle for fifteen laps and it would be outside front row starter Nelson Vollbrecht taking the early lead. Derek Theim would follow him to the front as the two battled for several laps for the top spot. Pole sitter Mike Goldfuss was running third at the time a caution flag came out with just three laps to go, but Goldfuss ducked off the track to the pit area and thus giving up his position. On the ensuing restart Brandon Kresha was running sixth but made a great move to find himself in the second spot battle Vollbrecht for the win. Kresha tried both high and low grooves, but it was not enough as he followed Vollbrecht across the finish line. Josh Gembica came home third, Jeremy Hoskinson was fourth, and Derek Spragg rounded out the top five.
Only six street stocks were on hand for the second race of the season. Troy Bergman used his second starting spot to take the lead early in the race. A caution flag bunched the cars up, allowing pole sitter Dave Freudenburg to challenge for the top spot. Bergman's car was too strong as he went home with the trophy and the win. Freudenburg was second, Joe Runquist finished third, opening night winner Roger Eaton came home fourth, and Josh Grape completed the top five.
The night was going along smoothly until the IMCA modifieds took the track for their twenty-five lap feature. After three attempts to complete the first lap, it was decided to start the field single file as opposed to the normal double-wide formation. This helped get the first lap in, but several caution flags would wave throughout the event. In fact, unofficially I had nine yellow flags. Dylan Smith would be the early race leader as the rest of the field tried to keep up with his pace. Johnny Saathoff would make his way through the field after he suffered suspension issues in his heat race and would start towards the back of the pack. After five laps of green flag racing, another caution came out, putting Chris Alcorn in second spot right behind the leader Smith. These two waged a good battle for the lead and it heated up with just a few laps to go. Alcorn got by Smith on the front stretch, but Smith battled back to take the lead coming out of turn four on the next circuit. Smith used a lapped car to his benefit after taking the white flag to take the checkers by about three car lengths over Alcorn. Johnny Saathoff finished with a solid third place, California resident Randy Brown would cross the line in fourth, and Jordan Grabouski rebounded well from an early spin to round out the top five. I don't remember the story I was told a couple months ago, but I believe Californian Randy Brown has a construction company and is in the area for work and decided to bring his racecar along with. If memory serves me correctly, he is staying with Johnny Saathoff during his time in the Midwest.
As noted earlier, the program was moved along at a very quick pace with the exception of the caution flags in the modified feature. I was a little disappointed in the amount of cars in attendance, but the racing was pretty good throughout the night. Track stayed in good shape throughout the night. Hopefully the track will pick up some more cars as the season progresses.
- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!