Saturday, June 6, 2009

Hahne Wins Second Feature in as Many Weeks

With rain forecasted for much of the day on Saturday, June 6th, things looked dismal to find a race to attend tonight. However, things looked okay for the Hamilton County Speedway in Webster City, so I made the venture that way for kids' night. Kids' night is one thing I wish they would have had back when I was growing up. Would have been cool to get to ride with my favorite driver, but that's not the point of this blog. Haha.

I think the overcast skies and threat of rain kept some drivers away, but the field of cars that did show up put on a good show for the fans on a very tacky racetrack. Gary Carlson paced the field of four IMCA sport compacts on the first lap, but Gary Peiffer would take the top spot away with two laps to go to take home the win.

Roger Haupt Jr set the pace early on in the IMCA hobby stock feature. One of Haupt's sponsors, Hagie Manufacturing in Clarion, was the title sponsor of the night. Haupt Jr's lead disappeared when T.J. Mortenson caught him and passed him in a matter of a split second. Mortenson's car was definitely on a rail tonight as he continually extended his lead every lap. Behind him three cars battled for the third spot as Justin Ades, Andy Jones, and Matt Bonin tried to keep pace. Ades would take command of the third spot just after the halfway point and set his sights on Haupt Jr for second. Haupt Jr. was able to hold him off at the end as both drivers could barely see the race winner Mortenson. Andy Jones was fourth and Matt Bonin rounded out the top five.

Dave Hubbard took command of the stock car feature at the drop of the green flag. Mike Weimann and Jeremy Ades battled it out for the runner up spot early on while Reid Keller would join the pack four laps into the race. Weimann would nail down the second spot while Keller also made the pass by Ades to move into third. A short time later Ades slipped back another spot as Curt Hook motored by. Keller would not settle for third as he mounted a charge at Weimann and made the pass on lap six. Keller slowly began to close in on the race leader Hubbard as the laps were winding down. Behind the front two cars, Curt Hook challenged Weimann for the third spot and would eventually take it away. But it would be Dave Hubbard leading all fifteen laps on his way to victory lane. Keller finished a strong second, Hook was third, Weimann fourth, and Jason Minnehan rounded out the top five.

Up next would be the IMCA sportmods. Kevin Sather grabbed the lead away from Greg Simmons on lap two and immediately began to distance himself from the rest of the field. Matt Lettow made his way up to challenge Simmons for second four laps in, but that battle went on for several laps. While that battle was taking place, Sather was able to put it on cruise control to take home the win by nearly a straight away. Lettow got by Simmons with six laps to go to take home second, Simmons finished third, Bob Sutherland was fourth, and Brandon Toftee rounded out the top five.

Only five IMCA modifieds checked into tonight's racing action. I'm not really sure as to why the count has been dropping as of late, but hopefully things turn around in the near future. Scott Olson jumped out to the early lead as Mark Elliott fell in line behind him. Olson's car would slide up the banking in turn two, allowing Elliott to sneak by under him and grab the top spot away. From that point on, Elliott had as easy time on his way to the win. Justin Sackett made his first appearance at the speedway and came home with a solid second place run. Mike Bennett, Scott Olson, and Jim Hoyle rounded out the field.

A pair of rookies paced the field of IMCA late models to the green flag. Carey Umbarger and Scott Anderson set the pace early, but a four-car pileup behind them in turn four occurred before a lap could be completed. That incident took out point leader Todd Cooney along with Kyle Wahlert and Mike Pederson. Scott Anderson would grab the lead on lap one before another major accident happened in turn two. Craig Robert's car spun towards the inside, collecting Darrel DeFrance's machine and also sent Riley Larson's car into a rollover. Fortunately all drivers were okay, but their cars suffered a lot of damage.

Jason Hahne took advantage of the restart as he powered his car to the outside of Anderson to take command of the race. One lap later Al Johnson would also get by Anderson to move into second place. After a caution on lap eight, Hahne and Johnson separated themselves from the pack to make it a two-horse race for the lead. The leaders caught lapped traffic late in the race as Hahne had to slow up coming out of turn two with three laps to go that appeared to give Johnson the lead. Hahne would hit his marks on the outside groove though and retake the lead as they came to the white flag. Hahne opened up a comfortable lead on the last lap to take home the hard-fought win. Johnson settled for second, Ben Nading got by Scott Anderson on the last lap to snag third while Craig Roberts completed the top five.

Mother Nature held off for the night as races were done just before 10:00. Kids' car rides to start the night off delayed the start of the races, but things moved along at a quick pace the rest of the night. A twenty minute intermission was used to have a candy and nickel toss for the kids as well. The first four features were run without a caution, so that helped speed the show along as well.

- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!

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