Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Great American Stock Car Series Night 1 Belongs to David Smith

Last night, the debut of the Great American Stock Car Series produced a car count of 44 stock cars at the Buena Vista Raceway in Alta. Formerly known as the Great American Stock Car Shootout that was held at the Marshalltown Speedway in the past, the powers that be changed the format this year to make it a bit of a traveling series that includes stops at Alta, the Independence Motor Speedway in Independence, and concluding at the Marshalltown Speedway in Marshalltown on Thursday. Along with the Stock Car Series, it was also the Kyle Suter Memorial race held annually at the Alta track for the normal weekly competitors.

The first feature to hit the track would be the IMCA sport compacts. Mark Lindgren grabbed the lead early on in the eight-lap race, but behind him John Sedlachek was on the move after starting at the back. Sedlachek found the quick way around the 3/8-mile track as he took the lead with three laps to go. Lindgren fell back late in the race as Sedlachek took home the top prize. A sponsor put up an extra $100 last night towards the winner's share of the purse, meaning Sedlachek took home $150. He noted in the post-race interview that he was late getting to the track and didn't make the call for his heat race as his car fell off the trailer as he was turning towards the track.

Twenty-nine IMCA hobby stocks checked into the back gate for their chance to take home the Kyle Suter Memorial victory. Matt Mahoney and Josh Menke paced the field to the green, but it would be Kenny Hansen racing his way to the lead from his second row start. He was fortunate that race cars don't have mirrors as the field raced four and sometimes five-wide behind him through the early stages of the race. Shannon Anderson raced his way up to the third spot by lap three after starting ninth, but he quickly picked off another spot on the next lap to make his way to second. Andy Boeckman followed Anderson to third by lap five. Hansen bobbled in turn two, opening the door for Anderson to take the lead on the low side.

Justin Nehring was a man on a mission as he set his car on the high line and mashed the accelerator. After starting eleventh, he found his way up to fifth. He would later get caught up in a wreck on the last lap. Boeckman got by Hansen late in the race, but the top three made contact exiting turn four. No harm, no foul though as all competitors kept their machines straight. Boeckman would emerge with the lead, but a caution came out with four laps to go. Anderson made every attempt in the book to get by Boeckman, but the cagey veteran would not be rattled as Andy Boeckman took home the win. Shannon Anderson was second, Kenny Hansen third, John Briggs fourth, and Craig Brotherton rounded out the top five after starting sixteenth.

Fourteen IMCA sportmods took the green flag that saw Brett Meyer race to the lead from the pole. Doug Smith quickly made his way to second on the first lap after starting fifth. After a couple of cautions, Meyer's car pushed up the track in turn two to hand the lead over to Smith. Unfortunately for Smith, the caution came out before they could get back to the flagstand and the lead would go back over to Meyer. Meyer would bobbled once again on this restart and Smith ducked low to snatch the lead away for good this time. Meyer lost several spots as he fell in line in fifth. Meyer would lose the handle on his machine to bring out a caution, but up front Chad Dills would start to put pressure on race leader Doug Smith. After a couple more cautions, Dills would power his machine to the inside of Smith as the two took the white flag. Going into turn one, some contact was made and Smith went around and got collected by another car. Chad Dills took home the win followed by Doug Bartels, Tony Pogeler, Brett Meyer, and Tim Rupp.

Nick Deal used his pole starting spot to grab the lead in the IMCA modified feature. Everybody was hugging the bottom around the tires, but Jay Noteboom was able to maneuver his machine up to fourth around Chris Abelson after he started ninth. But nobody had anything for Nick Deal as he cruised to the win. Jeremy Mills finished second, Adam Larson third, Jay Noteboom fourth, and Reese Coffee got by his teammate Chris Abelson for fifth late in the race.

That set up the finale of the night, the IMCA Stock Car Series thirty-lap main event. David Smith grabbed the lead early on, but his front row mate Jeff Wollam didn't give it up without a fight as he powered his machine a lane up from the bottom. Wollam realized his line wasn't working and quickly jumped in line behind Smith. A caution for debris came out on lap seven, setting up a double file restart. Jeff Joldersma would get by Wollam momentarily, but Wollam fought back on the outside until something broke on his car. He pushed up the track in turn two in front of the field resulting in a multi-car pileup that ended the night for five drivers.

Brian Blessington, a weekly competitor at BVR, used his knowledge of the track to his advantage as he won a bmain and started back in twentieth spot. After the big wreck, he found himself up to fifth on lap nine. Ahead of him Dustin Smith got by Chris Ulrich for third. Deeper in the field Jesse Colwell was making his way towards the front. After starting seventeenth, he raced his way up to the sixth spot with fourteen laps remaining. Eight laps later Blessington got by Ulrich for fourth. A caution came out that allowed Blessington to use the restart to get by Dustin Smith for third, but he wouldn't be finished. Blessington mashed the gas pedal on the last corner to get by Jeff Joldersma for the runner up spot at the finish, completing a great run from twentieth starting spot. David Smith led all thirty laps on his way to the win. Brian Blessington was second, Jeff Joldersma third, Dustin Smith fourth, and Chris Ulrich rounded out the top five. David Smith noted in the post-race interview that this was his first win of the 2009 season. $1,000 paycheck for first win: definitely can't complain about that.

Last night's racing action was pretty good for the most part. Lots of passing in the hobby stock and stock car features while the modifieds were hugging the bottom. Tyler Olson got upside down in his sportmod heat race, but he was able to make repairs and tag the tail of the feature later on in the evening. The show did get drawn out due to the number of cars in the pits along with several cautions in the sportmod feature. Luckily there is no curfew in effect at the Buena Vista Raceway.

The Great American Stock Car Series makes the long pull east to the Independence Motor Speedway tonight. The IMCA Deery Brothers series for late models will also be in action for the mid-week special. Great American Stock Car Series tshirts will be on sale throughout the night and can be purchased for $18. Be sure to check them out if you attend tonight's show.

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

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