After a couple of downright cold nights this weekend, Sunday heated up a little during the day. While the sun stayed behind the clouds and the persistent wind from behind kept the temps cool, the racing surface would turn out to be lightning fast.
The novice and pro hornets kicked the feature action off for the night. Both divisions would see the lead change hands on the final set of corners as Taylor Frerichs passed Sam Winkowitsch in turn four to snag the novice feature. Winkowitsch appeared to have things in hand, but drove in a little deep in turn three and slid up the track, opening the door for Frerichs and two others to slip past. In the pro hornets, Jared Schlichting was set to take the win until Scott Schlichting made the pass in turn four to capture the late race pass and win.
IMCA hobby stock action saw nineteen cars checked into the back gate. Outside front row starter Jeremy Solberg wasted no time in taking the top spot from the get go. Zac Smith charged into the second spot when he passed Jake Jacobs on the inside on the second circuit. Stac Schroeder would also make his way by Jacobs for third before setting his sights on Smith. Schroeder made the pass on lap five. A late caution set up a two lap shootout. Solberg got a good jump on Schroeder, but Schroeder closed in and ducked to the inside off turn four. As the two crossed the finish line, it would be Solberg taking the narrow victory with Schroeder in second. Zac Smith wound up third, Chad Gentz fourth, and Cory Gansen in fifth. Going into the night, Heath Tulp held a 14-point advantage over Gansen. Tulp pulled into the infield after suffering overheating issues. Tulp should hold a slim one-point advantage going into next week's action.
Another strong field of twenty-three IMCA sportmods were next up for action. Mike Jaeger took control early on, but Parker Brumm made his move on lap five to slide into the lead. The field got strung out single file, primarily on the top side. Brumm would extend his lead over Jaeger and the rest of the pack as he pocketed his first ever feature win, at the tender age of 14. Mike Jaeger, George Nordman, Shane Swanson, and Tony Ranes completed the top five.
Andrew Inman set the early pace of the IMCA stock car feature as eleven cars made the call. Larry Portis used the inside line to pass Joe Willier to climb into the second position. The stock cars utilized the bottom side in turns one and two while setting their car up on the cushion in three and four. Portis was keeping pace with Inman until he made contact with a tire on the infield, breaking suspension parts in the left front of his machine. He was somehow able to limp it to the infield without getting collected by the rest of the field. Willier closed in on Inman's lead and darted to the inside on the entry of turn one. When the two exited the set of corners, the new leader would be Willier. Willier piloted his machine to the win followed by Inman, Chris Adams, Derek Green, and Kevin Opheim. Shipman and Opheim, unofficially, should be tied for the point lead entering next week.
A solid field of eighteen IMCA modifieds capped off the night with their twenty lap feature event. Levi Nielsen set the tone early on and pulled away from the field. Behind him Ryan Ruter pulled a slide job on Dave Kuykendall, making contact with his machine. Both cars were able to continue on. Later on JJ Wise made his presence known as he used the inside groove to slip past Ruter for third. As the field began to run primarily the top side at both ends of the track, race leader Nielsen saw his luck change as the motor started to go south. Eric Dailey, Wise, and Ruter closed in on him with Dailey overtaking Nielsen for the lead. Nielsen would later drop to the inside and let the traffic by on the outside. Ruter would pull another slide job to advance to the runner up spot, but time had run out as Eric Dailey took home the win. Ruter finished second, Wise third, Kuykendall fourth, and Ron Pope finished fifth in his first trip back to the speedway.
With the chilly temperatures, track officials opted to leave the victory lane photos until the end of the night. That kept the show moving along, and racing concluded around 8:22pm. The track showed no signs of ruts from my viewpoint. While it was dusty in hot laps, I thought it stayed pretty good throughout the night with the exception of the low groove.
Racing action resumes next week at the I-35 Speedway in Mason City as hot laps get underway at 6pm with racing to follow. For complete results and a look at the upcoming schedule, check out www.i-35speedway.com.
- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!