Sunday, August 22, 2010

(Aug 19th) - I made my second trip in seven days to the Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa, as it was host to the USMTS. Also on the card were limited modifieds and the Dart Iron Man Challenge series for USRA stock cars.

Twelve limited modifieds took to the track first for their feature event. Young Parker Hale made the trip down from Minnesota and took advantage of redrawing the pole to grab the early lead. He put some distance on the field as USRA b-mod point leader Brandon Hare took over the third spot from Jamie Anderson. Hare would later get by Gerald Curry for the runner up spot as he began to focus on reeling in Hale. Anderson used the outside groove to get by Curry for third. Shane Swanson made a great run as he got by Anderson for third while Hare closed in on Hale's rear bumper. In the closing laps Hare was in the thick of contact with both Swanson and Anderson but was able to maintain his second spot. That meant that young Parker Hale was able to capture his first career win at the tender age of twelve. Brandon Hare finished second, Mike Carlson third, Gerald Curry fourth, and Brandon Leeman rounded out the top five.

Only ten stock cars were on hand, but that didn't mean the action was dull. Kevin Opheim and Mike VanGenderen sat on the front row with VanGenderen taking the early lead with Mike Bergan in second. Bergan got shuffled back as Kevin Opheim and Ryan Leeman slipped on the low side. Opheim looked under VanGenderen and took the lead. VanGenderen would power back on the outside and retake the lead as the two engaged in a battle up front for several laps. Mike VanGenderen was able to hold on for the exciting win ahead of Kevin Opheim, Ryan Leeman, Dan Christopher, and Kevin Paca. The series takes a driver's best ten finishes of the fifteen race schedule, and VanGenderen sits atop the standings thus far with three races remaining.

Bob Timm and Tommy Myer paced the field of USMTS modifieds to the green flag of their thirty-five lap event to close the evening. Timm would take the lead in the early going, but Myer snuck under him to overtake the lead. Mark Elliott, who has had success at Britt in the past, was working his way forward as he passed Steve Wetstein and Bob Timm for the runner up slot. Elliott would bobble and lose two positions to Timm and Johnny Scott, but quickly rebounded and got back by Scott. Timm would spin in turn one and get collected by Wetstein and Tim Donlinger to bring out the caution on lap ten.

After qualifying twenty-third on the grid, Ryan Gustin was slowly marching his way through the field. The young gun worked his way up to eighth at one point, but settled into the ninth position for much of the second half of the race. With five to go another caution came out to set up a shootout. Jason Hughes once again took advantage of the caution as he powered his way from fourth to second in the closing laps. Add that to the fact that Gustin lost a couple spots late in the race meant that Hughes would become the new points leader going into Friday night's campaign in Wisconsin. But for now, it was Tommy Myer taking the win ahead of Jason Hughes, Rodney Sanders, Mark Elliott, and Jason Krohn.

I'd like to thank Todd Staley and his staff for their hospitality Thursday night.

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

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