Thursday, May 5, 2011

Buena Vista Raceway Opens Its Doors on 2011 Campaign

A cool, brisk night was in store Wednesday night as the 2011 race season kicked off at the Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa. With gusty winds strong enough to blow caps off heads, it was only a matter of time before the dust was flying towards the grandstands.

Eight BVR bombers took to the track first for feature action. Lucas Vote jumped out to the early lead, but he would relinquish it when Mike Draper passed him on the inside on lap three. Keith Demey would also scoot by Vote to snare the second position, but it would be Mike Draper taking the first feature win of the season at BVR.

1. 23D Mike Draper
2. 3D Keith Demey
3. 23 Lucas Vote
4. 16 Colby Davis
5. 59K Kevin Keim
6. 01B Kevin Blume
7. 90 Brandon Thomas
8. M7 Josh Maholer

Five IMCA sport compacts followed with their feature with Merv Chandler setting the pace early. Chandler got a great start as he had started fifth, but quickly took the lead down the backstretch on the first lap. Chandler would be joined by defending track champion Cory Flanigan as the two distanced themselves from the pack. Things came to a sudden stop when Danny Rose got high in turn four and wound up rolling several times before coming to a stop outside of the cement barricades. Rose would be ok. When action resumed Flanigan would keep pace with Chandler, but the veteran driver making the long trip all the way from Vinton made the trip worthwhile as Merv Chandler took home the win.

1. 2 Merv Chandler
2. 75 Cory Flanigan
3. 52L Mark Lindgren
4. 5 Mike Brabec
5. 80D Danny Rose

It was now time for the IMCA hobby stock feature to hit the track. Nineteen of the twenty-two cars checked in made the call with Shannon Anderson grabbing the lead from his inside row two starting position. Devin Smith started eleventh on the starting grid, but he quickly found his way up to the third position in the first two laps and prior to the first caution on lap four. At this point, track announcer Jerry Vansickel pointed out the new restart rule for the track. Rather then a Delaware double-file restart with the leader out front by himself, the track adopted the "NASCAR" style restart with both the leader and the second place driver side by side. The leader gets the option of which lane he wants.

When the green flag came back out, Andy Boeckman and Devin Smith both made the pass on the second place machine of Bill Woehler. Within two laps Boeckman overtook Anderson as the new leader. Turn three then became the focal point of the race as Anderson appeared to get a bit loose. Smith, running directly behind Anderson, had no place to go and turned Anderson around. The caution came out, and race officials determined that both competitors would be going to the tail. However, when the cars came back around Anderson would retaliate by forcing Smith towards the outside wall down the frontstretch before both drivers came to a stop in turn one. As a result of his actions, Anderson was told to go pitside while Smith remained at the back of the field.

Once that skirmish was over the green came back out, although it was short-lived as Mathias Lux rolled down the fronstretch before reaching the flagstand. Lux would be ok. While the red flag was displayed, Anderson was still fuming over the previous events and proceeded to walk on the track and express his displeasure with Smith. With a little less excitement the rest of the way, Andy Boeckman proved he was the one to beat on opening night as he picked up the win after starting tenth. He was followed across the line by Michael Murphy, Bill Woehler, Cody Nielsen, and Devin Smith.

1. 62B Andy Boeckman
2. 25M Michael Murphy
3. 2B Bill Woehler
4. 29N Cody Nielsen
5. 81 Devin Smith
6. 32 Kyle Robinson
7. 66 Matt Mahoney
8. 87 John Briggs
9. 49 Jim Johnson
10. 20N Justin Nehring
11. 95B Tiffany Bittner
12. 37 Gaylen Freese
13. 3w Steve Wilcox
14. 45B Craig Brotherton
15. 33M Mathias Lux
16. T8 Brandon Nielsen
17. 78 Shannon Anderson
18. 91A Matt Anderson
19. 19B Jess Bieret
20. 45 Drew Barglof
21. 30 Tim Pickel
22. 10x Jordan Sanderson

Fourteen IMCA sportmods were next onto the track with pole-sitter Zach Norgaard setting the early pace. Jesse Sobbing set sail on the top side and made the pass on Norgaard for the lead on the fourth circuit. Following a restart, Doug Smith split Tony Pogeler and Norgaard to take over the second position. Norgaard would get shuffled back to fifth as Pogeler and Tim Rupp both raced by. Prior to the final yellow flag of the race Tim Rupp made his move on the inside of Sobbing to snare the lead away. The yellow flag was displayed when Doug Smith spun and was collected by Brett Meyer and Tim Wilcox. Sobbing was quick on the restart as he sprinted to the lead that he would not relinquish as he went on to take the checkered flag. Tim Rupp finished second, Zach Norgaard was third, Tony Pogeler fourth, and Chris Grothe rounded out the top five.

1. 99 Jesse Sobbing
2. 33 Tim Rupp
3. 14z Zach Norgaard
4. 9 Tony Pogeler
5. 90 Chris Grothe
6. 57 Doug Bartels
7. 74 Cory Hoagland
8. 33R Ryan Roder
9. 12 Doug Smith
10. 1M Brett Meyer
11. 7w Tim Wilcox
12. 98x Dan Hanselman
13. 13 Casey Jones
14. Geoff Olson
15. 17 Ronnie Fogelman

Trent Murphy took command early on in the ten-car field of IMCA stock cars. Donavon Smith would quickly move into the second position and pick up the chase, but was unable to generate a strategy to work his way by Murphy. Murphy would lead flag to flag to pick up the win. Smith would finish second, Brian Blessington was third, Kenny Hansen was fourth, and Stefan Sybesma rounded out the top five.

1. 25 Trent Murphy
2. 35 Donavon Smith
3. 92B Brian Blessington
4. 17 Kenny Hansen
5. 5B Stefan Sybesma
6. 8 David Smith
7. 02 Adam Klocke
8. 16 Josh Suhr
9. 04J Jay Brannan
10. 43 Aaron Cain

The final race of the night would be the thirteen-car field of IMCA modifieds. Mike Jergens used his outside front row starting spot to secure the top spot when the green flag waved. Rookie Dustin Smith settled in behind Jergens until Chris Abelson was able to get by on the inside to take over the runner-up spot on lap three. Following an early yellow, Jay Noteboom made passes on consecutive laps to advance to the third position by lap six. Another caution came out, and on the restart Abelson got a great start and cut down on Jergens to take the lead. While Abelson distanced himself Dustin Smith and Noteboom engaged in a battle for the third spot as Smith was the only car running a higher line. Smith would make it stick and then slowly proceeded to track down Jergens and make the pass on him to take the second position away. Chris Abelson would go on to take the win ahead of Dustin Smith, Greg Peck, Mike Jergens, and Jay Noteboom.

1. 1x Chris Abelson
2. 85 Dustin Smith
3. 29G Greg Peck
4. 37 Mike Jergens
5. 7N Jay Noteboom
6. 92 Josh Most
7. 23 Jim Thies
8. 61 Brian Schmitt
9. 3 Jason Briese
10. 00c Chris Mills
11. 52 Mark Gaskill
12. 14 Matt Bonine
13. Justin Sackett

Racing action concluded right at 10:30. Despite the amount of dust blowing towards the grandstands, it appeared the track stayed smooth all night long while track officials applied extra water a couple of times. The track did lock down for the most part, but it's still early in the season and I'm confident the track will widen out. Be sure to check out the Buena Vista Raceway website for upcoming races!

*Results listed above were taken from

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

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