Sunday night proved to be a great night not only in regards to the weather, but also the excitement of racing action at the I-35 Speedway in Mason City. The track was in tip-top shape and provided different grooves of racing throughout the evening. When all was said and done, two drivers walked away with a little bit of extra cash in their pockets.
Chanse Hollatz would pick up the feature win in the junior hornet division as he bested a field of ten. Jordan Prehn would dominate the hornet main event over nine other competitors.
Outside front row starter Andrew Borchardt would get credit for leading the first lap of the IMCA hobby stock feature, but Stac Schroeder was just to his inside door panel ready to wrestle the lead away. Schroeder would take the lead away in turn two prior to a caution that saw Scott Dobel tangle with Jay Servantez. Heath Tulp used the cushion to zoom past Borchardt for the runner up position while Chad Gentz followed to third. Gentz then changed his line to the inside to make the pass on Tulp before setting his crosshares on Schroeder up front. Two laps later Gentz made his move to the inside and overtook Schroeder atop the leaderboard and would go on to pick up the win. Stac Schroeder would finish second, Heath Tulp was third, Andrew Borchardt finished fourth, and Cody Knecht rounded out the top five.
Despite four drivers not making the call, the IMCA sportmod feature proved to be very exciting with fifteen cars on track. Travis Greenwood would get a good start and sail to the lead from the second row. An early caution slowed the pace, but on the two-wide restart behind the leader it would be Dan Tenold getting a great jump as he flew by four cars to advance from fifth to the lead within the first lap following the restart. George Nordman and Adam Ackerman moved into second and third place, respectively, after both got around Greenfield. Ackerman ducked low on Nordman to take second away and closed in on Tenold with a couple laps to go. Ackerman swung his machine to the outside on the final lap and gained momentum off turn two to pull to the outside of Tenold entering turn three. Ackerman found some grip on the cushion and made the exciting last corner pass to pick up the thrilling win. Dan Tenold would finish second, George Nordman was third, Mike Jaeger fourth, and Nate Chodur completed the top five. Yohnco, a presenting sponsor for the night, would add money to the winner's share of the purse and Ackerman walked away with a cool $700 payday.
Pole sitter Jared Dirks wasted no time in taking command out front in the IMCA stock car finale. With Mick Meyers running second, Kevin Opheim and Travis Shipman raced side by side for the third position before Shipman secured the spot. Derek Green was on the charge a bit further back, and after starting tenth he would make the inside line work to his advantage as he passed both Opheim and Shipman to climb to third. Green wasn't done yet as he would use the same line to get by Meyers for second before overtaking Dirks for the lead. Shipman would also get Meyers and Dirks to take the runner up position before closing in on the back bumper of Green late in the race. Shipman would let Green know he was there with a few love taps, but Green maintained his composure and hit his marks en route to picking up the win in the caution-free race. Travis Shipman finished second, Mick Meyers was third, Jared Dirks fourth, and Kevin Opheim rounded out the top five.
Kevin Stoa used his outside front row starting position to blast into the lead of the IMCA modified feature. Jeremy Mills and Alex Yohn both found their way around Keith Schmitz before engaging in a heated battle for the third position. JJ Wise found himself starting at the back of the feature after not finishing his heat race, but that only motivated the young driver as he methodically worked his way through the field. By about lap eight Wise found himself up to the eighth position prior to the caution flag at the halfway point. On the restart however he would make contact with Alex Hanson and cut down a right front tire to bring out another caution flag. Levi Nielsen would get around Jeremy Mills on the outside for the second spot while Yohn again challenged Mills for third. Yohn would get the spot and advance another one as he ducked under Nielsen for second. The final yellow flag would come out, and as the field realigned for the restart Nielsen would slow in turn one and exit towards the infield. Parker Brumm took advantage on the restart as he shot to the outside and passed four cars to climb into the fourth spot. Mills closed the gap on Stoa and snuck under him to grab the lead. In the closing laps Stoa would mount a comeback and as the two exited turn four for the checkers the crowd jumped out of their seats to see Mills hold on for the half car length victory. Stoa would settle for second, Alex Yohn was third, Rob Rose finished fourth, and Keith Schmitz completed the top five. Yohnco would also add $500 to the winner's purse in this race, so Mills pocketed $1,000 for his efforts.
It was a fantastic night of racing in Mason City as seemingly every race was hotly contested. The track stayed in great shape throughout the night and provided drivers a couple different grooves in which to race. The I-35 Speedway will sit idle Monday before the annual visit of the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) invades the big half-mile on Tuesday. Hot laps are set for 7pm, so if you're in the area be sure to swing by the North Iowa Fairgrounds and the I-35 Speedway, weather permitting of course. For a full rundown of results and updated point standings, click on the I-35 Speedway website.
- Racing may be a hobby, but it's DEFINITELY addictive!!