Sunday, June 28, 2009

Johnson Takes Third Straight Daniel McMillin Memorial Win at Lake Ozark

The inaugural Lucas Oil ASCS National Sprint Tour has battled Mother Nature all season. Following a “snow out” at Oklahoma City the final weekend of March the tour then had the next few events rained out, with some of them even called off a day or two before the scheduled event due to the amount of rain already fallen and the ominous forecast ahead. On Saturday night the ASCS National Tour once again fought the weather, and on this night the drivers and the fans won, but just barely!

Fifty-three cars assembled at the Lake Ozark Speedway in mid-Missouri with drivers and crews doing their best to stay cool in the sun baked one hundred degree heat. Relief was on the way in the form of a line of thunderstorms that had developed a little over a hundred miles to the north and west around six o’clock and my night was spent keeping one eye on the racetrack and one eye on my phone’s weather radar hoping that we could somehow get this show in before the rain hit. The track crew had prepped the 3/8-mile to perfection with just the right amount of moisture in the surface and the sprint drivers were able to run from bottom to top making for six exciting heat races. Kathryne Minter surprised the large crowd by holding off local favorites Randy Martin and Jesse Hockett to win heat race number once. Brady Bacon sizzled to the second heat victory while Jason Johnson made a last lap pass of Frank Brown to win heat three and top the passing point chart earning him the pole position in the main event. The tour’s most recent winner Nick Smith was the winner of the fourth heat with Gary Taylor taking heat number five. In that race Tim Newman showed just how steep the cushion had become in turn one as he hit it wrong and went for quite a tumble rolling side-to-side at least four times. He emerged uninjured, but his ride was done for the night. Young Austin Alumbaugh held off the veteran Paul McMahan for the victory in the sixth and final qualifier.

Three B-Mains with the top two transferring filled out the starting field with Jesse Hockett passing Tim Crawley mid-race to win the first one. This race is held to honor the memory of Hockett’s former crew chief Daniel McMillin and in the first two editions of the event it has been Jason Johnson in victory lane at the end of the night. Hockett would now have to start seventeenth in the race that he would like to win for his fallen friend. Young Josh Fisher ran away with the second B as Danny Wood slipped past Trey Robb late in the race for the second transfer spot, and it was Aaron Berryhill and Mitchell Moore earning the last two qualifying spots in the third B-Main.

The feature field was set and with lightning now filling the sky just to the west the majority of the crowd agonized through a twenty-five lap feature for the Crate Late Models, more on that later. Just as the sprint feature was making its parade lap at 10:30 the raindrops started to fall and when the field took the green it was an interesting mixture of residual one hundred degree heat, the cool winds from an approaching storm, the swirling dust that twenty-five sprint cars create when they are turned loose under green and large spitting raindrops. Randy Martin snared the lead in turn one and pulled away from the field as they negotiated the rain-slicked surface and when the caution waved for Gary Taylor who had stopped on the high side of turn four it looked like that would do it as the rain started to fall even harder. Several fans, including us, headed for their cars and while some left we stopped short of doing that when the raindrops suddenly slowed their pace.

The cars stayed on the track and were able to work the moisture back in and within about ten minutes they were ready to go back to racing. The raindrops were still falling as we hustled back to our seats as Tommy Bryant and Jason Johnson slipped past Martin on the restart. The next twenty-nine laps may just be the best racing that we will see all year as our attention was pulled between the thrilling battle for the lead featuring Bryant and Johnson, and the charge through the pack being made by McMahan, Hockett and Gary Wright. Johnson and Bryant slapped wheels heading down the backstretch on lap eight and the race became even more intense as they started to negotiate lapped traffic a few laps later. With eight laps to go Johnson slid up in front of Bryant to take the lead down the backstretch only to have Bryant take it right back with a bold slider in turns three and four, plus with Shane Stewart now quickly approaching the lead duo the crowd moved to the edge of their seats. Two laps later Johnson was able to make it stick with Bryant still in hot pursuit and as they crossed the stripe with four laps to go Bryant had a run on the new leader. The Conroe, Texas, driver pointed the nose of his #85 to the very bottom groove heading into turn one and when Johnson also chose that line Bryant had to jack his car sideways to keep from getting into the leader. It was a slide that he could not recover from as Bryant spun up the track and collected Mitchell Moore bringing out the caution. It was the first time that my son Morgan and I had seen Bryant in action and despite the fact he would have to settle for a twelfth-place finish after restarting at the rear, he definitely picked up at least two new fans on the night with his bold driving style.

With a clear track ahead of him there was no stopping Johnson over the final four laps as he earned $6,000 for his third straight win of the Daniel McMillin Memorial at Lake Ozark Speedway. Stewart, who started tenth and finished in second will likely retain his series point lead while Brady Bacon took home the third spot. Jack Dover was making a run on Bacon only to jump the cushion in turn four coming to the white flag allowing Paul McMahan to get by him for fourth. Gary Wright came from row seven to finish in sixth with Jesse Hockett coming home seventh after starting in row nine. One of the provisional starters Tony Bruce Jr. advanced from row twelve to finish eighth. The raindrops were still falling and the lightning flashed along with the cameras as Johnson stood in victory lane. The “Cajun Sensation” had won the race and the ASCS had finally defeated Mother Nature.

I mentioned earlier that the crowd “agonized” through the Crate Late Model feature, well that was only because of the threatening weather as their feature was a pretty good one to watch after they got two early cautions out of the way. Darin Walker has been nearly unstoppable in this division around Missouri this year and he showed why as he passed leader Aaron Heck on lap four and then pulled away to nearly a half lap lead over a pack of five that were waging an entertaining race for second. Misfortune struck Walker on lap eighteen though when he stopped on the track with a right front tire down and even though he would have to restart from the rear of the twenty-one car field you had to wonder just how far he could advance in the final seven laps. Bobby Martintoni assumed the lead on the restart and he had Bobby Dauderman all over him for the next three laps before the caution waved once again for Walker who had another flat right front tire. Dauderman would be able to get the nose of his car to the outside of the leader working through the turns over the final four circuits, but there was no stopping “the Italian Stallion” Martintoni from taking the $750 victory. Dauderman, Mike Harris, Gordy Gundaker and Rylan Dagg would complete the top five.

There were also eighteen UMP Modifieds on hand and their feature rounded out the night, but with the raindrops still present and with oranges and reds showing up on my radar not far to the west we decided to hit the road before their feature race closed out the night.
A big thank you to Tammy Gundaker and her pit shack staff for the fine hospitality as they were still fresh and pleasant after working for more than four hours with the hundred degree sun beating down on them. Sprint car fans, make sure that you look for this event and mark it on your calendar for 2010 to see if Jason Johnson came make it four straight.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Business Decision

When the lights went out on lap eight of the Stock Car feature Monday night at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, I had to make a decision to stay and see how long it would take to get the lights back on so that the rest of the show could go on, or leave and get back home just before midnight. The racing had been pretty entertaining up to that point and the best was yet to come with the USMTS Modified main event to follow the completion of the Stock Car main. It was only 9:15, but with just over a two hour drive still ahead of me and with announcer Tim Trier saying there just wasn't much that they could do but wait, I felt that my boss would appreciate me being wide awake at work the next day so the decision was made and I left. Wouldn't you know it, within fifteen minutes of my departure the lights were back on and the show was concluded just before 10:30, one hour before I crawled into bed to prepare for another day at work. It truly was a "business decision".

As I mentioned the racing that I did see prior to the power outage was pretty entertaining. A nice field of thirty-one Modifieds were on hand for the Monday night show and after the first heat went single file for eight laps, the remaining three heats saw plenty of action. Kenny Wallace was strong as he held off Steven Pfeiffer to win the third heat race. Pfeiffer is from Bowbells, North Dakota, the same hometown as former University of Iowa basketball player Les "Is More" Jepsen.

The Sport Mod feature race saw Jesse Sobbing and Austin Kaplan run side-by-side for several laps as they left the rest of the field way behind. During a lap ten caution period Kaplan dropped from the event with a broken left front and the third place car of Tyler Gross retired with a flat tire. Gross had run the previous six laps with his hood blown up on his windshield area and was probably looking forward to the final five laps once the track official removed it only to have the flat tire occur. Bryan Weyer picked up the challenge on Sobbing and made one last run off of turn four coming to the checkers. Sobbing held on by about three feet at the checkers for the victory with Tommy Killen Jr., Gary Stajcar and Jack Myer rounding out the top five.

The Hobby Stock main event took five attempts and a single-file alignment before they could get a lap in and when the caution waved again a few laps later the checkers flew as well. Only mechanical gremlins would have kept Shannon Anderson from taking the win as he was chased by Rob Allison, Ray Stock Jr., Alan Van Gorp and Kenny Lofthus. Lofthus was involved in the first caution and restarted at the rear of the 22-car field.

Steve Jackson led the first three laps of the Stock Car feature and one lap after he yielded the advantage to Todd Inman, Jackson's motor let go on the front straightaway. The light went out on lap eight and even with some twilight still in the sky on the second longest day of the year, it was too dark to continue. For a full rundown on the show, including a controversial ending to the Stock Car feature as well as the story on the USMTS main, head back to and click on Tapfan's Tours. You can also check the 4D Fan Report as they should have their blog up soon.

We were treated to three fine announcers on the evening as Toby Kruse handled the Modifieds and Bucky Doren and Tim Trier split time on the other classes. Without making Tim feel old, I was telling my son Morgan last night that it was the styles of Denny Wachs (former voice at West Liberty) and Tim Trier that influenced me the most when I started announcing races nearly thirty years ago and I still enjoy hearing Tim whenever I make it up to Des Moines.

Great weekly racing and a bunch of specials coming up over the next several weeks, make sure that you check out the Calendars at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Little E" Earns Ten "G" at Farley

In my most recent ramblings I talked about a race-day weather scenario that would make a promoter's stomach churn and turn. Now take that same situation and have it on a mid-week show where you are offering up $10,000 to the feature winner and you can imagine what kind of a day Keith Simmons had as he prepped for Tuesday night's Open Late Model Shootout at the Farley Speedway. Just like last Friday in Donnellson the rain fell all round the race track and likely cut into both the car count and the fan count, but in the end both counts were not too bad leaving you wonder just how big of a show this could have been. And, for those who braved the threatening weather, they were treated to a very entertaining show with plenty of action and drama.

The fifty-lap Late Model feature story can best be told by giving you a rundown of the ten caution periods during the event and the circumstances that surrounded them:

Lap 2 - Shortly after pole-sitter Chad Simpson shot out to the lead seventh row starter Jason Rauen stopped his car near the opening in the wall in turn two so that he could duck into his pit. Whatever they did out there worked well as within twelve laps (and three more cautions) Rauen would be all the way up to the top five.

Lap 5 - Denny Eckrich, who earlier in the night put himself behind the eight-ball when the right front of his nose piece folded under on his first qualifying lap, had his night come to an end when his drive-train let go.

Lap 7 - Debris on the frontstretch. Jill George was very impressive earlier in the night as she held off both Bill Frye and Will Vaught to finish second to race winner Curt Martin in qualifying heat race number two, but disaster struck during the cool down lap as her motor went up in smoke. Veteran driver Pete Parker loaned his car to Jill so that she could run the feature and she pulled in during this caution.

Lap 14 - Brian Birkhofer had looked like the man to beat all night long. He was three tenths of a second faster than everybody else in qualifying, he was the only one of the four fastest qualifiers to come from row two and win his heat race and, in the dash, he started sixth and finished third in six laps. In the early portion of the feature though it was Birky chasing Chad Simpson and with each restart Chad was able to put some distance on perhaps the hottest driver in the sport at this time. The chase came to an end though on this caution as Birkhofer pulled to the highside of turn four and coasted to a halt. He then drove to his outside pit area, but never did return. Only fourteen of the original twenty-four starters took the green for the restart and one of them was Jill George who had returned to the track six laps down after seeing the rate of attrition.

Lap 16 - Now running second once again, front row starter Will Vaught checked up and stopped with a flat right rear tire. He ducked into his pit and was able to return in time for the green flag. The caution though was actually for Jake Meier who had stopped on the opposite end of the track. Meier also stopped in his pit and returned for the restart.

Lap 19 - The "curse on the second-place car" continued as Billy Moyer went up in smoke in turn one ending his night. On the restart Andy Eckrich was now in second and was doing everything he could to get around Simpson, not only to lead the race, but to escape the curse!

Lap 21 - The curse strikes again!!! With Eckrich slightly ahead of him racing through the turns, the right front tire goes down on Chad Simpson's #25. He makes repairs and returns to the track for the restart. Andy Eckrich is the new leader and nobody wants to be in second. But then again, this is racing, so who really does want to be in second??

Lap 29 - Up to now the longest green flag run of the night comes to a screeching halt when Jason Rauen decides that he wants to make another pit stop and parks near the opening in turn two.

Lap 33 - While running fifth and working the very bottom groove of turns one and two, Curt Martin gets sideways and collects the sixth-place car of Jeremiah Hurst. Both drivers duck into the infield for a quick check over before returning for the restart. During this caution period Billy Moyer gestures to Billy Moyer Jr. to come to the pits and call it a night. The younger Moyer ended up driving his backup car that just happened to be the Late Model that had been prepped and painted for Cup star Denny Hamlin to use in the rained out "Prelude to a Dream" event at Eldora.

Lap 40 - Hurst coasts to a halt under the flagstand with a flat right rear tire. By now both Vaught and Simpson are back in contention and will restart side-by-side behind the leader Eckrich. And, with the "Lucky Dog" rule in effect, Jill George has now made up all six of her laps and will restart tenth, just ahead of Hurst.

The final ten laps went caution free as Vaught made one quick bid for the lead only to see Eckrich then pull away for his first win of 2009 and the biggest paycheck of his young career. Vaught held off Simpson for second with Jeff Larson and Jake Meier rounding out the top five as the checkers waved at 11 p.m.

The $500-to-win Stock Car feature had its share of issues as well unknowingly serving as a precursor to the caution-filled Late Model finale. Three of the fifteen cars scheduled to start scratched prior to the 15-lap event and during the parade lap pole-sitter Kerry Dake made a hard left into the infield with audible motor issues. He would return to the race after a lap one caution. In that first lap Scott Pratt had moved quickly from seventh to fourth, but one lap after the restart hard contact between he and Matt Picray ended Pratt's night with a broken rear end. On the seventh lap as Kevin Brame had a motor let go in turn one, Shane Oberbroeckling got upside down exiting turn two bringing out the red flag. Shane would be checked out by medical personnel after slowly climbing from the car under his own power.

On the restart one of the cars in the double row behind leader Greg Gill fired earlier and made contact with Gill sending the entire field for a scramble. Doug Yates hit the outside wall, but was able to continue while David Brandies was not as fortunate as he retired with front end damage. Matt Bennett also headed for the pits leaving us with seven cars for the final eight laps. With Gill out front the race heated up for second where Wayne Hora and Andrew Burk made contact on lap nine sending both cars for a spin and another caution. The race went green from there as Gill picked up the win with Sean Rupp in second and Matt Picray third. Dake recovered to finish in the fourth spot while Burk tallied a top five in fifth.

The next "Tornado Tuesday" featuring the Late Models racing for $10,000-to-win will be at the Farley Speedway on July 7th just prior to the World of Outlaw sanctioned "Gopher 50" up the road at Deer Creek Speedway in southeast Minnesota. The West Liberty Raceway has a "Tornado Tuesday" set for August 4th, so Late Model fans get out and support these two big mid-week special events!

Finally, I have to mention how much I enjoyed listening to the announcing duo of Eric Huenefeld and Jerry Mackey. Eric is one of the top young talents in the booth and Jerry still delivers even after taking the past several years off while living in the land of no fried pork tenderloins, California. Mike Becker even snuck in a few comments, but apparently there were only two microphones available, otherwise the fun would have went up exponentially.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

No Rain, Plenty of Action at Donnellson

Friday was one of those days that makes a promoter's stomach churn and turn. The radar showed a big blob of rain marching across the state of Iowa so ominous that one eastern Iowa track actually cancelled their races before one drop of rain fell and, as it turned out, it was absolutely the correct decision. For Terry and Jenni Hoenig though the radar showed that their track, the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, just might be missed by the rain and so they pushed ahead with their weekly Friday night show which on this night featured six divisions with the addition of the Pilot Grove Savings Bank/Ideal Ready Mix "Drive for Five" IMCA Late Models. And an hour before race time, you could see the concern on Terry's face as the pit area was full of cars while the grandstand had maybe fifty people in it. Fortunately for Terry and Jenni the grandstand filled in pretty nicely over that next hour and those race fans who did thumb their nose at Mother Nature were rewarded with a very entertaining night of racing on a tacky multi-grooved surface.

For you race fans that may live a couple of hours away from Donnellson, when the Late Models are on the card the Hoenigs have committed to do everything possible to have their feature on the track before 9:30 and on this night the twenty-three car field took the green just a few minutes before nine o'clock. Thad Trump and Adam Helmick went wheel-to-wheel for the lead on the first two circuits before Trump established himself as the leader. Justin Reed used the high line to get by Helmick for second, Jeff Aikey followed suit on the low groove and we soon had a three car battle for the lead. On the seventh lap Reed looked like he had a run on the high side of Trump, but instead it was Aikey who rocketed off the low side of turn two to move from third to first down the backstraightaway. As Aikey started to pull away from Reed our attention was pulled back to Mark Burgtorf who had started in the sixth row and was now quickly moving forward running way up on the cushion of the fast 3/8th-mile and just ahead of him you had Boone McLaughlin making a charge using the low groove. With five laps remaining, and with Aikey having to deal with some lapped traffic, it looked like both McLaughlin and Burgtorf would have an opportunity to run him down. On the next lap though Burgtorf pushed the cushion just a little too hard and slapped the guardrail in turn three and Aikey made one more great move to clear some traffic and the finish was no longer in doubt as the Cedar Falls speedster tallied the $1,000 victory. McLaughlin finished in the second spot while Denny Woodworth used Burgtorf's late miscue to take away third in the final laps and Reed completed the top five.

One of the many fan-friendly promotions at the Lee County Speedway is the Richard Realty and Auction "Pick Five" where one race fan has the opportunity to either draw one Late Model driver out of a hat and win $500 if that driver wins the feature race, or draw out five drivers and if any of them win then the fan collects $100. Aikey was one of the five names drawn tonight by the lucky fan and she was very happy to accept the crisp one hundred dollar bill from Richard Realty standing next to Aikey in victory lane.

Another one of those promotions was up next as the crew at Backslash Technologies had customized a brand new computer to give it the look of a racing tool box and one lucky fan was going to take it home tonight based upon the winner of the IMCA Stock Car main event. Nineteen race fans were selected by drawing their general admission ticket numbers and then those fans each drew out the name of one Stock Car driver who they would then count on to win them that computer. An eight-car pileup in turn one on the first lap took a few drivers, and their new number one fans, out of contention and on the restart it was Corey Strothman who picked up the lead. The action was furious near the front and on lap three Chris Wibbell used the bottom line to take over the advantage with Abe Huls and Jeff Mueller close behind. Wibbell was running strong though and looked like he would be tough to beat until the eighth circuit when he moved to the high line. Mueller took advantage of that change and charged to the front with Huls taking over the chase of the new leader in second. There was no catching Mueller though as he cruised the final seven laps to the checkers to pick up the win. The fan that had drawn Mueller's name was literally shaking with excitement and gave Mueller a big bear hug in victory lane for winning him the new computer. With the help of Kevin Harter and his crew at Backslash Technologies, you know that he will have it hooked up and hopefully visiting us here at soon. Abe Huls was the runner-up, Jason Cook who started next to Mueller on row number five finished third, Wibbell was fourth and Doug Huls logged a fifth place run.

The IMCA Modified division continues to draw a solid field every Friday at Donnellson with twenty-six on hand tonight. Lonne Heap and Rob Kirchner swapped the lead during the early laps with Brandon Rothzen right behind them looking for racing room. Wyatt Lantz and Michael Long soon joined the hunt making it an exciting five-car battle for the lead until lap eleven when cars started to drop like flies. Rothzen started smoking and Kirchner stopped on the track to bring out the caution and during that break Michael Long retired to the pits. Rich Smith had raced his way up to third and when the green flag returned he pulled to the infield as well. Wyatt Lantz swept past Heap for the lead on that restart and then held off a late charge from Tyler Cale to take the win. Josh Foster finished third, Heap held on for fourth and Adam Birck rounded out the top five.

The Hobby Stock feature had a tough time getting started as the first attempt saw an eight-car melee in turn three and the second try had four cars scrambling down the backstretch. Once things finally got going, it was a pretty good race with Dan Wenig chasing Matt Tucker for the lead. With five laps remaining, Tucker checked up a bit coming out of turn four and Wenig made a bit of contact sending Tucker sliding to the infield. Current point leader Derek St. Clair made a run on the new leader on the final lap and it was Wenig by half a car length at the checkers. In victory lane the first thing that Wenig said was that he wanted to apologize to Matt for the contact, but he just couldn't slow up quick enough. Jim Lynch, Jeremy Pundt and Jim Oliver Jr. filled out the top five.

The IMCA SportMod feature saw Rod Staats hold off the persistent challenges from one of his sponsors Paul Lawson to take the flag-to-flag victory, his first in this division. The "Tall Thin One" (a nickname approved last night by his crew chief Doug) Rodger Dresden was close behind in third with Jason Cook and Phillip Cossel next in line. And in the final event of the night Chris Loring Jr. fought off James Oliver III to conquer the "Wild Things".

What started out as a promoter's nightmare with threatening weather turned out to be quite a success with a nice late-arriving crowd on hand to witness some great racing peppered with some fantastic giveaways. For another point of view from a fan who does not have the luxury of living only twenty-miles from this track, click on TapFan's Tours at

After the races I was speaking with some of the officials who work at another racetrack as well and I asked them about a blog that was recently written by my buddy Kyle Ealy, the former editor at Hawkeye Racing News. Kyle will be the first to admit that his journalistic efforts would not always fall within the theme of PositivelyRacing and frankly I do admire him quite a bit for standing up and saying "I didn't like this and this is why" in his writings. This particular blog was a scathing report on a night of racing that Kyle was quick to point out is not the norm for this particular racetrack and I was interested to see how these officials felt about it. Their response was "he was right". Working with the officials from a touring series that night just did not go well and they knew that their presentation that night was not of the quality that they expect. I encourage you to check out two of Kyle's journalistic efforts at where you also get the benefit of seeing shots from one of the best photogs in the business, Dennis Krieger, and for those of you who love to go back in time check out

My beautiful daughter Ashley has returned from a full year of teaching English in South Korea so no more racing for me this weekend! See you at the track next week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Updated Iowa and Missouri Points Are Up....

The All Iowa and All Missouri Points are now updated through June 8th and posted on the Points page at

After waiting out the early season weather in northeast Iowa, Chris Hovden (70) has charged up to a tie for second in the current All Iowa Points Hobby Stock standings - photo by Scott Tjabring, Action Track Photography

In Iowa 2008 champion Dustin Smith continues to pace the Stock Car field with Kevin Opheim and Trent Murphy not far behind. Jeremy Mills has opened up a sixteen point advantge over Max Corporan in the Modifieds while only three points separate the drivers ranked third through fifth, Ryan Dolan, Jay Noteboom and Adam Larson. Jeremy Campbell has cut into Gary Peiffer's lead in the Four Cylinder standings and now trails by only six markers. Nathan Chandler, Nate Coopman and Brad Chandler are next in line. Shannon Anderson remains firmly in control of the Hobby Stock rundown with Chris Hovden and Devin Smith tied for second. A couple of new names, Rusty Montagne and Dustin Larson, fill out the top five. Mark Burgtorf continues to lead the Late Model division while Kevin Blum and Terry Neal have shuffled Jason Frankel from second to fourth and in the Limited Modifieds the top four names remain the same and they now rank as follows, Austin Kaplan, Kevin Sather, Jesse Sobbing and Luke Wanninger. Scott Davis has made up ground on the quartet and sits in fifth. In the Sprint Car divisions Terry McCarl leads Johnny Herrera and Brian Brown in the 410's, Mike Boston leads Jody Rosenboom by one point and Jack Dover by two in the 360 division and Bobby Mincer continues to dominate the 305's.
Ryan Dolan (7) races to the outside of Colt Mather in USMTS Modified action at Highway 3 Raceway in Allison - photo by Scott Tjabring, Action Track Photography

In the All Missouri Points Shawn Walsh has jumped back over Vance Wilson to lead the Modified standings while defending champion Tim Setzer is closing fast in third. St. Francois County Raceway regular David Shepard ranks fourth followed by West Plains driver Brandon Ball. Randy Korte paces the Late Model field with teammates Jeremy Payne and Terry Phillips next in line. 2008 champion Jack Simmons lurks in fourth with Donnie Timmerman and Tim Manville tied for fifth. Kyle Berry holds a two-point advantage over Darin Walker in the Limited Late Model standings with Shawn Rayfield, Jeff Schlup and Kevin Kaiser next in line. Randy Martin jumps to the top of the Sprint Car list this week with Jesse Hockett and Josh Fisher tied for second just two points behind, and in the Limited Modifieds it is Belton's Brad Smith out front followed closely by Dan Bimson, Billy Street, Brian Ziegler and Mickey Burrell.

For a full rundown on each division visit the Points page at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another "Money" Win for Cayden Carter at Osky

Put some extra money on the line and the fourteen-year-old redhead who can’t stand much more than five foot tall turns into an animal. Cayden Carter pulled off the surprise win at the 2008 Fall Challenge at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa last September and on Wednesday night, with the USRA B-Modified feature paying $700-to-win, it was Carter once again in victory lane collecting the top prize.

Rookie driver Drew Lawson appeared to have things well in control during the early laps of the race as he maintained about a five-length advantage over Carter after starting from the pole position. On lap nine of the eighteen-lap distance though Lawson hopped the cushion in turn one and rode the guardrail the rest of the way through the corner. The resulting damage caused him to slow down the backstretch and finally come to a stop in turn four ending his bid for what would have been his first career feature win. Carter assumed the point on the restart and left no doubt as to who would win this one now leaving the rest of the field far behind. Kevin Fee and Tyler Groenendyk waged an interesting battle for the second spot with Fee prevailing on the final lap. Carter VanDenBerg came home fourth, Andrew Schroeder moved from row seven to take fifth and Eric Fullenkamp advanced from the eighth row to take sixth.

Josh Truman held the top spot on lap one of the Modified feature, but on a restart both Zack VanderBeek and Brad Pinkerton blew by him. Pinkerton kept pace with the new leader VanderBeek until the final five laps as Zack pulled away for another feature win at the fast half-mile oval. Pinkerton was the runner up while Colt Mather muscled his way up to the third spot after starting in row four. Ron VerBeek and Scott Dickey completed the top five.

The Hobby Stock feature provided the most action on the night as five cars raced in a tight formation up front for the entire fifteen-lap distance. Kris Walker was the leader of the pack for the first ten circuits before Nathan Wood made it stick on the bottom of turn one on lap eleven. As Wood led the group of five off of turn four coming to the checkers, both Donavon Nunnikhoven and Dale Porter were able to slip by Walker to finish second and third respectively while Steve Allen, in his first night out for 2009, followed Walker in for fifth.

The Stock Car feature started eleven cars and on a lap eight restart several of them were eliminated when the drive train on Brian Mitrisin’s car let loose spreading rear end grease on the frontstretch heading into turn one. Mike VanGenderen got the worst of it as he slid through the grease and smacked the guradrail hard. On the restart only five cars remained in action and it was front row starter Shane Weller who stayed out front to take the victory over last week’s winner Matt Greiner. Zack VanderBeek, Corey Stout and Matt Fox who made the trip down from Paton were the others who completed the full distance.

Osky Notes…..The extra money for the B-Mods drew in some drivers for the first time this year including Tyler Gross, Geoff Olson and Eric Fullenkamp. Gross was in control of his heat race until he slapped the guradrail hard coming off of turn four. He made repairs in time for the feature, but was never a factor…..Craig Brown looked like the man to beat in the Hobby Stocks on this night coming from mid-pack to easily win the third heat race. He drew the eleventh starting spot for the feature, but slowed in turn two of the first lap causing a scramble behind him as Wes Almond and Brian Gibson got together. Brown coasted to the pits, his night finished…..Bobby Greene and Dale Porter made contact on lap two of the Hobby Stock feature sending Green into a wild slide down the apron of the frontstretch. He was able to avoid hitting anything and restarted the race in fourteenth. At the finish Greene had raced his way back up to sixth….Nathan Wood drives both a Stock Car and Hobby Stock at Osky and his Hobby Stock is owned by fellow driver T.J. Henderson. Wood’s victory was a nice birthday present for his car owner tonight as the now sixty-two-year-old Henderson joined him in victory lane….After his second place finish Donavon Nunnikhoven came up to the grandstands to enjoy the rest of the racing and he was greeted by three adorable young ladies who obviously no longer had any interest in what was going on out on the track. Their hero had arrived…..Ryan Schaffer pulled his Modified over from Corning tonight only to make contact with one of the track tires in turn four on the first lap of the main event. His crew was able to make some quick repairs and send him back to the track as he finished tenth.

From left to right Kara, Makayla and Kellie were obviously pleased to enjoy the rest of the night's races with their favorite driver Donavon Nunnikhoven after his second place finish in the Hobby Stock main event - submitted photo by Deanne Tice

Put another great Wednesday night of racing in the books at Oskaloosa. Only in the state of Iowa will you find weekly racing on "hump day" and we even have it at two tracks. This forces our friend Kevin Trittien (TapFan) to make a choice between Osky and Alta each week. Make sure that you take advantage of the opportunity and attend a mid-week show at one or both of these two fun tracks this season!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Two Feature Wins.....325 Miles Apart

No racing for me this week as Christine and I are enjoying a weekend with our two sons and their, I'm getting old! Check out our blogger roster at to see what they are up to.

One thing that I wanted to point out from last weekend is the amazing accomplishment of Webster, Iowa, Modified driver Colt Mather. Mather won the feature at Moberly, Missouri's 24 Raceway on Saturday night and then made a 325-mile trip to Cresco, Iowa, to win the weekly show there on Sunday night. That is a LONG way to go to win two weekly shows on back-to-back nights. Congratulations Colt, maybe we'll see him win one a little closer to home this Wednesday night at Oskaloosa.