Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seven "First Time" Champions In 2004 All Iowa Points

With completion of the 2004 season my “research project” of closing the gap from when I stopped compiling the All Iowa Points in 1999 to when I resumed in 2006 is down to just one more year. Once again I want to thank my colleague Barry Johnson for the use of his Hawkeye Racing News archives to do this project!

This was a season of change at the top of the standings as seven of the nine divisions saw drivers win the state title for the first time, while the other two champions continued amazing streaks. For four of the “first timers” it would be their first of at least two All Iowa Points championships.

Rob Toland dominated the Deery Brothers Summer Series, won the $10,000 top prize at the Pepsi Nationals and scored enough points along the way to capture his first AIP Late Model championship. Toland picked up nineteen feature wins along the way and outdistanced defending champion Jeff Aikey by twenty-six points. This would be the first of three AIP Late Model titles for Toland as he also won in 2006 and 2007. Behind Aikey there was a three-way tie for third between Kevin Blum, Lonnie Bailey and Todd Cooney.

Once again there was little doubt as to who would win the Modified points chase as Ron Barker started strong and cruised to his fifth straight championship and his seventh in the last eight years. The Dubuque driver was not quite as dominant this season as he “only” scored twenty-nine wins on AIP points paying tracks easily outrunning Jay Noteboom who finished in the second position. Vern Jackson had a solid season and posted a third-place finish while future champion Jeremy Mills (2009) was fourth and Brad Bakken was fifth.

After several years of chasing Jeff Anderson in the standings, and now with Anderson focusing on his Modified in 2004, Brian Blessington fought of Mike Nichols for the Stock Car championship. Blessington finished in the top-five fifty-two times on the season including eighteen wins and he topped off his stellar season with a $2,000 victory during a late season special in Abilene, Texas. This is the first of Blessington’s three championships so far as he also won in 2006 and 2007. Nichols, who won the IMCA Stock Car National Championship this season, finished in second, Jason Rauen jumped up to third, Randy Brand finished fourth with Quad Cities competitor Tony VonDresky taking fifth.

It was a two horse race in the Pro Stocks/Limited Late Models as Jim Brokus and Bobby Moyer separated themselves from everybody else by mid-season. In the end it was Brokus taking his first of two titles as he was also the champion in 2006, the final year for the division. Behind Moyer in second was the best of the western Iowa contingent Dirk Kirk in third, fourth went to Dan Brockert and Jeff Valentine completed the top five.

Doug Gorden Jr. of Ottumwa got out to big lead early on in the Hobby Stock chase, but no lead is safe when the flying Smith brothers of Lake City are involved. Both Donavan and Dustin overhauled Gorden in late August as Donavon earned his first of two titles. He was the 2006 champion as well. The defending champion in the division, Dustin Smith finished second to his brother, Gorden slipped to third, Bill Bonnett was fourth and Mike Shelton listed in fifth.

A new name burst onto the scene in the Limited Modifieds in 2004 as Mike Kleinhesselink was the man to beat out west in the division as he won twenty-one feature races and claimed the 2004 All Iowa Points championship. Defending champion Mark Massey was a distant second, Jacob Seegmiller took third, fourth went to Jamie Anderson while Wyatt Lantz ended up in the fifth position.

It was the same family, but a different champion in the second year of the Four Cylinder division as Garner’s Greg Birkhofer topped the charts. Brandon Allen was the runner-up, future champ Joe Zrostlik (2006) was third, Becky Roth ranked fourth and 2003 champ Justin Birkhofer settled for fifth.

Terry McCarl’s domination of the 410 Sprint division continued as he posted his seventh straight and now tenth overall All Iowa Points championship, both records across all divisions. Danny Lasoski and champion in waiting Mark Dobmeier (2006, 2007, 2008 & 2010) tied for the runner-up spot while two-time 360 champ Jake Peters was fourth and Gregg Bakker finished fifth.

Young Dusty Zomer became a consistent winner in 2004 and earned the All Iowa Points title for the 360 Sprint division. 1999 champ Butch Hanssen finished in the second position, defending champion Dusty Ballanger was third, Jake Peters (2000 & 2001) finished fourth and 410 king Terry McCarl also found enough time to strap into the 360 to finish in fifth.

For a full rundown on the 2004 All Iowa Points check out the Points page at

One more season left to reconstruct and this project will be completed! Terry McCarl announced at the end of 2004 that he would chase the Outlaws in ’05 so will that be the first of five titles for Mark Dobmeier? Ron Barker was starting to run a Late Model late in the ’04 season, so will 2005 be the end of his reign atop the Modified division? If so, will it become the first of three straight titles for Mark Schulte who won in 2006 and 2007? Will Rob Toland fill in the 2005 Late Model championship as well to make his streak four straight years? And the same scenario as Toland exists for Brian Blessington in the Stock Cars. One year to go, now can I get it done before the 2011 racing season gets into full swing?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

McCarl Establishes Some New Standards; Fourth Straight for Barker and Anderson as 2003 All Iowa Points Are Complete

My “research project” continues as I use back issues of Hawkeye Racing News (provided by Barry Johnson) to fill in the six seasons that I did not compile the All Iowa Points and I now have 2003 completed. Three drivers continued to dominate their division while first-time champs were crowned in five divisions. Plus, it became the first year of tracking the Four Cylinder division.

After several years of being close, Jeff Aikey rose to the top of the Late Model standings for his first championship in the premier division and his second AIP title after winning the Sportsman championship in 1984. Aikey tallied seventeen feature wins on the season and easily outdistanced two time defending champion Denny Eckrich who finished in second. Southwest Iowa driver Chris Spieker picked up the third spot, 1998 Late Model champ Steve Boley was fourth and Quincy’s Mark Burgtorf was fifth.

Nobody could keep pace with Ron Barker in the Modified division as the Dubuque driver scored his fourth straight All Iowa Points title, his sixth championship in the last seven years in the division. This is now Barker’s seventh AIP title overall as he was the Street Stock champion in 1984. Thirty-one points-paying feature wins allowed Barker to be 87 points ahead of runner-up Ricky Stephan. Tony Fraise, Mike Hughes and Jeff Stephens filled out the top five while the driver that spent most of the season chasing the champion, Jason Schueller of Dubuque finished sixth.

With the last three champions in the division, Jeremiah Hurst, Dan Shelliam and Jeff Tharp all running Late Models now the door was open for a new All Iowa Points Pro Stock/Limited Late Model champion and it was Ty Kleiner who accepted the invitation. The Potosi, Wisconsin, resident scored fourteen feature wins on the season and edged out rival Bobby Moyer by 13 markers in the final rundown. Omaha’s John Kinney Jr. was third, Sioux City competitor Greg Peck was fourth and veteran Late Model driver Gary Crawford was fifth after starting to compete in the class at mid-season.

Jeff Anderson of Atlantic cruised to his fourth straight AIP Stock Car championship on the strength of 22 feature wins. Jeff Stevens of Davenport broke the lock that Brian Blessington has had on second for the past three years though as he relegated Blessington back to third. Mike Nichols of Harlan was one point behind Blessington in fourth while Mike Robinson completed the top five.

Dustin Smith broke from a tight pack in late July and picked up the 2003 Hobby Stock state championship. This would be Dustin’s first of four All Iowa Points championships as he is the current three-time (2008, 2009 and 2010) defending Stock Car champion and it now makes three of the racing Smith brothers who have been the AIP Hobby Stock king. Donavon was the 2006 champ and Devin won it in 2010. Jason Minnehan had a solid season in second, Ben Hoesing was the mid-season leader and finished tied for third with Doug Gorden Jr. while Rocky Fosdyck wound up in fifth.

Mark Massey dominated the new B-Mod division at Farley and Dubuque early in the season winning the first eleven events held at the two tracks and by the end of the year he had picked up twenty-two feature wins and seven second place finishes. This was enough to edge out Todd Hansen by thirteen points to win his first All Iowa Points Limited Modified championship. Ryan Duhme finished in the third position with Doug McCollough and Jake Simpson next in line.

The 2003 season would be the first for the Four Cylinder division in the All Iowa Points and the chase for the inaugural championship could not have been any closer as only one point separated first from second and second from third. At the stripe it was the Birkhofers from Britt finishing one two with Justin the champ and Greg the runner-up while Scott Lipps was right behind them in third. David Burdette of Keokuk took fourth and Jason Otto completed the top five.

With his championship in the 410 Sprint division in 2003, Terry McCarl established a couple of new All Iowa Points standards. First of all this was his sixth straight title (1998-2003) in the division becoming the first driver to accomplish that feat in any division. Ed Sanger had won five straight Late Model titles from 1969 through 1973 and Gary Webb matched that winning five from 1993 to 1997. This also makes it nine state championships overall in the division for McCarl setting himself apart from both Sanger and Webb who each have eight Late Model championships. McCarl had eleven feature wins on the season while no other 410 driver had more than eleven top-five finishes. In the final year of Ted Johnson’s ownership, the World of Outlaws ran several events on All Iowa Points tracks allowing Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser to finish second and third in the final standings. Justin Henderson wound up fourth and Donny Schatz was fifth.

Once again the 360 Sprint division went right down the wire with a close battle among three drivers and in the end it was Dusty Ballanger who tallied the most points for his first AIP championship. Young Billy Alley wound up four points back in second with Butch Hanssen just a point behind Alley in third. Two-time champ Jake Peters (2000 and 2001) was fourth while Ryan Jamison rounded out the top five.

A full rundown of the 2003 All Iowa Points can be found on the Points page at Two more years remain and the gap will be filled!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More Images From The Past....

Barry must have been bored today while snowed in as he scanned in a few more of my old photos and sent them down. You can view our larger photo collection by visiting the PositivelyRacing page on Facebook.

Stay warm and stay safe!