by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, April 12, 2019) – According to the calendar it is suppose to be spring outside, but with the brisk strong winds out of the southwest along with temperatures hoovering around the high 40’s, it felt more like a late fall or early winter night on Friday, April 12th at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Just as easy as they could have canceled the nights action, Brian and Marcie Gaylord decided to take a chance and go ahead and race, knowing they would have a low turn out in the crowd. Their decision paid off with some great racing action on a smoothly prepared race track. Claiming victories on Happs CNC Performance Engines and KQ92 season points openers were Jeff Waterman (Budweiser IMCA Modifieds), Jeremy Pundt (Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars), Brayton Carter (Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods), and Jake Houston (Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts), with Tommy Elston claiming the win in the I-Smile Silver Late Models.
The first feature to take to the track was the 15 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts, with Brandon Reu and Chuck Fullenkamp drawing the front row. Fullenkamp would edge out Reu at the line by inches to lead lap 1. He then held the top spot until lap 3 when Denny Berghahn, who made the long pull over from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, grabbed the lead away from him. While Berghahn started to put some distance between himself and the battles behind him, all eyes were on Jake Houston. Houston, who was disqualified from his heat race win for illegal tire size, had to start twentieth and was quickly working his way towards the front. On lap 7 Houston took over the runner up spot and then went to work on chasing down Berghahn for the lead. Lapped traffic on lap 9 would slow Berghahn up, which allowed Houston to close to his back bumper. On lap 11 Houston made the move under Berghahn to grab the top spot. Houston then went on to lead the final laps to score his third win in a row at the track. Fullenkamp made a last lap pass to claim 2nd, Berghahn made the long pull pay off with a 3rd place finish, Barry Taft came from 11th to finish 4th, with Reu holding on for 5th.
The Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMod feature was scheduled to run 18 laps, but with the time limit enforced the event only got 15 laps completed. Andrew Swailes and Adam Birck drew the front row, with Birck jumping out front to lead lap 1 over Brayton Carter, who started 4th, and Austen Becerra, who started 8th. While Birck worked the bottom of the track, Carter would use the top to challenge Birck for the top spot. The battle up front was slowed on lap 3, when Colton Bowman spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Birck moved back out front, with Carter and Brandon Dale close behind. Birck and Carter would race side-by-side for the lead over the next two laps, when Bowman spun in turn 1 to bring out another yellow to slow the action. Carter was able to use the top of the track to edge out Birck at the line to grab the lead on the restart. Birck then tried to work back under Carter over the next four laps, when another caution appeared on lap 11. Debris in turn 2 would bring out the yellow. Four other yellows on the next two laps would bring the time limit up on the race, setting up a green-white-checkered finish on lap 13. On the restart Carter jumped back out front, with Birck looking under him for the lead. But Carter would hold off Birck on the final lap to score the win. Birck was 2nd, Becerra was 3rd, Sean Wyett came from 9th to finish 4th, with James Roose coming home in 5th.
Jeremy Pundt and Michael Larsen drew the front row for the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Pundt grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Larsen and Damon Murty, who started 6th. Just as lap 1 was scored complete Jerry Jansen and Jesse Wegs spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Pundt jumped back out front, with Abe Huls, who started 10th, using the top to move into second. While Pundt paced the field out front, Jason Cook, Huls and Damon Murty battle for the runner up spot. The action was slowed for the second and final time on lap 6, when Dallon Murty spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. Pundt moved back out front on the restart, with Damon Murty working the middle groove to grab second over Cook. While Pundt worked the bottom of the track, Huls was trying the middle groove to work into second on lap 11. Huls then went to work on Pundt over the final laps, even pulling even with Pundt on the final lap going down the backstretch. Pundt was able to hold off Huls off turn four to pick up his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Huls was 2nd, Cook was 3rd, Damon Murty was 4th, with Beau Taylor finishing 5th after starting in 7th.
Up next was the 20 lap I-Smile Silver Late Models, with Ray Raker and Tommy Elston drawing the front row. Raker would use his starting spot to edge out Elston to lead lap 1. Then just after the lap was scored complete the caution would come out for debris in turn 4. On the restart Brandon Queen spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Elston slip by Raker to take over the top spot. While Elston set a fast pace out front, Jay Johnson, who was working the bottom and middle grooves, Brian Harris, who was working the top, and Chuck Hanna, who was on the bottom, battle for the runner up spot. Without another caution to slow the pace, Elston would pull away to claim his second win of the season. Johnson won the battle for 2nd, Harris was 3rd, Hanna was 4th, with Sam Halstead coming from 7th to finish 5th.
The final feature to take to the track was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, with Dennis LaVeine and Dakota Simmons drawing the front row. LaVeine took advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Andrew Schroeder and Simmons. Schroeder would try to look under LaVeine over the next 5 laps, when the first caution of the race appeared on lap 5. Debris in turn 2 would bring out the yellow. On the restart LaVeine jumped back out front, with Jeff Waterman, who started 9th, coming from 5th to second. While LaVeine worked the bottom of the track, Waterman used the top to try and wrestle the lead away from LaVeine. Coming off turn 4 on lap 9 Waterman used the momentum off the top to edge LaVeine at the line to take over the top spot. One lap later, lap 10, the second and final caution of the race came out for a cone in turn 4. Waterman jumped back out front on the restart, with Schroeder and LaVeine battling for second. The final half of the race would go caution free, which allowed Waterman to pull away to claim his first win of the season. LeVeine won the battle for 2nd, John Oliver Jr. came from 6th to edge out a 3rd place finish, Schroeder was 4th, with Austin Howes coming home 5th after starting in 8th.
Coming up next week at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be Midwest Performance & Power Night. The Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods, and Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts will continue their season long points battles. Also in action on the night will be the season opening points race for the 305 Sprints. The I-Smile Silver Late Models and Legend Cars will also be racing.
Gates open at 5:30 PM, Hot Laps at 7 PM, and Racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission will be Adults $10, Seniors (60+) $9, Students (11-17) & Veterans $5, and Kids 10 & under FREE! Pit passes will be $30, Driver’s $20, ages (7-13) $15, ages (4-6) $10, and ages (3 & under $5).
For more information about the Pepsi Lee County Speedway you can visit their website at www.leecountyspeedway.com, like them on Facebook, or call Brian Gaylord at 319-371-6744.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, April 12, 2019 – Happs CNC Performance Engines and KQ92 Night
I-Smile Silver Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 2. Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 3. Brian Harris, Davenport, IA; 4. Chuck Hanna, Port Byron, IL; 5. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 6. Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 7. Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 8. Stacy Griffis, Solon, IA; 9. Blaire Barton, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 10. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Sam Halstead; 2. Chuck Hanna; 3. Tommy Elston; 4. Brian Harris; 5. Blaire Barton
Heat 2: 1. Jay Johnson; 2. Brandon Queen; 3. Ray Raker; 4. Stacy Griffis; 5. Jake Dietrich
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 2. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 3. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 4. Andrew Schroeder, Fremont, IA; 5. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 6. Brandon Lennox, New London, MO; 7. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 8. Mike Van Genderen, Newton, IA; 9. Jerad Fuller, Memphis, MO; 10. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 11. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA; 12. Danny Lehmkuhl, Cedar Rapids, IA; 13. Chad Giberson, Richland, IA; 14. Jardin Fuller, Memphis, MO (DNS); 15. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Mike Van Genderen; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Dennis LaVeine; 4. Austin Howes; 5. Danny Lehmkuhl; 6. Levi Smith; 7. Jardin Fuller; 8. Bill Roberts Jr. (DNS)
Heat 2: 1. Dakota Simmons; 2. Jeff Waterman; 3. Andrew Schroeder; 4. Jerad Fuller; 5. Kelly Buckallew; 6. Brandon Lennox; 7. Chad Giberson
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 2. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 3. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 4. Damon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 5. Beau Taylor, Canton, MO; 6. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 7. Dallon Murty, Chelsea, IA; 8. Todd Reitzler, Grinnell, IA; 9. Jerry Jansen, Plainville, IL; 10. Michael Larsen, Quincy, IL; 11. Jesse Wegs, Quincy, IL; 12. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 13. Peter Stodgel, Fowler, IL (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Abe Huls; 2. Jeremy Pundt; 3. Chad Krogmeier; 4. Damon Murty; 5. Beau Taylor; 6. Jesse Wegs; 7. Kevin Koontz
Heat 2: 1. Todd Reitzler; 2. Jason Cook; 3. Michael Larsen; 4. Jerry Jansen; 5. Dallon Murty; 6. Peter Stodgel (DNS)
Roberts Tire & Center IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Brayton Carter, Oskaloosa, IA; 2. Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 3. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 4. Sean Wyett, Danville, IA; 5. James Roose, Grandview, IA; 6. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 7. Brandon Setser, Davenport, IA; 8. Andrew Swailes, Riverside, IA; 9. Patrick Profeta, Keokuk, IA; 10. Jim Powell, Hannibal, MO; 11. Barry Dugan, Letts, IA; 12. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 13. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 14. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 15. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 16. Colton Bowman, Burlington, IA; 17. Brian Bergheger, Keokuk, IA; 18. Ron Kibbe, Danville, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Brandon Setser; 2. Sean Wyett; 3. Brandon Dale; 4. Austen Becerra; 5. Kyle Hamelton; 6. Brandon Lambert
Heat 2: 1. Brayton Carter; 2. Adam Birck; 3. Bob Cowman; 4. Patrick Profeta; 5. Barry Dugan; 6. Brian Bergheger (DNS)
Heat 3: 1. Daniel Fellows; 2. James Roose; 3. Andrew Swailes; 4. Jim Powell; 5. Colton Bowman; 6. Ron Kibbe
Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Jacob Houston, Burlington, IA; 2. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 3. Denny Berghahn, Plattsmouth, NE; 4. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 5. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 6. Trent Orwig, Ottumwa, IA; 7. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 8. Jason Ash, Burlington, IA; 9. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 10. Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 11. John Gill, Marshalltown, IA; 12. Levi Heath, Wilton, IA; 13. William Michel, Columbus Junction, IA; 14. Andrew Hurley, Macon, MO; 15. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 16. Quinton Shelton, Quincy, IL; 17. TJ Weyls, Burlington, IA; 18. Wesley Talley, Monmouth, IL; 19. Aaron Berry, Salem, IA; 20. Dylan Schantz, Luray, MO
Heat 1: 1. Denny Berghahn; 2. Trent Orwig; 3. Kimberly Abbott; 4. Chuck Fullenkamp; 5. William Michel; 6. John Gill; 7. TJ Weyls
Heat 2: 1. Brandon Reu; 2. Levi Heath; 3. Quinton Shelton; 4. Wesley Talley; 5. Dylan Schantz; 6. Aaron Berry; 7. Jacob Houston (DQ)
Heat 3: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Barry Taft; 3. Jason Ash; 4. Cody Bowman; 5. Andrew Hurley; 6. David Prim