by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, July 28, 2017) – After two weeks off, one for a scheduled night off after the fair and the other for excessive heat, the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa got back to racing on Friday, July 28th. The nights action was being presented by Walmart, Wilson Bros. BBQ & Catering, and Wet Point Auto & Powersports, as two drivers picked up their first wins of the season at the track. While three others scored their fourth wins of the season at the track.
The 15 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature was the first to take to the track, with Mike Hornung Jr. and Kenny Smith leading the field to green. But it was fifth place starter Josh Barnes who quickly raced to the front to lead lap 1 over Kimberly Abbott, who started 7th, and Brandon Lambert, who started 6th. Abbott would follow in Barnes’ tire tracks over the next 8 laps, as the rest of the field raced two and three wide behind them. As Brandon Reu, who started 9th, and Barry Taft, who started 10th, were trying to work their way towards the front. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 9, when Hornung Jr. lost a right front tire in turn 4 to bring out the caution. On the restart Barnes jumped back out front, with Reu over taking Abbott for the runner up spot. Barnes then looked like he was heading to another feature win, when he slowed in turn 4 on lap 14 and pulled into the infield with troubles. This handed the lead over to Reu, who had Taft glued to his back bumper. Coming off turn 4 to get the checkered flag Taft got under Reu, but Reu was able to hold him off by half a car length to claim his first win of the season at the track. Taft settled for a close 2nd, Abbott was 3rd, Mike Reu came from 8th to finish in 4th, with Lambert rounding out the top 5.
Up next was the 18 lap Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMod feature, with Jason Riegel and Brandon Symmonds on the front row. But just as the green flag was dropped the caution light came on, as Daniel Fellows spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart John Oliver Jr. grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Brandon Dale, who started 5th, and Kyle Hill. While Oliver Jr. worked to hold off Dale and Hill, Jim Gillenwater, who started 9th, worked himself into the battle. On lap 7 Gillenwater worked under Dale and Hill to move into the runner up spot. Then two laps later disaster would strike Dale, as he spun in turn 4 to bring out the second and final yellow of the race. On the restart Gillenwater used the bottom of the track to grab the top spot away from Oliver Jr., who was working to hold off Austen Becerra, who started 6th, for the second spot. Becerra slipped past Oliver Jr. for second on lap 12, and then went to work on Gillenwater for the lead. But Gillenwater would hold on over the final laps to score his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Becerra was 2nd, Tony Dunker started 8th and finished 3rd, Oliver Jr. was 4th, with Carter VanDenBerg finishing 5th after starting in 10th.
Todd Frank and Chris Richard drew the front row for the 20 lap Steffes UMP Pro Late Model feature, with Frank grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Tommy Elston and Richard. Frank then held the lead until lap 4, when Elston slipped under him to grab the top spot away. While Elston paced the field out front, Denny Woodworth, who started 5th, was working his way into second on lap 8. Woodworth then tried to track down Elston for the lead. But without a caution to bunch the field up Woodworth wasn’t able to mount a challenge on Elston. As Elston went on to pick up his fourth win of the season at the track. Woodworth was 2nd, Frank was 3rd, Sam Halstead was 4th, with Jeff Guengerich rounding out the top 5.
Next to take to the track was the 18 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Scott Jordan and Corey Strothman leading the field to green. But it was third place starter Jeremy Pundt who used the bottom of the track to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over John Oliver Jr., who started 5th, and Strothman. Coming off turn 2 to complete lap 2 the battle for the lead went three wide, with Pundt on the bottom, Strothman in the middle and Oliver Jr. up top. Oliver Jr. would emerge from the battle to take over the top spot. While Oliver Jr. worked the top of the track, Jason Cook, who was using the bottom, worked his way into second on lap 5. Then two laps later, lap 7, Cook edged out Oliver Jr. by inches to grab the lead. Oliver Jr. used the momentum off the top of the track to edge out Cook at the line on lap 8 to get the lead back. But Cook came back on the bottom to get the top spot back on lap 9. The two then raced side-by-side over the next two laps, when Oliver Jr. slowed in turn 2 on lap 11 with power steering troubles to bring out the yellow. On the restart Cook jumped back out front, with Pundt and Strothman close behind. Pundt then looked to get under Cook over the next 4 laps, as Strothman used the top of the track to try and grab the lead. But Cook was able to hold them off each lap, when the second and final caution of the race slowed the action on lap 16. Jordan spun in turn 4 to bring out the caution, and set up a two lap shoot out to the finish. Once again Cook grabbed the lead on the restart, with Pundt and Strothman following. Pundt tried to get under Cook over the final lap, but Cook was able to hold him off to claim his fourth win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Pundt settled for 2nd, Strothman was 3rd, Derek Kirkland started 7th and finished 4th, with Chad Krogmeier coming home in 5th.
The final feature to take to the track was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, with Dakota Simmons and Bill Roberts Jr. making up the front row. Simmons would take advantage of his starting spot to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Jerad Fuller, who started 5th, and Dennis LaVeine. While Simmons paced the field out front, the battle for second went four wide between Fuller, Roberts Jr., LaVeine, and Michael Long, who started 6th. Then coming off turn 2 to complete lap 5 the battle for the lead went three wide, with Fuller on the bottom, Simmons in the middle, and Long up top. Long would use the momentum off the top of the track to grab the top spot on lap 5. While Long started to pull away, Jeff Waterman, who started 7th, was working himself into second on lap 9. The only hope Waterman had of catching Long for the lead was a caution, and he got that chance on lap 15. As debris in turn 4 brought out the first and only caution of the race. On the restart Long moved back out front, with Waterman and LaVeine close behind. Waterman would look under Long over the next few laps. But Long was to strong on this night, as he went on to win his fourth of the season at the track. Waterman was 2nd, LaVeine was 3rd, Fuller was 4th, with Roberts Jr. finishing in 5th.
Coming up next Thursday, August 3rd and Friday, August 4th will be “Summerfest”, with Outdoor Power Inc., chem GRO, and Fat Jimmy’s Catering helping to bring the action. In action on both nights will be the Steffes UMP Pro Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods, Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts, and the Legend Cars.
The Steffes UMP Pro Lates Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, and Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods will be racing both nights for $1,000 to win. Plus the Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts will be going for $300 to win each night. Both nights will be draw / redraw, with track, national, state, and regional points being awarded. There is a $50 entry fee both nights for the UMP Pro Late Models and IMCA Modifieds, a $40 entry fee both nights for the IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA SportMods, and a $25 entry fee both nights for the IMCA Sport Compacts. There is NO track registration required, but you must have an IMCA license in the Modifieds, Stock Cars, SportMods, and Sport Compacts in order to compete.
Gates both nights will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps at 7 PM, and racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission each night will be adults $15, seniors (60+) $14, students (11-17) $8, and kids 10 & under FREE!! Pit passes are $30, age 7-13 $20, ages 4-6 $10, and ages 3 & under $3.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, July 28 2017 – Walmart, Wilson Bros. BBQ & Catering, and West Point Auto & Powersports Night
Steffes UMP Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 2. Denny Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 3. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 4. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 5. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 6. Gunner Frank, Montrose, IA; 7. Chris Richard, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 8. Derek Liles, Eldon, IA; 9. Brad Denney, Canton, IL; 10. Mavrick Piller, Amboy, IL; 11. Chase Frank, Montrose, IA; 12. Eric Knapp, Albia, IA; 13. Russ Schoonover, Horwich, England
Heat 1: 1. Tommy Elston; 2. Todd Frank; 3. Sam Halstead; 4. Gunner Frank; 5. Mavrick Piller; 6. Eric Knapp; 7. Chase Frank
Heat 2: 1. Denny Woodworth; 2. Derek Liles; 3. Jeff Guengerich; 4. Chris Richard; 5. Brad Denney; 6. Russ Schoonover
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 2. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 3. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 4. Jerad Fuller, Memphis, MO; 5. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 6. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 7. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 8. Craig Spegal, New London, MO; 9. Dean McGee, Galesburg, IL; 10. Dugan Thye, Burlington, IA; 11. Shawn Millmier, Bloomfield, IA
Heat 1: 1. Michael Long; 2. Dennis LaVeine; 3. Kelly Buckallew; 4. Bill Roberts Jr.; 5. Craig Spegal; 6. Dugan Thye
Heat 2: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Dean McGee; 3. Jerad Fuller; 4. Dakota Simmons; 5. Shawn Millmier
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 2. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 3. Corey Strothman, Mt. Union, IA; 4. Derek Kirkland, Centerville, IA; 5. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 6. Chase Exlline, Centerville, IA; 7. Scott Jordan, Wapello, IA; 8. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 9. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 10. Jason See, Albia, IA
Heat: 1. Jeremy Pundt; 2. Corey Strothman; 3. John Oliver Jr.; 4. Scott Jordan; 5. Jason Cook; 6. Chad Krogmeier; 7. Derek Kirkland; 8. Chase Exlline; 9. Jason See, 10. Kevin Koontz
Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 2. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 3. Tony Dunker, Quincy, IL; 4. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 5. Carter VanDenBerg, Oskaloosa, IA; 6. Kyle Hill, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 7. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 8. Jason Riegel, Eldon, IA; 9. Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 10. Vance Wilson, Quincy, IL; 11. Kevin Tomlinson, New London, MO; 12. Rick Barlow Jr., Montrose, IA; 13. Brandon Symmonds, Keokuk, IA; 14. Brandyn Ryan, Coatsburg, IL; 15. Tom Lathrop, Ottumwa, IA; 16. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 17. Michael Benjamin, Montrose, IA; 18. Ron Kibbe, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 19. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA
Heat 1: 1. Austen Becerra; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Jim Gillenwater; 4. Ron Kibbe; 5. Bob Cowman; 6. Michael Benjamin; 7. Logan Anderson
Heat 2: 1. Tony Dunker; 2. Kyle Hill; 3. Carter VanDenBerg; 4. Jason Riegel; 5. Daniel Fellows; 6. Rick Barlow Jr.
Heat 3: 1. Brandon Dale; 2. Vance Wilson; 3. Kevin Tomlinson; 4. Brandon Symmonds; 5. Tom Lathrop; 6. Brandyn Ryan
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 2. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 3. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 4. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA; 5. Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 6. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 7. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 8. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 9. Jerrod Nichols, Stronghurst, IL; 10. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 11. Mike Hornung Jr., Keokuk, IA
Heat 1: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Brandon Reu; 3. Kimberly Abbott; 4. David Prim; 5. Mike Hornung Jr.; 6. Jerrod Nichols
Heat 2: 1. Barry Taft; 2. Brandon Lambert; 3. Mike Reu; 4. Kenny Smith; 5. Darin Weisinger Jr.