by Brian Neal
Donnellson, IA (Friday, August 3, 2018) – With the calendar turning to August this week, that only means the 2018 season for track points at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway is about over. After the completion of Friday nights Archie’s Auto Service Night there is only two point nights left, August 17th and 24th. Two driver’s claimed their fist wins of the season at the track, while one of those was their first career in the division. The other three driver’s earned repeat wins on the season.
The 14 lap Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compact feature was the first to take to the track, with Kenny Smith and Jake Dietrich leading the field to green. Dietrich used his starting spot to his advantage, by jumping out front to lead lap 1 over Josh Barnes and Smith. On lap 3 Barnes would slip past Dietrich to take over the top spot, with Barry Taft, who started 9th, over taking Dietrich for the runner up spot one lap later. Taft then tried to work under Barnes over the final laps. But Barnes would hold him off to pick up his third win of the season at the track. Taft settled for 2nd, Kimberly Abbott finished 3rd after starting in 8th, Brandon Reu was 4th, with Smith rounding out the top 5.
Up next was the 18 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMod feature, with Jim Walker and Jim Powell making up the front row for the event. But it was fourth place starter Austin Howes who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Walker and Brandyn Ryan. Then just as Howes started to pull away from the field, the first caution of the race appeared on lap 8. Austen Becerra, who was running 3rd, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Howes jumped back out front, but now had Daniel Fellows, who started 7th, and Adam Birck, who started 9th, glued to his back bumper. The action up front was slowed for the second time of the race on lap 11, when Bob Cowman spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Howes once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Fellows and Birck continuing to follow. Fellows tried to work under Howes over the next 4 laps, when another caution slowed the action on lap 16. Powell would spin in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Howes moved back out front, with Fellows and Becerra, who recovered from his spin on lap 8, close behind. Just after the lap was scored complete another caution came out, as Jeff Frana spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Disaster would strike to top two runners on the restart, as contact between Fellows and Howes sent Howes spinning in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the following restart Birck jumped out front, with Brandon Dale, who started 8th, and Becerra following. Birck would hold on over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Dale was 2nd, Becerra was 3rd, Ryan was 4th, with Cowman recovering from his spin on lap 11 to come back up to finish in 5th.
Kevin Koontz and Dean Kratzer led the field to green in the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Kratzer edging out Darin Thye and Abe Huls, who started 8th, to lead lap 1. Thye would edge out Kratzer at the line to take the top spot away on lap 2. But Huls would take over the lead from Thye on lap 3. The only thing to slow Huls down on the night, was the first and only caution of the race on lap 6. Cody McClure would spin in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Huls jumped back out front, with Jeremy Pundt, who started 5th, and John Oliver Jr., who started 7th, following. While the battle went two wide for the runner up spot Huls would pull away. Oliver Jr. would edge out Pundt for second on lap 9, and then went to work on cutting into Huls lead. But without another caution to slow Huls down, there was no catching him. As he pulled away to pick up his fifth win of the season at the track. Oliver Jr. was 2nd, Beau Taylor finished 3rd, Pundt was 4th, with Brandon Savage coming from 9th to round out the top 5.
Up next was the 20 lap Steffes Late Model feature, with Cliff Powell and Darin Weisinger Jr. making up the front row. Powell took advantage of his starting spot to hold off Jeff Guengerich by inches to lead lap 1. But Guengerich would grab the top spot away from Powell on lap 2. Three laps later, lap 5, Sam Halstead, who started 7th, worked under Guengerich coming off turn 4 to grab the lead. Halstead then started to pull away, as Chuck Hanna, who started 9th, was working his way towards the front. Hanna would take over the second spot on lap 10, and then went to work on cutting into Halstead’s lead. On lap 16 Halstead would enter lapped traffic, which allowed Hanna to close in on him quickly. But Hanna would run out of laps to challenge Halstead, who went on to win his second in a row and third overall at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Hanna settled for 2nd, Tommy Elston came from 8th to finish in 3rd, Todd Frank was 4th, with Ron Boyse coming home in 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 20 lap Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, with Levi Smith and Kelly Buckallew bringing the field to green. But it was fifth place starter Logan Anderson, who started 5th, that edged Smith at the line by inches on the bottom to lead lap 1. Jeff Waterman, who started 7th, would take over the runner up spot on lap 2, and then followed in Anderson’s tire tracks over the next 11 laps. The action up front was slowed for the first and only time on lap 13, as Buckallew spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Anderson jumped back out front, with Waterman and Bill Roberts Jr. close behind. While Anderson worked the bottom of the speedway, Waterman worked the middle of turns 1 & 2 and the top in turns 3 & 4. Coming to the wave of the green flag, signaling two laps to go, Waterman used the momentum off the top of turn 4 to get up beside Anderson down the front stretch. But then going into turn 3 to come to the white flag Waterman drifted high in turn 4, which allowed Anderson to put a couple of car lengths between them going into turn 1. Waterman wouldn’t give up on the high side, as he used it going into turn 3 on the final lap. He then used the momentum off turn 4 to try one last attempt to get the win, but Anderson was able to hold him off to score his first career Modified feature win. Waterman settled for 2nd, Roberts Jr. was 3rd, Dennis LaVeine started 8th and finished 4th, with John Oliver Jr., who started 9th after a late driver change in Bill Baker’s #03B machine, finishing in 5th.
Coming up next at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be the second and final visit of the season by the Sprint Invaders on Friday, August 17th, with the action being presented by Midwest Performance & Power, and Wilson Brothers BBQ. Joining the Sprint Invaders for a points night will be the Steffes Late Models, Budweiser IMCA Modifieds, Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods, and Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts.
Gates will open at 5:30 PM, hot laps at 7 PM, and racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission will be adults $15, seniors (60+) $14, and 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, August 3, 2018 – Archie’s Auto Service Night
Steffes Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Sam Halstead, New London, IA; 2. Chuck Hanna, Port Byron, IL; 3. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 4. Todd Frank, Montrose, IA; 5. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 6. Jeff Guengerich, Washington, IA; 7. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 8. Cliff Powell, Hannibal, MO; 9. Brandon Queen, Keokuk, IA; 10. Derek Liles, Cedar Rapids, IA
Heat 1: 1. Chuck Hanna; 2. Sam Halstead; 3. Cliff Powell; 4. Brandon Queen; 5. Jeff Guengerich
Heat 2: 1. Tommy Elston; 2. Todd Frank; 3. Ron Boyse; 4. Derek Liles; 5. Darin Weisinger Jr.
Budweiser IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. Logan Anderson, Eddyville, IA; 2. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 3. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 4. Dennis LaVeine, West Burlington, IA; 5. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 6. Dakota Simmons, Douds, IA; 7. Dean McGee, Galesburg, IL; 8. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 9. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA; 10. Mitch Boles, New London, IA
Heat 1: 1. Bill Roberts Jr.; 2. Dennis LaVeine; 3. Kelly Buckallew; 4. Dean McGee; 5. Levi Smith
Heat 2: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Logan Anderson; 3. John Oliver Jr.; 4. Dakota Simmons; 5. Mitch Boles (DNS)
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 2. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 3. Beau Taylor, Canton, MO; 4. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 5. Brandon Savage, Canton, MO; 6. Dean Kratzer, Ft. Madison, IA; 7. Kevin Koontz, Memphis, MO; 8. Darin Thye, Burlington, IA; 9. Cody McClure, Bloomfield, IA; 10. Jesse Wegs, Quincy, IL; 11. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA
Heat 1: 1. Jeremy Pundt; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Brandon Savage; 4. Kevin Koontz; 5. Darin Thye; 6. Jesse Wegs
Heat 2: 1. Abe Huls; 2. Dean Kratzer; 3. Jason Cook; 4. Beau Taylor; 5. Cody McClure
Discount Tire & Service IMCA SportMods
A-Feature: 1. Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 2. Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 3. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 4. Brandyn Ryan, Coatsburg, IL; 5. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 6. Jim Walker, Mystic, IA; 7. Jeff Frana, Ottumwa, IA; 8. Jim Powell, Hannibal, MO; 9. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA; 10. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 11. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 12. Brian Bergheger, Keokuk, IA; 13. Jace Morrow, Memphis, MO
Heat 1: 1. Austen Becerra; 2. Austin Howes; 3. Brandon Dale; 4. Jeff Frana; 5. Jim Powell; 6. Jace Morrow; 7. Kyle Hamelton
Heat 2: 1. Adam Birck; 2. Brandyn Ryan; 3. Daniel Fellows; 4. Jim Walker; 5. Bob Cowman; 6. Brian Bergheger
Armstrong Tractor IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA; 2. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 3. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 4. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 5. Kenny Smith, Donnellson, IA; 6. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 7. Jake Dietrich, Keokuk, IA; 8. Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 9. Jacob Houston, Burlington, IA; 10. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 11. Mike Reu, Donnellson, IA (DNS)
Heat 1: 1. Josh Barnes; 2. Brandon Reu; 3. Barry Taft; 4. David Prim; 5. Kenny Smith; 6. Ashton Blain
Heat 2: 1. Jake Dietrich; 2. Mike Reu; 3. Kimberly Abbott; 4. Jacob Houston; 5. Chuck Fullenkamp