BY BRIAN NEAL
Lee County Speedway
DONNELLSON – After having a week off due to the saturated grounds, the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa returned to action on Friday, May 10th.
Even though mother nature tried early in the week to put a damper on this weeks action, with enough sun and wind the grounds dried out enough for the track crew to get on it to worked it in. After the night’s action that was sponsored by Darkside Tint & Graphix and Driftwood 13, three drivers claimed their first win of the season at the track, one of those scoring his first career in his class, while three others picked up multiple wins.
The first feature to take to the track was the 18 lap Robert’s Tire Center IMCA SportMods, with Kyle Hamelton and Brian Bergheger scheduled to start on the front row. But when Hamleton was a scratch, this would move Ron Kibbe to the pole for the event.
Despite starting in the seventh spot, Daniel Fellows shot to the front to lead lap 1 over Kibbe and Austen Becerra. The action up front was slowed on lap 2, when Bergheger spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Fellows jumped back out front, with Becerra and Brandon Dale, who started 12th, close behind. While Becerra and Dale raced for the runner-up spot, Fellows would start to pull away.
Just as it looked like Fellows would cruise to an easy win, the second caution of the race appeared on lap 14 to bring the field back to his back bumper. Becerra, who was running 2nd, slowed in turn 4 to bring out the yellow.
Fellows once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Dale and Sean Wyett, who started 8th, battling for the runner up spot. As they battled for second, Fellows would go on to pick up his third win in a row at the track. Dale won the battle for 2nd, Wyett was 3rd, Kibbe was 4th, with Tom Lathrop coming home in 5th.
Up next was the 18 lap 305 Sprint feature, with Dan Keltner and Harold Pohren drawing the front row. Keltner would take advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Tanner Gebhardt and Pohren. The fast pace Keltner was setting would allow him to build up a straight-away lead by lap 10. But with 5 laps to go Gebhardt was staring to cut into the gap. And with two laps to go Gebhardt was within two car lengths of Keltner.
Despite Gebhardt’s late charge, Keltner was able to hold on to claim his first win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Gebhardt settled for a close 2nd, Jeff Wilke was 3rd, Pohren was 4th, with Joe Laue finishing 5th.
Derrick Agee and Beau Taylor led the field to green in the 18 lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature, with Agee grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Jeremy Pundt and Abe Huls. While Agee paced the field out front, David Brandies, who started 5th, was working his way towards the front.
On lap 3 Brandies got past Pundt for the runner up spot, and then went to work on Agee for the top spot. Agee, who was working the top, and Brandies, who was on the bottom, raced laps 5 thru 8 side-by-side, with Agee maintaining the lead at the strip each lap. Then coming off turn 4 Brandies was able to edge Agee out at the line to take over the top spot. Agee would stay in Brandies tire tracks over the final laps, but wasn’t able to mount a challenge, as Brandies went on to score his first win of the season at the track. Agee was 2nd, Pundt was 3rd, Huls was 4th, with Taylor holding on for 5th.
The 15 lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts was next, with Dylan Schantz and David Prim making up the front row. But it was fifth place starter Josh Barnes who quickly shot to the front to lead lap 1 over Schantz and Alyssa Steele.
The action up front was slowed on lap 4, when Barry Taft, who was running 4th, slowed in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Barnes jumped back out front, with Jacob Houston, who started 9th, and Brandon Ruffcorn, who started 10th, close behind. Barnes would have to work to hold off Houston and Ruffcorn for the top spot. When the action was slowed for the second time of the race on lap 7, as Larry Miller stopped in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Barnes once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Houston and Ruffcorn staying close behind.
Ruffcorn’s run up front came to an end on lap 11, as he slowed in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Barnes moved back out front, with Houston and Brandon Reu, who started 8th, following. Houston tried to work under Barnes over the final laps, but Barnes would hold him off to claim his second win of the season at the track. Houston was 2nd, Reu was 3rd, Schantz was 4th, with Taft recovering from his yellow on lap 4 to come back up to finish in 5th.
Levi Smith and Dakota Simmons led the field to green in the Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Simmons grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Bill Roberts Jr. and Smith. Simmons then started to pull away from the rest of the field, when the first and only caution appeared on lap 8.
A cone was clipped onto the track in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Simmons jumped back out front, with Roberts Jr. and John Oliver Jr., who started 6th, close behind. Oliver Jr. would get past Roberts Jr. on lap 10, but by then Simmons had built up a straight-away lead.
Coming to the white flag, Oliver Jr. had cut Simmons lead down to about three car lengths. But that was as close as he could get, as Simmons went on to claim his first career Modified win. Oliver Jr. was 2nd, Dennis LaVeine was 3rd, Roberts Jr. was 4th, with Jeff Waterman completing the top 5.
The final feature to take to the track was the 20 lap I-Smile Silver IMCA Late Models, with Stacy Griffis and Tommy Elston drawing the front row. But when Griffis was a scratch this would move Darin Weisinger Jr. to the pole. Elston took advantage of his draw to jump out front on lap 1 over Ray Raker and Brandon Queen. Brian Harris, who started 6th, took the runner up spot on lap 2, but by then Elston had pulled out to a big lead.
It looked like Elston would cruise to an easy win, when the first and only caution of the race came out on lap 15. Queen spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow, and also brought the field back to Elston’s back bumper. On the restart Elston moved back out front, with Harris and Ron Boyse, who started 7th, close behind. Harris would stay in Elston’s tire tracks over the final laps.
But wasn’t able to mount a challenge, as Elston picked up his third win of the season at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway. Harris was 2nd, Boyse was 3rd, Sam Halstead finished 4th after starting in 8th, with Jay Johnson coming from 10th to finish in 5th.
Don’t forget the Pepsi Lee County Speedway will be off next weekend, Friday, May 17th. But will be back in action on Friday, May 24th, as Buford Dozing & Excavating and Bix Basement Services helps to bring the first of two stops to the track by the Sprint Invaders. The 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.
Gates open at 5:30 PM, Hot Laps at 7 PM, and Racing at 7:30 PM. Grandstand admission will be Adults $15, Seniors (60+) $13, Veterans $10, Students (11-17) $8, and Kids 10 & under FREE! Pit passes will be $30, 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.