BY BRIAN NEAL
PEPSI LEE COUNTY SPEEDWAY
DONNELLSON – It’s hard to believe that at the end of May we are holding the 2020 points season opener. But thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also mother nature, the Pepsi Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa did exactly that on Friday, May 29th. Despite over 2 inches of rain that fell on the grounds Thursday, the track crew did an amazing job to provide the driver’s with a smooth and fast racing surface.
The first feature to take to the track was the 15-lap Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport Compacts, with Aaron Berry and Jared Heule drawing the front row for the event. But it was sixth place starter Brandon Reu who quickly shot to the front to lead lap 1 over Heule and Chuck Fullenkamp, who started 7th. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the first caution appeared, as Kyle Francy got into Cody Bowman, who spun in turn 2, to bring out the yellow. On the restart Reu jumped back out front, with Adam Christy, who started 8th, over taking Heule and Fullenkamp for the runner-up spot. While Reu paced the field out front, Heule, Fullenkamp, and Christy battled for the runner-up spot. Reu’s pace was slowed for the second and final time of the race on lap 10, as Ricky Miller Jr. and Alyssa Dietrich spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Once again Reu grabbed the lead on the restart, with Christy, Fullenkamp and Heule continuing their battle for the runner up spot. While a three-car battle happened for second, this allowed Reu to pull away over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the track. Fullenkamp won the battle for the runner-up spot on the final lap, Christy settled for 3rd, Heule was 4th, with Kimberly Abbott coming from 10th to round out the top 5.
Up next was the 20-lap Budweiser IMCA Modified feature, with Austin Howes and Chris Zogg leading the field of twenty-three to the green flag. Zogg would edge out Howes at the line by inches to lead lap 1. The two would race side-by-side around the 3/8th’s mile for the top spot until lap 3, when a tire was clipped in turn 2 and pushed onto the track to bring out the yellow. On the restart Zogg jumped back out front, with Travis Denning and Michael Long, who started 10th, both over taking Howes for the second and third spots. Zogg would hold the top spot until lap 6, when Dennig slipped past him for the lead. But the lead for Denning only lasted for that lap, as Mark Burgtorf over took him on lap 7 to take the top spot. The action up front was slowed for the second time of the race on lap 8, this time Jardin Fuller spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Burgtorf moved back out front on the restart, with Denning and Zogg following close behind. While Burgtorf paced the field out front, Denning, Zogg, Long and Howes battled for the runner up spot. Just as it looked like Burgtorf would start to pull away from the field, the third and final yellow of the race appeared on lap 14. Scott Bryant would spin in turn 2 to bring out the caution. Burgtorf once again grabbed the lead on the restart, but now had Long, and Denning glued to his back bumper. While Burgtorf worked the top of the track, Long went to the bottom to try and get the lead. Long would use the momentum on the bottom to edge out Burgtorf at the line by inches to lead lap 18. But Burgtorf would use the top side momentum to come back to lead lap 19. Burgtorf would bobble just a bit coming off turn 2 on the final lap, which allowed Long to slid up in front of him coming off turn 4 to claim the checkered. This was Long’s third win in four races at the Pepsi Lee County Speedway for the 2020 season. Burgtorf was 2nd, Dennig was 3rd, Ethan Braaksma started 12th and finished 4th, with Zogg finishing in 5th.
Just when you thought the IMCA Modified feature was exciting, the 18-lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars put on quite a show themselves. Mitchell Evens and Kevin Koontz drew the front row. Just as the green flag waved the caution light came on, as Koontz and Beau Taylor got together in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the original restart Jeremy Pundt was moved to the outside of the front row. Pundt took advantage by grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Evens and Jason Hall, who originally started 8th. The action was slowed for the second and final time on lap 5, when Abe Huls slowed to a stop in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. Pundt once again grabbed the top spot on the restart, with John Oliver Jr., who started 7th, Hall and Jason Cook made it a four car battle for the lead. Cook, on the bottom, Pundt, in the middle, and Oliver Jr., up top, raced off turn 2 to complete lap 11 three wide, with Cook emerging out of turn 4 with the lead. On lap 13 Oliver Jr. used the momentum off the top to edge out Cook at the line by inches for the top spot. But Cook would come back on the bottom to grab the lead back on lap 14. The two would race the final laps side-by-side, with Cook holding off Oliver Jr. coming off turn 4 to get the win. Hall was 3rd, Pundt was 4th, with Jake Powers finishing 5th after starting in 11th.
Ron Boyse and Tommy Elston led the field to green in the 20 lap Shottenkirk Parts Express IMCA Late Model feature, with Boyse edging out Elston by a nose at the line to lead lap 1. But Elston used the momentum off the top of the track to grab the lead away from Boyse on lap 2. Denny Woodworth, who started 5th, slipped past Boyse on lap 3 to take over the runner up spot. From there Woodworth tried to stay in Elston’s tire tracks. But without a caution to bunch the field up, Elston cruised to his first win of the season. Woodworth was 2nd, Nick Marolf was 3rd, Jay Johnson was 4th, with Dalton Simonsen coming home 5th.
The final feature to take to the track on the night was the 18-lap Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods, with Jim Gillenwater and Maguire DeJong drawing the front row. Gillenwater took advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over DeJong and Blaine Webster. Just after the lap was scored complete the yellow light would come on, as John Renier spun in turn 1 and collected Chance Huston, Derek Goble, Barry Taft and Kyle Hamelton to bring out the caution. On the restart Gillenwater jumped back out front, with Webster and Adam Birck, who started 6th, close behind. But after the lap was scored complete the caution appeared, as a tire was clipped and pushed onto the track in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Gillenwater once again grabbed the top spot on the restart, with Webster and Birck still chasing. The action up front was slowed for the third time of the race on lap 5, as Jadin Fuller spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Gillenwater jumped back out front, with Birck and 11th place starter Tyler Soppe both over taking Webster for second and third. Another lap scored complete, lap 7, produced another caution, as Nathan Bringer spun in turn 1 to bring out the yellow. Gillenwater would grab the lead on the restart, with Birck and Soppe glued to his back bumper.
Coming to complete lap 10 Soppe was able to clear Gillenwater to grab the top spot. Then on lap 11 the action was slowed, when Jim Powell spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Soppe moved back out front, with Austen Becerra, who started 21st, grabbing the runner up spot. Becerra would try to slip past Soppe over the next two laps, when the final caution of the race appeared on lap 14. Fuller would spin in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Soppe moved back out front on the restart, with Becerra, Gillenwater and Birck close behind. Becerra once again tried to wrestle the lead away from Soppe over the final laps, but Soppe was able to hold him off to claim his first win of the season at the track. Becerra was 2nd, Birck was 3rd, Gillenwater was 4th, with Webster rounding out the top 5.
Coming up next Friday, June 5th the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR and Iowa Sprint Leagues will combine to bring your non wing action. They will battle for $3,000 to win and $300 to start. Also in action will be the Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods, with possibly another class being added.
Gates open at 4 PM, Hot Laps at 7 PM, and Racing to follow. Grandstand admission will be Adults $15, Seniors (60+) $13, Veterans $12, and Kids 8 & under FREE! Pit passes will be $35. A limited number of advance grandstands tickets are on sale now at https://market.myracepass.com/store/tickets/?i=1209300&store=11903.
For more information about the POWRi Lucas Oil WAR and Iowa Sprint Leagues you can visit their website at http://www.powri.com/, or like them on Facebook.
Pepsi Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, Iowa
Friday, May 29, 2020 – Season Points OpenerShottenkirk Parts Express IMCA Late Models
A-Feature: 1. Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 2. Denny Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 3. Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 4. Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 5. Dalton Simonsen, Fairfax, IA; 6. Blaze Burwell, Mt. Vernon, IL; 7. Ron Boyse, Kalona, IA; 8. Devin McLean, Mt. Vernon, IL; 9. Ray Raker, Burlington, IA; 10. Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL. Heat 1: 1. Nick Marolf; 2. Jay Johnson; 3. Tommy Elston; 4. Dalton Simonsen; 5. Blaze Burwell. Heat 2: 1. Ron Boyse; 2. Denny Woodworth; 3. Ray Raker; 4. Devin McLean; 5. Darin Weisinger Jr.
Budweiser IMCA ModifiedsA-Feature: 1. Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 2. Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, IL; 3. Travis Denning, Sterling, IL; 4. Ethan Braaksma, Newton, IA; 5. Chris Zogg, New Liberty, IA; 6. Cody Schroeder, Manitowoc, WI; 7. Austin Howes, Memphis, MO; 8. Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 9. Eric Barnes, Colona, IL; 10. Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 11. Dalton Simonsen, Fairfax, IA; 12. Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 13. Kelly Meyer, Big Rock, IA; 14. Kory Meyer, Dixon, IA; 15. Jardin Fuller, Memphis, MO; 16. Blake Woodruff, Galesburg, IL; 17. Todd Bates, Canton, IL; 18. Chad Giberson, Richland, IA; 19. Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA; 20. Scott Bryant, Baring, MO; 21. Tom Ruble, Ft. Madison, IA; 22. Daniel Fellows, Keokuk, IA; 23. Jerad Fuller, Memphis, MO (DNS). Heat 1: 1. Jeff Waterman; 2. Michael Long; 3. Chris Zogg; 4. Bill Roberts Jr.; 5. Dalton Simonsen; 6. Kelly Meyer; 7. Chad Giberson. Heat 2: 1. Travis Denning; 2. Mitch Boles; 3. Cody Schroeder; 4. Blake Woodruff; 5. Scott Bryant; 6. Todd Bates; 7. Daniel Fellows; 8. Tom Ruble. Heat 3: 1. Ethan Braaksma; 2. Austin Howes; 3. Mark Burgtorf; 4. Eric Barnes; 5. Kory Meyer; 6. Jardin Fuller; 7. Jerad Fuller; 8. Levi Smith.
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock CarsA-Feature: 1. Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 2. John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 3. Jason Hall, Grinnell, IA; 4. Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 5. Jake Powers, Plainville, IL; 6. Mitchell Evens, Independence, IA; 7. Jerry Jansen, Plainville, IL; 8. Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 9. Abe Huls, Carthage, IL; 10. Beau Taylor, Canton, MO; 11. Kevin Koontz, Batavia, IA. Heat 1: 1. Abe Huls; 2. John Oliver Jr.; 3. Jeremy Pundt; 4. Mitchell Evens; 5. Beau Taylor; 6. Jake Powers. Heat 2: 1. Jason Cook; 2. Jason Hall; 3. Chad Krogmeier; 4. Jerry Jansen; 5. Kevin Koontz.
Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportModsA-Feature: 1. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, IA; 2. Austen Becerra, Bowen, IL; 3. Adam Birck, Canton, MO; 4. Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 5. Blaine Webster, Ottumwa, IA; 6. Tanner Klingele, Quincy, IL; 7. Nathan Bringer, Lewistown, MO; 8. Kyle Olson, Cedar Rapids, IA; 9. Trey Grimm, East Moline, IL; 10. Chance Huston, East Moline, IL; 11. Jim Powell, Hannibal, MO; 12. Ben Chapman, Clarence, IA; 13. Kelly Buckallew, Memphis, MO; 14. John Renier, Ursa, IL; 15. Logan Cumby, Quincy, IL; 16. Steven Berry, Ottumwa, IA; 17. Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 18. Josh Holtman, Quincy, IL; 19. Joe Luethje, Nevada, IA; 20. Jadin Fuller, Memphis, MO; 21. Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 22. Derek Goble, Burlington, IA; 23. Maguire DeJong, Montezuma, IA; 24. Kyle Hamelton, Keokuk, IA
B-Feature: (Top 6 to A) 1. Austen Becerra; 2. Nathan Bringer; 3. Kyle Olson; 4. Barry Taft; 5. Joe Luethje; 6. Steven Berry; 7. Nicholas Profeta, Keokuk, IA; 8. Jace Morrow, Memphis, MO; 9. Kaleb Nevers, Burlington, IA (DNS). Heat 1: 1. Tyler Soppe; 2. Blaine Webster; 3. Jim Powell; 4. Bob Cowman; 5. Derek Goble; 6. Kyle Hamelton; 7. Joe Luethje; 8. Kyle Olson; 9. Austen Becerra. Heat 2: 1. Ben Chapman; 2. Maguire DeJong; 3. Tanner Klingele; 4. Logan Cumby; 5. Trey Grimm; 6. Jadin Fuller; 7. Barry Taft; 8. Kaleb Nevers; 9. Jace Morrow. Heat 3: 1. Jim Gillenwater; 2. Adam Birck; 3. John Renier; 4. Kelly Buckallew; 5. Chance Huston; 6. Josh Holtman; 7. Steven Berry; 8. Nathan Bringer; 9. Nicholas Profeta.
Discount Tire & Service IMCA Sport CompactsA-Feature: 1. Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 2. Chuck Fullenkamp, West Point, IA; 3. Adam Christy, West Point, IA; 4. Jared Heule, Keokuk, IA; 5. Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 6. David Prim, Hamelton, IL; 7. Robert Sturms, Burlington, IA; 8. Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 9. Kyle Francy, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 10. Timmy Schnathorst, Burlington, IA; 11. Alyssa Dietrich, Ewing, MO; 12. Aaron Berry, Salem, IA; 13. Mark Williams, Packwood, IA; 14. Quinton Shelton, Quincy, IL; 15. Ricky Miller Jr., Gorin, MO; 16. Zyan Triplett, Edina, MO; 17. Dylan Schantz, Luray, MO; 18. Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 19. Jason Ash, Burlington, IA (DNS); 20. Braeden Barlow, Keokuk, IA (DNS); 21. Luke Fraise, Houghton, IA (DNS); 22. Josh Barnes, Keokuk, IA (DNS). Heat 1: 1. Jason Ash; 2. Adam Christy; 3. Cody Bowman; 4. Kyle Francy; 5. Ashton Blain; 6. Alyssa Dietrich; 7. Braeden Barlow; 8. Josh Barnes. Heat 2: 1. Timmy Schnathorst; 2. Aaron Berry; 3. Robert Sturms; 4. Ricky Miller Jr.; 5. Mark Williams; 6. Zyan Triplett; 7. Quinton Shelton. Heat 3: 1. Brandon Reu; 2. Kimberly Abbott; 3. Jared Heule; 4. Chuck Fullenkamp; 5. David Prim; 6. Dylan Schantz; 7. Luke Fraise