BY BRIAN NEAL
Lee County Speedway
DONNELLSON – Mother nature tried for the second time this year to put a damper on the 2021 season opener at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. But despite the below average temperatures and overcast skies, promoters Brian and Marcie Gaylord decided to move on with the season points opener on Friday, April 23rd. Their decision paid off with some exciting racing action in all five weekly divisions, with Dennis Woodworth (Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Models), Michael Long (Sonny’s Super Market IMCA Modifieds), Jason Cook (Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars), Austen Becerra (Roberts Tire Center IMCA Northern SportMods), and Brandon Reu (AVIS Car Rentals IMCA Sport Compacts) picking up opening night wins.
The first feature to take to the track on the night was the 15-lap AVIS Car Rentals IMCA Sport Compacts, with Brandon Reu and Jared Heule drawing the front row for the event. Reu took advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap 1 over Heule and Kimberly Abbott. While Reu paced the field out front, Heule and Abbott battled for the runner up spot. With most eyes on the battle for second, all eyes should have been on Chance Bailey, who started 12th, and was quickly working his way towards the front. On lap 11 Bailey would slip past Heule for the runner-up spot, and then went to work on cutting into Reu’s full straight-away lead. Despite Bailey cutting Reu’s lead down to two car lengths coming to the white flag, Reu was able to hold on in a caution free race to claim the win. Bailey settled for second and claimed the SDB Farms – Scott and Dana Boles $50 hard charger award, Abott was 3rd, Heule was 4th, with Luke Fraise rounding out the top 5.
The 20-lap Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Models feature was up next, with Dennis Woodworth and Tommy Elston leading the field to green. Woodworth used his front-row draw to his advantage by grabbing the lead on lap 1 over Elston and Dustin Griffin. While Woodworth set a torrid pace out front, Elston, Griffin, Mark Burgtorf, and Nick Marolf waged a great battle for the runner-up spot. Without a caution to bunch the field up, Woodworth would cruise to an easy win. Griffin won the battle for 2nd, Burgtorf was 3rd, Marolf was 4th, with Elston coming home in 5th.
Bob Cowman and Jim Gillenwater drew the front row for the 18-lap Roberts Tire Center IMCA Northern SportMod feature, with Gillenwater moving out front to lead lap 1 over Austen Becerra and Tom Lathrop. Just after lap 1 was scored complete the first caution of the event appeared, as fourth place runner Logan Cumby spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Gillenwater jumped back out front, but had Becerra all over his back bumper. Becerra would clear Gillenwater for the top spot on lap 3, and was then slowed on lap 5 with a second caution of the race. This time Steven Berry spun in turn 3 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Becerra jumped back out front, with Gillenwater and Barry Taft, who started 10th, close behind. Gillenwater tried to stay in Becerra’s tire tracks, even as he entered lapped traffic on lap 13. The action was slowed one final time on lap 15, as John Renier spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Becerra once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Gillenwater and Taft following. Despite one last challenge from Gillenwater, Becerra was able to hold on to pick up the win. Taft was 3rd, Cumby recovered from his lap 1 spin to come back up to finish 4th, with AJ Tournear coming from 9th to finish 5th.
The 15-lap Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Car feature may have been low on car count, but that didn’t stop the field from battling side-by-side during the entire event. Chris Wibbell and Chad Krogmeier drew the front row for the event, with Krogmeier edging out front on lap 1 over Jason Cook and Wibbell. Cook slipped under Krogmeier to take over the top spot on lap 3. On lap 6 John Oliver Jr. moved into the runner up spot and then went to work on Cook for the lead. Cook, who worked the bottom, and Oliver Jr., who worked the top, raced the final several laps side-by-side, as Wibbell and Krogmeier did the same behind them in the battle for third. Oliver Jr. would make a last lap challenge on Cook, but Cook would hold him off to claim the win. Wibbell edged out Krogmeier for 3rd, with Jeremy Pundt finishing 5th.
The 18-lap Sonny’s Super Market IMCA Modified feature was the final event on the night, with Levi Smith and Chad Giberson drawing the front row. Giberson took advantage of his draw to lead lap 1 over Michael Long, and Smith. Just after the lap was scored complete Cody Bowman would spin in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Long shot past Giberson to take over the top spot. The fast pace Long was setting allowed him to build up a full straight-away lead over the rest of the field by the halfway point. On lap 10 Jeff Waterman, who was running 3rd, spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow, and it brought the field back to Long’s back bumper. Long once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Mark Burgtorf, who started 7th, over taking Kory Meyer for the runner-up spot. Burgtorf tried to keep pace with Long. But Long was too tough on this night, as he pulled away to win. Meyer was 3rd, Bill Roberts Jr. came from 9th to finish 4th, with rookie IMCA Modified driver Brandon Dale coming home in 5th.
Coming up next Friday, April 30th will be the first of seven Iowa Corn Growers Association and Hinkle Auto Sales “Drive For 5” qualifying nights, presented by Ideal Ready Mix, Floyd’s Waste Systems, J.J. Nichting Company Case IH, Triple Seven Trucking, Woodworth Attorney at Law, Triple R Performance Engines, Old Barn Taxidermy, Mike Campbell’s Body Shop & Towing, Donnellson Tire & Service, KQ92, and Big Country 103.1. Both the Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Models and Sonny’s Super Market IMCA Modifieds will be racing for $1,000 to win, with draw / redraw being used to determine the line-ups. The winner of Friday night’s IMCA Modified feature will have their name put on the All-Star Invitational ballot, which is run during the IMCA Super Nationals in early September. Also on the card is the Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars, Roberts Tire Center IMCA SportMods, and AVIS Car Rentals IMCA Sport Compacts.
Gates open at 5:30 PM, Hot Laps at 7 PM, and Racing to follow. Grandstand admission will be Adults $10, Seniors (60+) $9, Veterans & Students (11-17) $5, and Kids 10 & under FREE! Pit passes will be $30, ages (7-13) $20, ages (4-6) $10, and ages (3 & under) $5.
Lee County Speedway
Iowa Corn Growers Association IMCA Late Models
A Feature: 1. 45DW-Dennis Woodworth, Mendon, IL; 2. 20-Dustin Griffin, Camp Point, IL; 3. 15R-Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, IL; 4. 33-Nick Marolf, Moscow, IA; 5. 45-Tommy Elston, Keokuk, IA; 6. 7B-Matt Strassheim, Morning Sun, IA; 7. 07-Ray Raker, Danville, IA; 8. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr., Mendon, IL; 9. 7A-Blaire Barton, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 10. 93-Jay Johnson, West Burlington, IA; 11. 5C-Grant Corzatt, Burlington, IA (DNS). Heat 1: 1. 7B-Matt Strassheim; 2. 93-Jay Johnson; 3. 11-Darin Weisinger Jr.; 4. 20-Dustin Griffin; 5. 7A-Blaire Barton; 6. 5C-Grant Corzatt (DNS). Heat 2: 1. 15R-Mark Burgtorf; 2. 33-Nick Marolf; 3. 45-Tommy Elston; 4. 45DW-Dennis Woodworth; 5. 07-Ray Raker
Sonny’s Super Market IMCA Modifieds
A-Feature: 1. 18L-Michael Long, Fowler, IL; 2. 03B-Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, IL; 3. 31A-Kory Meyer, Dixon, IA; 4. 5R-Bill Roberts Jr., Burlington, IA; 5. 12D-Brandon Dale, Arbela, MO; 6. 71W-Jeff Waterman, Quincy, IL; 7. 4B-Mitch Boles, New London, IA; 8. 409-Chad Giberson, Richland, IA; 9. 87-Blake Woodruff, Knoxville, IL; 10. 19J-Levi Smith, Donnellson, IA; 11. K1-Cody Bowman, Mt. Pleasant, IA. Heat 1: 1. 5R-Bill Roberts Jr.; 2. 03B-Mark Burgtorf; 3. 19J-Levi Smith; 4. 12D-Brandon Dale; 5. 4B-Mitch Boles; 6. K1-Cody Bowman. Heat 2: 1. 18L-Michael Long; 2. 71W-Jeff Waterman; 3. 87-Blake Woodruff; 4. 409-Chad Giberson; 5. 31A-Kory Meyer
Donnellson Tire & Service IMCA Stock Cars
A-Feature: 1. 3D-Jason Cook, Mt. Pleasant, IA; 2. 05JR-John Oliver Jr., Danville, IA; 3. 52-Chris Wibbell, Dallas City, IL; 4. 12-Chad Krogmeier, Burlington, IA; 5. 52J-Jeremy Pundt, Donnellson, IA; 6. 06-Jerry Jansen, Plainville, IL. Heat: 1. 3D-Jason Cook; 2. 05JR-John Oliver Jr.; 3. 52J-Jeremy Pundt; 4. 52-Chris Wibbell; 5. 12-Chad Krogmeier; 6. 06-Jerry Jansen
Roberts Tire Center IMCA Northern SportMods
A-Feature: 1. 22-Austen Becerra, Carthage, IL; 2. 10G-Jim Gillenwater, Keokuk, IA; 3. 57-Barry Taft, Argyle, IA; 4. 8C-Logan Cumby, Quincy, IL; 5. 14AJ-AJ Tournear, Quincy, IL; 6. 20-Nicholas Profeta, Keokuk, IA; 7. 2W-Reed Wolfmeyer, Liberty, IL; 8. 14-Bob Cowman, Quincy, IL; 9. 8-Tom Lathrop, Ottumwa, IA; 10. 27-Rodger Dresden, Keokuk, IA; 11. 10D-Dakota Anderson, Basco, IL; 12. 113-John Renier, Ursa, IL; 13. 14L-Brandon Lambert, Carthage, IL; 14. 55R-Steven Berry, Ottumwa, IA; 15. 20B-Joe Bliven, Quincy, IL; 16. 00-Matt Tucker, Lomax, IL; 17. 24R-Ryan Moore, Kahoka, MO; 18. 55-Derek Goble, Burlington, IA; 19. 54-Quinton Shelton, Quincy, IL (DNS). Heat 1: 1. 8-Tom Lathrop; 2. 55R-Steven Berry; 3. 14-Bob Cowman; 4. 24R-Ryan Moore; 5. 54-Quinton Shelton; 6. 55-Derek Goble; 7. 10D-Dakota Anderson (DNS). Heat 2: 1. 10G-Jim Gillenwater; 2. 57-Barry Taft; 3. 14AJ-AJ Tournear; 4. 8C-Logan Cumby; 5. 20-Nicholas Profeta; 6. 00-Matt Tucker. Heat 3: 1. 22-Austen Becerra; 2. 113-John Renier; 3. 20B-Joe Bliven; 4. 14L-Brandon Lambert; 5. 2W-Reed Wolfmeyer; 6. 27-Rodger Dresden
AVIS Car Rentals IMCA Sport Compacts
A-Feature: 1. 27-Brandon Reu, Donnellson, IA; 2. 5B-Chance Bailey, Quincy, IL; 3. 71-Kimberly Abbott, Camp Point, IL; 4. 18-Jared Heule, Keokuk, IA; 5. 9-Luke Fraise, Houghton, IA; 6. 3R-Robert Sturms, Burlington, IA; 7. 2B-Dyllan Bonk, Golden, IL; 8. 11P-David Prim, Elvaston, IL; 9. 24A-Ashton Blain, Burlington, IA; 10. 17-Wesley Talley, Monmouth, IL; 11. 11-Patrick McKasson, Burlington, IA; 12. 13C-Chevy Barnes, Keouk, IA; 13. 2-Cameron Robertson, Keokuk, IA (DNS); 14. 05-Landon Neisen, LaGrange, MO (DNS). Heat 1: 1. 27-Brandon Reu; 2. 11P-David Prim; 3. 13C-Chevy Barnes; 4. 3R-Robert Sturms; 5. 9-Luke Fraise; 6. 17-Wesley Talley; 7. 2-Cameron Robertson. Heat 2: 1. 71-Kimberly Abbott; 2. 2B-Dyllan Bonk; 3. 24A-Ashton Blain; 4. 18-Jared Heule; 5. 11-Patrick McKasson; 6. 5B-Chance Bailey; 7. 05-Landon Neisen (DNS).