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-Story by Debbie Sweeney,

After a long winter and a very wet spring, Mother Nature smiled upon the Stuart Speedway on Sunday, May 4 as a nice field of IMCA Hobby Stocks, IMCA Stock Cars, IMCA Sport Mods, IMCA Modifieds and Micro Sprints began their 2008 campaign.

The IMCA Stock Cars kicked off the season, with Tim Bengard of Exira and Brian Blessington of Breda picking up heat race wins. Mike Nichols was the first man to enter Stuart Speedway Victory Lane in 2008 with his Stock Car Trophy Dash win. Josh Daniels of Des Moines wasted no time taking command of the main event on lap one, and was able to hold of a hard charging Brian Blessington to pick up the feature win. Bryan Snell of Bayard moved from the hobby stock to the stock car division for 2008, and finished a very respectable third. Mike Nichols came home fourth, with Tim Bengard of Exira rounding out the top five in his first visit to the Speedway.

The IMCA Hobby Stocks came ready to race, with Brandon Pruitt of Dexter, Shannon Anderson of Atlantic and Steve Clair of Des Moines claiming heat race wins. Brandon Pruitt held a commanding lead in the feature event until encountering lap traffic with just two laps to go, and coming to a rest on the back stretch. Devin Smith of Lake City inherited the lead on lap 14 and went on to take the win. Shannon Anderson was second, with Mike Hansen of Brayton, Jamie Schirm of Dexter and Beau Kaplan of Ankeny rounding out the top five.

The IMCA Sport Mod heat races were dominated by young guns Brett Moffitt of Grimes and Joel Bushore of Boone. Moffitt then worked his way from deep in the field to take the lead on lap 4 of the feature event. However, his luck would end there as he was black-flagged for leaking fuel. Josh May of DeSoto then lead laps 5 to 11, with Kent Croskey of Polk City close behind. Croskey, in his first-ever IMCA Sport Mod race, passed May on lap 12 and held on for the win. It was an emotional victory lane celebration for Croskey after making the move from the stock car division to the IMCA Sport Mods for 2008. 

Stuart Speedway fans were treated to outstanding action in the IMCA Modifieds, as Todd Shute of Des Moines and Randy Havlik of Waukee took home the heat races. Both looked to claim a feature win as they battled door to door and swapped leads throughout. In the end, it was Havlik taking home the hardware, with Shute second. Locals Josh Gilman of Earlham, Rex Parkison of Earlham and Chris Pruitt of Stuart rounded out the top five. 

The Micro Sprints added a new flare to the racing program, with Dan Behrends of Des Moines the heat race winner. After a slow start in the heat race, Dan Henning of Columbia found the right set-up as he lead all 10 laps of the main, with 12-year old Jordan Nordstrom of Sioux Falls, South Dakota finishing second. Behrends was third, with Gary Sage of Indianola and Andy Brink of Chariton completing the top five. 


Hobby Stocks:

      Heat 1: Brandon Pruitt, Dexter

      Heat 2: Shannon Anderson, Atlantic

      Heat 3: Steve Clair, Des Moines

      A-Main: Devin Smith, Lake City

                  Shannon Anderson

                  Mike Hansen, Brayton

                  Jamie Schirm, Dexter

                  Beau Kaplan, Ankeny

                  Jerry Hinton, Adel 

                  Steve Anderson, Winterset

                  Steve Clair, Des Moines

                  Rusty Gyles, Norwalk

                  Ron Prymek, Johnston

                  Nate Lang, Menlo

                  Charles Belew, Adel 

                  Joey Gyles, St. Charles

                  Brandon Pruitt, Dexter

                  Randy Anderson, Atlantic

                  John Watson, Des Moines (did not start)

                  Bill Bonnett, Knoxville (did not start)

Stock Cars:

      Heat 1: Tim Bengard, Exira

      Heat 2: Brian Blessington, Breda

      Trophy Dash: Mike Nichols, Harlan

      A Main: Josh Daniels, Des Moines

                  Brian Blessington

                  Bryan Snell, Bayard

                  Mike Nichols, Harlan

                  Tim Bengard, Exira 

                  Rick Houseman, Winterset

                  Jeremy Gettler, Adair

                  Steve Campbell, Des Moines

                  Cory Adams, Urbandale

                  Mike Goldsberry, Runnells

                  Jamie Morey, Earlham

                  Marcus Fagan, Adair 

                  Norm Belew, Redfield

                  John Wilson, Winterset

                  Keith Knop, Shelby 

                  Jay Cain, Waukee (did not start)

Sport Mods

      Heat 1: Brett Moffitt, Grimes

      Heat 2: Joel Bushore, Boone 

      A-Main: Kent Croskey, Polk City

                  Josh May, DeSoto

                  Jimmy May, DeSoto

                  Jack Meyer, Ankeny 

                  Mike Pruitt, Redfield

                  Joel Bushore, Boone

                  Chris Wilson, Winterset

                  David Schlicht, Adel 

                  Brett Moffitt, Grimes

                  Zach Rawlings, Kellogg 

                  Jared Timmerman (did not start)

                  Kevin Sather, Ankeny


      Heat 1: Todd Shute, Des Moines

      Heat 2: Randy Havlik, Waukee

      A-Main: Randy Havlik, Waukee

                  Todd Shute, Des Moines

                  Josh Gilman, Earlham

                  Rex Parkison, Earlham

                  Chris Pruitt,Stuart

                  Brett Ladehoff, Marshalltown

                  Scott Bash, Stuart 

                  Jeff Conner, Panora 

                  Ron Bash, Stuart

                  Ed Seibert, Dexter

                  Terry Pruitt, Dexter 

                  Bobby Bowman, Winterset

                  Brad Moriarty, Des Moines (did not start)

                  Michael Reichart, Des Moines (did not start)

                  Duane Peterson, Eldora (did not start)

Micro Sprints

      Heat 1: Dan Behrends, Des Moines

      Main:  Dan Henning, Columbia

                  Jordan Nordstrom, Sioux Falls, SD

                  Dan Behrends, Des Moines

                  Gary Sage, Indianola

                  Andy Brink, Chariton