-Story by Debbie Sweeney,
The best way to describe the racing at the Stuart Speedway on Sunday, August 24 is simply FAST. Excellent track conditions and fierce competition made for three and four-wide racing across the board in what was perhaps one of the best nights of racing of the season.
The IMCA Stock Cars saw Mike Goldsberry of Runnells and Jeremy Gettler of Adair pick up heat race wins. Jamie Morey of Earlham paced the 20-lap main early on before getting caught up on a multi-car spin on lap 5 which relegated him to the tail of the field. The restart resulted in a three-car battle for the lead between Tim Bengard of Exira, Steve Campbell of Des Moines and Mike Nichols of Harlan. The three raced door-to-door for the next 7 laps before Nichols was able to gain a single-car advantage. While Nichols clung to the lead, Josh Daniels of Des Moines made his way through the field to battle for second with Bengard and Campbell. At the checkers, it was Nichols making a return visit to victory lane, Daniels second, Bengard third, and Campbell fourth.
An editing note as it relates to the IMCA Stock Cars…the 23H of Rick Houseman of Winterset was incorrectly reported last week as being black flagged for questionable driving on August 17. The driver that was penalized was actually the 23 ofJeremy Gettler of Adair. My sincere apologies to all involved for the misprint.
A large field of IMCA Hobby Stocks took to the track for three heat races, with Shannon Anderson of Atlantic, Brandon Pruitt of Dexter and Steve Roberts of Ankeny the winners. Rusty Gyles of Norwalk jumped to the early lead in the15-lap main with Doug Smith of Lake City, Nyle Godwin of Redfield and Shannon Anderson in pursuit. A caution for debris on lap 5 allowed Smith to make the pass on Gyles and set up a duel between Smith and Anderson for the lead. The battle became a little too heated on lap 10 as Anderson and Smith brought out the yellow and were black-flagged for rough driving against each other. On the restart, Godwin assumed the lead with Gyles in second. Rob Allison of Des Moines had carefully picked his way through the field from his 7th row starting position to third and passed Gyles on lap 14 for the second spot. A caution on the white flag lap brought out the checkers, with Godwin taking the win. Great runs by Allison, Gyles and Steve Roberts rounded out the top four. Shannon Anderson continues to hold the point lead going into next week’s action.
The IMCA Sport Mods welcomed three new drivers as Dalton Dingman of Grimes, Merlin Kalar of Ankeny and Kris Law of Huxley made their first visit to the Stuart Speedway. Kevin Sather of Ankeny and Michael Pruitt claimed heat race wins. Pruitt capitalized on his front-row starting position in the main to lead for the first 10 laps, with Jimmy May of DeSoto and Kent Croskey of Polk City not far behind. As Pruitt, May and Croskey battled for the lead, Sather quietly made his way to second by lap 7. A yellow on lap 10 closed the gap and allowed Sather to pass for the lead and go on to pick up his 24th feature win of the 2008 season. Kent Croskey came home second, Mike Pruitt third, and a very nice run by new comer Dalton Dingman as he came home fourth. The Sport Mod point battle continues to be very tight, as just 13 points separates Sather and Joel Bushore of Boone. Croskey’s second place finish moved him into third, just 22 points back.
Nick Deal of Walnut came to win in the IMCA Modifieds, and he did just that, picking up both a heat race win and the main. It didn’t come easy, though, as early on he was pressured by Terry Pruitt of Dexter and Randy Havlik of Waukee. Todd Shute of Des Moines threw his hat into the ring on lap 5 as he moved to third. A yellow for debris on lap 7 erased Deal’s lead and set up a four-way battle between Deal, Shute, Josh Gilman of Earlham and Havlik. While Deal clung to the lead, Shute and Havlik were side-by-side for second. Deal was able to hold on to pick up his first ever feature win at the Stuart Speedway. Havlik, Shute and Gilman rounded out the top four. Havlik took home the hardware in the Casey’s General Stores Trophy Dash. Shute holds a slim 11-point lead over Havlik going into next week’s action.
The vintage cars made their second appearance of the season, with 9 cars competing in the super modified, modified and stock divisions, and 6 vintage sprints. Dennis Olson of Braham, Minnesota piloted his 1934 Vicky to a win in the Super Mod/Mod/Stock division. Don Tice of Ames drove his 1983 Nancy sprint car to victory in the sprint division.