Story by Debbie Sweeney,
The season may be winding down at the Stuart Speedway, but the competition is still in full swing. With just one night of competition remaining in the 2008 season, the points battle in several classes remains up for grabs.
Doug Smith of Lake City wasted no time making his presence known as he picked up a win in heat race 1 in the IMCA Hobby Stock division. Heat 2 was claimed by Rusty Gyles of Norwalk. Smith picked up where he left off in the main as he moved from his third row starting position to the lead by lap 2. Smith, Gyles and Nyle Godwin of Redfield paced the field for the remainder of the caution-free race, with Smith taking home the win. Godwin, Gyles and Brandon Pruitt of Redfield rounded out the top four. Current point leader Shannon Anderson of Atlantic was unable to make the trip to Stuart, paving the way for Nyle Godwin to close the gap to just 18 points.
Third time was a charm as it took three tries to get the IMCA Stock Car feature started. The initial start saw Jeff Wollam of Marshalltown taking a wild ride off of the backstretch, tumbling end over end, landing on the gravel road directly north of the Speedway. Wollam escaped without injury. Cory Bushnell of Madrid and Mike Nichols of Harlan proved to be the cars to beat as they swapped leads throughout the 20-lap main. Brian Blessington of Breda joined the challenge at the half-way point, but with no avail, as at the finish it was point leader Mike Nichols with the win, Blessington second, Bushnell third, and a nice run from deep in the field by Bryan Snell of Bayard to fourth. Tim Bengard of Exira, Nichols and Bushnell claimed their respective heat races. Nichols holds a 9-point lead over Josh Daniels of Des Moines, with Tim Bengard just 10 points back in third.
The inaugural Stuart Speedway King of the Hill for IMCA Stock Cars saw 8 cars compete in two-man elimination rounds for the chance to win $350. The final round saw Mike Nichols taking on Cory Bushnell. It was a side-by-side battle for the entire two-lap sprint, with Bushnell edging Nichols at the line for the win.
With the IMCA Sport Mod national title up for grabs, Tim Jorgensen of Seymour, Wisconsin made the long haul to Stuart to go head to head with point contender Kevin Sather of Ankeny. Heat race winners were Josh May of DeSoto and Jimmy May, also of Desoto. Jeremy Embrey of Granger appeared to be on his way to victory in the A main, but Austin Kaplan of Ankeny and Jorgenson had other plans. Kaplan passed Embrey for the lead on lap 12, and held on for the win, with Jorgenson edging Embrey at the line for second. Kevin Sather was fourth. Sather holds a 19 point lead over Joel Bushore of Boone heading into the final night of competition.
Nick Deal of Walnut proved once again he is the “Real Deal” as he picked up a heat race win and the A Main for the IMCA Modifieds. Deal moved from his fourth row starting position to the lead by lap four, with Chris Pruitt of Stuart in pursuit. Randy Havlik of Waukee moved to second on lap 6 and set his sights on Deal while at the same time attempting to hold off a hard charging Todd Shute of Des Moines. At the checkers it was Deal with the win, Havlik second, Shute third and Chris Pruitt fourth. Havlik’s second place finish over Shute tied the two for the point lead and sets the stage for the season championship on September 28.