Stuart Speedway Kicks Off Golden Anniversary Season
Story by Josh Reynolds
Stuart, IA (April 17) – On a cool, overcast night Stuart Speedway opened the doors on its 50th season of racing. Racers came from near and far to brave the cold and rainy weather and put on quite a show for the fans! Michael Johnston, Mike Pruitt, Todd Shute, Brandon Pruitt, David Archibald and Jim Britton pulled off wins on Ruby’s Pub Night at the Races.
Starting off the year would be the IMCA Stock Cars with 17 racers in attendance. Kevin Godwin and Randy Killen brought the field to the green flag for the first 20 lap feature of the season. Killen would lead for 16 laps with 4th starting Kenny Hansen giving chase. After 3 caution flags and 1 red flag for Jeremy Gettler rolling over the wall in turn 2 (Gettler was OK), Killen still led on lap 17 until contact between himself and Hansen sent Killen spinning to the infield and Hansen to the pits for rough driving. Michael Johnston inherited the lead and only needed one lap as the race was well over on time and was yellow checkered on the next lap. Johnston was followed to the line by 14th starting Brian Blessington, Brian Snell, Tommy Killen and Marcus Fagan. Gettler, R. Killen and Hansen won their heat races and R. Killen took home the trophy dash win.
IMCA Northern Sportmods were next up with a night-leading 21 cars lining up behind Trevor Oberholtz and James Riechart. Oberholtz led the first 3 laps until 6th starting Steve Reetz muscled his car to the point. Just as this was taking place, Mike Pruitt capitalized on Reetz’ car pushing up the track a bit and stole the lead. The two would trade the lead back and forth until the end of the race which unfortunately, for the second race of the night, would end early due to time on lap 11 after 6 yellow flags. Reetz brought home the runner-up position followed by Josh Modde, Clinton Luellen and Jeremy Embrey. Pruitt, David Schlicht and Tyler Gross took home the heat race wins.
Next out on the clay were 13 IMCA Modifieds with former Late Model racer Josh Most and Randy Havlik on the front row. Most and Havlik would trade the lead back and forth until lap 7 when 8th starting Todd Shute drove under Most to take the lead. Shute began to pull away until a lap 14 yellow bunched the field up. This allowed 9th starting Mike Van Genderen to zero in on Shute and take the lead on lap 16. Most would drive past both frontrunners and take the top spot away on lap 17 with Van Genderen and Shute chasing hard into turn one. Coming out of turn 2 on lap 18 Most and Van Genderen had contact, allowing Shute to steal the lead back and in turn cutting down Most’s left rear tire. Shute would pull away for the win with Van Genderen coming home 2nd. Havlik, Rex Parkison and Josh Gilman rounded out the top five. Heat race winners were Gilman and Shute.
IMCA Hobby Stocks took to the track next with 13 cars making the call for the feature. Austin Luellen and Shannon Anderson brought the race to life from the front row with Luellen leading lap number one. Just as he crossed the finish line completing the first lap the 66 car of Andy Mahlstedt blew a right rear tire and barrel rolled out of turn 4. Andy would be ok but his car wasn’t so lucky. Once the race got back underway Luellen, Anderson and Brandon Pruitt had a three-way fight for the lead. Anderson lost a right-rear tire and exited the track leaving the race to Luellen and Pruitt. Pruitt would gain the lead on lap four and not look back in picking up the victory. Luellen, Curt Ganoe, Cory Adams and Rob Allison filled out the top five cars. Luellen and Ganoe were the heat race winners.
4 IMCA Sport Compacts made the call with Jordan Peters and David Arichibald bringing the cars to the green. Peters led the first lap but a broken wheel ended his night as he exited the track under green on lap 2. That opened the door for Archibald who led the rest of the way for the feature win. Philip Sciranko, David Sciranko and Peters finished off the field. Archibald also won the heat race.
With only three 6 Cylinder FWD’s showing up and two of the three breaking down, the win was automatically awarded to Jim Britton.
We’d like to thank all who came out to support the track on such a questionable weather evening. Stuart Speedway has some devoted fans and you definitely proved it! Please join us next week for Lincoln’s Lounge/Plowman & Stanley Trenching Night at the Races!