Havens Picks up First Win at Stuart Speedway
Stuart, IA (July 31) – With point races heating up and the weather staying hot, the on-track action was fast and furious with a couple of new faces in victory lane. Adam Kralik, Kody Havens, Jeremy Gettler, Jeff Kruse, Josh Gilman and Michael Murphy were the feature winners on Ganoe Excavating Night at the Races.
The evening started off with a moment of silence for Zowie Kile. Zowie was a beautiful, brave little 7 year old girl who had been battling leukemia for the past four years. Her fight ended on August 4th in the arms of her mother and father. All of us at Stuart Speedway want to offer our condolences to Zowie’s family and we want to remind you that she will not be forgotten. Zowie was an inspiration to anyone she met. I personally met her last year on the night we had the fundraiser for Zowie. When I walked into the tower to grab my radio she was sitting in there just looking at the track and I said hi. She pulled down her mask, shot me a smile and said in the sweetest voice “Hello”. One short moment and she had my heart! Rest in peace Zowie, you will be missed.
Also on Sunday came the shocking news that Axel Andreason passed away. Axel was a member of the Iowa racing community for over 50 years and was one of the longest tenured employees of JR Motorsports. Axel will also be remembered fondly and missed greatly.
First up on the racetrack would be the IMCA Sport Compacts with brothers Jacob and Jordan Peters leading the field to flagman Bob Moses. Bob returned from a week off due to a heart attack and all of us were glad to see him back. Jacob, the heat race winner, led the first two laps until Adam Kralik took over on lap three. Kralik wouldn’t be denied in picking up the feature win. Jacob Peters finished in second with Jordan Peters third.
Cole Ferguson and Kody Havens brought out the IMCA Northern Sportmods for their fifteen lap feature. Ferguson showed some muscle early by leading the first two laps until Havens used the bottom side of the track to take the lead on lap three. A lap ten yellow bunched the field and gave everyone one more shot at Havens, but there would be no drama as Havens stretched his lead and took home his first win. Ferguson also had his best finish of the year with a second followed by Nick Roberts in third, Clinton Luellen fourth and David Schlicht fifth. Luellen and brother Ty were the heat race winners.
Next up would be the IMCA Stock Cars with Ross Marshall and Trenton Jeanes on the front row. Marshall led the first three laps until ninth starting Jeremy Gettler moved by on lap four. Brian Blessington was able to move by Marshall and Bryan Snell on lap four and set his sights on Gettler. As the laps wound down Blessington closed the gap and actually got himself up beside Gettler a couple of times, but as has been the case for the last two weeks the 23A held strong and took the caution free win. Blessington held on for second with Snell third, Marcus Fagan fourth and Jamie Schirm fifth. Blessington and Steve Campbell were the heat race winners.
6 Cylinder FWD’s came out next with Jacob Peters and Andy Forcht leading the field. Forcht led early and looked to take the win until Jeff Kruse moved by on lap six. Kruse stretched his lead and took the win ahead of Jim Britton, Forcht, Peters and Jake Coughennower. Peters was the heat race winner.
Luke Wanninger and Scott Bash brought the IMCA Modifieds to life with Wanninger leading lap number one. Josh Gilman took over on lap two and looked to check out on the field. Two separate cautions on laps seven and fifteen gave second running Randy Havlik a shot at Gilman, but the 83G would not surrender the lead and went on to take the win. Havlik was second with Tyler VandeKamp third, Rex Parkison fourth and Devon Havlik fifth. Wanninger was the heat race winner.
Last up for features would be the IMCA Hobby Stocks. Sponsors donated over $1000 to add to the purse and a draw/redraw would determine the starting positions for the heats and features. Austin Luellen, Shannon Anderson and Eric Stanton won the heat races and after the redraw Michael Murphy and Aaron Rudolph pulled the 1-2 chips to make up the front row. After a quick debris caution before a lap was completed Murphy took command and built a strong lead over first Randy Embrey and then Stanton. Anderson moved by Embrey and spun Stanton out in turn one on lap twelve, drawing the black flag and tightening up the field under the yellow flag. This gave Embrey one last shot at Murphy but the 25M would have no part of that, taking the twenty lap feature win and making himself $650 richer. Embrey held on for second with Rudolph third, John Watson coming back after a flat tire to finish fourth and eighteenth starting Matt Webb ended in fifth.
The last event of the night was the King of the Hill for IMCA Stock Cars. Brian Blessington and Bryan Snell were the last two left standing and contact between the two caused Blessington’s left rear tire to go down as they took the white flag. Blessington stayed on the gas and somehow took the win and an extra $100 bill. Snell was awarded $50 for second.
Thanks to all of the drivers and fans who came out and supported the track on another muggy Sunday evening. Please join us next week for Hawkeye Auto Salvage Night at the Races. This will also be a special evening as drivers from the past have been invited back to enjoy the races and share stories from their days of slinging the Stuart clay. Drivers will be introduced to the fans and their accomplishments will be shared as well so come on out and bring the family for another night of side by side racing action!