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Boeckman wins the 1st Annual John Wetzel Memorial
The Stuart Speedway hosted the 1st Annual John Wetzel Memorial for the IMCA Hobby Stocks on Sunday, June 21. A big field of cars were on hand for a chance at the $1,000 to win main event. In addition to the hobby stocks, the IMCA Sport Mods, Modifieds, Stock Cars and Sport Compacts, and the Dwarf Cars put on great shows for the fans.
Five heats of hobby stocks were run, with the top 3 advancing to the A Main. Steve Jones of Nevada, Steve Clair of Des Moines, Kenny Hansen of Audubon, Andy Boeckman of Lake View and Shannon Anderson of Atlantic claimed their respective heats. The remainder of the field then dueled it out in 3 B Mains, with the top 3 from each moving to the A to complete the 24-car field. Those not advancing to the A competed in a 15-lap Non-Qualifier race, with Derrick Rohe of Audubon taking home the checkers. Rounding out the top four was Derek Anderson of Wayne, NE, Larry Embrey of Granger, and Cory Adams of Urbandale. The John Wetzel Memorial field then took to the track paced by the IMCA Hobby Stock that John Wetzel drove prior to his death. As the green flag flew the drivers laid it all on the line for 20 laps of door to door competition. Nyle Godwin of Redfield lead the early laps, but was unable to hold off Boeckman and Devin Smith of Lake City on the restart. Boeckman was able to hold off Smith, Brandon Pruitt of Dexter, and Godwin to claim the $1,000 prize.
Jason Day of Stuart picked up a very popular feature win in the IMCA Stock Cars. Day, fueled by a grandstand full of cheering fans, jumped to a slim lead at the start. Despite a couple of caution flags and a hard charging field, Day was able to hold off Mike Harris of Avoca, Marcus Fagan of Adair and Brian Blessington of Breda to take home the hardware. Harris, and Day also claimed heat race wins.
IMCA Sport Mod action saw young Jake Strayer of Newton make his first visit to Stuart Speedway Victory Lane as he made a last lap pass of Michael Pruitt of Redfield for the win. Joel Bushore of Boone, and last week’s feature winner, Andy Tiernan of Woodward rounded out the top four. Paul Nagle of Nevada and Kevin Sather of Ankeny picked up heat race wins.
Veteran driver Rex Parkison of Earlham picked up a hard-earned feature win in the IMCA Modifieds. Terry Pruitt of Dexter appeared to be on his way to victory until mechanical problems forced him to the pits at mid race. That opened the door for Parkison, who held of a persistent Randy Havlik of Waukee for the win. Josh Gilman of Earlham and Doug Keller of St. Joseph, MO rounded out the top four. Pruitt and Gilman won their respective heats.
Colton Nelson of Osceola returned to victory lane in the IMCA Sport Compact division, with Terry Romick of Exira, Willy Muhr of Exira and new-comer Kevin Staack of Lincoln, NE finishing second through fourth respectively. Nelson and Muhr also claimed heat races.
It was a father and son duel in the Father’s Day edition of the Dwarf Cars. D. J. Robinson of Des Moines lead early on until a back-stretch spin forced him to the tail of the field. Jimmy May then inherited the lead, with son Josh in pursuit. As the May’s battled, Mike Morrill of Altoona was quietly sneaking his way through the field to third. As the laps wound down, Morrill was able to overtake Josh for second. He then made one last ditch effort in turn 4 on the final lap, passing Jimmy May at the line for the win. Josh May came home third, with Dusty Masolini of Des Moines fourth. Johnny Mordock of Creston and Morrill were the heat race winners.