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Gustin Wins Ron Little Memorial

Story by Josh Reynolds

Stuart, IA (May 27) – Fans, drivers and crew came together on a hot and windy Sunday afternoon to celebrate the memory of a fallen driver for the 12th running of the Ron Little Memorial at Stuart Speedway. Mike Nehring, Josh Pruitt, Wade King, Brandon Pruitt, Jeff Anderson and Jimmy Gustin picked up the wins on the third night of the young season.
As the years go by, you often wonder how much people are remembered. I knew Ron was a special guy, but time sometimes clouds people’s memories. This is NOT one of those cases! Ron is fondly remembered by many family members, friends and fellow racers and the turnout of 92 cars we had definitely showed that! I knew Ron for just a little while and he had an impact on me – I can only imagine how those who knew him longer and better feel when this time of year comes around. Mary, all of us at Stuart Speedway have you and all of your family in our thoughts and we hope to help honor Ron’s memory for many years to come.
To start off the feature races the IMCA Sport Compacts took to the track with Adam Kralik on the pole. Kralik would lead lap one, but that would be all as fourth starting Mike Nehring grabbed the top spot on lap two. Nehring would not look back in leading the rest of the way and took his first win at the speedway. Jer Pedersen finished second with Jordan Peters third and Kralik fading to fourth. Nehring made it a clean sweep with the heat race win earlier in the night.
IMCA Northern Sportmods came out next with Casey Gruebel and Mike Pruitt pulling the #1 and #2 chips in the redraw. Gruebel would lead through the first seven laps, and as lap eight began, Pruitt made his move and took the lead in turn one. It didn’t last long, however, as Pruitt went for a spin coming out of turn two. Once the cars were lined up, Gruebel led lap nine with Clinton Luellen hot on his heels. Luellen led lap ten, but as these two were battling, fifth starting Josh Pruitt was driving hard on the bottom. J. Pruitt took over the lead on lap eleven and set up a wild four laps to the finish! J. Pruitt stayed steady on the bottom side while Luellen gave it all he had running first the top, then the middle to try all he could to pass J. Pruitt. Meanwhile, twelfth starting Nick Roberts sat in third place just waiting for one of the top two to bobble. It was not to be for Roberts or Luellen for that matter as J. Pruitt held on for his first ever win in the Sportmod class. Luellen, Roberts, Austin Kaplan and Racer Hulin rounded out the top five. Heat winners were Hulin, J. Pruitt and Dylan Book.
Next up was the 6 Cylinder FWD’s with Jim Britton and Christina Powell on the front row. Britton took the lead and looked to run away with the race until seventh starting Wade King caught and passed Britton on lap six. King stayed smooth and strong to take the win with Britton, Andy Forcht, Adam Kralik and Mike Nehring the rest of the top five. Nehring and King were the heat race winners.
IMCA Hobby Stocks were up next and as luck would have it, the driver to pull out the #1 chip was the winner of the first two races of the season – Brandon Pruitt. John Watson joined him on the front row as the field raced to the green flag. Pruitt held the top spot as Watson tucked in behind for the long haul. Once in a while Watson would pull up to Pruitt’s door, but that was as close as he could get. Pruitt stayed low and smooth and led every lap of the race to pick up his third consecutive win to start the year. This started a trend for the evening, more on that later. Watson settled in for second place with Austin Luellen third, tenth starting Matt Webb fourth and Jason Kohl fifth. Watson and Kohl were the heat race winners.
Jeff Anderson and Bob Daniels brought out the IMCA Stock Cars next for their twenty lap feature. Anderson led right out of the gate with Daniels and Jamie Schirm close behind. Schirm made his move past Daniels on lap five and set his sights on Anderson. Schirm stayed in Anderson’s tracks until his car pushed up the track on lap twelve, allowing Jeff Joldersma to move into second place. Joldersma tracked Anderson down and got up beside him a few times, but just wasn’t able to close the deal on the former 5 time IMCA National Champion. Anderson led this one flag to flag to pick up the win. Joldersma finished a close second with Brian Blessington third, Schirm fourth and Marcus Fagan fifth. Clay Mercer, Fagan and Schirm were the heat race winners.
The last race for the evening was the 25 lap Ron Little Memorial for the IMCA Modifieds. After a couple of 4 wide parade laps and a lap with the missing polesitter, Russ Dickerson and Jimmy Gustin brought the field to life from the front row. Gustin assumed the point early with Dickerson and Rex Parkison close behind. The two duked it out behind Gustin for the second spot for the first ten laps. Parkison settled the deal on lap eleven with the action starting to pick up behind him. Eleventh starting Todd Shute made quick work to get into fourth place on lap twelve, and passed his car builder, Randy Havlik, on lap thirteen. Gustin, Parkison and Shute stayed in formation until a lap twenty-one caution tightened the field up for a four lap shootout for $1000! Gustin kept the egg under the throttle and pulled out to a bit of a lead while Parkison and Shute battled for second. While the runner-up position wasn’t decided until the last lap, the check and trophy went to the man they call Jammin Jimmy – the third straight driver to lead every lap of his respective feature! Shute made the pass on Parkison coming to the checkered flag to grab second with Parkison third, Havlik fourth and Jacob Murray fifth. Gustin, Dickerson and Mike Albertson were the heat race winners.
We’d like to thank all who came out to support the race track on a hot and dusty Sunday evening. Every effort was made for the track to be in great shape, but with 90+ degree temps and 20+ MPH winds it just wasn’t possible. I do believe the 1000 or so people in attendance were at least glad the wind was out of the south! Please join us next week for Roy Sargent Builders Night at the Races. See you there!

Modifieds - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 2 19 Jimmy Gustin Marshalltown , Ia 40.00
2 11 5 Todd Shute Des Moines, Ia 39.00
3 4 31R Rex Parkison Earlham , Ia 38.00
4 8 3z Randy Havlik Madrid , Ia 37.00
5 7 48J Jacob Murray Hartford , Ia 36.00
6 13 37 Alison Davidson Redding , Ia 35.00
7 1 28R Russ Dickerson Boone , Ia 34.00
8 5 12C Kent Croskey Polk City, Ia 33.00
9 16 83G Josh Gilman Earlham , Ia 32.00
10 6 3 Mike Albertson Audobon , Ia 31.00
11 14 4R Michael Reichardt Des Moines, Ia 30.00
12 18 5D Devon Havlik Iowa Falls, Ia 29.00
13 15 131S Ed Seibert Dexter , Ia 28.00
14 3 14B Scott Bash Windsor Heights, Ia 27.00
15 9 20 Luke Wanninger Jefferson , Ia 26.00
16 10 4 Tony Hilgenberg Waukee , Ia 25.00
17 17 58 Dennis Pittman Jamaica , Ia 24.00
18 12 18 Jake Durbin Perry , Ia 23.00

Stock Cars - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 1 78 Jeff Anderson Atlantic , Ia 40.00
2 6 66 Jeff Joldersma Mcclelland , Ia 39.00
3 9 92B Brian Blessington Breda , Ia 38.00
4 5 56 Jamie Schirm Dexter , Ia 37.00
5 11 1F Marcus Fagan Adair , Ia 36.00
6 3 M36 Clay Mercer Corning , Ia 35.00
7 15 11 Steve Campbell Des Moines, Ia 34.00
8 7 11G Nyle Godwin Redfield , Ia 33.00
9 16 4 Ron Godwin Earlham , Ia 32.00
10 17 64 Scott Bailey Carlisle , Ia 31.00
11 19 6 Adam Hilgenberg Waukee , Ia 30.00
12 20 711 Michael Walrod Desoto , Ia 29.00
13 4 23H Rick Houseman Winterset , Ia 28.00
14 13 26K Butch Bass Winterset , Ia 27.00
15 2 25 Bob Daniels Des Moines, Ia 26.00
16 12 21ZC Cody Cleghorn Des Moines, Ia 25.00
17 18 76 Norman Belew Granger , Ia 24.00
18 10 23A Jeremy Gettler Adair , Ia 23.00
19 8 3S Bryan Snell Coon Rapids, Ia 22.00
20 14 54 Robbie Merkle Des Moines, Ia 21.00
21 21 11S Scott Seaman Altoona , Ia 20.00

SportMods - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 6 8.0 Josh Pruitt Stuart , Ia 40.00
2 8 3L Clinton Luellen Minburn , Ia 39.00
3 12 23JR Nick Roberts Des Moines, Ia 38.00
4 4 1 Austin Kaplan Des Moines, Ia 37.00
5 7 505 Racer Hulin Laurel , Ia 36.00
6 2 92P Michael Pruitt Redfield , Ia 35.00
7 16 42 Matt Hays Panora , Ia 34.00
8 21 32L Ty Luellen Minburn , Ia 33.00
9 3 39 Larry Embrey Madrid , Ia 32.00
10 18 13T Taylor Musselman Norwalk , Ia 31.00
11 5 3F Cole Ferguson Dexter , Ia 30.00
12 13 41 Jeremy Embrey Granger , Ia 29.00
13 1 64 Casey Gruebel Lacona , Ia 28.00
14 17 7 Carter Vandenberg Oskaloosa , Ia 27.00
15 19 28 James Reichart Newton , Ia 26.00
16 20 56 Joe Simbro Swan , Ia 25.00
17 11 34J Jerry Hinton Adel , Ia 24.00
18 10 B00K Dylan Book Adel , Ia 23.00
19 14 19 David Schlicht Grand Junction, Ia 22.00
20 9 46 Trevor Oberholtz Adair , Ia 21.00
21 15 77 Jack Myer Ankeny , Ia 20.00

Hobby Stocks - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 1 10B Brandon Pruitt Dexter , Ia 40.00
2 2 4W John Watson Des Moines, Ia 39.00
3 3 3A Austin Luellen Minburn , Ia 38.00
4 10 51 Matt Webb Des Moines, Ia 37.00
5 4 27 Jason Kohl Missouri Valley, Ia 36.00
6 11 4C Curt Reed Des Moines, Ia 35.00
7 5 17 Nathan Lange Dexter , Ia 34.00
8 8 96R Jamie Songer Ankeny , Ia 33.00
9 6 66 Andy Mahlstedt Bagley , Ia 32.00
10 17 224 Gina Gruebel Lacona , Ia 31.00
11 13 32 Bill Atcheson Waukee , Ia 30.00
12 9 11B Solomon Bennett Perry , Ia 29.00
13 12 7C Chad Legere Des Moines, Ia 28.00
14 16 35G Phillip Castellano Des Moines, Ia 27.00
15 7 911 Darin Rothfus Woodward , Ia 26.00
16 14 2j Ralph Jones Des Moines, Ia 25.00 DNS
17 15 78B Andrew Burg Adel , Ia 24.00 DNS

Spt Compact - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 4 7N Mike Nehring Ankeny , Ia 34.00
2 3 11 Jer Pedersen Dana , Ia 33.00
3 2 18 Jordan Peters Des Moines, Ia 32.00
4 1 199 Adam Kralik Orient , Ia 31.00

6 cyl. FWD - Feature
Finish Start Car Driver Hometown Points
1 7 43 Wade King Pleasantville , Ia 40.00
2 1 51B James Britton Indianola , Ia 39.00
3 5 17 Andy Forcht Stuart , Ia 38.00
4 4 199 Adam Kralik Orient , Ia 37.00
5 9 7N Mike Nehring Ankeny , Ia 36.00
6 6 11 Jer Pedersen Dana , Ia 35.00
7 10 18 Jordan Peters Des Moines, Ia 34.00
8 8 95N Garrett Nelson Osceola , Ia 33.00
9 3 93N Colton Nelson Osceola , Ia 32.00
10 2 U81 Christina Powell Norwalk , Ia 31.00
11 11 31S Chad Snyder Altoona , Ia 30.00 DNS