Friday, April 15, 2016

Halstead Wins First Ever at Donnellson

"Superman" Sam Halstead picked up his first ever late model feature win at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa, as the new crate late model division opened the weekly portion of the season. Halstead over took early leader Jeff Guengerich just past the halfway mark. Guengerich had led after slipping around Tyler Cale on lap five. Sam had raced to the front from the eighth starting spot. row three starter Colby Springsteen, looking to make it two in a row at LCS chased Halstead to the checkers. Guengerich settled for third, followed by Tommy Elston and Todd Frank. A dozen cars signed in, an increase of two from the Spring Extravaganza, as more cars become complete.
 Dennis Laveine made a successful return to the IMCA modified class with a thrilling pass of Jeff Waterman with six laps to go after the two # 71 machines had dueled lap after lap. The veteran driver from Burlington charged from row five to join the fray as Waterman was working past early leader Levi Smith. Bill Roberts Jr. overcame a mid race spin to come back and take third.
 The IMCA stock car main event was an edge of your seat affair in the early laps. Several of the 17 starters retired at nearly the same time with flat tires, as there was apparently some kind of debris on the track. Jeff Mueller was forced to start near the tail of the pack aster a heat race tussle, but he methodically worked his way forward. Dane Fenton and John Oliver Jr. staged a tight battle until Oliver looped his ride in turn two, opening the door for Mueller. The Mt Pleasant ace then powered to the lead, and won going away. Greg Gill made a late move to second as the white flag was set to wave. Fenton settled for third ahead of Abe Huls, and Oliver came back to fifth.
 The IMCA sport compact feature saw New London,Mo driver Brandon Lennox lead flag to flag, but the win was not an easy one. Brandon Dale mad a dramatic run to the front to challenge Lennox before a restart saw him fall back. Jim Gillenwater moved to the runner up spot following a restart with five laps remaining, but could not move past the leader. Oliver Jr. held off a late charge from Tony Dunker to claim third.
 Only four hobby stocks signed in, but even that feature was a hard fought battle, the win going to Dustin Griffiths.
 Keokuk driver Josh Barnes took a flag to flag win in the IMCA sprt compact division over a field of 19 cars.
 80 plus cars, a smooth as glass track and a two and a half hour show made for a superb night of racing in Donnellson on this Friday night. And now off to bed and a trip tomorrow to 34 Raceway for the Slocum 50. Hope to see you there!

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