DENISON, Iowa -The Holley Iron Man Series made its maiden voyage to the Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa, on Thursday, and fans were witness to a pair of exciting feature race finishes to cap off the night. Cory Crapser led all but the first lap of the USRA B-Mod main event and had built himself a huge cushion over the field on several occasions, only to be wiped out by a caution.
The final yellow flag with three laps to go nearly doomed the two-time defending Holley Iron man Series champs plans for a victory lane celebration when local ace Chris Abelson began to pressure the leader. Abelson was able to pull alongside of Crapser several times, but the Chippewa Falls, Wis., racer was able to withstand the challenges and hold off Abelson for the win, which was worth $600.
Jake McBirnie and Johnathon Logue both making their first-ever Holley Iron Man Series starts claimed third- and fourth-place finishes, respectively, while first-lap leader Dan Wheeler rounded out the top five at the finish line. Points leader Dakota Foster was sixth, Tim Rupp finished seventh, Keagan Scott wound up eighth, Thomas Van Dyke claimed the ninth spot and Jared Timmerman completed the top 10.
The 20-lap USRA Stock Car feature was a barn-burner from start to finish. Former series champ and two-time USRA Stock Car National Champion Tom Schmitt assumed command of the main event at the waving of the green flag and continued to lead the first half of the race with a flock of full-fendered machines jockeying for position right behind him.
Using the low groove and inching closer to the front each lap, Mitch Hovden finally made the pass and took control on lap 11. By lap 16, Chris Ullrich had gotten around Schmitt and began chipping away at Hovdens advantage using the high line around the high-banked 3/8-mile clay oval.
The two front-runners ran virtually side-by-side the final two laps, but Hovden bobbled slightly exiting the final turn and that was all that Ullrich needed to beat him to the checkered flag by inches. The win was Ullrichs second Holley Iron Man Series victory and worth $750 to the Kiron, Iowa, driver.
Behind runner-up Hovden, Nathan Wood nipped Schmitt for third with Lynn Panos taking the fifth spot.
Sixth through tenth went to Trent Partridge, Kyle Falck, Steve Jackson, Stefan Sybesma and Todd Staley.
USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods will share the spotlight with the United States Modified Touring Series at two more big events this Memorial Day Weekend.
On Saturday, USRA Stock Cars and USRA B-Mods move north to the Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., for the 13th Annual Minnesota Spring Challenge presented by A&A Electrical & Underground.
Pits open at 2 p.m., grandstands open at 4, hot laps begin at 5:30 and the green flag waves at 6 p.m. Fans are invited to come out early and enjoy Slingshot action on the Button Buck Speedway beginning at 3 p.m.
Adult grandstand tickets for the event are $18 and kids ages 12 and under are $5. Pit passes are $30. Race fans can pick up coupons good for $2 off adult admission at Caseys General Stores locations in Lime Springs, Preston, Rochester and Stewartville. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com.
The Deer Creek Speedway is a 3/8-mile high-banked clay oval is located 11.3 miles south of I-90 (exit 209) on US 63 (0.7 mile north of SR 16) in Spring Valley, Minn. For more info, call 877-327-7223 or 507-346-2342 on race day or visit www.deercreekspeedway.com online.
Then on Sunday, May 24, the 13th Annual Stars & Stripes Shootout takes place at the Upper Iowa Speedway in Decorah, Iowa. Presented by Weis Buick GMC, Sundays blockbuster event will also feature USRA Hobby Stocks.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and children ages 5 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $35. Race fans can pick up coupons good for $2 off adult admission at Caseys General Stores locations in Cresco, Decorah, Ossian and Waukon. To find the location nearest you, visit www.caseys.com.
Hot laps begin at 6 p.m. with racing to follow.
The Upper Iowa Speedway is a semi-banked quarter-mile dirt oval located 1.8 miles east of US 52 on SR 9, then 1.0 mile northwest on Montgomery St., then northeast on E. Main St. (at the Winneshiek County Fairgrounds). For more information call 563-382-0711 or visit www.upperiowaspeedway.com online.
Both events will pay $750 to win for the USRA Stock Cars and $600 to win the USRA B-Mod main events.
To learn more about the USRA, visit www.usraracing.com or call 515-832-6000. You can also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usraracing, follow us at www.twitter.com/usraracing on Twitter and check out our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/usratv.