ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa– It was a night of checkers or wreckers for many drivers on a hot Friday night as the Iron Man Challenge featuring Holley USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods invaded the Rapid Speedway to take on the track regulars. There were season-high car counts in both classes with 26 entries in each.
Alex Wiertzma jumped out to lead lap one of the USRA Hobby Stock feature, and the next lap the problems began for Cory Kelderman as he spun, collecting five more cars. Every car involved was able to continue in the race. Dustin Gulbrandson restarted second, but didn’t stay there long as he grabbed the lead from Wiertzma. Tracy Halouska spun a lap later mid-pack and was slammed into by James Adams, ending both of their nights.
The first red flag of the race, and second of the night, came out on the next restart after Brian Hoing and Dylan Vanden Top made contact, sending Hoing into the tractor tires coming out of turn four. Remarkably, Hoing was able to continue after the hard hit. A couple restarts later brought the third red flag of the night. Kelderman’s day got much worse after he spun up the track on the front stretch, leaving Nick Brady with nowhere to go but into Kelderman’s car. Kelderman went upside down, sending Brady’s car up in the air, landing on top of the upside down racecar of Kelderman. Kelderman walked into the ambulance for tests, but was released from the ambulance several minutes later.
After one more caution, officials called for a green-white-checkered finish. Gulbrandson was able to hold off the strong field behind him to pick up his second victory of the season at Rapid Speedway. Brady Klaassen charged from the 13th starting position to take home second place. Wiertzma held on for third, Chad Lonneman was fourth and Blake Arends rounded out the top five.
Dustin Gulbrandson won the USRA Hobby Stock feature.
The final features saw only two yellow flags between the two.
The Out-Pace USRA B-Mods opened up their feature with a wonderful battle between former Iron Man and USRA national champ Andy Bryant and Rapid Speedway regular Chris Huisman. Bryant was able to lead each lap at the line around the top line of the track, while Huisman hugged the bottom of the track. The only caution came early in the race when Brian Mahlstedt suffered mechanical issues, leaving debris on the track.
A few laps after the following restart is when Tyler Johnson found his groove around the middle and high side of the track, picking off drivers one by one the rest of the race. Johnson was able to beat Huisman by a nose to finish second in the feature, but nobody had anything for Bryant. Bryant picked up his first win of the season at Rapid Speedway in his first appearance.
Andy Bryant won the Out-Pace USRA B-Mod feature.
Johnson, Huisman, Dave Kennedy and Dan Hovden rounded out the top five.
Twenty cars took the green flag for the Holley USRA Stock Car feature. Elijah Zevenbergen was looking to go back-to-back in the Iron Man Challenge after picking up the win Thursday at the Sioux Speedway, and he had a great starting spot to do so. Zevenbergen took his front row starting spot to the lead on the opening lap over Scott Overgaard.
The only caution of the race came early for a flat tire on the Luke Sathoff racecar. The caution did not slow Zevenbergen as he continued his dominance in the division. Derek Green and Overgaard went back and forth for second place for many laps, but neither of them had anything for Zevenbergen, who has started this season at Rapid Speedway with four straight victories.
Elijah Zevenbergen won the Holley USRA Stock Car feature.
Overgaard picked up his fourth straight top-four finish to begin the season coming home second on Friday. Green, Steve Jackson and Randy Brands rounded out the top five.
Along with the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series program, the Tailgator’s Late Model Street Stocks will make their second visit of the season next Friday, June 9, at the Rapid Speedway. Tickets are $10 for adults with hot laps beginning at 7 p.m. The Rapid Speedway is a 3/8-mile dirt oval located at the famed fairgrounds in Rock Rapids, Iowa. With a racing surface that is 80-feet wide, this place breeds three-wide racing.
On Saturday, the Nobles County Speedway in Worthington, Minn., will host the Iron Man Challenge for the first of two occasions in 2017. The track returned to weekly Saturday night racing under the USRA banner this season after a five-year hiatus
Saturday’s show will include Holley USRA Stock Cars, Out-Pace USRA B-Mods, USRA Hobby Stocks and Sportsmans. Gates open at 5:30 and hot laps start at 7:00 with racing to follow. General admission is $11, kids ages 9-15 are $6 and children ages 8 and under get in for free. Pit passes are $30 for competitors or $25 for non-competitors.
The Nobles County Speedway is located at 1600 Stower Dr. in Worthington, Minn. To get there, drive 0.4 mile south of I-90 (Exit 43) on SR 59, then 0.4 miles west on Oxford St., then 0.2 mile north on McMullan (Pioneer Village). For more information, call (507) 227-4540 or (507) 220-3511 or visit www.noblescountyspeedway.com online.
On Sunday, June 4, the historic Mason City Motor Speedway will host special appearance by the Iron Man Challenge featuring Holley USRA Stock Cars and Out-Pace USRA B-Mods, plus the Summit USRA Weekly Racing Series featuring Budweiser USRA Modifieds, USRA Hobby Stocks and Rookies Rockin’ USRA Tuners.
The pit gate will open at 4:00, grandstands open at 5:00 and hot laps begin at 6:00 with racing to follow. Tickets are $12 for general admission. Juniors ages 13-16, seniors 65 and older, members of the military and first responders with proper i.d. get in for $10. Kids 12 and under are free. Pit passes are $25.
The Mason City Motor Speedway is a half-mile clay oval located 5.1 miles east of I-35 at exit 194 on SR 122 (at the North Iowa Fairgrounds). For more information, call (641) 424-6515 or check out www.masoncitymotorspeedway.com online.
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