Boston, Borgman, Ware, Cronin & Homan win at Jr. Fan Club Nighteagle
By Greg Soukup
Temperatures in the 70’s, a large crowd and 145 race teams in the pits added up to a perfect night of racing as Colby Ridge presented Junior Fan Club Night at Eagle Raceway Saturday evening.
Trevor Grossenbacher’s #35 Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car got into trouble and rolled on the front stretch of the first heat. Chantel Bade’s 02 snap rolled multiple times in the Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock B Feature. Both drivers were not seriously injured, but only Grossenbacher was able to make repairs and return to action.
Nick Beckman in the 22, Randy Fox’s 09RX, the 18 of Dion Kovar and Gunnar Pike’s 25 led the field after 1 lap of the Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modified A Feature. Pike advanced to third and Arie Schouten in the 99RE also passed Kovar on lap 2 to take over fourth. Schouten jumped up to second the next time around with Pike leaping to the lead the next time around with Trent Roth putting the 14T into fourth. Beckman looped his racer in turn 4 after another lap, allowing Lance Borgman to put the 76 into fourth. Schouten used the restart to move to the lead, but lost it back to Pike the next circuit as Borgman moved up to third. Borgman snagged the point the next lap. Roth jumped up to second with 8 to go, but his pass was negated when the 18T of Cole Wayman spun in turn 4. Roth again made a pass with 4 to go, grabbing third. The final change in the top 4 came with 2 laps remaining when Derek Hall put the 44D into fourth. At the finish, it was Borgman, Pike, Roth and Hall.
This was Borgman’s second Eagle Raceway victory of the 2017 season, coming from the 10th spot on the starting grid. “The track was a lot racier than I thought it would be. I had to just take my time and weave my way through there. I didn’t take a whole lot of chances at first, and it paid off tonight. I have to thank the people who go racing with me and put up with my passion all of the time. My Dad and my father-in-law, my wife and kids, everybody that comes out and helps. Josh, Billy, my brother and everyone else who contributes to this team make it possible for me to win. I can’t do it without my great sponsors also; Penner Insurance, Cordsen Farms, Hergott Farms. Jordan Grabouski has helped me quite a bit this year also” he said.
The Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock A Main got off to a rough start when multiple cars got loose and spun or came to a halt coming out of turn 4 on the first attempt at a start. A car spun to the infield in turn 4 on the restart to cause a second try at an official lap. Troy Dowty held the lead in his 17T when a lap was in the books with Lance Todd’s 7L, the 9R of Charlie Bartels and the 69 of Kenny Roberts rounding out the top 4. Todd went to the pits on lap 3, putting the 2C of Dave Carter into fourth. Lap 6 saw Rick Hollandsworth loop the 35H in turn 4. Carter moved to third on the restart and took second the next lap as Jeff Ware grabbed third in the 83, moving Bartels to fourth. Carter took the lead the next time around. Ware passed Carter for first after another circuit, but Hollandsworth stopped in turn 4 for a caution. Bartels headed to the pits, putting Roberts back into fourth. Ware snagged the lead on the restart. Roy Armstrong passed Roberts for fourth the next lap. The closing laps saw Armstrong take third with Roberts remaining in fourth. The final four were Ware, Carter, Armstrong and Roberts.
“It always seems like if we’re not running up front we’re running in the back I’ve gotten 2 first, a couple of seconds and a 20th and a 14th or something like that. But, that’s how it works sometimes. I started 12th, because I’m leading the points. The track? Wow!! The track’s good. You can run the high side here, you can run the bottom. A lot of other tracks in the state right now, unfortunately, that you just run 1 lane and you can’t pass. But it’s appreciated here. I want to thank Demon Decals; Charger Chassis are definitely one of the best hobby stock chassis on the market right now, Instant Automotive, T & R Auto Repair and Madison Invents. Also, I want to thank Taylor, Hayden, my Mom and Dad and everyone else that makes this possible” he stated.
Justin Wulf led lap 1 of the Kaplan University IMCA Modified A with Bob Ruisinger’s 7, the V 45 of Rik Gropp and Aaron Pella in the 3A. Ruisinger moved to the lead on lap 2 as Chad Andersen took over fourth in the 8C. Norm Ziegenbein’s 1Z spun in turn four the next lap and the yellow lights were lit. Andersen passed Gropp for third on the restart and both he and Gropp passed Wulf to move to second and third the next lap. Andersen took over the lead on lap 6 as Gropp grabbed second and Wulf moved to third. Another lap was in the books when Clint Homan put the 27 into fourth. Homan moved up to third with 12 to go. 2 laps later Andersen went for a wild ride after getting loose. His car got sideways, flipped and went airborne. He was not seriously hurt. That made the top 4 Gropp, Homan, Wulf and the 96J of Johnny Saathoff. Saathoff moved up to third 1 laps after the restart with Bob Zoubek also passing Wulf to snag fourth in his 5S. Homan got past Gropp for the lead with 6 laps to go. Dustin Gray looped the 77G in turn 4 with 3 laps left. Saathoff took second on the restart. The final change in the top 4 came the next circuit as Zoubek moved up to third. The final top 4 were Homan, Saathoff, Zoubek and Gropp.
Homan related “I thought the track was really good tonight. You know, racing 2 or 3 grooves; overall the track was excellent. I was kind of taking my time running through there. When that first caution came out we were up to fifth I think, and after that I picked my way through there. I have to thank my wife Kylie, and my kids of course. Corey and my Mom and Dad, Corky and Jared really help out”. Homan’s sponsors include Homan Automotive, GRT, Speedway Shocks and Speedway Crate Motors.
The Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compact Feature also had a melee on the front stretch as the cars came to get the green flag. Steffen Oaks’ 17, the 70SS of Larry Cronin, Melissa Cronin in the 5M and Brian Cronin’s 35 led the field on lap 1. Shawn Hein jumped to third in the 5H on lap 2 and Larry Cronin took the lead the next lap. Cole Krichau cracked the top 4 with 11 laps left in his 30K. 3 laps later Brian Haller’s 2CS hit an implement tire and moved it onto the track. From there to the end the top 4 remained unchanged with Larry Cronin winning, Oaks second, Hein third and Krichau fourth.
Cronin said “This was my third win, and I got DQ’ed on the fourth one. The track, for me was really great. I got my rear end bent out, so I think I should have been faster; but, I’ve still got my rear end, so I’m good. I’m just happy to have quite a few of my cars in the top 4; I’ve been lucky to have at least 3 like tonight. My goal is to have all 4 of the top 4 be my cars. I need to thank my sponsors; Larry’s Auto Recyclers and Moonlight Ranch and of course all of the people who have helped me with the cars”.
Keith Dragoo’s 44 was out front after the first lap of the Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car finale with Gene Ackland’s 14G, the 8G of Jimmy Grasso and Brandon Horton’s 1B close behind. Mike Boston got past Horton on lap 2, putting the 51 into fourth. Ackland moved to first 2 laps later with Boston also passing Dragoo the next lap. Dragoo looped his sprint after another lap, putting the 100 of Clint Benson into fourth. Boston used the restart to take the lead. Joey Danley jumped up to third in the 14 the next circuit with Benson retaining fourth. Lap 9 saw Horton spin out in turn 4. Benson passed Danley 1 lap after the restart for third. The next circuit saw Benson take over the second spot as Jason Danley grabbed fourth. Lap 13 saw Don Droud Jr. stop for the final caution of the evening. Joey Danley moved to second with 7 to go making the top 4 Boston, Joey Danley, Benson and Jason Danley.
“It’s been over a year since we got a win; 2015 I think. It’s been a struggle. We got a new car this year and a different shock package. We’ve been creeping up on it. We had some bad luck last week; we were running good when a 25 cent nut came off of the tie rod. We got lucky that it just took 25 cents to fix it and we’re back out here this week. We’ve been fast though. A lot of times you create your own luck, and sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s kind of how it’s been this year. Last year we were really good; at the Nationals, we ran 7th before being DQ’ed for a couple of titanium bolts in a wheel center that got overlooked. This is more than likely going to be my last year. I’m going to really enjoy it, and I figured if I got a win, then I got a win. The track was great tonight. There was 2 lines; we were running on the bottom in turns 1 & 2 and I got to the lead there on the bottom. I was running the top in turns 3 & 4, because that’s my favorite. The bottom kind of went away there when we got to the lapped cars, so I went up to the top and thought to myself ‘I should have been here 10 laps before’. A lot of times it’s hard to know what’s going on behind you, but I knew that they were behind me and that they were coming. I’ve got to give it up to my girlfriend, Amber. We’ve been together for 3 years and she just busts her butt for this car. She probably loves racing even more than I do. I want to quit, but she wants to keep going. It’s been a great accomplishment with both of us and I couldn’t have done it without her. Zach Woods of course; I still have his Speedway Motors engine. He’s just a great guy and has helped me out for 20 years now. Moock Trucking and Johnson Farms too. We’re doing a deal this year; I don’t take any money, I don’t want any money. Matt Talbot Kitchen is a great organization. I have an acquaintance that went to Matt Talbot for assistance and that’s the reason that I have them on my car. People get down on their luck and they help the people in any way that they can. From driver’s licenses, to clothes, to food. I want to try to give back to them in any way that I can. It’s great to have them on my car, and hopefully I can get them some support” he said.
Next week is Freedom Fest, presented by Great Clips. There will be Lincoln’s premier fireworks extravaganza following the last feature. All military, police, fire and rescue personnel get free grandstand admission with their uniform or ID. Twinky the Clown will be there from 5:30 to 7:30 for the kids. 50/50 drawing proceeds will be going to Eagle Fire and Rescue.
Front gates open at 5:15. Adult admission is just $15, youths 6-12 are only $5 and children 5 and under are free. Hot laps start at 5:30 with racing beginning at 6:30.
Pit gates open at 4 PM, with pit passes costing $25.