Drueke, Berck & Weyant Conquer The Nebraska Cupeagle
By Greg Soukup
As it does every year, the Nebraska Cup presented by Hoosier Tire put the exclamation point on the 2017 season at Eagle Raceway. The weather was beautiful, the track was fast and there was plenty of action from the 3 classes of teams in the pits to satisfy the crowd.
In the Lucas Oil POWRI WAR Sprint Car Heat #2 Wyatt Burks got up over the cushion in turn 3 and went for a wild ride, sending him up and over the wall and ending up against the fence guarding the track.
In the B Feature for the Sprint Series of Nebraska Racesaver Sprints Jason Becker went for an easy rollover in turns 3 & 4. Neither driver was seriously injured.
The Sprint Series of Nebraska Racesaver Sprint Car A Main saw Tyler Drueke, Matt Richards, Jason Danley and Don Droud Jr. the first four back to the flag stand on lap #1. Lap 2 saw Nate Weiler pass Droud to take the fourth spot. Kayla Stoops looped her 18K racer in turns 3 & 4 on lap 4 for a caution period. Cody Ledger used the restart to pass Weiler for fourth. A caution for debris slowed the action again the next time around. Again Ledger took advantage of the restart and moved up to third. Stoops again spun with 12 laps remaining, this time in turn 1. Ledger, as he had twice before, used the restart to advance; this time to second. Over the next two laps he and Richards swapped the second spot with Ledger holding onto the spot for good. 6 circuits were left when Danley passed Richards for third. Richards fell back another spot the next time around when Jason Martin took over the fourth spot. The top 4 were Drueke, Ledger, Danley and Martin.
Drueke had just come off of winning his second consecutive Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car track championship and a fifth place finish at last week’s Racesaver IMCA Sprint Nationals. “We won the Nebraska Cup! That’s the first time I’ve been able to do that. We won the Icebreaker Challenge earlier this year. Eagle Raceway, instead of just a big check, gives you a couple of nice trophies too; so that’s pretty neat. I started on the pole, so that was a big key in the race. The track ended up a little racier than it was last week at the Nationals, but we had some good notes to go off from. The track was somewhat similar to last week, but a little racier. I need to thank Danner Spray Foam, Drueke Trucking and Ranch, Zoz Farms, Jeffries Trucking all help us get what we need to win. I want to thank my Dad and Mom, Matt Zoz, Justin Gerdes and my new fiancé Brandy. I couldn’t do without all of those people. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to do interviews, take home cool trophies and go home and do it all again tomorrow” said Drueke.
Next up was the finale for the Malvern Bank SLMR Late Models. Cory Dumpert, Jason O’brien, Ben Schaller and Kyle Berck were out front of the field after the first lap. O’brien looped it in turn 4 on lap 4, moving Tad Pospisil into the fourth position. Berck jumped to the high side of the track on the restart and jumped into the lead with Schaller, Dumpert and Pospisil close behind. Corey Zeitner passed Pospisil after 2 more circuits and moved up to third on lap 11. Jake Bridge spun in turn 4 with 8 laps remaining. Pospisil got back to fourth on the restart. The final change in the top 4 came when Zeitner moved past Schaller to take over
Berck’s win came after starting fifth. “I’ve been telling everyone that for me, you have to be the first one to get to the top, especially when there’s a cushion like this place develops. Racing here over the years, typically it has a cushion. We freed the car up a lot, and were going to live or die by that cushion! We were the first one to get up there, and it took us to the front and we managed to stay there. I love this place, and wish we could run here more often. I’ve been racing here a long, long time. The first time I ever raced here I wrecked pretty bad, but I’ve forgotten that one. You still have to drive the place the same way; really aggressive. There’s a lot of character in the race track and it’s just an elbows up kind of track; it’s always a lot of fun. I need to thank my crew for all of their hard work. We’re going to go home, unload and get ready for tomorrow. My Dad, my sister and Mike, my wife Stacey and my kids all help me to do my thing in the race car. It’s a team effort, there’s no doubt about it” related Berck. Berck’s sponsors include Missile Chassis, Scott Bailey Motors, Aurora Agronomy and Strobel Manufacturing.
The capper for the 2017 season at Eagle Raceway was the A Feature for the Lucas Oil POWRI WAR non-winged sprint cars. Slater Helt ended up backing into turns 3 and 4 after a car spun in front of him and went up and over to start the first lap. Also involved were Brandon Stevenson, Vincent Ward and Jack Wagner. When a lap was officially in the books Terry Richards, Korey Weyant, Katlynn Leer and Chris Parkinson held the top 4 spots. Ryan Kitchen made a huge jump, leaping all the way up to the third spot on lap 2 with Leer holding onto fourth. Parkinson passed Leer on lap 8 for fourth. With 12 laps left Ward spun in turn 4. Jason Martin moved into fourth with 11 to go. 3 laps later Ward stopped in turn 4. Weyant used the restart to fly past Richards for the lead. Parkinson advanced to third with 5 circuits left and Warren Johnson passed Martin for fourth 2 laps later for the final top 4 change. Weyant won, Richards came home second, Parkinson held on for third and Johnson retained fourth.
Weyant said “Eagle Raceway is AWESOME! I ran here years ago in a midget, but never ran a sprint car here. WAR had the chance to come here, so I jumped at the chance. The track is awesome, especially when it’s up against the fence like it was tonight. We moved up to second and rode in second almost the entire race, until about 6 or 7 to go. We got a yellow flag and I ended up getting the jump. I was right on his butt going into the corner. He went to the bottom and I went to the top and ended up beating him around the corner. I held my line on the bottom in 3 and 4 and jumped to the top in 1 and 2. I continued those lines and went ahead and won it”. Weebels Bar and Grill, Ealey Transportation and Tosti’s Transmissions are among Weyant’s sponsors.
That puts a wrap on the 2017 racing season at Eagle Raceway. Don’t forget that Eagle Hollow Haunts starts up on October 6th and continues through Halloween. For more information, visit http://eaglehollowhaunts.com/