Fan Appreciation wins go to Andrews, Armstrong, Andersen, Richards & Chapmaneagle
by Greg Soukup
Fan Appreciation Night, presented by the Nebraska Lottery, Miller and Kaplan University saw a very big crowd show up to take advantage of the $5 adult admission and see some fantastic racing action. After the races, Shayle Bade and Steffen Oaks outdid a group of fellow drivers to share the $1000 top prize in the Fire Hose Rodeo!
The preliminary events were run without significant happenings.
The Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modified A Feature’s first circuit saw Ken Eckhoff’s 5 out front followed by the 96 of Gary Saathoff, Mary Lenz in the 17 and the 36X of Dana Deeke. Kevin Kloke looped his 35X in turn four on lap 2 for a caution. Cole Wayman passed Deeke on the restart, putting the 18T into fourth. Wayman moved up to third on lap 4. Another halt in the action came on lap 6 when Anthony Kobus stopped in turn 4. Matt Andrews took advantage of the restart to move the 22A into fourth as Wayman grabbed second. Joe Schidler’s K00 came to a halt in turn 2 with 12 laps left. Wayman dropped out of the action 2 laps after the restart after contact with Saathoff. Saathoff was penalized several positions on the restart, making the top 4 Eckhoff, Andrews, Trent Roth’s 14T and the 40 of Shawn Harker. Andrews grabbed the lead on the restart. 2 more laps were in the books when Nick Beckman spun out in turn 4. Roth passed Eckhoff on the restart for second. Kobus spun in turn 4 with 5 to go for the final slowing of the race. Arie Schouten took over fourth in the 99RE on the restart, lost the spot to Eckhoff the next lap but retook the position after another circuit. The final top 4 were Andrews, Roth, Harker and Schouten.
Andrews’ second ever Sport Modified victory came just 2 weeks after his first, coming from the eighth starting spot. “The race was perfect! Just like last time that we won it was muddy, heavy up top with a nice little cushion and I never had to lift. It took a little while to get through traffic, and a couple of times I thought the door was going to get closed on us, which would have been really bad for our night. But, we kept our patience and made it through to the end” he said. Andrews’s sponsors include Cody Brinkman, a realtor for Woods Brothers, Whoopie’s Barbecue, D-Sign Shop, Skytop Towers, Strategic EMS, RDM Landscapes, Ranold Contracting and MKD Motorsports.
Cody Leifeld held the top spot of the Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock main event in the 24X with Troy Dowty’s 17T, the 11B of Brett Saathoff and the 66 of Jeff Watts rounding out the top 4. Chantel Bade’s 115 and the 9R of Charlie Bartels came to a halt in turn 4 on lap 2. Saathoff advanced to second on lap 4, but lost the spot to the 6R of Roy Armstrong who had jumped past 3 cars with Dowty holding down fourth. Watts retook third the next lap with Saathoff falling to fourth. Jeff Ware cracked the top 4 after 2 more laps in his 83, then moved up to third with 7 laps left. Armstrong made numerous attempts to pass Leifeld over the final circuits, and finally succeeded on the final lap. The top 4 ended up Armstrong, Leifeld, Ware and Watts.
Armstrong’s run began after starting on the inside of the fifth row. “I kind of worked through traffic there. The 24X car really got out front there, and we would have never caught him, because he was so fast. But, we got a lot of lapped traffic at the end there, and I was lucky to get the win. I want to thank my sponsors and my girlfriend Jo. My sister Bonnie wasn’t able to be here tonight, but I know she was thinking of us. Also, my pit crew John, and all of those fans who came out in this hot weather to watch us race. We really appreciate them. A big thanks to Roger and Michelle for putting on such a good show” Armstrong stated. Armstrong’s sponsors include Hummer Contracting, NEAPCO and Schmidt Machine.
Trevor Baker’s 25!, the 3T of Nate Thompson, Aaron Pella in the 3A and Brandon Spanjer’s 19XX led the first lap of the Kaplan University IMCA Modified A Main. Pella passed Thompson for second on lap 2 before losing the spot back to him the next time around. Dustin Andersen passed Spanjer after another circuit, moved to third the next circuit and took second after 1 more lap with Spanjer following him into third and Thompson retaining fourth. Peter Shoup’s 79 stopped on the inside of the front stretch after another lap. Justin Wulf took the 86 into fourth with 11 to go. The next circuit saw Andersen and Spanjer both pass Baker for first and second with Bob Zoubek moving the 5S into fourth. Josh Blumer looped the 21 in turn 4 with 7 to go. A lap after the restart Zoubek moved to third but there was a 4-car pileup in turn 3 with Pella ending up on his top after a couple of roll-overs. Pella was not seriously hurt. Zoubek again advanced to third on the restart. Johnny Saathoff put the 96J into fourth after another lap. The yellow lights came on with 3 to go as Jan Korth’s 42K stopped in turn 4. The final top four were Andersen, Spanjer, Zoubek and Saathoff.
A spot on the outside of the third row led to Andersen’s second Eagle Raceway victory of 2017. He related “The high side was working pretty good for me tonight. I don’t know if the top was starting to go away or not, but I saw Brandon peeking down low there a couple of times. But, I just kept hitting my marks and kept the hammer down. The track was real good; a little rough going into one but other than that I was liking it. Thanks to all of my crew who help me get this stuff done”. Andersen’s sponsors include Precise Racing Products, Lawnsmith, BSB, Razor Chassis, Southern Transport, D-Sign Shop Flat Foot Trucking and Nebraska’s Best Lawn”.
The Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compact A Main saw Tyler Masek in the 23 lead lap 1 with the 3of Tim Horsham, the 10B of Jeremy Byfield and Sarah Cronin’s 8 rounding out the top 4. Lap 2 saw a caution period. RJ Maas jumped the 88K up to third on the restart with Byfield holding down fourth. Shawn Hein passed Byfield the next lap in his 5H the next time around. Steffen Oaks got past Hein the next time around as Horsham took the lead from Masek. Drake Bohlmeyer moved up to fourth in the 24 with 10 to go. 2 laps later Dillon Richards took over fourth in the 24R and advanced to third the next time around as Zach Bohlmeyer put his 24Z into fourth. Richards advanced to second with 5 to go and Zach Bohlmeyer followed him into third the next lap. Richards took the lead for good with 2 to go and Cole Krichau advanced to fourth. Richards won, Horsham was second, Zach Bohlmeyer was third and Krichau was fourth.
This was Richards’ first 2017 victory at Eagle Raceway, coming in his fourth year of racing. “It was pretty fun, starting from the 10th position and getting up to the lead was awesome. I love coming up here. The track was smooth up high and dry-slick; that’s the way it’s got to be for us. I really have to thank my step-dad Wade; he helps out and builds the cars. My dad of course and my mom. Trent Rogers and everyone else who helps out on the 24R car” he said. Richards’ sponsors also include Sutton Repair.
The A Feature for the Racesaver IMCA Sprint cars saw the fastest 20 competitors take a run at the top prize. Boyd Peterson put the 57B out front with the 0 of Chase Weiler, Nate Weiler’s 4W and Terry Richards in the 18 chasing him. Clint Benson passed Richards on lap 2 to put the 100 into fourth. Chase Weiler took the lead on lap 3 as Benson slipped, allowing Toby Chapman’s 7KX to gain fourth. Chapman vaulted up to second on lap 6. The next circuit saw Richards get sideways and Jack Dover’s 84 made contact and went flipping end over end, coming to rest in turn 3. He was finally extracted from his racer and ended up going to the hospital to be checked out. He was release with no serious injuries. That made the top 4 Chase Weiler, Peterson, Chapman and Nate Weiler. Chapman took over second from Peterson on the restart as Trevor Grossenbacher got past Nate Weiler and put the 35 into fourth. Grossenbacher moved to third the next circuit and Chapman moved to the lead the next time around as Benson again moved to fourth. Grossenbacher moved up to second on lap 11. The final change in the top 4 came with 6 to go as Matt Richards put the 1R into fourth. Over the closing laps Chapman couldn’t stretch out his lead, but nobody could close on him either. It was Chapman, Grossenbacher, Chase Weiler and Richards.
Chapman’s charge began on the outside of the fifth row, and the win was his first at Eagle Raceway this year coupled with 2 victories in the Sprint Series of Nebraska. “I drove that S.O.B. to the front quick! I thought the car was great; the guys did a perfect job, that’s for sure. Not that they don’t do that every night. Life is good. The track was really good; I wish they’d keep it like that more often. The 3 wins are the most I’ve had in one year since I started racing. I want to thank Randy Flodman, Ed, Rich and all of the other guys who help. I’ve got to thank Andy!!” stated Chapman. Chapman’s sponsors include Meyers Engines, Herbie Zieman, Hussink Refuse, Tree Top Utility Service, Panama Locker, Busch Excavating, Buda, Panama Pub, Shotkoski Custom Homes, Holle Home Improvement, Take Off Tire, R & B Carpentry, Thirty One and Onyx Wraps.
Next weekend Colby Ridge and Casey’s General Stores present Kids Night. This night will be the annual huge kids bike giveaway will be held at intermission. Happy D Klown, Bubbles the Clown and face painters will be available from 5 until 8. The 50/50 raffle will benefit Eagle Fire and Rescue.
Front gates open at 5:15, hot laps begin at 5:30 and racing kicks off at 6:30. Adult front gate admission is $10 and kids 12 and under are free for this event.
Pit gates open at 4 o’clock with pit passes costing $25.