Freedom Fest winners are Boston, Andrews, Ware, Saathoff & Krichaueagle
By Greg Soukup
Freedom Fest, presented by Great Clips was held Saturday under beautiful sunny skies and warm temperatures. The large crowd saw some really great racing and were treated to the annual fabulous fireworks extravaganza after the last feature.
There were no major incidents during the preliminary racing action.
Logan Thompson held the lead on lap 1 of the Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modified A Feature in the 9T followed by the 09RX of Randy Fox, Joe Feyen’s 25X and the 27 of Anthony Kobus. Jeremy Baker’s 3J and the 17 of Mary Lenz tangled on the backstretch on lap 2 for a caution. Matt Andrews jumped up to the third spot on lap 3 in the 22A with Lance Borgman’s 76 taking over fourth and Fox grabbing the lead. Borgman moved up to third the next lap with Shawn Harker putting the #40 into fourth. Harker passed all the way to second after another lap as Andrews snagged the lead. Borgman moved up to third after another circuit. Feyen moved back into fourth with 9 to go and moved to third 2 laps later as Mark Leiting put the 20M into fourth. Leiting passed Feyen the next time around. Derek Hall passed Feyen with 3 laps remaining to make the final top 4 Andrews, Harker, Leiting and Hall.
This was Andrews’ first ever sport modified win after 2 ½ years in the class, and came from the 5th starting spot. “I wish IMCA would let us run both the Modified and Sport Modified classes. I’d bring 2 cars here every Saturday. The track was perfect tonight; a little rough in spots, but that just means you have to be a driver. I got a good run at the start and got to third. I took my time and got to the lead and held on. I want to thank my wife and daughter, mom and dad and my best friends Dan and Dylan” Andrews said. Matt’s sponsors include Skytop Towers, Strategic EMS, RDM Landscapes, Ranold Contracting, MKD Motorsports and D-Sign Shop.
The Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stock A Main had Tanner Dowty’s 7T, Albert Kiihne’s 85 and Troy Dowty in the 17T and Tim LaPointe’s 18 the top 4 after the first lap. Brett Saathoff put the 11B into third on lap 2 with Tyler Saathoff taking fourth the next time around and then moving the 16T to second after 2 more laps with Jeff Ware putting the 83 into fourth. Rick Hollandsworth’s 35H came to a halt in turn 2 with 7 laps down as the yellow lights were lit in the corners. Tyler Saathoff moved to the lead a lap after the restart with Ware advancing to third and Brett Saathoff holding fourth. Ware moved up to second with 10 to go and move past Tyler Saathoff with 5 laps remaining for the lead. The final top 4 were Ware, Tyler Saathoff, Kiihne and Brett Saathoff.
This was Ware’s 4th Eagle Raceway win of the season, second in a row and his 11th total on the year. “It was a good track tonight, with 2 lanes as usual. I started out on the bottom, but when I got to the leader he was running there so I ended up moving up top. Thanks to Dad and Shane for all of their help with the car” Ware said. Ware’s sponsors include Demon Decals, Charger Chassis, Instant Automotive, T & R Auto Repair, and Madison Invents.
Justin Wulf’s 86 led lap 1 of the Kaplan University IMCA Modified main event with Brandon Spanjer’s 19XX second and Jaxon Saathoff’s 96 third. Clint Homan passed Saathoff for third on lap 3 with Rik Gropp also getting by Saathoff to put the V45 into fourth. Johnny Saathoff got past Gropp on lap 5, making the 96J fourth. Peter Shoup looped the 79 in turn 4 on lap 6 to slow the action. Spanjer used the restart to grab the lead with Homan moving up to second. Saathoff advanced to third the next lap with Bob Zoubek putting the 5S into fourth. Johnny Saathoff moved up another spot with 10 to go and then took the lead the next time around. Zoubek grabbed second the next time around and Homan regained third with 3 laps left. 2 laps were left when Gropp again took over the fourth spot. The final top 4 were Johnny Saathoff, Zoubek, Homan and Gropp.
This was the 444th win of the 4-time IMCA National Champion’s career, second of the 2017 Eagle Raceway season and 2nd on the weekend. “I won the first ever B Feature for this class here at Eagle in 1980. I’ve been racing a long time, and I won a lot of races in the 90’s, but my kids weren’t able to watch me back then. And when they came along, they didn’t realize what was going on and don’t remember it. It’s so great now that they can come along. I’m really having fun, and it’s nice to race when you’re having fun. It’s great when the kids want to come and see me win. The track was good tonight; but that’s normal for Eagle. Roger does a great job with this place, and the fireworks tonight were just another fantastic example of all of the things that he does for the racers and fans. I want to thank Speedway Motors, Penner Insurance, Jet Racing, Northeast Auto, I-70 Auto Auctions, Brian Clauson, Toobey’s Lumber, Schmidt’s Incorporated, Chase who does my wraps, Pat Deeke and Corner Tavern” related Saathoff.
Sarah Cronin’s 8, the 23 of Tyler Masek, Melissa Cronin’s 5M and RJ Maas in the 88K led the field after lap 1 of the Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compact finale. Maas passed Melissa Cronin on lap 2 for third. The yellow flag was shown the next lap when Jeremy Bohlen’s 10J hit the turn 1 wall hard and stopped. A lap after the restart Maas took over second and Cole Krichau moved the 30K to fourth. Krichau advanced to third the next lap and grabbed the lead with 10 to go. Steffen Oaks put the 17 into fourth and took over third 3 laps later. The final change in the final top 4 came the next circuit when Shawn Hein grabbed fourth the next time around. Krichau, Sarah Cronin, Oaks and Hein were the top 4.
“I’m so happy to get all of the second places out of my head. It’s a big relief to get a win again. Thanks to Larry’s Auto Recyclers and Moonlite Ranch for all that the do for our teams. A big thanks to Erica for putting up with me working on my car all week!” he said.
Nate Weiler’s 4W was the first car back to the flag stand on the first lap of the Racesaver IMCA Sprint Car A Feature, followed by Doug Lovegrove’s 1, the 51 of Mike Boston and Richard Weers in the 55. Weiler moved out to a straightaway lead. Lap 5 saw Boston pass Lovegrove for second, and set his sights on Weiler; closing the gap with each lap flying around the cushion. Tyler Drueke moved his #12 into fourth on lap 12 but lost the spot 2 laps later to Joey Danley’s 14. Boston took over the top spot the next lap. Lovegrove regained second with 7 to go as Danley moved up to third. Drueke again moved to fourth with 5 laps remaining, making the top 4 Boston, Lovegrove, Danley and Drueke.
“I couldn’t get a win last year and now 1 win 2 in a row! I caught Nate running the top while he was running on the bottom. When we hit lapped traffic I had to switch to running both the top and bottom at different ends of the track. This is a really great opportunity to get the Matt Talbot Kitchen’s name out there and raise awareness for their cause” Boston stated. Boston has no sponsors this year, insisting instead that any money offered goes to the Matt Talbot Kitchen as donations.
Next weekend the Lincoln Saltdogs present Combustion Chamber Night. Happy D Klown will be there from 5:30 to 7:30. The 50/50 Raffle will benefit the Lincoln Junior Pool and Darts Team, and Lincoln Chamber of Commerce members will be present. The Racesaver IMCA Sprints, Kaplan University IMCA Modifieds, Hoosier Tire IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks and Mountain Dew Kick Start IMCA Sport Compacts will be racing. Front gates open at 5:15 with hot laps starting at 5:30 and racing at 6:30.
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.