Icebreaker Challenge wins go to Johnson, Saathoff, Olsen and Stewart

Icebreaker Challenge wins go to Johnson, Saathoff, Olsen and Stewart

By Greg Soukup

The final night of the 2012 Icebreaker Challenge at “America’s Home Track” saw a capacity crowd, both in the stands and in the pits. Sunny but very windy conditions led to a dry-slick track, but that didn’t mean that the fans saw anything less than great racing action from the 148 cars who signed in. Those who showed up saw that plus got to witness NASCAR superstar Tony Stewart do what he does best; race!

There were 2 major incidents in the preliminary action. In the IMCA Sport Compact B Feature Austin Angel ended up going for a nasty ride as his 7A racer went barrel-rolling down the front stretch. He was uninjured. In the ASCS 360 Sprint Car B Feature Dave Glennon made contact with the front stretch wall and did a gentle roll-over. He also was uninjured.

The Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks were first out for their A Feature. John Cain’s 44 held the lead at the end of the first lap with Brent Schlake’s Z34, the 59 of Hans Houfek and Brandon Johnson’s 11 close on his rear bumper. Johnson passed Houfek on lap 3, only to lose the position back to him 2 laps later. Houfek spun in turn 4 on lap 6, moving the 6R of Roy Armstrong into fourth as Johnson moved past Schlake to grab second. Johnson snagged the lead on lap 8. Armstrong advanced 1 place on each of the next 2 laps to take 2nd. From there the battle was on but Armstrong made contact with an implement tire in the infield in the closing laps and was unable to catch Johnson. Lee Kracht cracked the top 4 in his #10K on lap 12 but lost the spot to the 27 of Jason Kohl with 2 laps remaining. At the finish the top 4 were Johnson, Armstrong, Cain and Kohl.

“The track was just awesome tonight, and I’m happy to see such a great fan turnout. It’s tough for tracks to get people out, so thanks to Tony for bringing out the fans” Johnson stated. He continued by saying “We really battled hard the first part of the race. I wasn’t very good on the bottom so I moved up, ran my own race and held them off for the win”. He also related “I want to thank Robby Marsh and Marsh Farms for giving me the opportunity to drive and for all of the help from Bigg Johnson Chassis. And thanks to RJ Macku for all of his help”. He concluded the interview with a grin as he said “We really found something in the wind tunnel this week”.

The Nebraska Drive Shaft and Radiator IMCA Modified A Feature was next. Johnny Saathoff drew the pole position for the race and used that luck to bring the 96J back to the flag stand first at the end of the first lap. Close behind Saathoff were the 1X of Chris Ableson, the 94 of Jordan Grabouski and Dylan Smith’s 95. Grabouski and Ableson traded places the next 2 laps and Smith moved up to third on lap 4, putting Grabouski back to fourth. Bob Zoubek moved the 5S to fourth on lap 6. The first caution of the race came on lap 7 when the 1M of James Morin and Jason Briese in the 3 came to a halt in turns 1 & 2. Grabouski took advantage of the restart to retake the fourth spot. The next time around saw Zoubek and Briese come to a halt in 1 & 2. Ricky Stephen passed Grabouski for fourth 3 laps later. Ableson spun in turn 4 the next circuit with Stephen and Smith involved. Stephen went to the pits behind the wrecker but Smith was able to return to the track after a stop in his pit stall. That made the running order Saathoff, Grabouski, Mike Densberger in the 81 and the 21H of Shane Hiatt. Hiatt passed Densberger for third on the restart to snare the third spot. Lowell Holland spun in turn 2 three laps later for the final yellow flag of the race. The top 4 positions remained unchanged to the checkers with Saathoff holding on for the victory.

“It was great seeing this many people. The fans are fantastic here. It’s definitely my favorite track to race at” Saathoff said. “I was fortunate to draw the #1. I’ve never seen such a slick track here, but Roger and the crew did a great job giving us a smooth racing surface” Saathoff related. Lastly he stated “I can’t thank 96KX enough for their support. JR Motorsports builds a fantastic engine too, and Toobey’s Lumber has the greatest products anywhere”.

The Exhaust Pros IMCA Sport Compacts then got their turn on the high banks. The top 4 at the end of lap #1 were the 85 of Nathan Scribner, David Knoell in the 70, Nick Lindblad’s 26 and the 25 of Josh Johnson. Defending track champion Ole Olsen cracked the top 4 when he got his #23 past Johnson on lap 2. Lindblad got around Knoell on lap 6, then also moved past Scribner to take the lead. Olsen moved to third on lap 7 but didn’t stop there as he also passed Scribner for 2nd the same circuit. Keith Miller spun the #420 in turns 3 & 4 on lap 8. After the racing resumed Scott Spellmeir jumped up to third in his #88S and Kyle Gannon advanced to fourth in the 66G. The running order at the finish showed Olsen winning, Lindblad second, Spellmeir third and Gannon fourth.

Olsen left before being interviewed.

The final contest on the evening was for the Lucas Oil ASCS 360 Sprint Cars. Adam Gullion took off from the pole position in his #32 to hold the advantage after lap 1 followed by Stu Snyder’s 23S, the 14 of Tony Stewart and Jack Dover in the 53. Snyder and Stewart both overtook Gullion on lap 3 and Dover moved up to third the next time around. Lap 5 saw the previous night’s victor, Kaley Gharst move to fourth in the #6X. Stewart used the traffic on lap 11 to get past Snyder. As the race continued under green the battles were all over the track as Stewart held Snyder off. The only change in the top 4 came on lap 16 when Logan Forler got his #5H into fourth. At the checkered flag it was Stewart, Snyder, Dover and Forler. Despite having a long flight back to Kansas City for Sunday’s NASCAR race, Stewart remained in the pits until every fan wanting an autograph got it.

Stewart began his interview by stating “It sucks that it took me 18 years to come back here. I can’t believe the changes! I’m really amazed at all of the improvements”. He then said “This track is just awesome, and it’s the perfect size and shape. It was easy to run anywhere I wanted; top, middle or bottom. The racing is fantastic. I didn’t want to get down off of my hauler for my race because I was having so much fun watching the sport compacts. I mean they were running 3-wide behind the leader!”

Next weekend is another big 2-day event. Friday night, April 27th SLS Promotions presents the World of Outlaws return to Eagle Raceway after a 2 year hiatus. Come out to see the world’s best 410 sprint car drivers compete alongside some of your favorite local racers. The support class for the evening will be the mini-sprints.
Front gates open at 5:30 and racing will begin at 7:00. Adult admission is $35, youths 6-12 are $15 and children 5 and under are free with an adult admission. Pit gates will open at 4 P.M. Don’t miss the only visit to “America’s Home Track” this year!

Then on Saturday Eagle Raceway’s 2012 season begins as the Nebraska Lottery presents Super Mania Night #1. All weekly racing will feature the Budweiser 360 Sprints, Nebraska Drive Shaft and Radiator IMCA Modifieds, NAPA IMCA Sport Modifieds, Valentino’s IMCA Hobby Stocks and Exhaust Pros IMCA Sport Compacts. Front gates open at 5 P.M. with racing at 6:30. Adult admission is only $10, youths 6-12 are just $5 and children 5 and under are free. Pit gates open at 4:00 with pit passes costing $20.


ASCS Sprint 4/21/2012

A Feature:1. Tony STEWART, 2. Stu Snyder (Waverly, NE), 3. Jack DOVER (Springfield, NE), 4. Logan Forler (Snohomish, WA), 5. Kaley GHARST (Decatur, IL), 6. Ryan ROBERTS (Aurora, NE), 7. Lee GROSZ (Harwood, ND), 8. Thomas Kennedy (Winnepeg, AB), 9. Jody ROSENBOOM (Rock Rapids, IA), 10. Mike BOSTON (Alvo, NE), 11. Jordan Boston (Lincoln, NE), 12. Mark Pace (Lincoln, NE), 13. Adam GULLION (Beatrice, NE), 14. Eric Lutz (Sioux Falls, SD), 15. Doug LOVEGROVE (Waverly, NE), 16. Trevor GROSSENBACHER (Lincoln, NE), 17. Tyler Drueke (Eagle, NE), 18. Ryan Kitchen (Weston, NE), 19. Chad Ely (Adelaide, ), 20. Randy HIBBS (Savannah, MO)

B Feature:1. Ryan Kitchen (Weston, NE), 2. Tyler Drueke (Eagle, NE), 3. Doug LOVEGROVE (Waverly, NE), 4. Randy HIBBS (Savannah, MO), 5. John Klabunde (Fort Calhoun, NE), 6. Jeff Osborn (Savannah, MO), 7. Jay RUSSELL (Elwood, KS), 8. Gene Ackland (Lincoln, NE), 9. Dylan PETERSON (Sioux Falls, ), 10. Gage Dorr (Elmwood, NE), 11. Ken Klabunde (Omaha, NE), 12. Roger SLUKA (Lincoln, NE), 13. Bryan GOSSEL (Ft. Collins, CO), 14. Nick Bryan (Lincoln, NE), 15. Dave GLENNON (Casselton, ND), 16. Jason DANLEY (Lincoln, NE)

Heat 1:1. Jody ROSENBOOM (Rock Rapids, IA), 2. Mike BOSTON (Alvo, NE), 3. Jordan Boston (Lincoln, NE), 4. Adam GULLION (Beatrice, NE), 5. Ryan Kitchen (Weston, NE), 6. Randy HIBBS (Savannah, MO), 7. Gene Ackland (Lincoln, NE), 8. Ken Klabunde (Omaha, NE)

Heat 2:1. Thomas Kennedy (Winnepeg, AB), 2. Jack DOVER (Springfield, NE), 3. Chad Ely (Adaliade, ), 4. Mark Pace (Lincoln, NE), 5. Dave GLENNON (Casselton, ND), 6. John Klabunde (Fort Calhoun, NE), 7. Bryan GOSSEL (Ft. Collins, CO), 8. Gage Dorr (Elmwood, NE)

Heat 3:1. Logan Forler (Snohomish, WA), 2. Ryan ROBERTS (Aurora, NE), 3. Lee GROSZ (Harwood, ND), 4. Stu Snyder (Waverly, NE), 5. Doug LOVEGROVE (Waverly, NE), 6. Jay RUSSELL (Elwood, KS), 7. Dylan PETERSON (Sioux Falls, ), 8. Roger SLUKA (Lincoln, NE)

Heat 4:1. Kaley GHARST (Decatur, IL), 2. Tony STEWART, 3. Trevor GROSSENBACHER (Lincoln, NE), 4. Eric Lutz (Sioux Falls, SD), 5. Tyler Drueke (Eagle, NE), 6. Jeff Osborn (Savannah, MO), 7. Nick Bryan (Lincoln, NE), 8. Jason DANLEY (Lincoln, NE)

IMCA Hobby Stock 4/21/2012

A Feature:1. Brandon JOHNSON (DeWitt, NE), 2. Roy Armstrong (Beatrice, NE), 3. John CAIN (Homer, NE), 4. Jason KOHL (Missouri Valley, IA), 5. Lee Kracht (Scribner, NE), 6. Brent SCHLAKE (Blue Springs, NE), 7. Mike HANSEN (Weeping Water, NE), 8. Josh Kennell (Bennet, NE), 9. Jay POESSNECKER (Ames, NE), 10. Bill WOEHLER (SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE), 11. Garrett Bolander (Blair, NE), 12. Tim LAPOINTE (Lincoln, NE), 13. Jacob Harms (Beatrice, NE), 14. Hans HOUFEK (Emerson, NE), 15. Keith Dragoo (Lincoln, NE), 16. Chuck MADDEN (Avoca , NE), 17. Corey MADDEN (Avoca, NE), 18. Rob Brown (Nebraska City, NE), 19. Chad Fegley (Eagle, NE), 20. Thom MARSH (Lincoln, NE)

B Feature:1. Jason KOHL (Missouri Valley, IA), 2. Lee Kracht (Scribner, NE), 3. Jay POESSNECKER (Ames, NE), 4. Josh Kennell (Bennet, NE), 5. Jacob Harms (Beatrice, NE), 6. Rick BRADLEY (Council Bluffs, IA), 7. Ben Becher (Lincoln, NE), 8. Don Hall Jr (Lincoln, NE), 9. Troy DOWTY (Fremont, NE), 10. Rob Hobus (Council Bluffs, IA), 11. Troy Mabbitt (Council Bluffs, IA), 12. Charlie Bartels (Lincoln, NE), 13. David Carter (Fremont, NE), 14. Khrysta STRANSKY (Lincoln, NE), 15. Adam ARMSTRONG (Beatrice, NE), 16. Tyler POTTS (Lincoln, NE), 17. Dan Noonan (Lincoln, NE), 18. Mark Saathoff (Beatrice, NE), 19. Tim Kozak (Lincoln, NE), 20. Justin Busboom (Lincoln, NE), 21. Todd Schmitt (Pacific Junction, IA), 22. Brandon Baker (Omaha, NE)

C Feature:1. Todd Schmitt (Pacific Junction, IA), 2. Josh Kennell (Bennet, NE), 3. Derick Noonan (Lincoln, NE), 4. Jeremy Conkel (Lincoln, NE), 5. Lenny TUCKER (Sioux City, IA), 6. Cody Boone (Syracuse, NE), 7. Fred Johnson (Lincoln, NE), 8. Laurisa Shoup (Lincoln, NE), 9. Joe Copeland (Omaha, NE), 10. Casey MOYER (Auburn, NE), 11. James Johnson (Omaha, NE), 12. Damon Richards (David City, NE), 13. Eric Chab (Beatrice, NE)

Heat 1:1. Rob Brown (Nebraska City, NE), 2. Hans HOUFEK (Emerson, NE), 3. Bill WOEHLER (SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE), 4. Rick BRADLEY (Council Bluffs, IA), 5. Tim Kozak (Lincoln, NE), 6. Troy DOWTY (Fremont, NE), 7. Brandon Baker (Omaha, NE), 8. Casey MOYER (Auburn, NE), 9. Joe Copeland (Omaha, NE), 10. Cody Boone (Syracuse, NE)

Heat 2:1. Chad Fegley (Eagle, NE), 2. Corey MADDEN (Avoca, NE), 3. Keith Dragoo (Lincoln, NE), 4. Lee Kracht (Scribner, NE), 5. Don Hall Jr (Lincoln, NE), 6. Ben Becher (Lincoln, NE), 7. Troy Mabbitt (Council Bluffs, IA), 8. James Johnson (Omaha, NE), 9. Derick Noonan (Lincoln, NE), 10. Lenny TUCKER (Sioux City, IA)

Heat 3:1. Brandon JOHNSON (DeWitt, NE), 2. Thom MARSH (Lincoln, NE), 3. Chuck MADDEN (Avoca , NE), 4. Jacob Harms (Beatrice, NE), 5. Charlie Bartels (Lincoln, NE), 6. Khrysta STRANSKY (Lincoln, NE), 7. Tyler POTTS (Lincoln, NE), 8. Todd Schmitt (Pacific Junction, IA), 9. Damon Richards (David City, NE)

Heat 4:1. Brent SCHLAKE (Blue Springs, NE), 2. Roy Armstrong (Beatrice, NE), 3. Mike HANSEN (Weeping Water, NE), 4. Jason KOHL (Missouri Valley, IA), 5. Dan Noonan (Lincoln, NE), 6. Adam ARMSTRONG (Beatrice, NE), 7. Rob Hobus (Council Bluffs, IA), 8. Jeremy Conkel (Lincoln, NE), 9. Eric Chab (Beatrice, NE)

Heat 5:1. Tim LAPOINTE (Lincoln, NE), 2. John CAIN (Homer, NE), 3. Garrett Bolander (Blair, NE), 4. Jay POESSNECKER (Ames, NE), 5. Mark Saathoff (Beatrice, NE), 6. Justin Busboom (Lincoln, NE), 7. David Carter (Fremont, NE), 8. Laurisa Shoup (Lincoln, NE), 9. Josh Kennell (Bennet, NE), 10. Fred Johnson (Lincoln, NE)

IMCA Modified 4/21/2012

A Feature:1. Johnny Saathoff (Beatrice, NE), 2. Jordan GRABOUSKI (Beatrice, NE), 3. Shane Hiatt (Rising City, NE), 4. Mike Densberger (Malcolm, NE), 5. Jay Noteboom (Hinton, IA), 6. Jay Goosman (Hinton, IA), 7. Chad Andersen (Omaha, NE), 8. Chris ALCORN (Lincoln, NE), 9. Bob Zoubek (Dorchester, NE), 10. Justin Wulf (Arlington, NE), 11. Chris Ableson (Sioux City, IA), 12. Dylan Smith (Osceola, NE), 13. Doug Deterding (Lincoln, NE), 14. Matt BONINE (Onawa, IA), 15. Tim PICKENS (Omaha, NE), 16. Rik Gropp (Lincoln, NE), 17. Lowell Holland (Omaha, NE), 18. Ricky Stephen (South Sioux City, NE), 19. James Morin (Glenwood, IA), 20. Jason BRIESE (Cleghorn, IA)

B Feature:1. Doug Deterding (Lincoln, NE), 2. Matt BONINE (Onawa, IA), 3. James Morin (Glenwood, IA), 4. Tim PICKENS (Omaha, NE), 5. Lowell Holland (Omaha, NE), 6. Matt Stevens (Waverly, NE), 7. Nick Beckman (Lincoln, NE), 8. Patrick DONOVAN (Sterling, NE), 9. Shane Adams (Nebraska City, NE), 10. Jim Cole (Sioux City, IA), 11. Andrew HILLE (Hickman, NE), 12. Brian CUDLY (Lincoln, NE), 13. Jim KRUPICKA (Denton, NE), 14. Scott BIVENS (Ceresco, NE)

Heat 1:1. Jordan GRABOUSKI (Beatrice, NE), 2. Shane Hiatt (Rising City, NE), 3. Ricky Stephen (South Sioux City, NE), 4. Justin Wulf (Arlington, NE), 5. Jay Goosman (Hinton, IA), 6. Lowell Holland (Omaha, NE), 7. Jim KRUPICKA (Denton, NE), 8. Matt Stevens (Waverly, NE), 9. Andrew HILLE (Hickman, NE), 10. Shane Adams (Nebraska City, NE)

Heat 2:1. Bob Zoubek (Dorchester, NE), 2. Johnny Saathoff (Beatrice, NE), 3. Jay Noteboom (Hinton, IA), 4. Chris ALCORN (Lincoln, NE), 5. Rik Gropp (Lincoln, NE), 6. Doug Deterding (Lincoln, NE), 7. Jim Cole (Sioux City, IA), 8. Tim PICKENS (Omaha, NE), 9. Matt BONINE (Onawa, IA), 10. Patrick DONOVAN (Sterling, NE)

Heat 3:1. Chris Ableson (Sioux City, IA), 2. Dylan Smith (Osceola, NE), 3. Jason BRIESE (Cleghorn, IA), 4. Mike Densberger (Malcolm, NE), 5. Chad Andersen (Omaha, NE), 6. James Morin (Glenwood, IA), 7. Scott BIVENS (Ceresco, NE), 8. Brian CUDLY (Lincoln, NE), 9. Nick Beckman (Lincoln, NE)

IMCA Sport Compact 4/21/2012

A Feature:1. Ole Olsen (Carter Lake, IA), 2. Nick Lindblad (Beatrice, NE), 3. Scott SPELLMEIER (Marysville, KS), 4. Kyle Gannon (Lincoln, NE), 5. Kevin Fearing (Lincoln, NE), 6. Nathan SCRIBNER (Crete, NE), 7. Kevin ZEITNER (Omaha, NE), 8. David Knoell (Omaha, NE), 9. Chad Bassinger (Nebraska City, NE), 10. Matt Moyer (Gretna, NE), 11. Jason KROEGER (Manilla, IA), 12. Josh Johnson (Lincoln, NE), 13. Justice Colson (Grand Island, NE), 14. Larry CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 15. Brandon Bolin (Lincoln, NE), 16. Sydney Yost (Nebraska City, NE), 17. Darick Lamberson (Grand Island, NE), 18. David OLENICK (Omaha, NE), 19. Keith MILLER (Lincoln, NE), 20. Kenny ROBERTS (Lincoln, NE)

B Feature:1. Kenny ROBERTS (Lincoln, NE), 2. Jason KROEGER (Manilla, IA), 3. Justice Colson (Grand Island, NE), 4. Brandon Bolin (Lincoln, NE), 5. Barry Kinnersley (LaVista, NE), 6. Nickalaus JENSEN (Hickman, NE), 7. Elmer ROLSES (Merrill, IA), 8. Dustin OBRIEN (Carroll, IA), 9. Erica CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 10. Shannon WULF (Lincoln, NE), 11. Rick Hollandsworth (Lincoln, NE), 12. Robert Greser (Fremont, NE), 13. Bruce YOTT (Auburn, NE), 14. Scott BROWN (Omaha, NE), 15. Melissa Etherton (Lincoln, NE), 16. Amanda TRIPLETTE (Lincoln, NE), 17. Austin Angel (Lincoln, NE), 18. Jeff Davis (Lincoln, NE)

C Feature:1. Barry Kinnersley (LaVista, NE), 2. Rick Hollandsworth (Lincoln, NE), 3. Robert CIGELMAN (Lincoln, NE), 4. Michelle NICHOLSON (Ashland, NE), 5. Jesse BRAMMER (Council Bluffs, IA), 6. Melissa CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 7. Trenton DOWTY (Fremont, NE), 8. Travis WRAY (Lincoln, NE)

Heat 1:1. Scott SPELLMEIER (Marysville, KS), 2. Nathan SCRIBNER (Crete, NE), 3. Kevin ZEITNER (Omaha, NE), 4. Sydney Yost (Nebraska City, NE), 5. Kenny ROBERTS (Lincoln, NE), 6. Robert Greser (Fremont, NE), 7. Amanda TRIPLETTE (Lincoln, NE), 8. Melissa Etherton (Lincoln, NE), 9. Barry Kinnersley (LaVista, NE), 10. Jesse BRAMMER (Council Bluffs, IA)

Heat 2:1. Kevin Fearing (Lincoln, NE), 2. Chad Bassinger (Nebraska City, NE), 3. Josh Johnson (Lincoln, NE), 4. Keith MILLER (Lincoln, NE), 5. Elmer ROLSES (Merrill, IA), 6. Austin Angel (Lincoln, NE), 7. Nicklaus JENSEN (Hickman, NE), 8. Bruce YOTT (Auburn, NE), 9. Rick Hollandsworth (Lincoln, NE), 10. Michelle NICHOLSON (Ashland, NE)

Heat 3:1. Larry CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 2. Darick Lamberson (Grand Island, NE), 3. David Knoell (Omaha, NE), 4. David OLENICK (Omaha, NE), 5. Jason KROEGER (Manilla, IA), 6. Jeff Davis (Lincoln, NE), 7. Scott BROWN (Omaha, NE), 8. Dustin OBRIEN (Carroll, IA), 9. Trenton DOWTY (Fremont, NE), 10. Robert CIGELMAN (Lincoln, NE)

Heat 4:1. Nick Lindblad (Beatrice, NE), 2. Ole Olsen (Carter Lake, IA), 3. Kyle Gannon (Lincoln, NE), 4. Matt Moyer (Gretna, NE), 5. Justice Colson (Grand Island, NE), 6. Brandon Bolin (Lincoln, NE), 7. Erica CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 8. Shannon WULF (Lincoln, NE), 9. Melissa CRONIN (Lincoln, NE), 10. Travis WRAY (Lincoln, NE)

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