‘King of the Hill’ back at Hamilton Co. Speedway

WEBSTER CITY – Race fans enjoyed a little old-fashioned fun Saturday evening at the Hamilton County Speedway.

A “King of the Hill” competition for Hobby Stocks treated fans to fast-paced, side-by-side racing, which was a popular attraction beginning in the early days of dirt track racing.

The Hobby Stock drivers raced head-to-head, two at a time for two laps, with the winning driver staying on the track to be challenged by the next car. The final four drivers – Corey Roe, Myles Michehl, Roger Haupt and Randy Embrey – then faced each other to decide the winner. The No. 40 of Embrey, driving out of Granger, took home the title.

Another new face made it to the winner’s circle in the Sport Mod feature, as the No. 80J piloted by Jared VanDeest of Holland took home the honors. He took the lead on the second lap and held it for the win.

By the seventh lap, second-place finisher Carter VanDenberg, driving the No. 7 out of Oskaloosa, had worked his way up from his sixth-row start position to push the winner for the rest of the race.

Also contending was the No. 99 of Rocky Caudle, Ellsworth, who finished third. Webster City driver Brandon Toftee in the No. 85T took fourth.

Recent Iowa Falls-Alden High School graduate Devon Havlik, in the No. 5D Modified, decided it was going to be his night to be in the winner’s circle. He kept his pole start position for the entire 18-lap feature show to claim his first seasonal victory at the speedway.

Webster City’s Greg Elliott, No. 47, came in second with another Iowa Falls driver, Tyler Prochaska in the No. 22T, in the third spot.

Webster City drivers swept the top three spots in the Stock Car feature with Jason Vansickel, No. 37E, taking the lead early on to claim the checkers.

Mark Elliott in the No. 15 came across the line in a close second along with the No. M5 car driven by Jim Mitchell in third.

Dennis Plain, another local driver in the No. 57 Stock Car, retired to the pits on lap No. 9 with smoke coming from his car. He started on the pole and led until overtaken by Vansickel.

It was close quarters racing for the Late Model feature as the veterans took control by mid-race to battle it out for the win. The drivers used the entire track trying to take the lead from eventual winner Al Johnson, No. 8 of Story City.

Johnson was pressured hard by second-place finisher Darrell DeFrance, No. 99D of Marshalltown. Jason Hahne, No. 76 of Webster City, crossed in third, followed by Webster City’s Ryan Griffith in the No. 15X.

The Hobby Stock feature again saw the stiffest competition from two Webster City drivers, as Ty Griffith, No. 56, and Corey Roe, No. 8R, dueled for the win. Griffith triumphed with Roe in a close second.

Three cars exchanged the lead during the 10-lap Sport Compact feature. Coming out on top was the No. 37 driven by Dustin Haggard of Humboldt, followed closely by No. 85S Adam Strunk of Webster City. Placing third was Denny Sassman, Jr., No. 10 of Fort Dodge.

Seventy cars were in the pits even though rain threatened to spoil the event. The drivers came from 35 towns and Kansas.

Weekly points’ races are once again scheduled for Saturday night. Hot laps will kick off at 6 p.m., with heat and feature races to follow.

The month of July will be a grand celebration of the 75th year of racing at the historic half-mile track. There will be special admission prices and fireworks for the July 6 races.

On July 17, Webster City will be the second stop on the four-night, three-state Lucas Oil Late Models and the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) doubleheader.

Fair week, July 23-28, will host Thursday Night Thunder. Hound and Hare and Trailer races are set for Friday of fair week, and the traditional Saturday Night Classic and Kid’s Night with popular Even of Destruction Demolition Derby closing out the festivities on Sunday evening.