Fan appreciation night brings out fans, drivers in droves

WEBSTER CITY – The stands were packed for the $5 admission and there was plenty of action to keep everyone’s attention for the third night of point’s racing at the Hamilton County Speedway on Saturday.

Curt Schroeder of Ames, a former Iowa State University linebacker, cruised into Victory Lane for the first time in his No. 15C Late Model at the historic half-mile track.

It took three restarts to get the Late Model show rolling because of tangle-ups, but Schroeder took control on the second lap to secure the win.

Craig Jacobs of Des Moines took his No. 95 car into second. Bill Crimmins, No. 35 of Fort Dodge, was third.

Race fans were treated to seven of the current top-10 IMCA Late Model national points leaders on the track.

Adam Larson of Ankeny brought his No. 2L Modified from the fifth row to take the lead on lap No. 8 from the No. 64 piloted by Scott Williams of Steamboat Rock. Larson dashed to a long lead for the win.

Nick Roberts, No. 23JR of Des Moines, came up to take second. He came from the fourth row and was quickly gaining ground, but eventually ran out of laps in his chase of Larson. Williams settled for third.

Jeremy Morriss, No. 71M of Clare, captured his first win of the season in the Hobby Stock feature from the front row, but he was forced to deal with a hard-charging Corey Roe, No. 8R, throughout the race. Roe came across in second, while No. 21 Myles Michehl, Fort Dodge, was third.

The 18-lap Sport Mod feature turned into an endurance test as the 24 cars went through five restarts early on.

Jared VanDeest, No. 80J of Holland, did the best job of staying patient and he went on to take the checkers for the second time this season. Pole-sitter Brad Ratcliff, No. 1R of Webster City, claimed second while No. 7 Carter VanDenberg of Oskaloosa worked from his Row No. 5 starting spot to chase down third.

A multi-car scramble in turn Nos. 1 and 2 on the start lap reset the Stock Car lineup. Lance Deal, No. 22X of Fort Dodge, went to the front on the restart and took a commanding lead to garner his second win of the year. Jake Masters, No. 11 of Graettinger, was second with Travis Prochaska, No. 21T of Iowa Falls, in third.

Nick Weiss of Otho, driving the No. 713 Sport Compact, eked out a feature win for the second time this spring. Danny Sassman, Jr. of Fort Dodge in the No. 10, stayed at Weiss’s side over the last half of the race, but was unable to make the pass and slotted into second. Third place went to Tommy Beekman, No. 3T of Fort Dodge.

Other events that occurred included kid’s rides in the cars, the first Mini-Mod heat of the season and mechanic’s and powder puff races after the features.

Winners of the mechanic’s races were Greg Simmons of Cedar Falls and Loyal Palmateer of Ackley. Kelly Ayers of Webster City took the powder puff race.

A total of 96 cars entered the pits; drivers came from 42 Iowa towns and Albert Lea, Minn.

Racing resumes Saturday at the Hamilton County Speedway with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. Youngsters will again get the opportunity to have their names drawn to participate in the second Mini-Mod heat race. Winners of each week’s Mini-Mod heats will compete on the final night of racing on July 26 to decide the season champion.