by Brian Neal Donnellson, IA (Friday, October 6, 2023) – A brisk and breezy Friday night greeted the fans and the one hundred thirty-three race teams on night one of the Harvest Hustle, presented by Roberts Tire Center, at the Lee County Speedway in Donnellson, Iowa. When the final checkered flag waved at 11:00 PM, three driver’s claimed their first wins of the season at the track, while three others made return trips to victory lane.
The 20 lap Roberts Tire Center SportMod feature took to the track first, with Braden Richards and Logan Anderson drawing the front row. Anderson used his draw to his advantage by jumping out into the lead on lap 1 over Richards and Tanner Klingele. Jim Russell spun in turn 2 after the completion of lap 1 to slow the action. On the restart Anderson jumped back out front, with Klingele and Brayton Carter challenging. Carter got by Klingele for the runner up spot on lap 3, and then went to work on Anderson for the top spot. On lap 8 Carter used a lap car as a pick to grab the top spot away from Anderson. The following lap Russell spun in turn 2 to bring out his second solo caution to end his night. Carter moved back out front on the restart, with Klingele and Carter VanDenBerg overtaking Anderson for the second and third spots. Klingele tried to stay in Carter’s tire tracks over the final half of the race. But lapped traffic over the final 4 laps allowed Carter to go on to claim the $1,000 top prize, which was his fifth win of the season at the track. Klingele was 2nd, Shane Paris, who started 8th, got by VanDenBerg on the final lap for 3rd, with Anderson holding on for 5th.
Up next was the 15 lap Sonny’s Super Market Sport Compact feature, with William Michel and Barry Taft leading the field to green. But it was third place starter Travis DeMint who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Taft and Jake Benischek. Taft worked past DeMint on the following lap to grab the top spot, as Benischek closed to make it a three car battle for the lead. The one and only caution of the race appeared on lap 6, as Jared Heule slowed in turn 2 to bring out the caution. On the restart Benischek squeezed out the top spot from Taft, but Taft got under him to grab the lead back on lap 8. Taft, Benischek and DeMint raced three wide at times for the lead. But at the line Taft was able to hold on to claim his third win of the season at the Lee County Speedway. DeMint edged Benischek for 2nd, Kimberly Abbott was 4th, with Corey Crispin coming home in 5th.
Dustin Vis and Tom Cannon drew the front row for the 20 lap Donnellson Tire & Service Stock Car feature. But it was fourth place starter Derrick Agee who grabbed the lead on lap 1 over Cannon and Vis. The action was slowed on lap 4, as Curtis Barnes spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Agee jumped back out front, with Vis and Griffiths close behind. Agee worked to hold off Griffiths, Todd Reitzler, who started 8th, and John Oliver Jr., who started 7th, when the second caution of the race slowed the action on lap 10. This time Keegan Wells spun in turn 2 to bring out the yellow. Agee once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Reitzler, Griffiths, and Oliver Jr. giving chase. Reitzler, who found the top side of the track to his liking, was able to take the top spot away from Agee on lap 13. Reitzler then looked like he would pull away for an easy win, when the final caution of the event appeared on lap 18. Barnes would spin in turn 2 to bring out his second solo caution to end his night. On the restart Reitzler moved back out front, with Oliver Jr., Agee, Griffiths, and Johnny Spaw, who started 10th, looking for a way to find victory lane. But Reitzler was able to hold them off for his first win of the season at the track, which was worth $1,000. Oliver Jr. was 2nd, Agee was 3rd, Griffiths was 4th, with Spaw completing the top 5.
Up next was the 20 lap J&J AG Auto & Truck Modified feature, with Dustin Kroening and Mark Burgtorf leading the field to green. Burgtorf used his draw to his advantage by jumping out into the lead on lap 1 over Kroening and Matt Werner. While Burgtorf paced the field out front, Werner, Denny Eckrich, and Jarrett Brown battled for the runner up spot. Before Burgtorf entered lapped traffic on lap 10, he had built up a 3.3 second lead over the battle for second. The heavy lapped traffic slowed Burgtorf enough to allow Brown to close to .772 seconds coming to the white flag. Despite a last lap challenge, Burgtorf would edge out Brown at the line for his third win of the season at the Lee County Speedway. Ethan Braaksma came from 12th to finish 3rd, Werner was 4th, with Eckrich finishing 5th.
Preston McDonald and Daniel Wauters drew the front row for the 16 lap Hobby Stock feature. But it was fourth place starter Dustin Griffiths who quickly shot to the front to lead lap 1 over Wauters and Billy Stanford. The action was slowed after the completion of lap 1, as Shane Richardson spun in turn 1 to bring out the caution. On the restart Griffiths jumped back out front, with Bradly Graham and Wauters close behind. Another caution slowed the action after lap 2 was complete, this time Stanford spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Randy LaMar spun in turn 2 to bring the yellow light back on. The following restart saw Griffiths jumped back out front, with Graham, Tom Killen Jr., who started 9, Wauters, and Calvin Dhondt battling behind him. The final caution of the event slowed the action on lap 8, as Jeremy Dooley spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. Griffiths once again grabbed the lead on the restart, with Graham and Dhondt close behind. On this night Griffiths was too strong, as he went on to score his first win of the season at the track. Graham held off Dhondt for second, Killen Jr. was 4th, with Wauters completing the top 5.
The final feature to take to the track was the 25 lap Iowa Corn Growers Association Late Models, with Chuck Hanna and Tommy Elston leading the field to green. Elston used his starting spot to his advantage and jumped out into the lead on lap 1 over Hanna and Nick Marolf. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap 4, when Scott Boles spun in turn 4 to bring out the yellow. On the restart Elston jumped back out front, with Marolf and Hanna following. The pace that Elston was setting put him into lapped traffic on lap 13, which allowed him to put some distance between himself and the battle for the runner up spot. Despite getting into heavy lap traffic over the final 5 laps, Elston held on for his first win of the season at the Lee County Speedway. The win was worth $1,000 for Elston. Marolf held off a last lap challenge from Jeremy Pundt, who started 11th, to finish 2nd, CJ Horn crossed the line in 4th, but was docked 2 spots for a deck height violation, this moved Denny Woodworth up to 4th, and Hanna was moved up to a fifth place finish.
For more information about the Lee County Speedway you can visit their website at www.leecountyspeedway.com, like them on Facebook, or call Brian Gaylord at 319-371-6744.
OFFICIAL RESULTS Lee County Speedway, Donnellson, IA Friday, October 6, 2023 – Roberts Tire Center Harvest Hustle Night 1