BOONE, Iowa (Sept. 7) – Todd Cooney’s fortunes turned around again Thursday night, at a race track that hasn’t always treated him well.
Cooney led all 50 laps of the Deery Brothers Summer Series main event at Boone Speedway, earning $3,110 along with his career third IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s Late Model championship.
“Tonight was unbelievable. We had a yellow with about 20 to go and I looked up at the leader board and thought I had a shot,” said Cooney, also the winner of 2006 and 2008 crowns. “The first (championship) is still the best because I’d never run well at Boone. That was a dream come true. The second and third ones were sweet, too.”
Cooney had been in the hunt at Boone two years ago before dropping out with mechanical issues with a dozen laps to go. Jeff Aikey then prevailed in an epic battle with Justin Kay and Richie Gustin.
Gustin was in the running again this year after winning his ‘B’ feature and starting 14th. He passed Matt Ryan for second on lap 37, made up ground running in lapped traffic and finished just a couple car lengths off the pace.
Cooney tracked Gustin’s progress each time around on the leader board, keeping his fingers crossed that the mechanical gremlins would stay away.
From the start, it appeared those gremlins were the only thing that would slow Cooney as he rocketed to the checkers.
He started outside Ryan on the front row and pulled away from the onset, catching up with the back of the field by lap 15. Cooney was lapped cars ahead of Ryan before the first of four mid-race yellows waved on lap 21.
Jeff Aikey’s bid for a record-extending fifth straight and seventh Super Nationals title came when he exited on lap 28. Ryan held onto second until giving way to Gustin and ended in third.
Chad Holladay and history-making Cayden Carter completed the top five. Carter became the first driver to qualify for three main events at the same Super Nationals after racing his way into Modified and Stock Car dances on Wednesday.
Cooney’s share of the purse included a $1,110 weekly racing bonus.
“I think running the Modified here earlier in the week helped me get used to the track,” he said after Deery Series career win number seven. “It was nice to get a few extra laps in.”
The 31st annual Deery Series concludes Sept. 22-23 at West Liberty Raceway.
Feature results – 1. Todd Cooney, Des Moines; 2. Richie Gustin, Gilman; 3. Matt Ryan, Davenport; 4. Chad Holladay, Muscatine; 5. Cayden Carter, Oskaloosa; 6. Joel Callahan, Dubuque; 7. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown; 8. Ben Seemann, Waterloo; 9. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove; 10. Scott Fitzpatrick, Cedar Falls; 11. Jake Neal, Omaha, Neb.; 12. Jesse Sobbing, Glenwood; 13. Paul Nagle, Nevada; 14. Charlie McKenna, Clear Lake; 15. Curt Martin, Independence; 16. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon; 17. Mark Elliott, Webster City; 18. Curt Schroeder, Newton; 19. Jon Passick, Waterloo; 20. Jason Rauen, Farley; 21. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls; 22. Luke Pestka, Robins; 23. John Emerson, Waterloo; 24. Greg Kastli, Waterloo.
1st heat – 1. Zrostlik; 2. Fitzpatrick; 3. Callahan; 4. Elliott; 5. Nagle; 6. Martin; 7. Bobby Hansen, Center Point; 8. Doug McCollough, Webster City.
2nd heat – 1. Ryan; 2. Cooney; 3. Schroeder; 4. Pestka; 5. Sobbing; 6. Doug Nigh, Maquoketa; 7. Kirby Schultz, Albia; 8. Bryce Carey, Nashua.
3rd heat – 1. Passick; 2. Holladay; 3. Aikey; 4. Gustin; 5. Neal; 6. Emerson; 7. Ryan Griffith, Webster City; 8. Jason Hahne, Webster City.
4th heat – 1. Seemann; 2. Dolan; 3. Rauen; 4. Carter; 5. DeFrance; 6. McKenna; 7. Kastli.
1st “B” feature – 1. Elliott; 2. Pestka; 3. Sobbing; 4. Martin; 5. Nagle; 6. Nigh; 7. Hansen; 8. Schultz; 9. McCollough; 10. Carey.
2nd “B” feature – 1. Gustin; 2. Carter; 3. DeFrance; 4. Neal; 5. McKenna; 6. Emerson; 7. Kastli; 8. Hahne; 9. Griffith.