By Rob Hinckley
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (May 26) – One can imagine the eyes of every B&D Pit Stop IMCA Northern SportMod driver at Maquoketa Speedway nowadays.
In the lineup chute, they scan every competitor wondering if one will continue the streak.
Gage Neal made sure of that Saturday evening.
The Ely ace is no stranger to victory lane, but made it to Maquoketa’s for the first time in 2018. He became the fifth different winner in five races on the 3/8-mile dirt oval.
Timmy Current took off from the pole and looked as if he would run away with the top prize. He spun while leading and drove pit side.
A gaggle of six other cars then battled back and forth the rest of the way. With a starting spot near the front of the 15-lap feature field, Neal wheeled his car on both the high and bottom shelves of the track, but knew where he wanted to be.
“I knew I had to get off the top early because I was going to get in all those crumbs up there,” he said. “Once I got the lane I moved down and (Jake) Ellithorpe put up a heck of a fight.”
Tyler Soppe was strong toward the end and also moved by Ellithorpe for second. Duane Roth and Jarrett Franzen rounded out the top five.
Meanwhile, another streak came to an end as Jeff Larsen shot from the pole and dominated the QCJeeps.com IMCA Modified 20-lap main. He snapped the four-race win streak of Bryce Garnhart.
Andy Nezworski drove from midpack, ran down early leader Jeff Tharp and took his second straight Maquoketa Andover Meat IMCA Late Model 25-lap feature.
Joe Bonney made his way back to the Ueland Auto IMCA Stock Car victory lane and Daniel Wauters won his second IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 12-lap feature.