Simonsen scores Summer Series rookie, IMCA Late Model state champion awards

Dalton Simonsen earned IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series rookie of the year honors, as well as the E3 Spark Plugs Iowa State championship this season. Division Director Joe Hayes is at left, IMCA President Brett Root at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

FAIRFAX, Iowa – Dalton Simonsen recalled going to Andy Eckrich’s shop as a kid, then working there part-time during his high school and college days.

The memories he made this summer were racing with the eventual tour champion and earning rookie of the year in the IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series.

“I used to go to Deery events with my friends. Now it’s cool that I’m racing in them,” said Simonsen, who made the move to the IMCA Late Model division after five seasons in a Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod.

A heat race winner on the series’ opening night, his best finish in eight main event starts was sixth, at the Aug. 11 show at Quad City Speedway. After his motor expired in the ‘B’ feature at West Liberty, Simon­sen borrowed a powerplant from Trent Hala to complete his rookie series bid at the IMCA Speedway Mo­tors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s.

The Fairfax, Iowa, flyer also totaled eight top five finishes – one of those was a second place showing behind Jeff Aikey at Benton County Speedway – in scoring the E3 Spark Plugs Iowa State title.

“What helped me the most racing weekly and Deery shows was getting more laps, learning what changes that needed to be made to the car and what to do in different track conditions,” said Simonsen, who grad­uated last December from Iowa State University with a degree in industrial engineering. “I raced at a number of tracks I’d never been to before and usually pitted next to Andy at Deery shows. He helped me a lot.”

He was eighth in the national standings and ninth in the Deery points race.

Starts 9                    Wins 0        Top Five’s 0

HIS CREW: Brother Dakota, Ryan Craven and Rylie Meier.

HIS SPONSORS: Precision Performance of Oxford; Machula Motorsports of Fairfax; Shepherd Fab of Marengo; Performance Bodies of Cedar Falls; John and Jen Buresh of Ely; Hawkeye Auto of Marion; Hala­Built Competition Engines of Dysart; and Uncle Tim’s Tavern of Lecompton, Kan.