By Josh Reynolds
STUART, Iowa (May 20) – The engines came to life Wednesday evening with drivers from all around in attendance for the season opener at Stuart Speedway. IMCA feature winners for the night were Ethan Braaksma, Damon Murty, Chuck Madden Jr. Cam Reimers and Bryan Vannausdle.
Braaksma and Clay Money led a stacked IMCA Modified field to speed with Braaksma taking control early. By halfway Braaksma was in heavy lapped traffic with Money and Ricky Thornton Jr. in prime position to pounce, but the Newton driver was poised and up to the challenge as he weaved and worked his way through.
Even a bounce off of the turn two wall didn’t slow Braaksma down as he went on to the wire-to-wire win. North Dakota’s Tom Berry Jr. made a last-lap pass for second with Money third.
Within two laps of the start of their feature, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars were five wide at times as Brandon Pruitt showed the way over Buck Schafroth and Kellie Drury. Schafroth began to flex his muscles around half way and took the lead on lap 11 but lurking in the shadows was 12th starting Damon Murty.
The Chelsea Charger passed Pruitt for second on lap 13 and two laps later Schafroth found himself in second as Murty drove off to the win. Schafroth finished second with Pruitt third.
Madden led Brandon Long early in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock main until Jeff Ware came from eighth to second on lap four. A couple cautions slowed the pack but once the green was out it was all Madden as he went on to the flag-to-flag win. Twelfth starting Jason Kohl worked his way to a second place finish with Cox third.
The Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods saw Brayton Carter lead early with Tyler Inman and Cam Reimers in tow. Reimers found some traction on the topside and swung into second on lap eight. One lap later Carter went for a spin in turn one to bring out the caution and from there the fans were in for a treat.
Inman and Reimers threw slide job after slide job with Reimers leading each time at the line. As the white flag flew Inman threw one more haymaker in turn two but ran out of room and Reimers went on to the win. Inman settled for second with rookie Corey Madden third.
Kolby Sabin led the Mach-1 Sport Compacts early as Mitchell Bunch and Vannausdle came through the pack. Bunch, last year’s track champion, looked to go on to the win but a restart with three laps left allowed Vannausdle to sneak by and go on to the feature win. Bunch crossed in second with Sabin third.