Ward, Shute, Smith are big winners at Boone

Tim Ward became a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational candidate by winning the Watermelon Clas­sic feature for IMCA Modifieds. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (Aug. 1) – Another special night of racing Saturday at Boone Speedway featured both the Watermelon Classic, with watermelons awarded to heat and feature winners and the sixth annual P1 Promotions Modified Challenge.

The IMCA Modified feature went 30 laps, paid $1,200 and was a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier.  Tim Ward and Richie Gustin had a good battle going until Gustin was suddenly off power while leading just after lap 18 was in the books.

This gave Ward back the lead, which he kept the remainder of the way to the checkers and the win. He finished comfortably ahead of Ethan Dotson and Jake McBirnie. 

Modifieds qualified for the Challenge race through timing, heats, and passing points.  The top 12 then drew for their starting spots for the 15-lap prestigious event.  Cody Laney and Shute were the front row starters. 

Laney immediately had the lead as the race went green with fourth place starter Kyle Brown and Todd Shute hot on his tail.  Brown made the pass into the lead by lap two and was holding back Shute.  Brown held the lead until lap 10 when Shute snatched it away.  He would go the distance and take the checkers and the $1,000 payoff.  Brown finished second. 

The IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars were also running for $1,000 to win. By lap two, Donavon Smith was up to challenge leader Joel Rust.  The tussle between the two ended when Smith snatched the lead on lap eight, never to relinquish it the remaining distance to the flying checkers.  Fifth starting Tony Hofbauer chased Smith much of the latter portion of the race and finished second.

Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods were running for $750 in their 23 lap feature.  Colton Nelson held the upper hand through the halfway mark of the race after having to hold off a hard-charging Johnathon Logue. 

Nelson’s brother Garrett, who qualified through his “B” and started 21st, was tailing Colton by lap 15. Two laps later, Garrett took the lead and from there on, held it to the finish line and the win. 

Mike Smith started on the pole of the 20-lap IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature and led all laps to take the win along with $500.

Racing continues Saturday, Aug. 8, with racing in all classes.  Grandstands open at 5 p.m., hot laps are at 6 p.m. and the green flag drops at 7 p.m.