Braathun takes first-ever Boone Speedway win

Jon Braathun made his first visit to victory lane at Boone Speedway after winning the Saturday night IMCA STARS Mod Lite feature. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (June 5) – Jon Braathun became a first-time Boone Speedway winner in the first Saturday night feature at Iowa’s Action Track.

The IMCA STARS Mod Lite 15-lap feature was led from start to finish by Story City’s Braathun. Joel Huggins made it interesting at the finish when his slide under the leader out of the final corner fell just short and he had to settle for second. Third went to 10th place starter Mike Kennedy.

It was another exciting IMCA Modified 20-lap feature that had the crowd cheering.  Dylan Thornton grabbed the lead from Tim Love on lap 10 but then had to fend off the advances of the rapidly advancing Jimmy Gustin, Jake McBirnie, and Nick Roberts, who were locked into an intense battle for second. 

That battle resulted in some contact being made between McBirnie and Roberts which sent McBirnie out of the race while Roberts able to gather it back in and continue on. A late yellow sent cars scrambling for position in the final run to the checkers.

Thornton held on to take the win. Roberts got around Gustin as they took second and third respectively, and Joel Bushore started 13th and finished fourth. Doug Smith had his best run of the year after moving up from the Northern SportMods this year and finished fifth, coming from 23rd starting.

Ryan Leeman led the opening laps of the 18-lap Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod main, with Nic Runyan and Kevin Yearington keeping close company. Johnathon Logue entered into the picture just before halfway, getting to the runner-up position at lap 11.

He began applying pressure to leader Leeman and with just three laps remaining gained the lead.  Logue kept that top spot the rest of the way to the checkers to score the win. Leeman held on to second place and third went to Yearington.

Four cautions slowed the 20-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature but it didn’t bother Jeff Mueller in the least. Mueller got the top spot away from leader Jesse Smith on lap nine and kept it the rest of the way to the checkers and the win. 

It was, however, a very close finish at the line as last week’s winner David Smith came from 11th place on the starting grid, took to the top of the track in the closing laps, and fell just short in a last ditch effort at the checkers, having to settle for second. Michael Jaennette was third.

It had been a while since Mueller had visited victory lane at the Boone Speedway, his last coming back in 2018.

The IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock 15-lap feature event also went to King of the Hill winner Eric Stanton.  Stanton had to battle hard against Braden Richards and Eric Knutson to get the job done, getting around both at lap 10 and then holding them off as the checkers flew.  Knutson finished as the runner-up and Richards took third.

Weekly racing continues next Saturday, June 12 at Boone Speedway with racing in all regular classes. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.