By Joyce Eisele
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (June 11) – Racing action continued at the Marshalltown Speedway on Friday night where it was Casey’s Salute to Marshalltown Firefighters, EMTs and First Responders/Chad Witte VIP Night.
The IMCA STARS Mod Lites kicked off the feature racing with their 15-lap main event. Austin Gray led this one from start to finish to capture his first-ever win at the High Banks. Mike Kennedy chased Gray for the majority of the race but had to be content with a second place finish. Ben George was third, Kaden Cochrun took fourth and rounding out the top five was Rodney Brown.
The Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod feature went to summer visitor Taylor Kuehl, who hails from Cave Creek, Ariz. The 20-year-old young lady started on the outside front row, and immediately grabbed the top spot.
Eighth place starter Brayton Carter wasted no time moving into the runner up spot on lap three. It was a real contest between Kuehl and Carter, lap after lap running neck and neck. With five laps to go, Carter managed the pass for the lead, only to be off power before the next lap was scored. Kuehl was then back in command, and kept that top spot the rest of way to the checkers.
Johnathon Logue started 12th and finished a distant second. Third went to Izac Mallicoat who started in the 11th, Austin Schrage came from 10th to finish fourth and Travis Peterson completed the top five.
Kuehl stated in victory lane she had previously won races back home (four in 2019) but this was her first-ever win in Iowa.
Kaden Reynolds went home with another victory in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division. Reynolds started 10th and had the lead by lap four, never to look back. He finished ahead of second place Solomon Bennett. Polesitter Gary Pfantz took third place, Luke Schluetter was fourth and Jeremiah Andrews was fifth.
The 15-lap race went caution-free.
The IMCA Sunoco Late Models were in town for a special appearance, running a 20-lap feature.
Ryan Griffith was the early race leader, but Todd Cooney had other ideas. Cooney moved from starting third and into the lead on lap three and then it was all his race from there on out. He moved to the top shelf and cruised home to the win.
Curtis Glover was runner-up, Griffith took third, Darrel DeFrance finished fourth and Bobby Hansen was fifth. The race went caution-free. IMCA Late Models are scheduled for return appearances on July 30, and August 27.
Austin Bouzek started seventh and overpowered Austin Kaplan on lap 10 for the top position in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main. On lap 11 is when the yellow flags began to fall. A final caution fell on lap 18 when leader Bouzek lost it and a melee in corner one took out numerous cars.
When the race restarted for the final two-lap run to the checkers, it was Steve Meyer at the front position. He had been running in ninth spot prior to the caution. He kept the lead the final two laps to the checkers and the surprising win. Jeff Mueller moved from starting 18th on the grid to finish as runner-up. Third went to Jared Daggett, Bouzek took home a top four finish and Tyler Pickett was fifth.
The nightcap of the evening was 20 laps of IMCA Modified racing. Garrett Wilson took the lead from his pole starting position as the green flag fell.
It was but two laps later when it was Jake McBirnie now in charge. McBirnie held off the challenges of Joel Rust and Tom Berry in the second half of the race and go home to the checkers flying to earn his second win in a row at the speedway.
Berry finished second, Rust was third, fourth went to Dylan Thornton and early leader Wilson was fifth.
Next Friday, June 18, will be RBF Electric Night at the races with $400 to win for the IMCA Hobby Stocks. The green flag drops at 7:30 p.m.