By Jerry Mackey
COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (May 27, 2022) – Racing went on at the CJ Speedway on Friday despite recent rains making for challenging conditions on the wet Louisa County Fairgrounds. The track was a bit tricky but proved to be very racy for all 73 competitors that signed in.
Drew Janssen made his first local appearance of the 2022 season and came away with the 16-lap Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature win. Jonathan Huston battled Barry Dugan for the lead in the early going before Huston was able to take over the point.
Huston’s lead was short lived as the third starting Janssen took over the point and went on to hold off a hard-charging Maguire DeJong at the finish. Last week’s winner Jarrett Brown came under the checkers in third.
The Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature proved to be wild affair as several drivers held the point.
Mike Clausen led early before Colton Livezey was able to take over the top spot. Eighth starting Dylan VanWyk was headed to the front before he lost his right front tire in a skirmish. After a quick tire change and realigning from the rear, VanWyk proved to be a man on a mission. The speedster from Oskaloosa wheeled his no. 117 Sport Mod through the field and wrestled the lead from Livezey and went on to record the win. Livezey held on for second ahead of Brendon Schultheis and Travis Tedrow.
The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main event saw the recently relocated Josh Foster wheel his no. 77 to the win.
Previously from Newton and now residing in Fairfax, with the move we can expect to see the strong running Foster much more frequently at CJ. Foster was able to get by local veteran Rod Staats in recording the win.
Staats led for the first half of the race only to have Foster and eventual second place finisher Dustin Vis get by him. Staats finished third ahead of Dustin Griffiths.
The IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks provided a whole lot of wild racing action. Late in the race frontrunners Ryan Havel and Randy LaMar came, together sending both cars into the outside retaining wall, both cars sustaining enough damage that both had to be wreckered back to the pit area.
On the restart, Cody Staley appeared to be on his way to victory lane. Staley exited turn four coming to the checkers and he went too high, allowing Aaron Martin to shoot by and pick up the win. Staley recovered to finish second ahead of Ryan Craven.
And the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts saw another feature win for Shane Barnes.
Barnes stated in victory lane, ”This one is really special as I have a lot of family and friends here tonight from out of state.” Barnes only led the last three laps in taking the checkers ahead of Cody Staley by a slim margin. Justin Stevenson came home third.
Friday night racing will continue at the CJ Speedway on June 3 with a full program of racing. Hot laps will take to the track at 7 p.m.