Nezworski and Becerra score “Drive For 5” qualifying wins at Lee County

Andy Nezworki earned his first Lee County Speedway victory when he won the IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature in the June 17 Drive for 5 qualifier. (Photo by MF Photography)

by Brian Neal

DONNELLSON, Iowa (June 17, 2022) – The action on track Friday night at Lee County Speedway was just as hot as the temperatures as the speedway hosted round three of the Drive for 5 for IMCA Sunoco Late Models and Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, and the Drive for 3 for Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods.

The first feature to take to the track was the 15-lap Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature, with Josh Barnes taking the lead late to drive to his second win in a row. Brandon Reu, Chandler Fullenkamp, Kimberly Abbott and Luke Fraise completed the top five.

Up next was the 18-lap IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature, with Chris Wibbell and Josh Foster making up the front row after Peter Stodgel elected to go to the rear. Foster took advantage of his starting spot to grab the lead on lap one over Wibbell and Jason Cook, who started sixth. Just as Foster started to put some distance on the battles going on behind him, the first and only caution of the race appeared on lap four.

On the restart, Foster jumped back out front, with Cook and Chad Krogmeier close behind. Foster, who worked the top of the track, and Cook, who worked the bottom, raced around the 3/8-mile side-by-side over the next 10 laps. While the lead duo battled for the lead, David Brandies, who started 10th, and Huls, who recovered from his spin on lap four, closed in to make it a four car battle for the top spot.

Cook was able to edge out Foster at the line to lead lap 16, and then held him off over the final laps to claim his first win of the season at the Lee County Speedway. Brandies was third, Huls was fourth and Jeremy Pundt came home fifth.

Bill Roberts Jr. and Ethan Braaksma drew the front row for the 22-lap Modified feature, with Braaksma jumping out into the lead on lap one over Roberts and Dennis LaVeine. While Braaksma set the pace out front, Chris Zogg and Austen Becerra, who started ninth, moved in to battle Roberts and LaVeine.

Just when it looked like the feature would go green to checkered, the first caution of the race appeared on lap 17. On the restart, Becerra shot under Braaksma to take the top spot, and then action was slowed on lap 20 for the final yellow of the race. Becerra once again grabbed the lead on the restart, and then held off a last lap challenge from Braaksma to claim his third win of the season at the track. LaVeine was third, Roberts was fourth and Mark Burgtorf came from 12th to round out the top five.

Up next was the 25-lap Late Model feature, with Andy Nezworski and Dalton Simonsen making up the front row. Nezworski took advantage of his draw to jump out into the lead on lap one over Sam Halstead and Simonsen. The action was slowed for the first and only time on lap three.

On the restart, Nezworski moved back out front, with Halstead and Simonsen battling for second. Last week’s feature winner Tommy Elston overtook Simonsen for the runner-up spot on lap nine, and then went to work on cutting into Nezworski’s lead. Without another caution to slow the action, Elston wasn’t able to close in on Nezworski enough to challenge him. Nezworski went on to score the $1,000 victory, and his first ever win at Lee County Speedway. Simonsen finished third, Halstead was fourth and Chuck Hanna completed the top five.

John Oliver Jr. and Brayton Carter led the field to green in the SportMod feature, with Carter grabbing the lead on lap one over Oliver and Jim Gillenwater. On restarts on laps four and five, Carter moved back out front, with Oliver Jr. and Gillenwater still giving chase and eighth place starter Adam Birck close behind.

Carter survived another restart to score his third win of the season. Oliver Jr. held off Birck for second, Dakota Girard came from ninth to finish fourth, and Jim Gillenwater came home in fifth.