By Greg Grabianowski
ALGONA, Iowa (July 21, 2022) – It was great night that started early with a loud bang that most people thought was fireworks and ended in the wee hours of the next morning with a louder bang after a great evening of dirt track racing.
The sixth annual Salute to Veterans Hunting with Heroes Night on Thursday at the Kossuth County Speedway was another home run.
The event that has become the biggest event of the year of the track took place in front of a grandstand full of veterans and fans. Johnathon Logue and Randy Brands were $3,500 winners in the evening’s headline events, the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, respectively.
Logue and Jesse Rogotzke brought the 24-car Modified field to the flag stand for the green flag and while
Logue led all 25 laps, his first-ever trip to victory lane at Algona did not come easily.
Brandon Beckendorf, winner of the Wednesday night Salute to Veterans feature at Spencer, was right on Logue’s back bumper the first 14 times around the track before the leader was able to widen his advantage.
“It was a very emotional win. Salute to Veterans is very unique. I’m honored to be part of this and to drive a Salute to Veterans car,” Logue said. “This win felt really good. I had a lot of family there, my crew has worked really hard for me and I got lucky and drew one for the feature.”
“The track was challenging but I hung on for 25 laps,” he continued. “I made some mistakes early but Brandon raced me clean so hats off to him. I kept waiting for Kelly (Shryock) to show up. He’s got like a million laps at this place.”
Shryock chased runner-up Beckendorf to the checkers. Rogotzke and Jeremy Mills completed the top five.
“I’d raced here maybe 20 times in a SportMod. It was my second time in a Modified. We came here last week, I missed on setup and we started and finished 15th,” noted Logue. “Tonight was our biggest payday in all the years I’ve been racing.”
David Smith led early and Brands battled Casey Woken and Derek Green before going to the high side for the lead on the seventh of 25 Stock Car laps.
Shryock was right on Brands’ back bumper for the final five circuits but it was a redemption evening for Brands as he took the win one night after spinning late at Clay County.
Chance Hollatz made a late run to finish second as Shryock was third with David Smith taking fourth. Jeffery Larson ended up fifth place.
Logue became eligible to qualify for the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational, Brands for the B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational.
Colby Fett was the $1,500 Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod winner and Dylan Nelson topped the $1,000 to win main event for IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.
Fett took the early leader with Wednesday winner Matt Looft joining him in pulling away. Looft gained the lead at midway, but Fett was back in front for good two laps later. Looft and Brian Schrage completed the top three.
Mike Smith paced the Hobby Stocks early on before Nelson came calling. Chris Krug mounted a challenge before settling for second. Third went to Eric Knutson.
Jade Lange led the distance of the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact main.
The Salute to Veterans show began with a bang around 6 p.m. and what some thought was fireworks was a circuit blowing after a lift truck backed into a light pole.
The local utility company responded and restored power back at the raceway a little after 7 p.m. as the hot laps got going followed by the spectacular pre-race festivities.