Nezworski tops IMCA Late Models as Maquoketa Speedway opens season 

By Jerry Mackey

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (April 29, 2023) – The 2023 racing season got underway on Saturday night under cold and blustery conditions. A hearty group of race fans saw an outstanding field of 139 race car drivers take part in the Kinion Classic Cars season opener at the Maquoketa Speedway.  

The opening night featured the return of the IMCA Sunoco Late Models to the ¼-mile oval for weekly racing. Nineteen Late Models were on hand and their 25-lap main event was the headliner of the night.

Veteran racer Andy Nezworski was fortunate enough to draw the pole for the Kinion Classic Cars main event. Nezworski quickly established himself as the man to beat and led the main flag to flag despite several challenges by pesky Matt Ryan.

Ryan challenged several times for the lead but finished second ahead of Jaden Fryer, who advanced all the way from the sixth row.  

The Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds saw a stout field of 20 drivers take the green for their “A” main. 

2021 Maquoketa Speedway track and national champion Jeff Larson was behind the wheel of one of the TCE Modifieds and he showed the other 19 drivers that he has not forgotten how to get around the quarter mile.

Larson shot to the front from a third row start and took the lead from early pacesetter Travis Denning and went on to record the win. Matt Werner finished strong and nipped Denning for second at the line. 

The Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod main event belonged to Ben Chapman on opening night. Chapman drove the 1JR to the lead from his outside front row start and never looked back in taking the win ahead of Jarrett Franzen and Logan Anderson. 

The IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars win went to hometowner Jacob Ellithorpe. The 72 of Ellithorpe led flag to flag in taking the win ahead of seventh starting Gage Neal. Tim Gonska from Brainerd, Minn., traveled to Maquoketa on Saturday night and ran third in the main event.  

And the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature saw 22 drivers take the green flag for their main event. Jimmy Doescher was able to take the lead from his front row start and go on and lead all 12 laps of the main. Andrew Burk broke out of a pack of four drivers battling for second to take the spot ahead of Daniel Wauters.  

Saturday night racing at the Maquoketa Speedway will continue with May 6 being Amhof Trucking Night at the Races. Amhof Trucking will be hosting a company outing at the track. Hot laps will get underway at 6 p.m. with racing to follow.