Smith tops Hawkeye Challenge, Mills, Lopez and May see checkers before Mother Nature wins at Boone

Mike Smith was the winner of one of the most unique events in all of motorsports, Saturday’s six IMCA division Hawkeye Challenge at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Nick Woolley)

June 10, 2023

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (June 10, 2023) – Boone Speedway held its Hawkeye Challenge, one of the most unique races in the country, pitting six different classes of cars all racing at one time Saturday night. The overall winner was Mike Smith in his IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock.

The Hawkeye Challenge was run before features and 21 cars were scheduled to start, qualified through track points and through heat racing earlier in the evening. Classes were staggered by lap count, with the lone Sprint Car of Mike Houseman needing to complete 25 laps, the Modifieds 23 laps, SportMods and Mod Lites 22 laps, Stock Cars 21 laps, and the Hobby Stocks 20 laps.

When the dust cleared in the race that went non-stop, it was Smith in his Hobby Stock taking pocketing the $1,000 top prize. Other class winners were Josh May in the Mod Lites, Johnathon Logue in the Stock Cars, Jeremy Mills in the Modifieds, Kaylin Lopez in Northern SportMods, and Houseman in the Sprint Car. They took home $500 each.

In IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing, it was Mills winning for the second week straight in the IMCA Friesen Performance Modifieds. Kaylin Lopez took the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod victory and Josh May won for the third consecutive week in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites.

Mother Nature would then call a halt to the racing action with two features remaining so IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks will run double features on June 17.

It appeared there would be a new Mod Lite winner as David Bailey pulled away from the field. May began closing the gap, however, and with a lap remaining, was on his tail.

Just after the white flag flew, May rose to the top of the track, around Bailey and into the lead. Bailey settled for second ahead of Bryan Zehm, Austin Gray, and Cory Sonner was fifth. May, who started eighth, made this his third win in a row, and his fourth of the season. The race went flag to flag.

Mike Smith was the winner of one of the most unique events in all of motorsports, Saturday’s six IMCA division Hawkeye Challenge at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Nick Woolley)

The Northern SportMods came to the track next for their 18 lap feature. It was looking as if there could also be a first-time winner in this event as well, as 14-year-old Gage Hilgenberg looked strong out of the gate, flying to the lead from his outside front row starting spot, and holding off his competition.

Yellows would slow this race but did not seem to hinder Hilgenberg on the restarts as he continued his lead. At lap 14 the fifth caution flew, and the drivers were then placed under a time limit, the race would be called complete at the next caution or the checkers, whichever came first.

Hilgenberg retained his lead when the race returned to green but Kaylin Lopez, who had dogged him the entire race, was waiting for his opportunity to rattle the youngster’s cage.

Lopez showed him his nose and that was all it took for him to get past with one lap remaining. Lopez went home to take the win, Hilgenberg crossing the line in second. His disappointment on the night continued however, when he was docked two spots in post-race inspection for deck height, thus dropping him to finish in fourth.

This handed second to Braden Richards and Jackson Harpole, who started 13th, was awarded third. Cory Pestotnik completed the top five.

The Modifieds quickly came to the track for their 20-lap main event, as sprinkles were becoming a nuisance.

Joel Bushore jumped to the lead from his outside front row starting spot as the green flag flew.  He still had a comfortable lead going when Jimmy Gustin had a motor let go on lap 12, bringing out a yellow. This bunched the field for the restart with veteran Denny Pittman holding down second while Mills had moved from 11th starting to third.

Just a lap later, Pittman broke and was out of the competition with Mills taking over second and then reeling in leader Bushore.

The last lap of this race would also be the undoing for Bushore, as Mills went to the top side and flew around to take the lead and the subsequent win. Bushore had to be content with the runner-up position, third went to Johnathon Logue, Izac Mallicoat was fourth and 13th starting Russ Dickerson took fifth.

Mills repeated his win from last week.

Saturday night, June 17, will be another weekly racing series with all classes in competition.  Double features will be run in the IMCA Stock Cars and Hobby Stocks. Pits open at 4:30 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.

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