Opheim, Longnecker are Eve of Destruction IMCA winners at Boone

Kevin Opheim was the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winner, during the July 4 Eve of Destruction spectacular at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Nick Woolley)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (July 4, 2023) – Kevin Opheim parked a new IMCA Sunoco Stock Car in victory lane and it was Hunter Longnecker taking top honors in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods during Tuesday’s Eve of Destruction show at Boone Speedway.

The Class Too Tough To Tame saw Opheim take his ride from 14th starting on the grid of 22 cars all the way to the front in a thrilling run to the checkers.

Donavon Smith started on the pole and leaped to the immediate lead but was being challenge by Jay Schmidt, brother David Smith and Jake Sachau much of the early part of the race. Then, just after the halfway mark of the 20-lap event, it was Opheim making his presence known as he was running in the top five.

A caution flew at lap 16 and by this time, Opheim had raced his way into the fourth spot and was anxious for the restart. Smith continued to lead, Schmidt was running second and David Smith was third.

With just two laps remaining, Opheim made the pass into second and then in the closing moments, it was a dash to the finish line coming out of turn four looking at the checkers. Opheim managed to push past Smith by three thousandths of a second as they crossed the finish line and secured his first win at the track since his Eve of Destruction victory in 2017.

Donavon Smith had to be content with the runner-up position, third went to 11th place starter Sachau, fourth was Jake McBirnie, who made a late race charge, and Schmidt completed the top five.

The IMCA Northern SportMods ran an 18-lap feature that saw Curtis Veber lead the first seven circuits with Longnecker and Taylor Kuehl applying the pressure.

Longnecker was able to grab the lead on lap eight as Kuehl ran the high side of the track and moved into second. Lap 12 saw a caution fly, and before the restart, Veber dropped out of the race with mechanical issues and Dusty Masolini took over third.

In the final laps, Longnecker put some distance between himself and the field and took the comfortable win as the checkers flew. Masolini got by Kuehl in the closing laps, as they finished second and third respectively. Cam Reimers took fourth and visiting Pearl City, Ill. driver, Rayce Mullen started 13th and got a top five finish.

The annual Eve of Destruction featured a wide variety of stunts, trailer races and Buddy pit bike races, along with the City of Boone’s fireworks display.

IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing continues Saturday, July 8 with Modifieds, Stock Cars, Northern SportMods, Hobby Stocks and STARS Mod Lites in action.  Pits open at 4:30 p.m., the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 6 p.m. and racing is at 7 p.m.

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