By Joyce Eisele
BOONE, Iowa (July 15, 2023) – Boone Speedway held its weekly racing series on Saturday night, even after the area had nearly even inches of rain earlier in the week and the track was covered with water. The drainage system and the great prep crew had the track in perfect racing condition that saw multi-lane racing from the 158 cars checked into the pits.
There was only one repeat winner, that being Matt Avila in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods.
First-time wins this regular season went to Johnathon Logue, in a near photo finish in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, David Smith in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Eric Knutson in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Cory Sonner in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites.
Mod Lites kicked off feature racing.
David Bailey had a big lead in the early going but Josh May reeled him in and, with just three laps remaining, was on his tail. That’s when disaster struck for the two drivers as a close racing incident occurred in turn four, leaving them both stopped on the track and bringing out a caution. Both drove to the pits, their night ended.
Sonner inherited the lead for the restart of the run to the checkers when the race returned to green. He held on to the lead the remainder of the race and got to take a trip to victory lane for the first time this year. Bryan Zehm started ninth and took the runner-up spot, with Austin Gray a close third. Fourth was Randy Bryan and Joe Glick completed the top five.
The Northern SportMods ran 18 laps for their feature and it was Avila leading all but the first three laps to take his ride to the winner’s circle for the second time this year.
He got the lead on lap four and pulled away to take the win by a near straightaway. Danny Fye started 11th on the field and raced his way through the pack to finish second. Third went to Jessiah Taylor, fourth was Hunter Longnecker and Curtis Veber was fifth.
Up next was 20 laps of IMCA Modified feature racing. This one turned into a barnburner and a near photo finish at the line.
Tim Love, who was wheeling his no. 27 for the last time, and hanging up his racing career, started on the outside of the front row and immediately grabbed the lead.
Love continued his ride at the front of the pack through lap 10 when a caution flew. By this time, Logue had gotten to second and was chomping at the bit for the restart. It was just what Logue wanted as he had the lead when lap 11 was in the books.
Logue put some distance between himself and the field but that was all erased when the race was red flagged with just two laps remaining.
That’s when Troy Morris III, Bakersfield, Calif., visiting racer took a tumble off the top of turn two, halting the race. Morris was unhurt and when the race restarted, Logue had some heavy company behind him.
The green, white, checkered finish proved to be a thriller. Tim Ward swung around the topside and grabbed the lead as the white flag flew but Logue was able to push ahead just enough coming out of corner four and make it to the finish line 25 thousandths of a second ahead of Ward and snag the win.
Ward had to settle for second, third went to Jacob Murray, fourth was Jimmy Gustin and veteran Russ Dickerson was fifth.
The IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars ran their 20-lap feature caution-free, with cars finding a groove high, low and in the middle of the track.
Mathew West looked strong as he held down the top spot easily through the first portion of the race. By the halfway mark, Smith had caught the leader and then the excitement began.
The two ran closely lap after lap until Smith was finally able to get under West on the backstretch on lap nineteen, and then was able to hang on to take the win his first this season.
West had to be content with the runner-up position, Donavon Smith raced his way from 10th starting to take third, fourth went to Chris Pruitt and Scott Davis finished fifth.
IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks ran 15 laps to put a nightcap on the evening’s racing.
Jimmy Johnson jumped to the immediate lead from his pole starter position when the race went green. Seth Butler was quickly into second and chasing the leader and Knutson threw his hat into the ring to run third before the only caution of the race flew on lap three.
When the race restarted, Knutson made his way into second and began pestering the leader. It took until lap eight before his persistence paid off and Knutson took over the top spot. Knutson held on the rest of the way to take the win, also his first of the year locally, with Johnson finishing a close second. Butler took third place, fourth went to 14th place starter John Watson and Solomon Bennett took fifth after starting tenth.
Next Saturday night, July 22 is another weekly racing series for the IMCA classes and a King of the Katwalks show paying $2,500 to the Stock Cars. Pits open at 4:30 p.m. and the grandstands at 5:30 p.m., with hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.