Close finishes highlight CJ Speedway racing action 

By Jerry Mackey

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (July 21, 2023) – Friday night, fans at CJ Speedway were treated to a fantastic evening of IMCA racing on the perfectly prepared 4/10-mile dirt track with three of the five main event winners being determined on the final lap. 

The Friesen Performance IMCA Modified main event saw Anthony Guss lead the first couple circuits before Blaine Webster took over the point position.

Ninth starting Jarrett Brown worked to the front and took over the top spot and with the year the Ainsworth driver has been having, it appeared as the race for the lead was over and the battle for second would be on.

Brandon Banks, in his second night in his new car, chased down Brown and set up a late-race charge that would net him his first win of the year at CJ. Banks took the win by passing Brown on the white flag lap and came under the checkers with a car length win. Brown settled for second ahead of a fast-closing Dakota Simmons. 

IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars provided, as always, great racing with a strong field of 21 drivers taking the green for their 16-lap main event.

Kenny O’Donnell led the first few laps from his outside front row start before Tom Cannon took over, looking for two wins in a row at CJ. The lead pack then swelled to five drivers as Cannon was not able to hold off Jason See, who took his turn out front only to have 15th starting John Oliver Jr. take over the lead.

Then it was Andrew Schroeder’s turn to lead as he took over the top spot on the white flag and charged to the win ahead of Oliver and See. 

Late-race heroics were also witnessed in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod division.

A couple of recent DNF’s placed Dylan VanWyk on the pole for the main event and it appeared that VanWyk would cruise to the feature win. VanWyk built a comfortable lead but a late race caution brought the field to VanWyk’s bumper for a dash to the finish with Logan Anderson holding the second spot.

Anderson was able to take over the top spot as the white flag was waved and raced to the checkers ahead of VanWyk with Nick Aupperle turning in a fine performance in taking third. 

Tom Killen has been making the long trip from Des Moines to race Fridays in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.

With three top five finishes to his credit, Killen added a win to his four race finishes. Killen took the win by holding off the CJ Speedway’s top drivers in the main event. Tucker Richardson took second on Friday night ahead of Randy LaMar and Luke Phillips. 

Another Des Moines driver scored the win in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts. Kolby Sabin has raced several times at CJ In 2023 and has always been a contender with a couple trips to victory lane to his credit. Sabin took the feature win on Friday night ahead of early leader Cody VanDusen and third place went to Darin Smith.

With the Louisa County Fair in full swing, the racing action billed as the “Battle on the Levee” will be held on Thursday, July 27. Thanks to a long list of sponsors the drivers will all be racing for their share of a greatly expanded purse. Hot laps will take to the track at 7 p.m.

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