Checkers for Ward at Boone’s Hunting with Heroes Salute to Veterans Night

Tim Ward was the Hunting With Heroes Salute to Veterans Night Friesen Performance IMCA Modified winner at Boone Speedway, earning $5,000 for his Saturday evening efforts. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (July 29, 2023) – It was a night filled with patriotism and thanking our veterans at the Boone Speedway on Saturday when Boone held its annual Hunting with Heroes Salute to Veterans Night sponsored by EMW Trucking and Waltert Farms. 

A whopping 241 race cars came to try their hand at Iowa’s Action Track. Prior to the racing, Veterans enjoyed a free meal, drink, gifts, and free admission to the races. Specially wrapped Salute to Veterans race cars were on display behind the grandstand and a stirring pre-race ceremony was also held.

Winners on the night were Tim Ward in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, Kaden Reynolds took the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car win, Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod winner was Matt Avila, the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock win went to Dylan Nelson and Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites saw Scott Bailey take a trip to victory lane.

Feature racing kicked off with the 15-lap Mod Lite main. After two initial no starts of the race, this one would go green to checkered with Bailey leading the distance. He finished well ahead of second place Josh May.

Pole starter Austin Gray finished third, Randy Bryan was fourth and Jason Toppenberg rounded out the top five. Bailey, a former IMCA Stock Car driver, made his first visit to the winner’s circle at Boone in the Mod Lite division.

Northern SportMods ran a 25-lap feature next.

Garrett Nelson was the early leader as he held back Adam Birck and Avila. After a restart on lap 11, Avila moved into the number two spot and was in hot pursuit of the leader. He pulled off a nifty slide job and had the lead three laps later.

Avila then held on to that top spot the remainder of the race and scored his third victory of the year at the track, this one good for $2,000. Canton, Mo.’s Birck finished as the runner-up, Garrett Nelson was third, Colby Fett took fourth  and Dusty Lynch was fifth.

The Modifieds ran a 25-lap feature, for a $5,000 payday to the winner.

There was a no-go at the start of the race, but after that, the race would go non-stop. Tripp Gaylord started on the outside front pole and led the troops in the opening laps with sixth place starter Ward on his tail.

By lap three, Ward had the lead, never to look back. He had the field covered even having to slice through heavy lapped traffic in the latter part of the race and finished a good straight away ahead of second place Gaylord at the checkers.

The win was Ward’s 18th of the season and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible 16th since Jan. 4.

Nick Meyer finished third, fourth went to Green River, Wy.’s Braxton Yeager and Chris Snyder completed the top five.

The Class Too Tough To Tame, the IMCA Stock Cars, were next on the schedule.

Kaden Reynolds drew the pole starting spot for the race and kept his ride at the front the entire 25 laps of the $4,000 to win main event. It got interesting on lap 20, however, when a caution flag flew.

On the restart it was Kelly Shryock, who had flown through the field from starting 21st and was running second after battling by Jake McBirnie, Elijah Zevenbergen and Damon Murty in a hard-fought joust. Now the big crowd was expecting a wreckers or checkers run to the finish.

Already B & B Racing Chassis All-Star qualifying eligible, Reynolds never faltered as he was content to let the spirited race for position go on behind him and he went home to the flying checkers, and the win.

Shryock finished as the runner-up, Jake McBirnie took third, it was Zevenbergen in fourth, and Chris Palsrok ran at the front all race long and finished in fifth.

The evening’s racing concluded with 20 laps of IMCA Hobby Stock racing.

Solomon Bennett took advantage of his pole starting spot, jumping to the immediate lead when the race went green. By lap four, Nelson was breathing down his neck.

Nelson looked for a way around and taking to the top of the track, swung to the lead by lap nine.  He never looked back from there on out, and sealed the deal, taking the comfortable win. Bennett chased him the rest of the rest but had to be content with second place.

Tom Killen Jr. ran third most of the race and finished in that position. Fourth went to Mike Smith and Michael Wade of Dorchester, Neb., was fifth.

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