Berry doubles up with Watermelon Classic, P1P Challenge wins

Friesen Performance IMCA Modified driver Tom Berry Jr. was a double winner Saturday at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (Aug. 12, 2023) – Boone Speedway was back in action on Saturday night with the running of the Watermelon Classic plus the P1P Challenge race for the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds.

It was a draw/redraw night for all classes, with extra money on the line, plus many bonuses and giveaways to the drivers. And of course, all heat winners as well as feature winners were also awarded a watermelon.

Tom Berry Jr. made it a clean sweep in two IMCA Modified features, winning both the regular feature and the P1P Challenge race. David Smith came out on top of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Curtis Veber won in the Friesen Performance IMC Northern SportMods. Andrew Berg saw victory lane in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, and it was Josh May returning to the winner’s circle in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites.

The headliner P1P Challenge race for the Modifieds, saw the top 14 drivers qualify through group timing plus earn points in heat races. They ran 15 laps for a $1,000 payday. Berry led the entire 15 laps to take the win.

David Stremme, former NASCAR driver from Mifflintown, Pa. came to try his hand at Iowa’s Action Track and finished second. Cory Sauerman, Cory Wray and Izac Mallicoat completed the top five.

Mod Lites ran a 15-lap feature to kick off regular feature racing for the night.

Joe Glick led the field to green and took command of the race. With a handful of laps remaining, 10th place starter May had caught the leader and was applying pressure. A topside swing around the leader then gave May the top spot at lap 12, which he kept to the flying checkers and the win.

Glick had to be content with the runner up position, third went to Austin Gray, Randy Bryan was fourth and Cory Sonner was fifth. This was May’s sixth local win of the 2023 season.

The Northern SportMods came to the track next for their 18-lap main event.

Veber wrestled the lead away from Jessiah Taylor on lap five and then took it the rest of the way home to the checkers. He finished comfortably ahead of second place Matt Avila. A distant third went to Cory Pestotnik, fourth was Dusty Lynch, and Dusty Masolini took fifth.

Veber claimed his first Northern SportMod win at the track and a $600 payoff.

Stock Cars put on one whale of race the entire 25 laps as they ran for $1,000 paycheck.

When the race went green, Johnathon Logue powered to the cushion and claimed the lead with Jay Schmidt tagging on to run second. Several cautions slowed the pace but Logue and Schmidt continued to run one-two on the track in an excitingly close race.

Schmidt grabbed the lead on lap nine as Logue dogged him, but coming fast catching the leaders was 10th place starter Smith.

Smith got around Logue, then Schmidt made a slight slip and Smith was on him, claiming the lead on lap 18. He then took his ride home to the checkers and B & B Racing Chassis All-Star qualifying eligibility first. 

Schmidt took second, Logue finished third, Michael Jaennette came from 14th starting to finish in fourth and Scott Olson was fifth. This was Smith’s second feature win of the year.

David Smith’s second IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature win of the season was good for $1,000 and B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

IMCA Modifieds also ran a 25-lap feature that paid $1,000 to the winner.

Cory Sauerman led the first five laps until Stremme was able to get under him and take over the lead at lap six.  Meanwhile, Berry caught second place Sauerman and was applying pressure.

Berry was able to take over second and then the chase was on to catch Stremme.

Berry slowly reeled in the leader and at lap 17 had the lead himself.  It was short lived, however, as Stremme was again the leader at lap 21. The final circuits were a treat for the fans as Stremme and Berry duked it out.

With a lap remaining, Berry, the defending IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s champion, got the advantage and grabbed the lead away, and then went home to the win.

Stremme, in his first time racing at the track, had to settle for the runner-up spot. Eighteenth place starter Jeremy Mills made a late race charge and finished in third place. Fourth went to Tim Ward, who started 16th, and early leader Sauerman rounded out the top five.

The 15-lap Hobby Stock feature closed out the night’s racing.

Solomon Bennett started on the outside front row and immediately grabbed the lead. He quickly had Burg breathing down his neck. Burg snagged the lead at lap eight and then never looked back on his way to victory.

Seventh place starter John Watson finished in second, Bennett took third, Rusty Bates was fourth and Seth Janssen was fifth.

Saturday night, Aug. 19 is Season Championship Night. Pits open at 4:30 p.m., the grandstand at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 6 p.m. and racing is at 7 p.m.

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