Grabouski, Ward near IMCA Modified milestones, Ware sweeps Spring Nationals Stock Car features

Jordan Grabouski parked a new car in victory lane Friday night after winning his career 14th Friesen Performance IMCA Modified Spring Nationals feature at Beatrice Speedway. (Photo by Joe Orth)

BEATRICE, Neb. (March 22-23, 2024) – Jordan Grabouski and Tim Ward each took another step toward Friesen Performance IMCA Modified milestones with Spring Nationals feature wins.

Jeff Ware, meanwhile, got the Beatrice Speedway monkey off his back with Friday and Saturday night victories at the 31st annual special.

Grabouski’s 290th IMCA Modified win on opening night at his hometown track doubled as his Spring Nationals career 14th in the class dating to 2011. Ward’s Saturday checkers were his career 95th, his last win at Beatrice having come in IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing action in 2013.

Both features paid $2,500 and both winners were already Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible.

Grabouski had taken advantage of the extra week after Spring Nationals was postponed to build a new car. He used lapped traffic and then a restart to his advantage in taking the lead with 10 laps to go on Friday and winning ahead of Ward and Troy Cordes.

“That car was a bare frame on Monday. Friday was the first time that car saw dirt,” said Grabouski, also a two-time Spring Nationals Stock Car winner, “and I felt like it was getting better as the race went on.”

Ward was the winner in flag-to-flag fashion on Saturday despite losing the handle following a late restart to outrun Justin Zeitner, the 10th starting Grabouski and 12th starting Brad Morris.

“We ended with a green, white, checkered, the track had some character in the first turn and I made a mistake that almost cost me the race,” said Ward. “Fortunately, I was able to recover and still get the win.”

A special events regular at Beatrice for more than a decade, Ware swept a pair of B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifiers, pocketing $1,000 after winning from ninth on Friday and $2,000 on Saturday.

“Beatrice has always been my kryptonite. I’ve raced here maybe four times a year since 2012 and never won here,” he said, “so being able to go back-to-back is very special.”

Grabouski started 11th and finished second and hard charger Benji Legg motored from 21st starting to third on Friday. Legg and Lance Borgman completed Saturday’s top three.

First-time Spring Nationals Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod winners were Taylor Metz on Friday and Justin Svoboda on Saturday.

Metz has raced sporadically since graduating from college and the win was his first in the class since 2021.

“The track was super slick around the bottom and I told my dad (Greg, winner at Spring Nationals in 2016) before I went out that I was going to run the bottom and be as smooth as I can be,” he said. “My crew gave me a super good car and I was super calm the whole race, until I saw the checkers.”

“Then I was pretty excited.”

Brandon Spanjer was second, Adam Armstrong third.

A “decent” fourth in the opener, Svoboda “couldn’t do anything wrong” in winning on Saturday.

“The track was smooth and slick and I was able to lead from the drop of the green. There were about eight to go when a lapped car spun in front of me, but I was able to avoid him,” he said. “I just focused on hitting my marks, stayed glued to the bottom and stayed out front. We got this car late last year and it was awesome.”

Borgman and Steve Swarthout were next across the stripe.

And Cody Williams became a first-time Spring Nationals winners in Friday’s  IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature.

“I’ve been coming to Beatrice since 2015 and never won at Spring Nationals before. I’ve run OK but never great. This place has just eluded me,” he said. But we had a really good heat race, we drew the pole and we hit our marks.”

“In the last six months now, we’ve got four bucket list wins checked off and won the IMCA.TV Winter Nationals at Cocopah,” Williams continued. “That’s huge for us.”

Those checkers came ahead of Ryan Gilland and Adam Wasserman.

Nick Ronnebaum collected the Saturday Hobby Stock win, and a trophy to bookend his 2022 hardware, ahead of Dillon Richards and Tyler Smith.

Defending Spring Nationals winner Kaylee Richards topped Friday’s Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact headliner ahead of husband Dillon and Kaden Murray.

Dillon Richards, Carson Black and Gilbert Aldape ran 1-2-3 in the Saturday event for the 4-cylinders.

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