Braaksma wins again, Richards ends dry spell at Boone Frostbuster

Rod Richards’ Saturday night Frostbuster feature win was his IMCA Sunoco Stock Car first at Boone Speedway since 2019. (Photo by Denise Badgley)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (April 6, 2024) – The winning continued for Ethan Braaksma while Rod Richards saw a dry spell end in Saturday IMCA Frostbuster action at Boone Speedway.

Braaksma raced to his sixth Friesen Performance IMCA Modified victory of the young season and another $1,000 payday at Iowa’s Action Track. Richards, meanwhile, earned $750 for his first IMCA Sunoco Stock Car checkers since 2019.

Also the Thursday Frostbuster winner at Stuart, Braaksma opted for a higher route around after watching the Stock Cars use the lower line in their Saturday feature.

That strategy paid off as he’d catch Todd Shute for the runner-up spot seven laps in and then passed pole starter Jerry Flippo on the 10th circuit.

“We were able to get out to a decent lead after that. There was a caution with about 10 laps to go and I knew I had to get a good restart,” said Braaksma, aware that Dylan Thornton was on the move behind him and worse yet that his right front tire was going flat.

Thornton would work his way from 12th before settling for second. Shute, Trevor Fitz and Izac Mallicoat completed the top five.

“We are riding a high right now,” said Braaksma, whose tire was completely flat by the time he wheeled to post-race tech. “We’re going to keep working hard in the shop to make sure the wins keep coming.”

Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible six times over, Braaksma had also won the main event at Boone en route to the Frostbuster crown in 2021.

Richards went a little further back to his latest Boone Speedway win or wins period: His two most recent checkers before Saturday had come there during the 2019 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season.

He started on the pole and led the entire 25 laps, challenged in the closing circuits by Devin Smith, who had started 13th. Buck Schafroth was third.

“It’s been a few years. I won those two races and then had a dry spell for a few years,” said Richards, now eligible to qualify for the B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational. “It feels really good to know I can still pull one off.”

He’s in a new Spaw ride and bounced back big time following a 16th place finish the night before at Marshalltown.

“We had a pushing problem,” he explained. “We made the car rotate through the corners for Boone and that really helped.”

Brayton Carter started on the outside front row, took the immediate lead and never looked back in hustling to his fourth Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod win of the season and career 99th checkers in the class.

Carter pulled away from the field, weathering two cautions and restarts. He finished comfortably ahead of Taylor Kuehl and Cole Suckow while matching his 2023 Frostbuster win at Boone.  

And Mike Smith made his first IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock start of the season a winning one, taking the checkers from eighth on the original grid.

Logan Andrews led the opening lap. By lap two, Eric Knutson had taken over with John Watson dogging him. By lap 10, Smith had thrown his hat into the ring and was riding in third.

A yellow came out on lap 13 and was just what Smith wanted. When the race restarted, it didn’t take long until he was riding the bumper of leader Knutson.  Smith searched low, and high for a way around, and plan paid off in the final circuit, as he nosed under Knutson on the backstretch and reached the checkers first.

Knutson had to be content with second place. Third went to Watson. Smith has already totaled 82 wins in his brief Hobby Stock career; he’d started the season tied with uncle Donavon and Jason Duggins for 19th place on the all-time list for the division.

One hundred and eighty-seven race teams checked in for the Boone Frostbuster, broadcast by IMCA.TV.

Saturday night, April 13 begins the 2024 IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing at Boone. Sanctioned Modifieds, Stock Cars, Northern SportMods, Hobby Stocks and Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites will be in competition. The grandstand opens at 4:30 p.m. with hot laps at 5 p.m. and racing at 6 p.m.

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