Berry continues fast start to season with IMCA Modified Monday Night Madness win

Tom Berry Jr. made his return to Independence Motor Speedway a successful one, scoring the $2,000 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified win in the Monday Night Madness Summer Challenge Series opener. (Photo by Black Hat Photography)

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (May 6, 2024) – Tom Berry Jr. made his first racing visit to Independence Motor Speedway while testing the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified competition in the Midwest nine years ago.

He returned to win the Monday Night Madness Summer Challenge Series opener, leading all 30 laps and pocketing $2,000.

“We’ve definitely had a good start to the year,” understated Berry, after wheeling the fastest of 44 Modified entries to victory lane. “There was a stout field of cars here tonight and they did a great job with the track. You could run different lines. I could move around when I needed to.”

Ethan Braaksma, another driver who’s enjoyed a good start to the season, was second and Tim Ward was third.

Joel Rust and Spencer Diercks completed the top five.

Berry won his heat from seventh starting to earn the pole for the main event. Braaksma mounted an early challenge and back-to-back cautions flew before the last nine laps ran green.

Berry stretched out his advantage over the last five of those circuits while battling right rear tire issues.

“I wanted to make sure I had some tire left for the end of the race,” he said following his latest Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying win. “I really got lucky there. I could have lost a good amount of money if I didn’t.”

The Oregon native raced out of North Dakota before moving to Iowa and winning IMCA national and IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s championships. He’d watch from the tech area as Brayton Carter won his Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod career 100th feature and $1,000 Monday night.

Three-time and defending Independence track champion Tom Schmitt raced to a $1,000 win of his own, leading all 20 laps of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature and becoming eligible to qualify for the B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational. 

Calvin Dhondt topped the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature and Stephen Randall was the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact winner.

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