It’s Shute in a thriller at Boone

A four-car battle on the final circuit ended with Todd Shute in victory lane Saturday night, following a Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature that had Boone Speedway fans on their feet. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (May 18, 2024) – A beautiful night for racing greeted drivers and fans Saturday at Boone Speedway.

Todd Shute took the win in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds, in a race that will be talked about as one of the best ever witnessed. Dusty Van Horn took to the top shelf of the track in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and never looked back. Dustin Lynch also took a fans on their feet win at the line in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods. It was Mike Smith back in familiar victory lane in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks and Josh May, in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites, took his first win of the season at the track.

Mod Lites ran their 15-lap main event to kick off the feature racing of the night. Jason Toppenberg led the first six laps of the race but defending track champion May was challenging him.

May made the pass and took command on lap seven, never to look back. Toppenberg took the runner-up position with Jeff Stensland third.

The 18-lap SportMod feature was a race of survival as three cautions flew before lap two was in the books.

Fort Morgan, Colo.’s Hunter Smith, who started 14th and found himself leading at lap six after numerous cars were eliminated in the early skirmishes, looked to be on his way to taking home a win at Boone Speedway.

He was still leading at lap 14 when the sixth yellow of the race flew. The restart bunched the field behind him and now Dusty Masolini, the leaders fellow Coloradan Danny Concelman, Lynch and Zach Hovell were eager for the race to return to green.

Smith maintained his lead for the next two laps but then Lynch got to the top side, made it work, and made the thrilling pass for the lead with a lap to go.  He held that lead the rest of the way to the flying checkers and took his first win at the track this year. Smith had to settle for the runner-up spot while Hovell scooted by Lynch in the final go around as they went third and fourth, respectively.

Dustin Lynch prevailed in another Saturday night thriller at Boone Speedway, besting the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod feature. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

The Modified 20-lap feature saw one for the record books.

Veteran Mike VanGenderen led from the get-go as he leaped to the lead from his pole starting position, Joel Bushore tucking in to run second. Trevor Fitz ran a close third and Nick Roberts was giving chase to them all.

Bushore exited the track at lap nine for assumed mechanical issues and Fitz began pressuring VanGenderen.

VanGenderen was holding the lead at lap 16 as sliders were being thrown left and right.  Then, coming to the flag on lap 17, things got really tight. Fitz was low, VanGenderen the meat in the sandwich and Roberts was on the bottom.

Roberts drifted up, contact was made and Fitz, the one on the outside, was the unlucky one who ate the tire at the top of turn four, ending his run.

As the race restarted, VanGenderen was the leader with Roberts in second, Jimmy Gustin in third and 12th place starter Shute was fourth.

The tricky, treacherous top side had to be treated with respect as the race returned to green. The final run to the checkers was one for the ages!

Sliders were thrown, with VanGenderen still holding on until the final dash to the checkers out of turn four. Somehow, Shute threaded the needle as they raced out of the turn, going from fourth and taking the win right at the finish line.

VanGenderen got the runner-up spot with 10th place starter Gustin a very close third. It was a happy camper in victory lane as Shute finally got the monkey off his back after bad luck has plagued him in the early season.  

The Stock Car 20-lap feature was led from start to finish by Dusty Van Horn, the Atlantic driver who started on the outside front row.  He had to contend with Dillon Solum, the transplanted Oregon racer, the entire race.

The only yellow of the contest flew at lap six but it was no issue on the restart for Van Horn as he took off, established himself on the top shelf, and never looked back. Solum took the runner-up spot and young Rowdee VanGenderen had a great race running against veterans, taking third.

The finale of the night was 15 laps of Hobby Stock feature racing.

Andrew Burg, raced his son’s car, started on the outside pole and took the lead as the race went green.  It wasn’t long until Smith, who started seventh, came calling, and by lap three, had the lead.

It was all his race from there on out, as he took the comfortable win, his second weekly race victory of the year. Burg finished second and third went to Mike House.

Saturday night, May 25 is another weekly series of racing that will also include a Corn Belt Clash for the Mod Lites and celebrate the IMCA anniversary special for the Modifieds with a top prize of $2,000. Pits open at 3:30 p.m. and 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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