Marshalltown checkers are first in Iowa for Corn

California native Garrett Corn won for the first time in an IMCA Sunoco Stock Car Friday at Marshalltown Speedway. (Photo by Jordan Hanisch)

By Joyce Eisele

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (May 17, 2024) – It was a beautiful night for racing at the Marshalltown Speedway Friday with 127 cars checked in.

Drew Janssen came home with the win in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and Garrett Corn saw victory lane for the first time in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars. Kyle Olson took top honors in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and Eric Knutson was the winner in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. Ben George won the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lite feature and it was Jeremy Williams taking the checkers in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts.

Mod Lites ran the first feature of the night, going 15 laps.

George dominated this race, taking the lead on lap two, and never giving it up. Josh May chased him around the rim of the track for several laps, taking a peek a time or two, but George was never really threatened.

George pulled away in the closing laps and took the easy win, his first at Marshalltown and only his second-ever feature win. He finished well ahead of Jon Padilla, who had started 10th on the field. Third went to Alex Eischeid.

Up next came 20 laps of Northern SportMod racing.

This was a two horse race, as Olson and Maguire DeJong pulled away from the field and circled the oval.  DeJong made some spectacular slides out of turn four trying to get ahead of Olson, but each attempt failed and Olson went home to take the checkers, DeJong having to settle for second.  Following a far distance behind in third was Will Wolf.

Sport Compacts ran a 15 lap feature next.

Williams came home the winner in this contest. He had to wrestle with David Kimmel and Cristian Grady in the closing laps, as the three duked it out. Kimmel held the upper hand at the white flag, but a bit of contact on the backstretch, found Kimmel having to miraculously regain control as Williams made the run to the checkers and take the win.

Grady took the runner up-spot and Kimmel still made it a third place finish.

His last-lap heroics made Jeremy Williams the Friday night Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compact feature winner at Marshalltown Speedway. (Photo by Jordan Hanisch)

Hobby Stocks ran 20 laps for their feature.

Joren Fisher led much of this contest, with Knutson pressuring as he took peeks for a way around several times.  A caution flew at lap 12, just what Knutson wanted, and as the race went back to green, he was able to take over the top spot.

He established the top side of the track as his own and pulled away in the closing circuits to take the win. Bradly Graham finished as the runner up and third went to Dustin Filloon.

It was 20 laps of Stock Car feature racing next. 

Corn established the lead immediately after starting on the outside front row. Tyler Pickett fell in behind him to run second and started applying pressure.

The two were frequently side-by-side at the flag stand in the second half of the race but Corn was able to hold off Pickett and take the win. Pickett had to be content with the runner-up spot. It was a fight for the next few positions, but at the flag it was Scott Rice taking third over fourteenth place starter Jeff Mueller.

Corn, who is a transplant from Bakersfield, Calif., has raced in Iowa the last couple of years and this was his first-ever win in the Hawkeye State.

The nightcap was 20 laps of Modified feature racing.

David Brown led the first two laps that saw three cautions fly in a race marred by the yellow flying. When the race went green again at lap three, Todd Shute made the move to the topside and took over the lead.

Shute pulled away and then more cautions flew. The yellow on lap 11 was what second-place runner Janssen was hoping for. He tried a couple of slide jobs and then at lap 15 had the lead.

A seventh and final caution flew at lap 17 when Dylan Thornton and Shute made contact on the backstretch, sending Shute off the track.  Thornton was shown the black flag for questionable driving, ending both his and Shute’s night.

The final laps saw Janssen keep his lead and pull away to take the comfortable win as the checkers flew. Native Coloradan Tripp Gaylord finished second, redeeming himself after an early caution sent him to restart in the rear of the field. Troy Morris, III made the trip from Bakersfield, California and finished in third place.

Jaxson Saathoff of Beatrice, Neb., had the night off at his hometown track, started 15th and finished fourth.  Seymour, Wis. driver Jayden Schmidt was the hard charger of the race, coming from 23rd starting to complete the top five.

Friday night, May 24 is EMW Trucking Military Memorial night with a Corn Belt Clash for the Mod Lites. Hot laps are 6:45 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m.

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