Last corner pass scores Boone win for McBirnie

Jake McBirnie motored to the Eloise Davis Memorial checkers in Saturday’s special for IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars at Boone Speedway. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

By Joyce Eisele

BOONE, Iowa (June 1, 2024) – Saturday night at Boone Speedway, the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars raced in memory of Eloise Davis, wife of Greg Davis, and mother of Scott Davis. The Class Too Tough To Tame had 43 cars checked in on the night honoring the Davis family.  

Jimmy Gustin got his second feature win of the year in the Friesen Performance IMCA Modified division and Jake McBirnie took the thrilling last corner pass win in the Stocks. Matt Avila found victory lane for the second time this year in the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and John Watson was the winner in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. Ben George won the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lite main.

George led from start to finish in the Mod Lite 15-lap feature, chased the entire caution-free race by last week’s winner Bryan Zehm. Josh May started ninth and took third.  

It was 18 laps of Northern SportMod racing next. Chris Frisbie, the Oregon transplant who now calls Boone home, was looking to finally get to victory lane as he immediately jumped to the lead from the outside front row starting spot.

He was still leading when the yellow flew at lap 10. Avila had reeled in the leader and was happy to see the yellow fly and anxious for the restart. It took him until lap 13 to get by Frisbie and then it was all Avila’s race the rest of the way to the finish, scoring the win comfortably over Frisbie in second place.  Taylor Kuehl came from ninth to finish in third.

The Modifieds ran a 20 lap feature, which went flag-to-flag.

Joel Bushore started on the pole and jumped to the lead when the race went green. Sixth place starter Gustin was quickly on his tail. After a close battle, Gustin took over on the backstretch, and was scored the leader as lap five went into the books.

A few laps later, it was Jeremy Mills that Gustin was having to contend with and 10th place starter Jake McBirnie rising to third. The final run to the finish was all Gustin’s as he raced home to the checkers flying. 

McBirnie got around Mills in the closing moments and they went second and third at the line. However, post- race tech inspection deemed Mills and McBirnie with infractions for deck height, docking them two positions. The final finish found Trevor Fitz scoring second and Cory Sauerman third.

The Stock Cars ran a 25-lap feature in the special honoring Eloise Davis and the Davis Family.  

David Smith got the jump on fellow veteran Kevin Opheim as the green came out. The race was quickly halted after the first lap was scored for a skirmish in turn one that eliminated several cars.

When the racing picked back up, Smith was still leading but now it was Tyler Pickett in second place after passing Opheim. When the second, and final yellow flew at lap six, Smith was still holding back Pickett, Opheim running third, Chris Pruitt in fourth and 11th place starter McBirnie had risen to run fifth.

The caution-free run to the checkers saw lots of action up front, with Pickett taking over the lead with a nice slide at lap eight. It was looking like Pickett was going to see his first checkers of the season, but McBirnie had other ideas as he had now gotten to Pickett’s bumper with a hand full of laps remaining.

McBirnie tried the slide on the white flag lap, but to no avail, however, the final corner coming to the checkers worked for him and he beat Pickett to the checkers first to score the win. Pickett had to settle for second place on this night while Smith was third.

Hobby Stocks ran a 15-lap feature.

Keith Burg was the early leader, holding back Shaun Wirtz, then it was Watson who came calling.  Watson was able to make the pass for the lead on lap seven but had his hands full with Andrew Burg on his tail and Keith Burg running third.

Watson continued to hold down the lead despite a big push in the corner at one point and looked to be holding on just as the white flag was being unfurled. However, a blown engine would change all that as the yellow came out before the leaders were scored, setting up a green, white, checkered “overtime” run to the finish.

Before the race restarted, Keith Burg pulled to the infield, ending his good run for the night. The final charge to the checkers saw Watson hold on for the win, with Andrew Burg taking the runner-up spot. Third went to Seth Janssen.

Saturday night, June 8, will be another weekly series of racing at the Boone Speedway and a unique night for the Modifieds and SportMods as they “go topless.” Summer start times are now in place, with pits opening at 4:30 p.m., the grandstands at 5:30 p.m., hot laps at 6 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.  

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