Rust, Paris are sharp in topless shows at Marshalltown

Joel Rust raced topless to Friday’s $1,200 Friesen Performance IMCA Modified checkers at Marshalltown Speedway. (Photo by Jane Burd, Icon Images)

By Joyce Eisele

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (June 7, 2024) – Marshalltown Speedway was host to the first of two Twin Topless Dirty 30 races Friday night.

Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds and Friesen Performance Northern SportMods both removed their tops for the unique race program. Mother Nature tried to stop the fun, but a few sprinkles during the SportMod feature, didn’t stop the show, and racing action returned quickly.

Joel Rust won the exciting Modified feature and it was Shane Paris winning in the SportMods. Cayden Carter ran away and hid in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car event, Calvin Dhondt came from row six to take the checkers in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock division and Illinois racer, Jason Masengarb took top honors in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites. 

Feature racing kicked off with the running of the 15-lap event for the Mod Lites.  

Masengarb started on the pole and led all but a brief moment when Charlie Brown was scored the leader at lap three. That’s when action was halted for Tracen Glick after he went for an easy roll in corner four.

When the race returned to green, Masengarb again took control and never looked back as he raced home to the flying checkers and the win. Josh May raced his way from eighth starting to finish as the runner-up. Third was Jon Padilla.

The Hobby Stocks were up next for their 20-lap feature. 

Don’t ever count out Dhondt, who started 12th on the field and methodically picked off car after car on his way to the front. The third yellow flew at lap eight and at that time, Eric Knutson was holding the lead with Solomon Bennett in second and Dhondt in third.

Dhondt had the lead at the line on lap 11 and then pulled away in the closing portion of the race to score the win. Knutson, who started 11th, took the runner-up position and 13th place starter Sam West was third.

Dhondt chalked up his second feature of the year.

The 20-lap Stock Car feature saw Carter take the easy win and a $1,000 payday as well, along with B & B Racing Chassis All-Star Invitational qualifying eligibility.

Gage Neal started outside the front row and immediately took the lead, followed by visiting Abilene, Texas racer Tommy Fain. Neal looked strong and put distance between himself and the field, but then a yellow flew at lap seven, bunching them up for the restart.

When the race returned to green, it was Neal, Cayden Carter, and Maguire DeJong fighting it out for the top spot. By halfway, Carter had established the lead and then he went on to “walk the dog” as he sailed to the easy win. Neal finished second, just holding off DeJong in third. 

The first of the topless races was the 30 lapper for the SportMods.

Matt Avila was the early leader with Shane Paris and Brayton Carter in tow. Carter kept digging, found his way into the lead on lap 15 and was looking for checkers. He was still leading when a yellow flew for debris on lap 23 and on the restart still held the top spot.

It was looking like Carter was going to capture the win and the $1,000 prize as the race wore on, but that would all change when another yellow reared its ugly head with just three laps to go. The restart was not good for Carter, as he fell back multiple positions and Paris took over the lead.

On lap 28, Mother Nature decided to sprinkle the track. The cars were kept on the track and before long, it was back to racing.

Paris held on to that top spot and raced home to the flying checkers and the win. Cam Reimers mounted a late-race challenge but had to be content with second. Early leader Avila took third place.  

The nightcap was 30 laps of topless Modified racing. It was a Fast Shaft All-Star Invitational qualifier that paid $1,200 to the winner.

Dylan Thornton started on the pole and established himself up front. He took to the top of the track and distanced himself from Tom Berry and Rust, who were duking it out for second place.

At the halfway point, Berry had reeled in Thornton and mounted a challenge. Berry found his attempt at the pass a little too much on lap 16 as he lost traction and went spinning in corner two, bringing out the yellow.

On lap 21 another yellow flew, Thornton still maintaining the upper hand, and by this time, 10th place starter Tripp Gaylord had gotten to second place and Rust was running third. Gaylord tried a slide job that didn’t stick and Rust was right there in the mix.

It was an exciting race up front with the three going at it, but Rust was the one who got the pass on the backstretch and had the lead with six laps to go. He was then able to hold on to the lead the rest of the way to the finish and score the win. Gaylord went second, with Thornton in third.

After finishing a disappointing second after leading much of the race last week, Rust redeemed himself with his first win at the track for 2024. He’s the defending All-Star Invitational winner and was already eligible for the upcoming event.

The second night for the topless divisions was at Boone Speedway on Saturday. 

Friday, June 14 at Marshalltown Speedway will be P & D Welding Solutions $1,000 to win feature for the IMCA Modifieds and a $500 Shoot-out Structural Race as well. Sanctioned Stock Cars, SportMods, Hobby Stocks, Mod Lites and Sport Compacts will also be racing. Hot laps are at 6:45 p.m. with racing at 7:30 p.m.

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