McBirnie hits all his marks in IMCA Modified main at Marshalltown

Jake McBirnie topped the $1,000 to win Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature on a warm Friday evening at Marshalltown Speedway. (Photo by Jordan Hanisch)

By Joyce Eisele

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (June 21, 2024) – It was a hot and humid night at Marshalltown Speedway on Friday, where it was Midwest Liquid Systems night at the races. One hundred forty-seven cars came to play.

Friesen Performance IMCA Modifieds were running for $1,000 to the winner and Jake McBirnie, already Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible, ran the track perfectly on his way to that victory. 

Damon Murty saw victory lane for the first time in the regular season when he won the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature. Logan Anderson got the Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod win and Eric Stanton took the accolades in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks. Cory Sonner won in the Stealth Racing IMCA STARS Mod Lites and Mitchell Bunch returned to the winner’s circle when he took the checkers in the Mach-1 IMCA Sport Compacts.

The 15-lap feature for Mod Lites was up first. 

Sonner started on the pole and jumped to the immediate lead with Jason Masengarb tagging in to run second. Masengarb’s night ended just a couple of laps later when he was off the pace and out of the race.

Then it was eighth place starter Charlie Brown dogging the leader. Brown reeled in Sonner and had the lead on lap nine. It looked to be the night Brown would go to victory lane. It was not to be, however, as bad luck bit him when a lapped car got in his way, contact was made, and leader Brown was done for the night.

This put Sonner back in the lead for the final two-lap shootout to the checkers. He had no issue in keeping that lead the rest of the way to score his first win at the speedway this season. Jon Padilla came home in second. Third went to 10th place starter Josh May.  

The Stock Cars came to the track next for their 20-lap main.

Murty started on the outside front row, established the lead immediately, with pole sitter and hometown driver Jared Daggett tagging on his tail.  Murty took to his preferred top line of the high banks and shot off. 

Jay Schmidt came calling just a few laps into the race and took over second as he tried to run down leader Murty.

Murty continued to plant himself on the top shelf as the race wore on and two cautions late the contest were no hindrance to the Chelsea Charger as he went home to the win. Second place runner Schmidt had misfortune bit him again in the closing laps of the race when he went for a spin, taking him out of the running and putting Daggett in second where he finished at the checkers.

Third went to 11th place starter Jimmy Gustin, who put on a late race charge. This was Murty’s first 2024 regular season win at the speedway, after having won the Frostbuster Special in early April.

The Northern SportMods ran a 20-lap main event.

Tony Olson led the opening laps of the race,but Anderson quickly rose to the top from his seventh place starting position, swung to the outside coming out of turn four and had the lead on lap four.

It was all Anderson’s race from there on out, as he pulled away in the latter portion of the race to take the easy win. Matt Avila took the runner-up spot after starting eighth. Dylan VanWyk started 13th and finished third. 

The Modifieds ran 20 laps for their $1,000 payoff win, in a draw/redraw format that found McBirnie get the lucky number one pill to start on the pole. 

Tripp Gaylord, the Colorado native now calling New Sharon, Iowa, home, came calling from his fourth starting position and was soon in second. Gaylord looked for any way around McBirnie, but it wasn’t to be as McBirnie continued to hit his marks perfectly each lap and went home to the flying checkers and the $1,000 payday.

Gaylord had to be content with the runner-up spot. Johnathon Logue ran near the front all race long and finished third.

The Hobby Stock 20-lap feature was next to the track.

Corey VanderWilt, aka The Lynnville Lightning, was the early leader of the contest, but Zach McNeese was soon up to challenge. McNeese took over the top spot on lap nine but 12th place starter Stanton was charging hard through the pack and by lap 12 found his way into the lead after making the pass on the backstretch.

Stanton held on to that lead then the rest of the circuits to claim his first victory at Marshalltown in 2024. Two cars were going at it behind him as they fought it out for second, with Sam West winning out over McNeese as they finished second and third, respectively. 

The Sport Compacts ran a 15-lap main event.

Bunch started on the pole and dominated the flag-to-flag contest. He pulled away and took the easy win. Michael Gardner ran second the entire race but finished a distant second. Third went to Jeremy Williams.

Friday night, June 28 will be another night of regular points racing in all six IMCA divisions. Pits open at 5:15 p.m. and the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 6:45 p.m. and racing is at 7:30 p.m. 

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