Turner grabs wild win at East Moline

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 31, 2022) – The car pasted itself to the low groove and finally worked the way Erick Turner wanted. The Barstow, Ill., regular at East Moline Speedway had the hard work pay off with the 15-lap Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMod win Sunday evening during a wild race. “Everyone here made this happen, all the hard work,” Turner said in the winner’s circle, pointing to his family and crew. “We’ve struggled, worked, got better and finally we’re here.”  It may not have been a challenge to get to first place, but it was staying there. Four other leaders were involved in incidents during the affair. Turner started seventh, took advantage of misfortune, but still was fast and kept the car straight. He figured he had a chance on a late caution, one of eight yellow flags, for his first 2022 win.    “On that last caution I thought I had a chance. The car was working good down low and those guys got in that wreck ahead of [Read More]


Waterman tops East Moline’s Tribute to Ron Gustaf

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 20, 2022) – The emotion was real on the face of Jacob Waterman in the winner’s circle at East Moline Speedway.  Waterman outdueled Chuck Hanna on a lap 19 restart and won the midweek Tribute to Ron Gustaf IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature.   “(Ron) built my motor when I first started racing,” Waterman said post-race. “What he meant to us and racing is great.”  That caution had flown for race long leader Gary Webb, who went too wide off turn two and smacked the wall while on the point. Waterman started on the tail and worked his way through the field to restart on the double front row. The race went caution free the rest of the way with Waterman pocketing $2,090.86 for the 30-lapper, using the top groove especially in turns one and two. “I just had to be patient. I was actually hoping (Hanna) would take the top on that restart. I thought I could get by him on the bottom easier but it worked out,” [Read More]


Denning speeds to East Moline checkers

By Rob Hinckley  EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 17, 2022) – Travis Denning shot from the high groove to the low early, moved to the lead after starting sixth and won Sunday’s Friesen Performance IMCA Modified 20-lap feature at East Moline Speedway.  Brandon Durbin started in the last row and wound up second ahead of B.J. Jackson, Mitch Morris and Mike Zemo. Logan Gustaf topped a record-tying IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock field for his first career 12-lap victory. First-time visitor Luke Phillips tried to catch Gustaf in traffic but settled for second. Randy Lamar, Brandon Schneider and Donnie Cole followed. The 2022 season continues July 20 with the Rock Island County Fair Championship races featuring the Tribute to Ron Gustaf for IMCA Sunoco Late Models plus Friesen Performance IMCA Northern SportMods and IMCA STARS Mod Lites.


Webb notches win no. 523 with East Moline checkers

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 10, 2022) – The infectious smile in the winners’ circle told another story as Gary Webb climbed from his mount Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway. The 73-year old hall of famer moved quickly from his P6 start to the front of the IMCA Sunoco Late Model pack. He cruised to the 25-lap win in front of a very appreciative crowd.  “This never gets old, but I’m getting old,” Webb said and laughed. “This was win 523 and they’re coming a lot more slowly nowadays, but this was a good run.”  The 17-time track champion was really never challenged even after an early caution. His Kryptonite Chassis showed great acceleration off the turns as he extended the advantage.  “We had great forward bite in that feature,” Webb said. “(Track Promoter Jeff Peterson) had the track nicely done. We had the engine rebuilt a couple weeks ago so we had great power and I thank the fans here for watching.”  The 523 wins have come at 65 different tracks, [Read More]


Larson first to Durbin Memorial checkers

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (July 3, 2022) – Just like any skilled veteran dirt race car driver, Jeff Larson remembered the best line around East Moline Speedway and it paid off big time Sunday evening.  “Bone” redrew no. 1 after winning his Friesen Performance IMCA Modified heat race and rolled to a flag-to-flag victory in the third Greg Durbin Memorial.  After waiting out a handful of cautions, the defending national champion diamoned turn one, launched the backstretch and crept through turns three and four for 25 laps en route to a $1,500 pay day plus some bonus money. That same style also carried him to the 2021 EMS track title. Last year’s Durbin Memorial winner Travis Denning, started seventh and maneuvered by teammate B.J. Jackson for the runner-up spot on lap seven, but Larson’s familiar Bader Construction No. B1 repeatedly opened big advantages. Denning also was second behind Eric Barnes, Greg Durbin’s brother, in the inaugural event in 2020. Barnes drew the outside pole, but dropped out with a mechanical issue and finished [Read More]


Durbin makes it two straight at East Moline Speedway

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (May 22, 2022) – He slowed the car in turn three, but the accelerator was down off turn four. Brandon Durbin found a way to negotiate the final two turns and won his second straight 20-lap Friesen Performance IMCA Modified feature Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway. The Colona, Ill. hotshoe bested Travis Denning in another classic battle.  “Me and Denning had quite the battle there,” Durbin said in victory lane. “The car was too free in the center, but once I got it straight I had good traction.” Durbin started in the front row and held off Denning lap after lap, with both cars on the cushion of turns one and two. “It was extremely slick on the bottom. There wasn’t much there. I figured if I got out front, got up top and held that line, I’d be all right.” Andy Nezworski, Jim Sandusky and Anthony Guss rounded out the top five. R.J. Gonzales also made it two-for-two by dominating the IMCA STARS Mod Lites 15-lap finale.  [Read More]


Kay takes East Moline Salute to Gary Webb cash

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (Sept. 19) – The smile lit up the cockpit of the no. 15K and then in front of the large crowd at East Moline Speedway.  Justin Kay found one track he had not won at in 2021 and picked a great night, leading all 56 laps of the Salute to Gary Webb IMCA Sunoco Late Model special Sunday evening. “It’s pretty cool. It seems like we win a lot of the races that are salutes. I’ve raced a lot of laps with Gary so I hope to keep this going,” he said. The race on the tight quarter-mile oval was only slowed three times by caution in the first 10 laps. The last 46 circuits were all under the green flag.  “I’m a little winded. That was a long green flag run there at the end,” said $2,000 winner Kay.  The Wheatland, Iowa pilot started on the pole, thanks to drawing the one pill in the redraw, and blazed every lap to beat track champion Andy Nezworski, Fred Remley, [Read More]


Zemo makes mark at East Moline STARS Mod Lite special

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (Sept. 12) – The Z Man once again left his mark.  As he rocketed around the top groove of East Moline Speedway, Mike Zemo, Jr. knew the work he and his crew put into the Sidewinder Chassis all year paid off.  The Davenport, Iowa ace passed early leader Randy Bryan, Ames, Iowa, early and zipped to the IMCA STARS Mod Lite 25-lap special win and took home $1,000. It was also win number eight at EMS against increased competition on this night. “I was a little worried,” Zemo said in the winner’s circle. “I just knew the outside would be pretty good for me. I just hit my marks. It was really treacherous up there so hoping my experience would work.” The race was slowed just once by caution.  R.J. Gonzales had mechanical issues in his heat and started at the tail. He charged toward the front, taking second with seven laps left. He was unable to cut into Zemo’s advantage.  Jon Padilla, Bryan and Anthony Guss rounded out [Read More]


East Moline Speedway honors Webb’s 50-year career with rescheduled tribute race Sept. 19

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. – As well as he is running right now, he may even win it. At age 72, Hall of Famer Gary Webb’s dirt track racing career is still at high speed. Webb is in his 50th season of speeding around tracks locally and beyond. The 50 years will be celebrated with The Salute to Gary Webb Eriksen Chevrolet IMCA Sunoco Late Model race on Sunday, Sept. 19 at East Moline Speedway. The event was rescheduled from June 20 due to rain. “Fifty years at anything is a milestone, but racing at the level Gary has for five decades means more,” EMS General Manager and Race Director Bret Sievertsen said. “We knew East Moline Speedway wanted to honor Gary, especially since he considers this track ‘home’ and won a lot here.” The feature race will be 56 laps, in honor of Webb’s car number and pay $2,000 to the winner. Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National and KMJ Performance State points will be disbursed and line ups will be determined via draw/redraw. [Read More]


Strategy pays off for Denning with Durbin Memorial win

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (Aug. 8) – Travis Denning formulated the strategy as he circled the quarter-mile oval. Denning got the hole shot from his P3 start, had the lead before the first circuit was completed and ended up cruising to the 30-lap Greg Durbin Memorial main event for IMCA Modifieds Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway. The second annual event was held to celebrate the late member of the prominent Durbin racing family and driver of the No. 8 Modified. Already Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational qualifying eligible, Denning gathered $2,008 for the victory out of the nearly $8,000 up for grabs.  The Sterling, Ill., hotshoe saw a straightaway advantage vanish on Lap 11 when one of the only three cautions flew. He then battled Jeff Larson after the restart with Larson edging to the front briefly. The left rear wheel came off the No. B1 sending Larson to a stop and bringing out the second yellow.  Denning stayed on the point and let Greg’s brothers Brandon Durbin and Eric Barnes battle for [Read More]