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]


Becerra roars to East Moline Mix Memorial cash

By Rob Hinckley  EAST MOLINE, Ill. (June 27) – Lap after lap, Austin Becerra did not change his strategy and knew he would not. The Carthage, Ill., ace went to the top groove and stayed there the entire 20 laps of the Mike Mix Memorial SportMod Shootout Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway. Becerra wheeled around Cody Calam and Adam Birck, then held off Jarett Franzen for the $1,000 Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod win. “The track had some character and you have to (be able to) run the top like that,” Becerra said in the Winner’s Circle. “I’m not a bottom feeder so I had to make the top work.” Becerra waited out a couple cautions, but always pulled away from the field. Franzen, Birck, Nathan Balensiefen and Logan Veloz rounded out the top five. “Franzen is the class of the field here and I saw his nose under me a couple times. I knew running the top I could have the momentum.”  Not to be overshadowed, Hall of Famer Gary Webb put on a [Read More]


East Moline to reschedule Salute to Gary Webb event

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (June 20) – Race fans had to grill out on Father’s Day instead of heading to East Moline Speedway.  Ahead of approaching storms, track officials postponed Sunday evening’s Salute to Gary Webb IMCA Sunoco Late Model special with guest appearance by Ken Schrader.  The amount of traveling race teams and high percentage of storms forced the decision. The event will be rescheduled for a later date to honor the 50-year racing career of Hall of Famer Gary Webb. 


$250 Sunoco bonuses on tap at two venues this weekend

VINTON, Iowa – Extra money is on the line for the winner of Friday’s main event for IMCA Sunoco Late Models at Lee County Speedway and Sunday’s Gary Webb tribute at East Moline Speedway. Sunoco bonuses will be presented at Late Model sanctioned tracks again this year. Drivers are eligible for one bonus during the 2021 racing season. Winners so far this year are Matt Ryan at 300 Raceway in Farley, followed by Sean Johnson at Independence Motor Speedway, Andy Eckrich at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, and Ron Klein at Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway.  IMCA will announce mid-week before the dates bonuses are to be awarded at each track.  Racing is set to get underway following 7 p.m. hot laps in Donnellson and 5:30 hot laps in East Moline. 


Mulvany first to East Moline IMCA Late Model checkers

By Rob Hinckley EAST MOLINE, Ill. (June 13) – The car tiptoed off turn four and all could feel Shawn Mulvany’s sigh of relief. Mulvany paced all 25 laps of the IMCA Sunoco Late Model feature Sunday evening at East Moline Speedway.   “We almost stayed home,” Mulvany said in the winner’s circle. “We haven’t had much luck lately, struggling with little stuff.” B.J. Jackson showed his nose a couple times, but Mulvany stayed the course on the bottom groove. “This is great to finally get one at my home track. I think we finally found something. We haven’t been able to get forward so this is great.” The race went without a caution. Gary Webb, Jacob Waterman and Andy Nezworski started to close on the front battle and finished in that order behind Mulvany’s seventh career Late Model win, but first in a while. Travis Denning moved out front early and stopped Jeff Larson’s win streak at three in the IMCA Modified finale. Larson, Nezworski, Brandon Durbin and Doug Lenth followed. Jarett Franzen took the [Read More]