WEBSTER CITY - Hamilton County Speedway track officials said this week they are discouraged in their efforts to get enough moisture in the track.
After applying thousands of gallons of water to the track as they prepared for Saturday's regular racing, some dust still was present. They said the moderate drought in this area is plaguing their efforts to present a suitable racing surface.
But the racing goes on.
The crowd didn't expect to see Nick Pedersen of Rutland and his No. 29 Late Model to be on the half-mile track for Saturday's regular night of racing; fans assumed it would take the driver longer than six days to rebuild his car after it was involved in a spectacular front stretch crash the week before. So everyone at the track was pleased when Pedersen wheeled his rebuilt No. 29 onto the track for hot laps.
While Pedersen was in the hunt during the Late Model feature, it was veteran driver Craig Jacobs of Des Moines in the orange No. 95 who took home the honors for the night. Jacobs, with more than 30 years of racing experience, was the Speedway's 1999 track champion, and he still manages to grab a checkered flag or two every season.
Jacobs took the lead on the second lap and stayed there during the caution-free 20-lap feature. Placing second was Story City's Al Johnson in the No. 8, and third was the No. 15C driven by Curt Schroeder of Des Moines.
Webster City's Elliott brothers duked it out in the Modified race with Greg in the No. 47 car claiming the win. It wasn't easy, as brother Mark in the No. 12 kept the pressure on, staying close on his bumper.
Three cars running behind the Elliott duo literally swapped spots for most of the race. Kyle Brown of Kellogg in the No. 21K came up from a fifth-row start to contend with Scott Williams of Steamboat Rock in the No. 64 and the No. 8X of Scott Olson of Blairsburg. Brown claimed third, Williams fourth and Olson fifth.
Twenty-five Sport Mods started the feature and Gerald Curry, No. 20 of LuVerne, lead the first two laps until Bob Sutherland of Blairsburg in the No. 4ord came from his fifth-row start position to take the lead. He never relinquished it, but by the third lap the No. 505 car driven by Racer Hulin of Laurel came from the sixth row to put plenty of pressure on for the remainder of the laps.
Curry stayed in the third spot until he slid high in turns three and four near the end of the 20-lapper, allowing Cody Albers, No. 02A of Marshalltown, into the third spot. Webster City's Rocky Caudle in the No. 99 was fourth and Chase Ellingson of Iowa Falls in the No. 14E finished fifth.
Sutherland has run the Speedway track since 1985; he won his first race in a stock car in 1986.
Randy Embrey of Granger in the No. 40 topped the Hobby Stock class for the second time this season. Craig Graham of Webster City in the No. 13G lead for most of the race until Embrey moved into the first slot from his row five start position on lap No. 10.
On the final lap Andy Beckman, No. 62B of Lake View, worked his way from row six to claim second, putting Graham in third.
The Stock Cars were a little anxious to race Saturday night, requiring two restarts at the beginning as tangle ups coming out of turn four brought out the cautions. By the second lap Lance Deal, No. 22X of Fort Dodge, went to the lead for his third win of the year at the speedway.
The No. 20 car of Jason Wagoner of Iowa Falls stayed with Deal the entire 15-lap race to take second. John Campbell of Belmond in the 7J came from the back to claim the third slot.
Jarid Kuchenreuther of Rockwell City in the No. 83 topped the Sport Compact race to claim his second win of the year. He led by mid-race with the No. 7K driven by Ruben Stansbrough of Aredale in second. Adam Strunk, Webster City in the No. 85S, was awarded third place after the original third-place finisher was disqualified for not passing the tech inspection.
There were 91 racers from 41 Iowa towns in the pits.
Regular weekly racing is slated for Saturday, June 9. Sponsor for the night is Almost Home - Fort Dodge Animal Shelter. The grandstand opens at 5 p.m., hot laps begin at 6 p.m., with racing to follow.