WEBSTER CITY - A few bumps and bruises weren't going to stop Webster City veteran driver Mark Elliott from accomplishing the rare double at his home track - the Hamilton County Speedway - in front of an enthusiastic crowd on the final night of the regular season on Saturday.
The pain would subside. The accomplishment will last forever.
For the first time in his 26 years behind the wheel, Elliott seized season track championships in both the Modified and Stock Car classes. He piled up 439 points in his Modified to pull away from runner-up Devin Havlik (412) by 27 points, and then prevailed in the Stock Car division by a measly one point over Grundy Center's Steve Meyer, 451-450.
DFJ photo by Nancy Kayser
Mark Elliott (15) leads his Modified heat on Saturday at the Hamilton County Speedway. The Webster City veteran driver picked up season titles in the Modified and Stock Car classes.
Elliott's first tour of the track began from the third row of the Modified feature as he attempted to catch eventual winner Tyler Prochaska of Iowa Falls. But Elliott's No. 15 car spun out coming out of turn one and the restart put him at the back of the pack.
Elliott maneuvered back towards the front and by mid-race he occupied the second slot when again he ran into trouble. Big trouble.
"We were all racing tight in the No. 1 turn when the car in front of me started to skid," Elliott said. "I put on the brakes; there was nothing else I could do and then another car hit me.
Final Season Point Standings
Hamilton County Speedway
1. Adam Strunk85SWebster City410
2. Danny Sassman, Jr.10Fort Dodge388
3. Dustin Haggard37Humboldt339
4. Kalan Guthrie50KFort Dodge226
5. Jason Clark22BHumboldt130
6. Hunter Benson26RForest City 94
7. Ryan Bryant37XMason City 66
8. Josh Cleghorn43HBondurant 35
9. Shawn Cooney30Des Moines 34
10. Sarah Totten74Schleswig 32
1. Randy Embrey40Granger447
2. Corey Roe8RWebster City443
3. Craig Graham13GWebster City428
4. Myles Michehl21Fort Dodge388
5. Daniel Ayers4DWebster City384
6. Ty Griffith56Webster City377
7. Nate Bonin51Iowa Falls359
8. Roger Haupt24RClarion325
9. Cody Nielsen29NFort Dodge290
10. Nathan Palmateer22NAckley260
1. Matt Lettow21Roland440
2. Rocky Caudle99Ellsworth407
3. Brandon Leeman64Roland381
4. Cody Albers02AWellsburg380
5. Shawn Albers22AWellsburg362
6. Jared VanDeest80JHolland350
7. Jerid Ratzke2Williams346
8. Joel Rust26JGrundy Ctr.345
9. Brandon Toftee85TWebster City336
10. Bob Sutherland4ORDBlairsburg319
1. Mark Elliott15Webster City451
2. Steve Meyer94Grundy Ctr.450
3. John Campbell7JBelmond431
4. Jim MitchellM5Webster City409
5. Jason Vansickel37EWebster City407
6. Ryan LeemanR31Roland375
7. Vince Loewen59LHubbard371
8. Adam Silvey97Iowa Falls321
9. Terry Cornelison556Boone287
10. Travis Prochaska21TIowa Falls268
1. Mark Elliott15Webster City439
2. Devon Havlik5DIowa Falls412
3. Scott Olson8XBlairsburg388
4. Tyler Prochaska22TIowa Falls378
5. Greg Elliott47Webster City278
6. Scott Williams64Steam. Rock274
7. Bill Crimmins35Fort Dodge232
8. Beau Kaplan11Boone208
9. Ryan Ruter555Kanawha145
10. Austin Lucas9XCherokee103
1. Ryan Griffith15XWebster City467
2. Darrel DeFrance99DMarshalltown449
3. Jason Hahne76Webster City435
4. Al Johnson8Story City396
5. Paul Conrad23Colo384
6. Curt Schroeder15CAmes376
7. Jeremy Grady5Story City259
8. Ben Nading21Ankeny246
9. Carey Umbarger2Garner165
10. Craig Jacobs95Des Moines143
"They tell me I rolled at least twice before I landed on four wheels."
Elliott - already the Modified track champion regardless of the outcome - was shaken up, but refused medical treatment. He had approximately 30 minutes to shake out the cobwebs in time for the Stock Car feature.
Just two points separated Elliott and the leader entering the evening - Steve Meyer of Grundy Center. They started side-by-side in the fourth row of the feature.
Jason Vansickel of Webster City jumped to the lead at the start and held it until Damon Murty of Chelsea came from row five to lead. Elliott, Meyer, Ryan Leeman and John Campbell all gave chase.
The top runners hit lapped traffic over the final three laps, as Murty went on to take the checkers ahead of Vansickel. Elliott grabbed third, Leeman fourth and Campbell fifth. Meyer could not maneuver through the pack and had to settle for sixth.
It was a Hollywood movie ending in the Hobby Stock class, as 18 points separated the top three drivers - Randy Embrey of Granger and Webster City drivers Corey Roe and Craig Graham.
All three started in rows four and five, but were running at the front by the fifth lap. From then on it was a duel to the finish with the three running high and low on the track trying to gain the advantage.
Graham and Embrey ran together on the final lap as they dashed for the finish line. Embrey got the bumper width win as Graham's car suffered mechanical failure just as they crossed the line. Roe took third.
Embrey added a second track championship trophy to his mantel by four points over runner-up Roe.
Webster City's Ryan Griffith wasted no time in taking the lead and the win in the Late Model feature. He zoomed from the fourth row and into the top spot by lap No. 4. Behind him in second was Webster City's Jason Hahne; Nick Marolf of Moscow placed third.
It was Griffith's sixth feature win of the season at the historic half-mile. He picked up the season title by 18 points over Marshalltown legend Darrel DeFrance. Hahne was third.
With a 49-point lead entering the night, it was a given that Roland's Matt Lettow would win the Sport Mod title. It didn't matter that he placed near the back of the 23-car field on Saturday.
Joel Rust of Grundy Center - the 2012 track champion - won for the third time this summer. Rocky Caudle was second.
Adam Strunk, another Webster City driver, drove to victory lane for the seventh time this season in the Sport Compact class. Awaiting him was a second track championship trophy.
The speedway was the host of 183 drivers from 78 Iowa towns and the states of Kansas, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin during the 2013 regular season.
The final racing event of the year - the Fall Special - is slated for Sept. 28.