WEBSTER CITY - The rain stayed away, the clouds cleared and fans filled the stands to watch another evening of hotly-contested races Saturday at the Hamilton County Speedway.
Racers continued to test and tune their cars as they looked for the perfect combination during just the second week of competition this season. Several cars were forced to retire to the pits with engine trouble as they pushed the envelope.
Only one yellow flag slowed the close-quarter racing in the Stock Car feature. Front-row starter Cody Frerichs took the early lead until Steve Meyer and Lance Deal worked to the front.
DFJ photo by Nancy Kayser
Roland driver Matt Lettow (21L) leads the Sport Mod feature on Saturday at the Hamilton County Speedway.
Meyer sat out front in his No. 94 until Deal, a Fort Dodge resident, stormed by on his way to Victory Lane with his No. 22X. No. 21T Travis Prochaska of Iowa Falls was third.
There were 18 Hobby Stocks in the feature field, and veteran drivers David Rieks (No. 78) and Randy Embrey (No. 40) battled out front throughout. The two ran side-by-side in the corners and Embrey, running on the low side, gained the edge on the stretches.
Embrey crossed the line first with Rieks close behind. Webster City's Craig Graham (No. 13G) was third.
Defending Sport Mod track champion Matt Lettow, No. 21L from Roland, secured his first win of the season. He was forced to work for it, as the No. 7 of Carter VanDenberg, Oskaloosa, gave chase. VanDenberg finished second and Clear Lake driver Aaron Benson, No. 24, was close behind in third.
Des Moines teenager Nick Roberts proved that his Week 1 Modified victory was no fluke, as he piloted his No. 23JR back to Victory Lane. He used the four caution restarts to his advantage as he meticulously moved to the front.
Webster City's Greg Elliott (No. 27) and Mark Elliott (No. 12) were second and third. Greg Elliott stayed on Roberts' bumper over the final one-third of the race, and less than one car length separated them at the finish line.
It was a caution-free zoom show for the Late Models, as Todd Cooney, No. 30 of Des Moines, garnered his first win of the season. Ryan Griffith, No. 15X of Webster City, was second and No. 99D Darrel DeFrance of Marshalltown - the opening-week feature winner - settled for third.
Tommy Beekman of Fort Dodge took his No. 3T Sport Compact to the front and he claimed the checkers for a second straight week. Lyle Oberhelman, No. M13 of Fort Dodge, was second and Nick Hogan, No. 20TP of Manson, was third.
A total of 82 drivers from 40 Iowa towns took part in the evening.
Fan Appreciation Night will take place this Saturday. Adults will be admitted into the grandstand for $5, and powder puff and mechanics races are also on the docket.
Hot laps will get things started at 6:30 p.m.