Staley hits the jackpot for the first time at ‘The Gambler’

WEBSTER CITY — High stakes racing took center stage Saturday night at the Hamilton County Speedway driven by Spangler Automotive with several drivers cashing in big during the inaugural running of “The Gambler” at the historic half-mile clay oval.

On top of the regular weekly purses that are already among the best in the region, more than $4,000 in cash was doled out to the top three heat race finishers, drivers who “rolled the dice” and others who were lucky enough to draw a mystery envelope throughout the night.

The very last mystery envelope of the night was opened up in victory lane by Darrell DeFrance.

After blasting from the eighth starting spot to his second straight Malvern Bank Super Late Model win, the 57-year-old racing veteran from Marshalltown peeled open his envelope to find the night’s biggest prize of $500 which had slipped by more than 50 others drivers who had previously selected from the pool throughout the evening.

That brought DeFrance’s winnings to $1,100 for the night and the win helped to extend his season-long points lead in the division.

Webster City’s Ryan Griffith and Jason Hahne claimed the second and third spots, respectively, with Paul Nagle of Nevada coming home in fourth and Gabe Umbarger of Garner fifth.

In the Olsen Family USRA Modifieds, J.D. Auringer of Evansdale pocketed $500 and racked up his fifth win of the season the hard way by coming from the 10th starting position. Opening night winner Nate Hughes of Humboldt finished second, Ron Ver Beek of Oskaloosa was third, Scott Olson of Blairsburg came from 11th to finish fourth and Carlisle’s Garett Wilson completed the top five.

Todd Staley, who has searched for his first win behind the wheel of a stock car for nine seasons, finally found the winner’s circle Saturday at his hometown track after a thrilling Seneca Foundry USRA Stock Cars feature race.

Staley, who began promoting the track this past winter, started fourth on the grid, and held off the challenges from Webster City’s Reid Keller and 10th-starting Steve Jackson of Polk City for the win.

Jason Minnehan of Churdan finished fourth and fifth went to Jesse Brown of Nashua.

In the Stein Heating and Cooling USRA B-Mods, Ty Griffith of Webster City made it two straight and three wins overall this season, collecting the $400 top prize in the process. Brandon Toftee of Otho followed Griffith across the finish line while Alex Zwanziger of Nashua was third, 11th-starting Rocky Caudle of Ellsworth fourth and Latimer’s Levi Chipp fifth.

Eric Stanton of Carlisle drove into Integrity Trucking Victory Lane for the fifth time this season in the Diamond in the Rough USRA Hobby Stocks. Daniel Ayers of Webster City took home runner-up honors, followed by Derek Willert of Marble Rock, 11th-starting Jamie Songer of Ankeny and Zac Smith of Mason City.

Making his first start behind the wheel of a USRA Tuner during the 2018 campaign, Lyle Oberhelman of Fort Dodge captured the main event victory over Ryan Bryant of Mason City and rent-a-ride driver Jamie Staley of Webster City. Brad Mayland of Britt was fourth and Garner’s Sam Umbarger rounded out the top five.

Feature Results

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Malvern Bank Super Late Models — 1. Darrell DeFrance, Marshalltown; 2. Ryan Griffith, Webster City; 3. Jason Hahne, Webster City; 5. Paul Nagle, Nevada; 6. Gabe Umbarger, Garner; 7. Rusty Patterson, Mason City; 8. Carey Umbarger, Garner; 9. Charlie McKenna, Ames; 10. Todd Johnson, Mitchellville; 11. Jenna Johnson, Mitchellville; 12. John Emerson, Waterloo.

Olsen Family USRA Modifieds — 1. J.D. Auringer, Evansdale; 2. Nate Hughes, Humboldt; 3. Ron VerBeek, Oskaloosa; 4. Scott Olson, Blairsburg; 5. Garett Wilson, Carlisle; 6. Christopher Elliott, Webster City; 7. Jason Murray, Hartford; 8. Devon Havlik, Iowa Falls; 9. Jerid Ratzke, Webster City; 10. Jacob Murray, Hartford; 11. Jason Hickingbottom, Odgen; 12. Mark Elliott, Webster City; 13. Andy Edwards, Parkerburg; 14. Chris Teel, Webster City; 15. Tristan Vesterby, Webster City.

Seneca Foundry USRA Stock Cars — 1. Todd Staley, Webster City; 2. Reid Keller, Webster City; 3. Steve Jackson, Polk City; 4. Jason Minnehan, Churdan; 5. Jesse Brown, Nashua; 6. Travis Shipman, Mason City; 7. Donavan Nunikohoven, Sully; 8. Parker Slagle, Eagle Grove; 9. Jeremy Addes, Raymond; 10. Vincent Loewen, Hubbard; 11. Phil Holtz, Manchester; 12. Roger Caquelin, Dows; 13. Brent Lyman, Iowa Falls.

Stein Heating & Cooling USRA B-Mods — 1. Ty Griffith, Webster City; 2. Brandon Toftee, Otho; 3. Alex Zwanziger, Nashua; 4. Rocky Caudle, Ellsworth; 5. Levi Chipp, Latimer; 6. Doug McCollough, Webster City; 7. Jared Boumeester, Waseca, Minn.; 8. Nate Whitehurst, Mason City; 9. Todd Hanson, Clear Lake; 10. Paul Atchison, Webster City; 11. Taylor Elliott, Webster City; 12. Blair Simmons, Des Moines; 13. Paul Price, Iowa Falls; 14. George Gilliland, Lehigh; 15. Brandon Ratcliff, Kamrar; 16. Nate Albrant, Thompson.

Diamond in the Rough USRA Hobby Stocks — 1. Eric Stanton, Carlisle; 2. Daniel Ayers, Webster City; 3. Derek Willert, Marble Rock; 4. Jamie Songer, Ankeny; 5. Zac Smith, Mason City; 6. Dakota Feickert, Webster City; 7. Seth Jansen, Ogden; 8. Nathan Parkhill, Webster City; 9. Tyson Overton, Carlisle; 10. Bryan Derry, Collins; 11. Mark Kennedy, Webster City; 12. Brayden Henely, Webster City; 13. Matt Smith, Des Moines; 14. Jayden Glenn, Stratford; 15. Tanner Redman, Blairsburg; 16. Danny Sassman, Fort Dodge.

USRA Tuners — 1. Lyle Oberhelman, Fort Dodge; 2. Ryan Bryant, Mason City; 3. Jamie Staley, Webster City; 4. Brad Mayland, Britt; 5. Sam Umbarger, Garner; 6. John Dahlsten, Pomeroy.