Five track champions crowned on Larry Wollam season championship night
August 23, 2019
It was the Larry Wollam Season Championship night on Friday at the Marshalltown Speedway where family, friends, and fans celebrated the man who was such an inspiration to the track and racing in general. It was the 20th anniversary of the passing of Wollam who had been a racer, promoter, and big supporter of racing at the Marshalltown Speedway.
The top ten in points from each class were locked in to the feature events and qualifying heats were run to fill in the starting field of each. The drivers were introduced on the frontstretch before their features, allowing fans to show their appreciation.
An added attraction to the night's action were the North Iowa Vintage Club racers. They brought back a taste of the cars of days gone by, and a bit of nostalgia to many. Ray Guss, Jr. from Milan, Illinois drove a 1968 Nova under the checkers to take the win. Allen Guthrie from Raymore, Missouri was second in a 1965 Fairlane, and third went to Steve Tanner, Richmond, Missouri, in his 1960 Dodge Dart.
The Mod Lites ran first and only three points separated Mike Morrill and Joel Huggins in the race for the track championship. Huggins easily grabbed the lead when the race went green, and Morrill fell into his tire tracks. Huggins kept hold of that top spot until lap fourteen of the fifteen lap A main. That's when Morrill got the upper hand when he swung to the outside on corner four coming to the white flag, and momentum carried him into the lead as they crossed the flagstand. He kept a tight hold on that lead the final lap and scored the win, Huggins having to settle for second. Randy Bryan just beat Joe Glick as they finished third and fourth respectively. Charlie Brown followed to finish fifth. Mike Morrill is the 2019 track champion.
Leah Wroten had the IMCA Hobby Stock track title wrapped up before the race began, leading by 40 points. It also appeared that she won the 15-lap feature race, but that was not the case. Wroten led all laps but when she got into Kaden Reynolds as they approached the checkers, spinning him out, she was penalized for the contact, and the victory was awarded to Jacob Floyd. Gary Pfantz was awarded second place, third went to Ben Newhouse, Jeremy Andrews was scored fourth, and Scott Ellis rounded out the top five. This was Floyd's first time ever to win at the Marshalltown Speedway.
Jake McBirnie kept his point lead in the IMCA Northern SportMod feature, winning the track crown and also added to his quest in the hunt for the National title in the division with a feature win. McBirnie spanked the field, leading all eighteen laps, winning by more than half a lap. The real race on the track was for second place as three drivers went at it tooth and nail, lap after lap. Winning that battle was Austin Kaplan, just beating out third place finisher Austin Schrage at the checkers, and Jenae Gustin was a close fourth. Travis Petersen completed the top five.
Steve Meyer was crowned the 2019 track champion in the IMCA Stock Car class. Meyer had a twenty-two point lead over Todd Reitzler going into the night. Meyer led the field to green and shot to the lead in the eighteen lap main event. Reitzler gained the top spot on lap two, and then set sail on a quest for the checkers. Reitzler's vision of a victory evaporated on lap twelve, when he found himself in spin mode, bringing out a yellow, and sending him to tag the field. This returned Meyer as captain of the ship which he held to the checkers. A slight bobble in turn four nearly cost Meyer the win, but he regained control and flew under the checkers first. Damon Murty, who uncharacteristically lost control on lap ten and went over the top of turn four, rejoined the field at the tail, and recovered to finish in second place. Jeff Wollam, who's late father was honored earlier, finished third, Dave Atcher was fourth, and Dallon Murty was fifth.
The twenty lap IMCA Modifieds were the night cap of the evening's racing. Only four points separated Tim Ward and Joel Rust for the track title. Rust led all of those twenty laps on his way to the win. Tim Ward trailed a distant runner up. Third went to Ronn Lauritzen, Sam Wieben took fourth, and Jared VanDeest was fifth. Tim Ward is the 2019 track champion.
The regular season is over, but racing does continue at the High Banks next Friday night for the Showdown at Motown, with $1,000 to win for Modifieds, $500 for Stock Cars and SportMods, and $300 for Hobby Stocks.
Article Credit: Joyce Eisele
Submitted By: Jerry Vansickel