CORNING — One hundred and ten drivers from four states made the haul to the Adams County Speedway to vie for their share of over $27,000 in prize money posted for the 16th annual NAPA Tradition.
Brett Heeter from Kansas City, Kan., was the feature division stock car winner, leading all 30 laps after having the good fortune of drawing the pole starting position for both his heat race and the feature event. Heeter held off a hard charging ACS regular, Corning’s own Clay Mercer, to get the win by a margin of only .026 seconds. Mercer had started 11th in the field and had worked his way up to second place with 10 laps remaining, but was never able to make the pass for the win.
Brad Derry, another ACS regular from Bedford came in third, followed by 2012 Tradition winner Lance Deal of Fort Dodge in fourth. ACS track champion (2011) Jason Rold was fifth and five-time IMCA national champion Jeff Anderson of Atlantic finished sixth.
The 25 lap modified feature event was interrupted on lap number 12 when then leader Russell Stewart of Mount Ayr ended his night with his car cartwheeling down the front stretch, landing upside-down on Ben Wolverton’s machine, and finally coming to rest just shy of the flagstand. Six cars left the race due to damages sustained in the incident, but luckily none of the drivers suffered serious injury.
When the racing resumed it was Conception Junction, Missouri’s Kirby Stiens and Altoona’s John Davis running one and two for the lead. Just after taking the white flag, their cars touched, slowing them just enough that 2013 class champion Brian Foote, who had started 13th in the field of 22, was able to motor around them on the high side and streak to the win. Corning’s Jesse Dennis was able to tail Foote around and finish second while Davis and Stiens finished third and fourth. Harlan’s Brandon Monson rounded out the top five.
The 24 lap hobby stock feature event was the marathon race of the evening, being slowed by no less than 12 caution flags, including one red flag period. Kiel Brittain, a young driver from Clarinda, had his race come to an early end on lap number two when a broken wheel in turn two let the car dig in and barrel roll several times. While Brittain walked away unharmed, the race car wasn’t so lucky.
On track it was two-time IMCA national champion Shannon Anderson leading from flag to flag after starting outside in the front row. Being up front, Anderson was able to avoid the multiple spins, oil spills, and on-track debris items which brought flagman Daniel Duranceau’s yellow flag out of its holster on a regular basis.
The IMCA hobby stocks from around Iowa brought their A-game to Adams County, claiming four of the top five spots in the race. Second through fifth were Jason Fusselman (Shelby), Devin Smith (Lake City), Andy Davison (Clarinda), and Cody Nielsen (Fort Dodge). Davison was the only ACS regular in the top five. Reigning ACS class champion Jeremy Purdy of Bedford ended with a very respectable sixth-place finish after being shuffled to the back early and battling his way through the mayhem.
In the B-mod feature it was Red Oak’s Jerod Weston holding off Essex’s Blain Petersen for the win. Twenty-five b-mods started the feature on a smooth, dry-slick race track and handled the conditions like true professionals with only two cautions slowing the 20 lap event.
Weston came from outside row number three to take the lead away from Atlantic’s Ed Hamilton on lap number four and then had to hold off 2013 class champion Jon Plowman until a lap 12 flat tire ended his hopes for victory. Plowman’s exit and a great restart on lap 13 let Petersen move into second place, but he was never able to make it past Weston for the win. At the checkers it was Weston, Petersen, Don Doebelin (Council Bluffs), Josh Cooper (Prescott), and Josh Sink (Stanton).
The next action at the Adams County Speedway will be a swap show/vendor fair to be held on Sunday, Oct. 20. Race car parts and supplies, along with a multitude of other items, will be on hand for the event. Then the 2013 awards banquet will be held at the Cass County Community Center in Atlantic on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Then the 31st consecutive year of NASCAR sanctioned dirt track racing will return to the track next April.