HARTFORD, SD — Just three weeks ago it appeared that Eric Lutz’s racing career would be going on hiatus for a few months after he suffered a back injury as the result of an accident at Huset’s Speedway. The outlook for Lutz’s recovery was much better a day after the wreck and on Friday his doctor cleared him to get back into a race car. But, before he returned to the track, he swapped rides for Saturday’s Chili Challenge with Brookings driver Dave Ekern. Lutz would drive Ekern’s 23v while Ekern would pilot a car Lutz had planned to race this season but it sat while waiting for a motor. Lutz started the Hard Core Speed Shop 360 Sprint Car feature on the pole but Dusty Ballenger grabbed the lead right away and led the first 16 laps. Lutz, however, began running faster laps through the middle portion of the race. In particular, Lutz made up ground by entering the first turn high and shooting to the bottom of turn two. He made the go-ahead pass on Ballenger using that move coming out of the second turn on lap 17. The win was Lutz’s fourth at I-90 Speedway in this year.
Prior to Lutz winning his first race back from his injury, Greg Roemen won his final race in his number 76 USRA B-Modified. Roemen led all 15 laps of the feature. His biggest challenge came from new I-90 Speedway track champion Tim Dann, however a number of cautions through the first half of the race prevented any challengers from developing much momentum on the dry/slick surface. Dann finished second while Alec Vanden Brink came from ninth to third to earn a $50 hard charger bonus. The winner, Roemen, said his focus after this season will be as a car owner and more on family activities.
Eric Moser scored an impressive Express Copy and Printing Late Model Street Stock A-Main win in his only appearance at I-90 Speedway this year. Late Model Street Stock drivers were allowed to race with top wings and many drivers took advantage of the opportunity – Moser included. Moser and Rod Barse wrestled for the lead over the first three laps before Moser began to take control of the race. Barse settled for second and Matt Jensen made a late pass to get by Dale Furby for third.
Another first timer to I-90 Speedway in 2013 won the Hobby Stock A-Main. Jim Ross brought his Hobby Stock and a ton of friends from his Corner Pub in Sioux Falls to the Chili Challenge. Ross then went on to lead the entire feature until Tim Waltner caught up with him and air mailed Ross off the track on the final corner. Waltner was flagged for the incident and Ross was given his spot back for a green/white/checker finish. Ross then outraced Brian Hoing for the next to laps for his first ever win at I-90 Speedway.
Laura Ebbesen became a six-time winner in the Fast Auto Wash Super Chargers division. She took the lead over from Justin Voeltz with less than two full laps remaining. Voeltz had gained the lead from Josh Lien on the third lap. Ebbesen finished an impressive season by never finishing lower than third place.
The Chili Challenge also included a chili cookoff in which race teams were invited to bring and prepare their favorite recipes at the track. Several teams took part in the challenge and fans of all ages had a chance to roam the pits and sample chili during the races. The first place prize of a trophy and $200 was won by the Howard Baartman racing team. The chili cookoff paired with afternoon racing gave fans a rare chance to spend some time visiting with drivers and members of their teams.
I-90 Speedway’s Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Sioux Falls. Tickets are $32 and may be purchased through October 9. The awards banquet will be preceded by happy hour and dinner. The popular beanbag tournament also returns this year along with music at the conclusion of the awards presentations. For more information go to www.i90speedway.com.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2013
360 SPRINT CARS
A Feature: 1. Eric Lutz, 2. Dusty Ballenger, 3. Justin Jacobsma, 4. Dave Ekern, 5. Matt Ziebarth, 6. Dale Furby
Heat Winner: Dale Furby
LATE MODEL STREET STOCKS
A Feature: 1. Eric Moser, 2. Rod Barse, 3. Matt Jensen, 4. Dale Furby, 5. Howard Baartman, 6. Dan Jensen, 7. Kipp De Groot, 8. David Kuchta, 9. Billy Prouty, 10. Kevin Larson, 11. Cory Yeigh (DNS)
Heat Winners: Rod Barse, Billy Prouty
A Feature: 1. Greg Roemen, 2. Tim Dann, 3. Alec Vanden Brink, 4. Cameron Vande Weerd, 5. Connor Vande Weerd, 6. Zac Pruner, 7. Craig Hanisch, 8. Jesse Ebbesen, 9. Nick Barger, 10. Nick De Leeuw, 11. Rodney Cook, 12. Marty Grilley
Heat Winners: Marty Grilley, Tim Dann
A Feature: 1. Jim Ross, 2. Brian Hoing, 3. Zach Olivier, 4. Don Brady Jr., 5. Tim Waltner, 6. Ryan Korthals, 7. Dylan Decker
Heat Winner: Tim Waltner
A Feature: 1. Laura Ebbesen, 2. Justin Voeltz, 3. Brad Scholl, 4. Justin Peterson, 5. Josh Lien, 6. Joe Blake, 7. Jason Haack