by Steve Zwemke
HARTFORD – S.D. — It seemed a rare occassion to be racing on the scheduled opening night of the season considering the unstable April weather the last couple of years. Maybe it was an Easter weekend blessing! Not only was there racing, but there was some pretty good action for the first time in the car for many of the drivers.
Dave Kennedy won a solid USRA B-Modified opener. The Sioux Falls driver dueled with Kevin Joachim for the first four laps before taking the lead. Joachim didn’t go away either. He made several attempts to regain the lead while, at the same time, Brock Hess was moving up from the third row. “I heard Brock behing me and I heard Joachim behind me,” said Kennedy after the race. Kennedy held off the two challengers while leading the final 11 laps for an exciting win. “It’s been a rough winter but we got this car going,” said Kennedy. He added that his team is still trying to perfect his number 00 ride, “It was pulling in the corners. We’ve got to get it figured out.” Hess crossed the finish line in second just ahead of Joachim.
The Coffee Cup Fuel Stops 360 Sprint Car feature had only two cars left on the track at the finish but it wasn’t without drama. D.J. Brink of Sturgis flew by Kevin Flowers to take the lead on the second lap of the race. Flowers’ car went up in smoke seven laps into the 20 lap A-Main. Brink had a sizeable lead but it was erased as he came up on the slower car of Jordan Nordstrom. Brandon Halverson, racing the number 12 for Troy Schreurs, caught Brink and tried to make his move coming out of the second turn, perhaps impatiently. Halverson avoided major contact with Brink but his car went into a wheel stand and then flipped on the back straightaway. With Halverson’s exit from the race, it was Justin Glaser’s turn to try to catch Brink. Brink jumped out to a big lead as the two would be the only drivers to finish the final six laps. With about two laps to go Brink’s nose wing broke. Glaser was catching the leader but ran out of time as Brink took the checkered flag. Brink said of the damaged nose wing, “It made the car real tight then it loosened up. I don’t know what happened with it.”
It was a typical night of side-by-side racing in the Express Copy and Printing Late Model Street Stock division. Gary Brown Jr., and Travis Schreurs swapped the top spot over the first three laps before Brown settled into the lead. It wasn’t a comfortable lead though as Schreurs chased Brown all over the track. Schreurs regained the lead on lap 11 as Brown had a tire going down on his car. Schreurs led the final five laps for the win – his 38th career I-90 Speedway victory.
Tim Waltner led a pack of five strong USRA Hobby Stocks in leading all 12 laps for the opening night win. Dustin Gulbrandson, Mike Chaney, Zach Olivier and Brian Hoing all had strong showings but just couldn’t get around Waltner. Waltner is also high on the list of all-time winners at I-90 Speedway. Saturday night’s win was the 28th for Waltner at the Hartford track.
Josh Lien cruised to a 10 lap Fast Auto Wash Super Chargers A-Main win. Lien said, “The track was just the way I like it.” Lien also credited the previous week’s test and tune as good preparation for the first night of the season.
All five classes are back in action Saturday night, April 26, at I-90 Speedway. Log onto www.i90speedway.com or go to I-90 Speedway’s Facebook page for more information.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014
360 SPRINT CARS
A Feature: 1) D.J. Brink, 2) Justin Glaser, 3) Brandon Halverson, 4) Kevin Flowers, 5) Jordan Nordstrom, 6) Matt Ziebarth, 7) Dale Furby (DNS)
Heat Winner: D.J. Brink
LATE MODEL STREET STOCKS
A Feature: 1) Travis Schreurs, 2) Brad Van Voorst, 3) Cory Yeigh, 4) Gary Brown Jr., 5) Kipp DeGroot, 6) Billy Prouty, 7) Stuart Nelson, 8) Kevin Larson, 9) Zach Van Voorst, 10) Dan Jensen (DNS)
A Feature: 1) Dave Kennedy, 2) Brock Hess, 3) Kevin Joachim, 4) Harvey Vande Weerd, 5) Connor Vande Weerd, 6) Dan Wheeler, 7) Cameron Vande Weerd, 8) Marty Myers, 9) Miah Christensen, 10) Tyler Tesch, 11) Shawn Reed, 12) Devon Schlumbohm, 13) Doug Wallis, 14) Dennis Martin, 15) Greg Eden, 16) Marlin Kracht, 17) Tim Dann, 18) Brad Haas (DNS)
Heat Winners: Marlin Kracht, Kevin Joachim, Brock Hess
USRA HOBBY STOCKS
A Feature: 1) Tim Waltner, 2) Dustin Gulbrandson, 3) Mike Chaney, 4) Zach Olivier, 5) Brian Hoing, 6) Don Brady Jr., 7) Travis Vanden Top, 8) Michael Pechous, 9) Jessica Brandt, 10) Brian Campbell, 11) James Adams
Heat Winners: Mike Chaney, Dustin Gulbrandson
A Feature: 1) Josh Lien, 2) Chad Carpenter, 3) Justin Peterson, 4) Brett Dafoe, 5) Donna Bumann (DNS)
Heat Winner: Josh Lien
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