New London’s Hill gets win at 34 Raceway by mere inches
WEST BURLINGTON — Saturday night saw a large crowd, 104 cars competing, some extremely close finishes and beautiful weather for area race fans.
Three drivers raced to their first wins of the season: Kyle Hill of New London (sport mods), Brent Hartley of Niota, Ill. (four cylindes) and Jayson Ditsworth of Gladstone, Ill. (305 Sprints). Mitch Morris of Eldridge (modifieds), Tom Bowling of Danville (stock cars) and Evan Epperson of Muscatine (mod lites) all made return trips to the winner’s circle.
The Weikert Iron and Metal IMCA Sport Mods started the feature races off with a thriller, as Hill and Bobby Anders crossing the finish line side by side.
The scoreboard showed Hill as the winner, getting his first-ever win by inches.
Hill took the lead on the first lap and led all the fifteen laps. Anders worked his way up through the field back to second after a spin early on put him in the back of the field. Anders pulled alongside Hill on the back stretch on the final lap and stayed with the leader as they crossed the finish line, but couldn’t quite overtake him.
Austen Becerra looked to be on his way to his fourth straight four cylinder win, leading the nineteen-car field for ten laps before running into lap traffic. Hartley, running in second, took advantage and went to the inside to take the lead and hold off Becerra to get his first ever win by two car lengths.
Jayson Ditsworth was the final of three drivers to get his first win this season. Ditsworth had his 305 Sprint set to run the 3/8 mile, taking the lead on lap four and holding on for the victory.
Muscatine’s Evan Epperson picked up his third mod lite feature this year in the thirteen car field, and in the Pepsi IMCA Stock Car event, Tom Bowling, Jr., of Danville edged Abe Huls in a photo finish.
The final feature of the night was just as exciting. Mitch Morris held off Steve Stewart for his second Coors Silver Bullet IMCA Modified feature win at 34 Raceway this year. Stewart made a valiant effort, taking a brief lead coming out of turns three and four of the final lap, but couldn’t hang on as Morris took the win by less than a car length.
Saturday was the second time in the week that the West Burlignton track saw some racing action. On Wednesday, July 3, Dustin Selvage of Indianola picked up the Brockway Mechanical and Roofing Sprint Invaders feature win, his first win at 34 Raceway.
With thirty-four 360 sprints ready to race for the $1,200 prize, four heat races and a B-Main set the field for the 34-lap main event.
Selvage and Alan Ambers set the pace for the twenty-car field with Selvage taking the lead.
The first of three yellow flags came out on lap six. On the restart, Ryan Jamison would get by Matt Krieger and would move closer to the leader. On lap sixteen, Jamison would move by Selvage to take over the number one spot.
Jamison and Selvage then put on a show for the fans, exchanging positions several times before the race’s scheduled pit stop.
Jamison was in the lead spot when racing resumed, but three laps later, Selvage would use the top side and get by Jamison to take the win.
Russ Hall moved up from his seventeenth start position to pass Jamison with two laps to go to finish second. Jamison, Jammie Veal and Jarrod Schneiderman would round out the top five.
Josh May took the lead from Mike Morrill on lap eight of the fifteen-lap, 22-car Mod Lite feature for his first win at the 3/8 mile this season, and Austen Becerra extended his win streak at 34 Raceway to three after winning the 20-car, fifteen-lap I Connect You/Louisa Communications feature race.
Kevin Mortimer took the checkered flag in the four cylinder dash sponsored by Louisa Communications. Four cars were picked by random drawing to compete in the dash, with the winner netting a $100 bill.
Coming up on Saturday, July 13, the Pepsi UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour makes its only Iowa stop at 34 Raceway, and $10,000 is up for grabs with the best in late model racing taking on the challenge.
Also scheduled will be the IMCA Sport Mods, four cylinders and — back for the second time this year — four wheelers and pit bikes.