With the infield bursting at the seams containing 91 cars total between 5 classes of cars, the season got under way at Rapid Speedway. The track was damp from all the rain, but the crews worked in a very smooth surface for the night. The infield wasn’t the only part of the fairgrounds full; the stands were jammed with fans, and at times, would drown out the cars on the track with cheers. There were three heats in all classes except the stock cars, with two races. The action was fast and tight all through the classes of cars.
At intermission, kids from the stands were lined up on the front stretch and the 410 warriors handpicked a kid to re-draw for their starting position in the upcoming main. After all the excitement of the re-draw, the kids were treated to a candy toss right there on the track. There was no worry of debris (candy) for the mains, as the kids were sure to grab up every last piece!
The Hobby Stocks were the first to take to the track. It was Steve Folkens driving the number 4 Hobby leading for most of the race with the 901 of Shane Klaasson hot on his heels. On the last lap the 901 and the 4 came out of turn 2 side-by-side, with Klaasson on the bottom. Both cars ran hard into turn 3 door to door, however, with the 901 on the inside of Folkens, there wasn’t much the 4 could do. It was the 901 in front at the line! Congratulations to Shane Klaasson in the 901 on his feature win!
Next out were the B-mods, always putting on a great show, with only one caution on the first lap waving for the 27 of Kevin Joachim, who spun in turn four. The action was up front with Darrin Korthals in the 11k, Mark Henry piloting the number 43, Greg Roemen in the 76, and the 63 of Chris Huisman battling for the top spots. The top five were shuffled around many times during the main event keeping the scorers busy. In the end it was the 11k of Darrin Korthals taking home the trophy! Congratulations to Darrin and his team, what a way to start out your season at Rocky!
Next on the slate were the HRA sprints. (There was a little re-arranging of the order to accommodate those sprint drivers pulling double duty.) It was the 42 of Bruce Tull jumping to an early lead, however after taking a nasty bounce of the heavy cushion, he fell back a few spots. Before the lap was completed the red fell over the track when Brandon Stevenson in the 0x and Justin Stevens in the 283 got together, 283 ending up-side-down, but un-hurt. The race continued with Tull getting his spot back. With the race back underway the 42 looped out in turn 4 and collected the 25 of Dylan Peterson and the 51 of Doug Martens. Peterson was able to go on tagging the rear of the field, Tull and Martens had to retire for the night. Bret Mellenberndt in the 97 started in the middle of the pack and worked hard to charge to the front. Also Peterson in the 25 charged hard back to fifth from the back after his contact with Tull. Congratulations to Mellenberndt and the 97 team to their victory!
The Stock cars were on deck, and hit the track for their A-main event. Attrition was the name of the game for this race, with half of the field having problems of some sort. 45k of Brad Klaasson had to pull in due to mechanical woes, as did the number 23 of Mark Deboer. 04 Roger Verdoorn got loose in turn four and dropped to the bottom of the track where 16J Jon DeBoer was and heavy contact was made, ending both cars night. Throughout the race it was XX of Doug Brinkhous and 66z of Elijah Zeuenberger battling it out with the advantage going to the XX. Congratulations to Doug Brinkhous on moving up a class and still being victorious!
Then the 410s, all I can say is, wow. Gregg Bakker in the 11x put on a clinic, starting on the poll and lapping up to 7th position in their 25 lap main event. There were numerous battles throughout the field. Most note worthy that this observer witnessed was between the 4 of Chad Meyer and the 21 of Brain Brown for second place. There was only one caution flag for the 14 of Jody Rosenboom who turned around in turns 3 and 4. The show was amazing to watch, the 410’s were really breathing on the big 3/8 mile track, and put on one of the best shows in the tracks history. When Bakker climbed out of his 11x the fireworks lit up the sky and the crowd filled the air with cheers! Congratulations to Gregg Bakker and the 11x racing team, what a site to see!
Heartland Racing Association would like to thank all the fans, racers, and track crew for their dedication and hope to see you back next week for a full night of hard racing and great fun in Rock Rapids IA! We’ll see you at the track!