Action began with feature races Saturday night at Off Road Speedway and ended with feature races — meaning drivers had double the opportunity to alter the point standings in all five divisions.
Two drivers — Wakefield’s Chad Bruns in the IMCA Stock Cars class and Ramsey Meyer of Pierce in the IMCA Sport Compacts — benefited the most by winning twice, while several other drivers got in the win column for the first time this season.
With lineups already established by the heat races from last week’s rain-shortened schedule, a closely-contested IMCA Stock cars “A” feature set the tone for the night’s competition.
Bruns took advantage of a starting position on the outside of row one, then came out on top of a multi-lap, three-wide battle for the lead. He held on to first place ahead of a late charge by points leader Austin Brauner of Platte Center. Neligh’s Jason Wilkinson took third.
Norfolk driver Eric Haase went wire-to-wire to win the IMCA Sport Mods feature despite a pair of cautions — one early and one later in the race — that kept a competitive group of cars close together.
Spalding’s Robbie Thome finished second, while Norfolkans Kyle Prauner and Joey Haase battled for third place, with Prauner edging Haase at the finish line.
Another points leader, Neligh’s Cameron Wilkinson, added a first-place finish in the IMCA Hobby Stocks feature to his two early-season wins. He moved steadily from the back half of the 18-car field by making multiple-car passes to finally get to the front — all using the momentum gained moving through turn two.
With 12 laps to go, Wilkinson was in a four-car battle for fourth place, but he eventually made his way to the back bumper of race leader Mark Arduser of Battle Creek following a caution with three laps remaining.
After two failed attempts, Wilkinson was able to pass Arduser with one lap left for the win. Jeremy Hoskinson of Norfolk finished third after starting at the back of the field.
Ben Sukup of Norfolk turned a back-of-the-pack starting position into a win in the IMCA Late Models feature, finally getting the lead with just five of 25 laps left. Nelson Vollbrecht of Stanton and Madison’s Travis Dickes finished second and third, respectively.
Meyer’s first win of the night in the IMCA Sport Compacts also began from a starting position in the back row, but he took just two laps to get the lead. Mark Benedict of Norfolk finished second, with Parker Vollbrecht of Stanton taking third.
Following the night’s regular series of heat races, the IMCA Stock Cars were back on the track for the start of the night’s second set of “A” features.
This time, Bruns overcame a crowd of cars that battled for the lead during the first half of the race, then held off Norfolk’s TeJay Mielke the final six laps for his second win. Brauner of Platte Center finished third.
“I’m not sure what happened; the car just decided to work tonight,” Bruns said. “It hasn’t been working well all season. Tonight’s wins are it; there haven’t even been very many top fives. We worked on it pretty hard last night — tonight it just came around.”
Norfolk’s Jonathan Jensen took advantage of a starting position on the pole and led every lap en route to his first-ever IMCA Sport Mods feature win at Off Road Speedway. Meanwhile, Joey Haase, also of Norfolk, held on for second place ahead of Pierce’s Cameron Meyer who, after blowing the engine of his car earlier in the night, took advantage of an offer to drive the injured Norfolkan Colby Langenberg’s car to a third-place finish.
Hoskinson added his first Off Road Speedway IMCA Hobby Stocks feature win to his earlier third-place finish, this time nipping Jay Poessnecker of Ames at the finish line. Nate DeSive of Verdigre finished third.
Norfolk’s Robert Osborne, with the help of experience gained in his 37 years of racing, won his first IMCA Late Models race of the season — taking the lead after watching a “slide job” contest between Bloomfield’s Devin Johnson and Norfolk’s Ben Sukup for several consecutive laps.
“I was just waiting. I knew when they were sliding they were each kind of slowing up a little bit,” Osborne said. “Then, I noticed there was a little bit more rubber at the bottom coming in, and it was getting a little bit faster down there. Once they did the last slide job I was able to get beside them both, which didn’t allow Sukup to get back in. I guess with 37 years of experience it was ‘be careful and be there at the end.’ ”
Meyer’s second IMCA Sport Compacts win of the night, and fourth Off Road Speedway win of the season, came as the Pierce driver moved from the back row to the lead in just four laps, then cruised to the win while Vollbrecht and Benedict repeated their earlier battle for second place. This time, Stanton’s Vollbrecht reversed the order of finish by grabbing second, with Norfolk’s Benedict taking third.
On Saturday, June 22, the Off Road Speedway will host the 360 Sprint Cars of the Midwest Sprint Touring Series along with the regular IMCA Late Models, IMCA Hobby Stocks, and IMCA Sport Mods classes.