Recap: Anyone’s Game After Week Two

The second week of Hawkeye Downs racing once again showed great racing with more than 50 cars participating in weekly racing. Not only has the racing been strong on the track, but each of the six series are separated by just three points or less early on in the season.


In the McGrath Auto Hornets, it was Nathan Ballard who got the call at 4 pm the afternoon of race day to hop in the #94, and it worked out as Ballard held off last week’s winner, Dallas Chandler, to go to victory lane. Chandler and Troy Scott, who finished third, have three points between them heading into June.

Nathan Ballard in Victory Lane.


Kurt Bohnsack went from wreckers to checkers in the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, after being involved in an incident last week and not finishing the race, Bohnsack skipped away to take the win while Jim Hanson came from the back to finish 5th. The two are separated by just two points in the standings.


The Bulltown Legends Series had the fans out of their seats as they watched the battle for the lead the entire race. Sammy Smith worked hard at the bumper of Dave McCalla lap after lap, but McCalla was not to be bothered and held on to take the win. Smith and Stacy Olson received the black flag for aggressive driving, leaving last years champion, Austin Slabaugh, to finish second.

Kurt Bohnsack in UICCU Victory Lane.

While Cory Houdek won his second Miller Time Sportsmen race in just as many tries, it was not without Braxton Franks having a say. Franks, in just his second sportsmen race, led for part of the race before putting up a fight and eventually being overtaken by Houdek.


And the Waterloo Auto Parts Late Models were not able to run their feature, as the rain came just as the sportsmen race was coming to an end. Griffin McGrath collected points for winning the heat, and a double feature will be in store in the next couple weeks.


This Friday, the Big 8 Series comes to town for their season opener, with the McGrath Auto “Clash at the Downs 4”. Fans can expect at least 20 late models battling for 48 laps on the 1/2 mile, root for a hometown driver or even someone out of state. Gates open at 5 pm on June 1st. Be sure to catch the autograph session and face painting for children as well!


You can find a full list of results here: Results

An updated look at the points standings can be found here: Points

Recap: 2018 Kicked Off Strong

Although fans had to wait an extra couple weeks for the first race of 2018, it was worth the wait as they saw competitive racing across all five weekly series, plus the AIRS Vintage Series which made their first of several appearances this year.


Arp in victory lane.

The night kicked off with the Vintage Series, which brought 10 cars to play in the quick 10 lap feature. Tim Arp grabbed the victory over Bart Miller and Brian Gade, who was the vintage track champion last year.


Next it was time for the McGrath Auto Hornets. Dallas Chandler started the season off right with both a heat and feature win over Troy Scott and Lucas Foster.


In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, reigning champion Jim Hanson snatched the win over Jeremy Floyd and Jasen Freeman. Kurt Bohnsack became involved in an incident during the race relegating him to a 10th place finish.


During intermission, fans were able to take a bus ride around the track, and children signed up for the Lil’ Racer Car Club on grandparents night.


The Bulltown Legends Series witnessed an 18 car field, which made the racing exciting all over the track, but tender for the leaders as they navigated traffic. Sammy Smith was able to narrowly hold off Baiden Heskett for the win. Defending champion, Austin Slabaugh, fell victim to a crash that took place just ahead of him, leaving a decent amount of damage to his car.


Houdek and family.

Although Cory Houdek did not have much faith in the borrowed motor currently in the car, it did not stop him from pulling into victory lane during the Miller Time Sportsmen race.


Finally, Griffin McGrath and Brody Willett dueled it out for the Waterloo Auto Parts Late Model victory. While McGrath stayed close to Willett, he was unable to pass him and the teenager led wire-to-wire for the victory.


You can find a full list of results here: Results

An updated look at the points standings can be found here: Points



Season Opener Postponed Two Weeks

Hawkeye Downs, Iowa’s only full-time asphalt race track announced today that it is delaying its
racing season by two weeks. Opening day for racing will now be May 18th, instead of May 4th.


“We have a lot of new and exciting things to offer our racers and fans this year. But,
Mother Nature is making it hard for us to get everything up and running. We need a bit more
time to be fully prepared,” said Ann Poe, Executive Director at Hawkeye Downs.


This year the unseasonable cold weather has made it difficult to finish projects, which
will enhance the fan and racing experiences. Among the changes are improvements to
concessions, a new timing and scoring system, and upgrades in the pit area.


Guests have been asking for more food options, so Hawkeye Downs has brought in a
culinary professional from Kirkwood’s Culinary Arts Program. This new manager is putting on
the final touches to upgrade the offerings in the grandstand concessions.


Hawkeye Downs has also invested in a new timing and scoring system. This system will
make it easier for drivers, fans, and staff to track times and scores. Fans can also download an
app—new to Hawkeye Downs—called MyRacePass. This app will give fans and racers easy
access to results and points throughout the season. Race Director, Kevin Korsmo, said, “We need
less snow and a bit more time to test drive this system. We appreciate your patience as we get it


Racers can also look forward to upgraded pit areas. Once the weather warms, new asphalt
will be laid in some areas to improve the surface for drivers and crews. The delay in the season
means more preparation time and practice time for drivers. Weather permitting, Hawkeye Downs
hopes to have its first open practice Wednesday, April 25th.


The season opener, now scheduled for May 18th, will include an autograph session with
the drivers. The Media Day & Car Show will take place May 12th.