RECAP: Hudspeth Wins Another, Takes Point Lead

Wall of Fame Night has come around once again, bringing the past to meet the present and allowed us to honor some special people that have been a part of Hawkeye Downs over the years. As a tradition, fans also got to see the AIRS Vintage Series along with our other racing series as well.

The Skinny

The Schaeffer Oil Hornet Series was won once again by Drew Nickell, who seems to have things figured out. The battle between Elliott Vogel and Troy Scott remains tense as they are tied once again for the runner-up spot in the points. All eyes will be on the Hornet Series the next month, as you never know who will try to spoil the riches of Nickell in the final races.

In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, it was a special night for the Clausen camp. Well-known driver, Larry Clausen, came out of retirement and drove to a 3rd place finish while watching his son, Logan, battle for the lead and win his second feature of the season. It was a win that just slipped away from Matt LaCoursiere who looked like he had it early on, but could not hold off Logan.

Fans were on their feet after the Coca-Cola Sportsmen race. At first it looked like Cory Houdek was going to run away with another one, but Braxton Franks closed in just a little bit each lap until he got to the bumper of Houdek. As the two raced with mere laps to go, contact was made, giving Franks just enough momentum to make the pass on the outside, taking the lead. It would be Franks’ second feature win of the season, putting him just 3 points out of the standings lead.

The Cassill Motors Sport Mods saw another new winner head to victory lane this week, Richard Nelson. Nelson started on the front row after the invert, and walked away from the rest of the field during the feature. By the end of the race, Nelson had half a lap on the other cars, leaving them scramble to catch up. The standings have shifted over the past couple weeks, but KC Ansel remains at the top.

For the second time this year, Matt Hudspeth emerged as the winner of the AIRS Vintage Series race. Hudspeth made the pass around Bart Miller mid-race, and was never heard from again. This is the second AIRS feature win in a row at Hawkeye Downs, which has given him a 4-point lead over Scott Fridley.

Next week is the make-up of Gazette Free Night. No tickets are needed, and it is free admission to all. Sport Mods, Legends, Sportsmen, Hornets, and double feature Hobby Stocks are on the schedule.

Photos by Ed Siems

Wall of Fame Night: July 12th

Wall of Fame Inductions

Gates Open: 6 pm
Opening Ceremonies: 7:20 pm
Races Begin: 7:30 pm


Join us as we induct another round of extraordinary members into the Hawkeye Downs Wall of Fame. The AIRS Vintage Cars will be here as a part of the night, along with our regular racing series. There will also be a couple of restored cars from the late 70’s on display as well (info below).

On Tap:

  • Coca-Cola Sportsmen
  • Schaeffer Oil Hornets
  • Anderson Auto Hobby Stocks
  • AIRS Vintage Cars
  • Cassill Motors Sport Mods
  • Wall of Fame Inductions
  • Restored Cars Display
  • Ice Cream Giveaway


Mel Morris (driver), Denny Osborn (driver), Leon Plank (driver), Stan Stover (driver), Larry & Penny Eckrich (fabricators and car owners).

Restored Cars

The #10 Camaro was restored in 2015 and is currently owned by Gary and Karen Crawford. It is an original Sanger chassis and it was found on top of a bus in Dave Gerner’s junk yard in Garber Iowa. This car was owned by Gary Crawford in 1979, driven by Gary Crawford, Ed Sanger, Curt Hanson and Roger Dolan (all four are HD Wall of Fame members). If Sanger or Hanson needed a better car, Gary would give them his to use. This car won over 50 features that year. Gary won Track Championships in 1979 at Independence, Dubuque, Hawkeye Downs & Minot, North Dakota with this car. He also won the first NASCAR Winston Cup Racing Series in 1979 with this car.

The #95 Camaro was restored in 2016 and is currently owned by Gary and Karen Crawford. It is a 1978 Sanger chassis that Ed Sanger (HD Wall of Fame member) drove in the World 100 in Rossburg Ohio, but Sanger did not win with this car that year. Verlin Eaker (HD Wall of Fame member) drove this car for Ed Sanger. Greg Kastli bought this car from Ed Sanger and Kastil drove it. Tom Hanson bought and drove the car and eventually retired it from racing. Gary Crawford found the car in Tom Hanson’s barn in 2016 and he bought it and restored it.

The #50 Precision Performance Camaro from 1979 and 1980 is an original car restored and now owned by Jeff Adam’s of Coal Valley Illinois. The car was located in barn yard in West Branch Iowa. It has a Krewson chassis and interior along with the rear end. The fiberglass body was in total disrepair so exact copies made off of the original Glass House molds that Adams now owns. Larry and Penny Eckrich (2019 HD Wall of Fame members) owned Precision Performance and they also owned this Camaro. Larry and Penny are 2019 HD Wall of Fame inductees. Tom Hearst (HD Wall of Fame member) won the Davenport and Oskaloosa track championships in this car in 1979 and he won the Hawkeye Downs, West Liberty and Oskaloosa track championships in this car in 1980. Tom Hearst won 25 features in this car in 1979 and 1980. Bob Sexton bought the car and Mel Morris (2019 HD Wall of Fame member) won his last feature race of his career in this car at Tipton Iowa 1982.

RECAP: Houdek Grabs Fourth Win

On Munson Electric Military Night, the people that serve our country were honored in several ways before the green flag flew for the night. This included raising money for the Linn County Freedom Rock, swearing in new Military recruits, and raising awareness for the Puppy Jake Foundation, which provides service dogs to veterans.

The Skinny

The Schaeffer Oil Hornet Series had two races, and both were filled with drivers that appeared antsy as there was plenty of contact to be made. Drew Nickell was able to keep his nose clean and make his way to victory lane after the first race, while championship contender Lucas Foster was unable to finish due to damage he received. In the second feature, it was who was thought to be Dallas Chandler that battled against Nickell for the win.. but when the #3 pulled down to victory lane it was Brad Chandler that was driving the car. Unfortunately, the officials did not know it was Brad in the car and he was disqualified along with Logan Clausen in the #00 for the same issue. That gave Nickell another win while Troy Scott and Elliott Vogel are tied for second place in the standings.

In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, Matt LaCoursiere returned after his win a couple weeks ago to try for two. While he commanded the race, points leader, Jim Hanson, waited at the bumper for LaCoursiere to make a mistake–but he didn’t. After a few laps, Hanson did it the hard way and worked the outside for several more laps before finally clearing LaCoursiere and bringing home another victory.

After two runner-up finishes in the Bulltown Legends Series this year, Austin Slabaugh went back to victory lane. Slabaugh held off the very fast Dave McCalla, who started near the back of the feature after struggling to get through traffic in the heat race. While Kevin Korsmo has the points lead by 20 over Slabaugh, the points continue to close up as McCalla gets closer each week.

The Cassill Motors Sport Mods were back with 10 drivers after an exciting race last week. Those ten put on a show, and Jason Doyle emerged with his second feature win of the season while points leader, KC Ansel, struggled and ultimately could not finish. The championship battle between Ansel, Doyle, and Mike McDonald will be one to watch in the coming weeks.

In the Coca-Cola Sportsmen Series, Cory Houdek was victorious for the fourth time this year, coming ahead of Brandon Herb in the feature. Despite the dominance, Houdek remains just 6 points ahead of Braxton Franks in the standings.

Next week there are no races at Hawkeye Downs, but we will be back and full of action on Friday, July 12th with the Wall of Fame Night! This includes the AIRS Vintage Series once again plus some of our weekly racing series.

Season Extended To August 23rd

With the challenges the weather has provided earlier in the season, Hawkeye Downs has elected to extend the 2019 season, and push our season championship night to Friday, August 23rd.

The 2019 Season Championships, sponsored by Iowa Beverage, will include all of our weekly series for one final time.

As a part of the 3rd annual Fan Appreciation night at the track, admission for adults, students, and seniors will be just $5. Children 8 and under will still be free.

After the races, join us for a party on the track with the drivers and their cars! There will be drinks, music, drivers signing autographs, and more!

The season champions will be in victory lane, and they will be available for photos and autographs.

Classes and details for the August 16th night at the races will be announced later. Information on this night can be found on our events page.