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


Hanson Starts Championship Run on Season Opener

On the first night of the 2019 racing season, seven different classes of racing brought some tight racing for the lead. While some feature winners like Brody Willett and Ryan Braseth were just there to snatch a trophy, others like Jim Hanson and Lucas Foster grabbed a trophy while also getting ahead in the journey to a championship.


The Skinny

In the Schaeffer Oil Hornets, Lucas Foster ended up grabbing his second career feature win by getting around leader Drew Nickell towards the end.


Last years AIRS Vintage Hawkeye Downs champion, Chris Rollinger, started the season out with a win. Despite being the overall points winner last year, Rollinger did not have a win at the track in 2018.


Holding off Cory Houdek is never easy, but Braxton Franks managed to do just that in the Coca-Cola Sportsmen feature. The two battled side-by-side for the majority of the race.


Dirt racer KC Ansel from Dubuque became the first winner of the Cassill Motors Sport Mods since the return of the series. Ansel battled it out with fellow dirt racer Jarett Franzen for the victory.


The “Minnesota Mafia” ended up with the edge over the Hawkeye Downs regulars in the Bulltown Legends Series when Ryan Braseth took the checkered flag. 2017 track champion Austin Slabaugh finished runner up.


Brody Willett avoided the leaders making contact in the McGrath Auto Late Models to take the win on night #1. Brian Gibson and Chad Whalen made contact while battling for the lead, sending Gibson hard into the turn one wall. Willett went on to pass Whalen for the win.


Working hard on the outside lane in the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, Jim Hanson slowly made his way around Logan Clausen to win. The two raced next to each other cleanly for the majority of the race, but Clausen could not keep Hanson at bay in the end.


Friday, May 10th includes more racing from the Sportsmen, Hobby Stocks, Hornets, Legends (double feature), and Late Models*

*tentative, may change.

Five Series Slated to Return

Over the past few years, the fans have grown to love several of the touring series that come to Hawkeye Downs, in addition to our weekly racing.

We are happy to announce that those series are slated to return throughout the 2019 racing schedule.

The AIRS Vintage Cars will be back multiple times next year, with a plan of racing once a month. Besides their schedule that includes tracks from all over, drivers will compete for a track championship like Chris Rollinger captured in 2018. Specific dates will be released in the future.

“Clash at the Downs” Big 8 Series is returning once again with a thunderous field of late models. Last year it was Jeremy Miller that captured the race win, going on to win the championship and retire. The weekly late model racers will challenge Midwest’s best. The Big 8 Series will be back on May 31st.

For the second time, the Midwest Dash returns bringing 4-Cylinders to the 1/2 mile. These drivers will race it out to determine who the Iowa State Champion is. They will join the Mid-Am Series which will put sportsman on the 1/2 mile as well that night. Those series will race into town on June 28th.

The thrilling Bandit Big Series will be back for the 3rd consecutive year, this time with a special September date. On Saturday, September 14th the 100-mph semi trucks will take to the 1/2 mile.

The rest of the schedule will be released Friday, Jan 11th, be sure to stay tuned to our website and social media.

Weekly Racing: Friday, August 10th

The second-to-last week of racing will take place on Friday, August 10th. We will have part two of the Candy Dash and Bike Giveaway during intermission! All five of our weekly racing series PLUS the final night for the AIRS Vintage Series at Hawkeye Downs.

 

Gates open at 6 pm, opening ceremonies at 7:20 pm with racing to follow. More information will be added as the date gets closer.