RECAP: Champions Crowned on Season Finale

On the final night of racing at Hawkeye Downs, presented by Iowa Beverage Company, the drivers had one more chance to win for the year, and the champions were crowned in six different classes. After the races, the champions were celebrated and fans were able to see the cars up close during the post-race party.


The Skinny

In the Schaeffer Oil Hornet Series, Drew Nickell captured an impressive 11th win on the way to celebrating his championship. After starting 6th, Nickell made his way around the top-5 in points to take the lead. With four runner-up finishes this year, Troy Scott finished second overall in the points.


Despite the hungry drivers behind him, Jim Hanson went to victory lane for the 10th time this year, propelling him to the track championship. Hanson held off Kurt Bohnsack and Logan Clausen for one last time. Grabbing two wins this season, Clausen finished second in the final standings for 2019.


For the second week in a row, Jason Doyle came on strong late and made a pass around Sean Vogt to win another feature in the Cassill Motors Sport Mods. It was the 7th win of the year for Doyle, who really showed strength as the season went on. Mike McDonald was consistent all year long, which helped him capture second place in the standings.


With a breakout year in the Bulltown Legends Series, Austin Slabaugh earned his fourth feature win of the year on Friday night, which secured a second place overall for 2019. Slabaugh battled with Jacob Tiegen, who earned a career best 2nd-place finish. The championship was off the table, however, and was captured by Kevin Korsmo, who finished 3rd and ended with two wins this year.


While Matt Hudspeth and Scott Fridley battled each other out for the points championship in the AIRS Vintage Hawkeye Downs Series, Bart Miller sped away with the win. Hudspeth ran a solid second, while Fridley battled his tail off to get towards the front. In the end, Hudspeth is the champion by just three points.


We all knew the Coca-Cola Sportsmen race would be exciting, and it did not disappoint. On the final lap, Greg Hentrich led as Braxton Franks and Cory Houdek battled behind him. Coming to the checkered, contact was made between Houdek and Hentrich. This prompted officials to declare Hentrich the winner and disqualify Houdek for rough driving. At the end of it all, Franks was the 2019 champion.


A group of late models showed up for season championship night, and although there were no points involved, fans were excited to see them take the track. Mark Greb won the heat race, but in the race it was all Brody Willett. Brian Gibson stuck to the back bumper of Willett, but just didn’t have enough to get around him.


With the season being over, Hawkeye Downs would like to thank all of our fans, sponsors, and drivers for all of your support this season, and for making it another one to remember. See you all next year!


Photos by Ed Siems


RECAP: Ballstaedt Gets Two In A Row

The final free night of the year has come and gone after several attempts due to weather. Gazette Free Night was a success with many bikes given out to children and intense racing on the track before the season comes to an end.


The Skinny

In the craziest Schaeffer Oil Hornets race yet, Drew Nickell was still victorious. A total of 12 Hornets were on track, which provided three and four-wide racing at times. It was no match for Nickell, who beat Troy Scott to the front. Several new drivers emerged on the scene which included Adam Weller (6th), Harold Scott (7th), and Steven Schmitz (9th).


While sparks flew between a couple drivers in the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stock feature, it was all behind Jim Hanson once again. Kurt Bohnsack held onto second for most of the race until going for a spin on the last lap. Jason Sherman ended up with the runner up spot. It was the 9th win of the year for Hanson.


Eight Cassill Motors Sport Mods competed in the feature, but Jason Doyle was the class of the field and captured his 5th win on the season. Doyle had to hold off a group of cars which included the cousin trio of Creston, Jonny, and Scott Williams.


Besting his total from last year already, Austin Slabaugh captured his 3rd Bulltown Legends Series victory. After starting on the outside of the front row, Slabaugh was able to keep just enough space between himself and Dave McCalla when the checkered flag flew.


For the second week in a row, nobody could get around Dave Ballstaedt to defeat him. Despite it being close, as the rest of the field battled behind him, Ballstaedt continued to keep control of the Coca-Cola Sportsmen race. With Cory Houdek winning the heat race and Braxton Franks finishing 2nd in the feature, no points were gained by either driver for the championship.


Next week is the final week of racing before our season championships. The Lil Racer Car Club will be having Big Wheel Races in addition to action from our regular weekly series.


Photos by Joe Reese