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: Franks Takes Lead With Second Win

For Electronic Engineering Night, the weather was beautiful and there was plenty of action with six feature races. During intermission, the kids had the opportunity to ride in some of the race cars as well. As the race season begins to wind down with the final race in July, each battle on the track will have to be watched closely.


The Skinny

For the 8th time this season, Drew Nickell cruised to victory in the Schaeffer Oil Hornet Series. Lucas Foster was back after suffering a lot of damage a couple weeks ago to finish runner up this time. After a tie for second in the standings the last several races, Troy Scott has emerged as the


In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stocks, there was an intense battle for the lead between Jim Hanson and Matt LaCoursiere for 1st, while Brad Chandler and Logan Clausen battled for 3rd. LaCoursiere had the lead until contact between him and Hanson resulted in a 2nd place finish, while Hanson went on to win the feature.


Momentum has proved to be big for Braxton Franks in the Coca Cola Sportsmen Series. For the second week in a row, Franks was the winner of the feature race, and has made up nine points on Cory Houdek in the past two races which has given him a six point advantage heading into the double feature races next week.


For the second race this year NASCAR driver, Joey Gase, was back to race in the Cassill Motors Sport Mod Series. It was a huge race for the feature winner, Jason Doyle, who held Gase off and made a huge dent in the standings. The points leader, KC Ansel, was unable to make the race and now sits just 5 markers ahead of Doyle and Mike McDonald.


In the first Bulltown Legends feature, Dave McCalla captured his 4th win of the season, holding off Brian Gibson in the closing laps. During the race, there was a heavy incident involving Sonny Parker and Warren Ropp. Both drivers were okay afterwords.

For the second Legends feature, Kacey Korsmo led as the race drew to a close, but it was Austin Slabaugh who managed to get around him before McCalla could, and when the checkered flag flew, Slabaugh had captured his second victory of the year.


Next week is ImOn Communications night, with a Candy Dash and a double feature in the Sportsmen Series.


Photos by Ed Siems


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


RECAP: McCalla Wins $1000 on Free Night

On 100.7 the FOX night, the weather was beautiful and the stands were packed. Over 2000 people were in the stands for the annual “Racing for a Cause” race to benefit the C.O.P.S Foundation. Besides the regional legend qualifier, several weekly series were back, including the Sport Mods for the second time.


The Skinny

The Schaeffer Oil Hornets was once again won by Drew Nickell, leaving the rest to fight for second place. Troy Scott was the runner up, but just did not have enough to fend off Nickell. The points battle has opened up a little bit more, with Nickell 12 points ahead of Lucas Foster heading into the Mid-Season Championships.


In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stock Series, the field was paced by Jim Hanson as Logan Clausen and Jasen Freeman watched from behind. It was smooth sailing for Hanson once he made his way through the field to collect his fourth victory of the year.


The Coca-Cola Sportsmen Series saw one heck of a battle throughout the entire field. While it looked to be Braxton Franks’ to lose in the early stages, his luck changed when he and Cory Houdek began racing hard for the lead. The two made contact, spinning Houdek and damaging the car of Franks. Franks would go on to struggle with the car after the damage, while Houdek made his way back through to pass Brandon Herb and win his second race of the year. Houdek now leads Franks in the standings by just four.


The Cassill Motors Sport Mods were back for their second race this week with the help of nice weather. It looked like KC Ansel would pull off both victories, but Jason Doyle held him off to grab the win just half a second ahead of Ansel. The Sport Mods return once again this week.

In the Bulltown Legends regional qualifier, twenty cars from three different states went after a $1000 purse. Although it has evaded him in the past, Dave McCalla was not to be denied after passing six cars in the first lap. He would then hold off, Aaron Moyer, who sat on his bumper but did not have enough to get by.


Next week is Atlantic Bottling Company Coca-Cola Mid-Season Championships. We will have all 7 classes running, with only feature races. PLUS an autograph session at intermission.