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.


Nickell Returns to Victory Lane on Week 2

During the second week of the 2019 season, the fans saw typical front-runners challenge for the lead. However, not a single driver who won during week one was able to make it back to victory lane this week. This has kept the standings close in each of the series, and anything can happen going into the next several weeks.


The Skinny

The Schaeffer Oil Hornets was won by Drew Nickell, who is back in the series this year. After getting passed late last week, Nickell kept the gap between himself and Elliott Vogel to capture the victory. The win put Nickell ahead of Lucas Foster by two points in the standings.


In the Anderson Automotive Hobby Stock Series, youngster Logan Clausen kept Jasen Freeman at bay to get career win #2. Freeman could close the gap by just mere inches each lap, but ran out of time to catch the leader. Jim Hanson holds the point lead over Freeman by 5 points.


The Coca-Cola Sportsmen Series was won by Cory Houdek this week, who got it done over Braxton Franks. The two drivers again had a tight race for the lead, but this time Houdek had the preferred line to get it done. Both drivers are tied heading into week #3.


For Bulltown Legends feature #1, Dave McCalla started at the front after not finishing last week. McCalla crossed the line in first, but was disqualified in post-race tech. This gave Cole O’Brien the victory for the first Legends race of the evening. Austin Slabaugh, who started 12th, finished 2nd.

In the second feature for the Legends Series, McCalla came back with a vengeance, but was unable to make it around Kevin Korsmo before time ran out. Korsmo held onto the bottom line just enough to go back to victory lane for the first time since 2017. The standings have Korsmo leading Austin Slabaugh by two heading to week 3.


Next week is Gazette Free Night, which means admission is free for everyone. Sport Mods will be back, and rumor has it nearly 15 drivers have committed to entering.


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.