BOONE — Expectations are varied when it comes to IMCA Super Nationals.
Of course, everyone wants to win, and especially among racecar drivers, showing up to win is often the only goal. But Super Nationals’ circumstances mean just making the main event in your respective division is an accomplishment.
Among the hundreds of racers to who made the trip to Boone Speedway, Eastern Iowa saw several drivers not only make their main events but run in the top five and top 10. Of the 123 qualifiers for the four championship A-mains on Saturday night, 19 were racers who are either from Eastern Iowa or race in Eastern Iowa often.
The best finisher among that group was Cedar Rapids driver Tony Olson, who got a career-best fifth place finish in Sport Mod. The defending IMCA national champion and Eastern Iowa Driver of the Year was thrilled with his finish, especially considering the last few years, which featured a few wrecks and mechanical failures.
“We left with the car in one piece and a top five,” Olson said. “Yeah, of course we want to win, but to finish with a car in one piece at Boone, everyone knows that’s an accomplishment.”
Olson raced around the top five most of the main event after starting eighth, in the middle of the third row behind current national points leader Tyler Soppe, who finished ninth.
Soppe and Olson both remarked about how the track conditions affected their race, and Soppe was even more optimistic about his car and what his run at Super Nationals means for the remaining specials the rest of this season. They and the rest of the Eastern Iowa racers have the chance to back up their runs in Boone this weekend at World Nationals at Marshalltown Speedway and after that at the Big Show Hangover at Benton County Speedway on Sunday.
“We left (Boone) with a car set up for the slick and got a hammer down track, so we can go to Marshalltown and probably not change a thing,” Soppe said.
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Olson was matched in the top five by Oskaloosa’s Cayden Carter — who races often on this side of the state — with a fifth in Stock Car, and also ran fifth in Late Model and 12th in Modified.
The Modified main event was the most populated by Eastern Iowa racers with six: sixth place finisher J.D. Auringer, of Waterloo, Carter in 12th, West Union driver Justin O’Brien in 19th, Dunkerton’s Troy Cordes in 21st, Reinbeck’s Corey Dripps in 27th and Urbana’s Darin Duffy finishing 33rd.
Cordes qualified for his 14th championship A-main, and all those have come in the last 20 years. According to IMCA executive secretary Ryan Clark, Cordes’ 14 qualifying runs is fourth most all-time and the most of anyone qualified for the 2017 event.
In Stock Car, Carter was joined by Danville’s John Oliver Jr., who finished seventh, Chelsea driver Damon Murty who was credited with 24th, Rowley’s Norman Chesmore in 26th and Independence driver Justin Temeyer in 27th — the last three of whom collected in the same wreck.
In Hobby Stock, Marengo’s Nathan Ballard raced for the win in the first half of the race, running side by side with eventual winner Shannon Anderson before contact and then a spin forced him to race from the back of the field up to 12th. He was edged by Oelwein’s Benji Irvine in seventh, and they were joined by Waterloo’s Jeremiah Wilson in 13th and Vinton driver Justin Wacha in 16th.
And in Sport Mod, Olson and Soppe were joined by Dysart’s Joe Docekal, who started 27th and finished 13th and Tony’s cousin and fellow Cedar Rapids native Kyle Olson, who finished 20th.
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