VINTON — Rainouts are stressful, disappointing and often frustrating facts of life for racetracks during April in Iowa.
That’s particularly true when it seems like the season can’t really get going because of it. Rain and cold washed out the IMCA Spring Extravaganza at Lee County Speedway, then the initial IMCA Frostbuster dates, and then this weekend washed out almost everything in Eastern Iowa — including IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series for Late Models events at Farley Speedway and Independence Motor Speedway, as well as the Modified Extravaganza at West Liberty Raceway.
Summer Series Director Kevin Yoder had to deal with the stress of an almost-rainout two weeks ago in his series’ opener at 34 Raceway — another week most everyone else rained out — and stood and watched it rain Friday in Farley before the eventual postponement. Instead of being frustrated, though, Yoder offered a little perspective Monday about weather historically being finicky this time of year.
Anyone who’s lived in Iowa for more than one spring understands.
“I think we kind of have the same conversation revisited every year, how we’re always talking about how wet it is in April,” Yoder said. “I remember a race in Maquoketa a couple years ago where we had a cookout scheduled that got snowed out — so we couldn’t do the cookout or the race. It’s not unprecedented. It’s just how things are in April and I think each year we kind of forget what the last April felt like.”
While the Summer Series hasn’t been affected tremendously in April in the last four seasons, several events have been canceled or pushed back across the state and area in that time frame.
It was the second straight year the IMCA Frostbuster event was pushed back a week, for example.
For the Summer Series, the fact that the Farley and Independence races were so easily rescheduled was a relief to Yoder — but he knew this weekend was open as a contingency to begin with, so that’s why there was never a lot of stress on his or the series’ part.
In fact, the postponement created something new. IMCA, Farley Speedway Promotions (Farley and Dubuque Speedway operators) and Independence Motor Speedway promoter Dana Benning are finalizing details of the Highway 20 Triple Crown, which includes three Summer Series races in three days at Farley, Independence and Dubuque this weekend.
“This weekend looks great weather-wise, so hopefully we’ll be able to get them in,” Yoder said. “There’s a level of stress that comes any time it gets rained out, but we had some nice makeup opportunities for both races (that were rained out).”
SIMPSON TAKES SLOCUM 50
While every other racetrack in Eastern Iowa ended up rained out this weekend, the annual Slocum 50 at 34 Raceway avoided the rain — and saw Oxford driver Chris Simpson get the $10,555 win.
Simpson topped the Cornbelt Clash Open Late Model main event after taking the lead on Lap 3 and never looked back. Illinois driver Bobby Pierce and Chris’ brother Chad Simpson battled for second over the closing laps while Chris pulled away. Pierce ended up second with Chad Simpson third, Shannon Babb fourth and Brian Shirley fifth.
“It was definitely tough,” Chris Simpson said. “Realistically there were 10 to 12 cars that could’ve won.
“If you had a fast car, you could definitely move forward. … About five or eight laps in I moved up to the top and just kind of just navigated traffic where I needed to.”
MODIFIED EXTRAVAGANZA RESCHEDULED
Like the IMCA Deery Brothers schedule adjustment, West Liberty Raceway pushed its Modified Extravaganza back a week thanks to rain last Saturday.
Farley Speedway Promotions announced shortly after the rainout became official that the $1,200-to-win Modified special would be run as the same show on Saturday. IMCA Modifieds run for the top prize while IMCA Sport Mods will race for $500 to win.
IMCA Stock Cars and IMCA Sport Compacts will fill out the program. West Liberty’s weekly opener is set for April 29.
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