CEDAR RAPIDS - Earlier this season, a reporter asked Iowa City West boys' tennis coach Mitch Gross about the #x201c;triple crown#x201d; of prep tennis.
At the time, Gross dismissed the thought of winning a state championship in singles, dou ... »
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CEDAR RAPIDS — The INEX Legends cars have been the biggest class the last handful of years at Hawkeye Downs Speedway by a wide margin.
But more than just the most cars, the small but powerful racecars have put on the best show and been by far the most competitive class at Hawkeye Downs. The passionate and ultracompetitive group of racers proved that again Friday night on the quarter-mile, with the top six cars nose to tail at the finish.
Savage, Minn. Driver Tim Brockhouse picked up the win, his third of the season, and became the first driver to reach more than two wins — and is one of only two drivers to notch back-to-back wins at any point — this season in Legends.
“They’re all a bunch of my friends, and it’s always good when the races are over that you can shake hands with your buddies, rib each other a little bit and leave it all on the racetrack,” Brockhouse said. “That’s the good thing about Legends racing in general. It’s a lot of fun.
“I love coming here. Good people; good friends. I love racing here.”
The close-quarters racing has made for some bumping and banging in the class this season, but the drivers have, for the most part, left that on the track.
The group Friday night, at least, were all laughing and giving each other a hard time in the tech barn, and that’s the best part of all of it for them. Promoter and Legends points leader Kevin Korsmo finished second to Brockhouse — with a broken front spindle after contact while racing three-wide earlier in the race — and was all smiles after the main event, even despite being the runner-up.
Racing that hard that close is what it’s all about, he said.
“I was happy to see some different people running up front. We were moving and shaking, and it’s fun when you can have a race where guys are passing each other back and forth,” Korsmo said. “I thought everybody did a nice job. I want competition to race against, and as a promoter, we’ve got some really good racers down here. I think the out-of-towners come and know we race clean. It puts on a good show.”
Mr. Legends himself, Warren Ropp — who owns and operates Bulltown Legends in Kalona and supplies parts and cars to more than half the field — led briefly in the first half of the race before Brockhouse cleared him for the race-winning pass on a restart.
Ropp, who finished sixth, reveled in the close-quarters racing, too, and was happy to be out front of it all at least for a little bit. When asked if he felt like he almost had a win after leading a handful of laps, Ropp gave a hearty laugh while gesturing to Brockhouse, who had just pulled into tech.
“Oh no, no, no, no. We all know better than that,” Ropp said through a laugh about holding off Brockhouse. “We had a lot of fun. We had a good race going on.
“We were all in the same corner at the end. It’s just getting tougher every week. We invite all comers.”
The win marked Brockhouse’s 20th overall this season, and third straight at Hawkeye Downs. That statline is something he’s quite proud of, especially the wins at Hawkeye Downs, because he knows the caliber of cars and drivers he’s racing with in Cedar Rapids.
The group here, he said, has this quarter-mile down, and beating them on their turf — when the whole field is so competitive — is something to be proud of.
“It’s so competitive here,” Brockhouse said. “These guys have this track down. Any time you go somewhere, there’s always the home field advantage. They know that the track gets loose or gets tight; they know how to adjust. They also know the competitors they’re racing against every week.
“They’re fast, they’re hard to beat and when you beat them it’s something to be proud of.”
HAWKEYE DOWNS SPEEDWAY RESULTS
1. Drew Nickell, Cedar Rapids
2. Brad Chandler, Cedar Rapids
3. Derek Parrott, Marion
1. Jim Hanson, Cedar Rapids
2. Kevin Franks, Cedar Rapids
3. Braxton Franks, Cedar Rapids
1. Tim Brockhouse, Savage, MN
2. Kevin Korsmo, Atkins
3. Blaise Watters, Mineral Point, WI
1. Jim Hanson, Cedar Rapids
2. CJ Van Horn, Marion
3. Greg Hentrich, Hiawatha
1. Brad Osborn, Janesville
2. Brian Gibson, Walford
3. Griffin McGrath, Cedar Rapids
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