Spins, slides, wrecks highlight night at Hawkeye Downs

Excellent, aggressive racing led to entertaining chaos

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The spins and slides came in bunches Friday night at Hawkeye Downs Speedway as drivers across divisions found themselves in wrecks or spin-outs.

By any standard, Friday’s racing was excellent, with drivers hitting turns three, four and sometimes even five-wide on the quarter-mile track.

The calamity in the turns sometimes made for crafty maneuvers, other times it made for door-to-door bumps, bumper taps, hard wrecks or spins.

Neither heat races nor features were immune from the spins. The Hobby Stocks division feature saw a wreck on the first lap involving almost half the field. When the wreckage finally cleared only 10 minutes later, the green flag lasted just six laps before another caution stalled the race for at least 10 more minutes.

Last week’s winner, Braxton Franks, broke his left front tire rod and had his back left tire go flat resulting in one of several trips onto the track for the flatbed tow truck.

Scott Siems, sixth in the points standings entering the race, was involved in the early wreck before racing his way to the front for the win with a buckled hood.

“I’ll probably just stomp on it,” Siems said of the process of fixing his hood. Siems was not immune to the spins in the Late Models, however. He spun exiting turn 2 on the half-mile track, and his car rode all the way up the grass infield and onto the quarter mile.

The Hornets also saw trouble during their feature. Dallas Chandler took home his fifth win of the year, but not before the field came under two cautions.

Derek Parrott and Drew Nickell bumped for the first caution, and then James Montgomery spun to bring out another caution.

Chandler avoided the spins and wrecks on the cooler-than-average Friday evening — colder weather causes slicker tires — all the way to victory.

“Some dirt got thrown up in the corners on 1 and 2, and I think it’s just a little bit cooler out and nobody’s had a chance to adjust their cars,” he said. “It gets to that point of the year where everyone’s getting a little better and it doesn’t seem like anyone else is stretching it out as much.”

With no racing at Hawkeye Downs next Friday, the regulars will have a chance to practice and adjust their cars, something Chandler said many drivers will likely take advantage of.

But with drivers going four or five-wide in the turns, and with the cooler weather, the wrecks were bound to happen.

“There’s only so much room and it runs out pretty fast. That’s why you see so much rubbing and close racing out here,” Chandler said.

Immune to the wrecks and spins were the Legends. The division ran their feature under the green flag, and the cars looked tuned in for much of their racing.

“Typically, when the track gets cooler, the cars get tighter, so I like to come in with a little bit looser car,” third-place Legends finisher Mark Ironside said. “it fits more for the feature. That’s pretty much what I do, the car was good all night.”

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