Eastern Iowa Driver Rankings: July 9

The gap between Justin Kay and others continues to grow; Moyer and Cordes get big wins

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Welcome to the Inside Track's Eastern Iowa Driver Rankings. Each week of the racing season, the Gazette's Jeremiah Davis will rank the area's top 10 drivers across all divisions.

Think the list should be different? Tweet him at @jeremiahdavis10, or send him an email at jeremiah.davis@sourcemedia.net

New this week: Tony Olson

Dropped out: Mother Nature (take THAT), David Brandies

1 Justin Kay Late Model If it feels like I've written or tweeted about this guy a lot...it's because I have. His competitors have said it themselves -- they're all chasing him right now. He was perfect in his IMCA Late Model, winning at Davenport on Friday, staying perfect for the season at Dubuque and got a Deery Bros win at West Liberty on Tuesday.
2 Austin Moyer Sport Mod Another solid weekend for the young man from Dubuque. He won the Sport Mod main event at the Aftermarket Nationals at Farley Speedway, then kept his dominance at his home track of Dubuque Speedway going with another win there. Don't see this slowing down any time soon, either.
3 Troy Cordes Modified This guy had the biggest week of his career, and it wasn't really close. He won $10,000 at the Aftermarket Nationals at Farley Speedway on Thursday, finished fifth in the makeup feature at Independence, then won the regular main event. He then ran fourth and third in the two mains at Vinton. Dude is rolling.
4 Jenae Gustin Sport Mod Traded the lead with Austin Moyer for the first half of the marathon Sport Mod main event at the Aftermarket Nationals before ultimately finishing third. Had a poor night at her hometown track in Marshalltown, but rebounded to win her third straight at Independence on Saturday. Sport Mod wins go through her and Moyer.
5 Ronn Lauritzen Modified Did a lot of racing over the Fourth of July weekend, and though he didn't get a win, he was a factor. Finished second at Marshalltown on Friday night, then had a so-so (by his standards, anyway) night at Independence, finishing seventh and sixth in the two main events. Ran fifth and second in the two Vinton main events.
6 Benji Irvine Hobby Stock Irvine continued his roller coaster season at Independence, finishing 15th in the Hobby Stock main event there Saturday night. But he rebounded nicely on Sunday, finishing third in one of only two classes not to run double features at Benton County Speedway in Vinton. 
7 Andy Eckrich Late Model He's not running poorly, he's just selective about where he races lately. And part of being considered the best on this side of the state is proving just that at multiple venues. So he takes a bit of a hit this week, only racing at the Deery Brothers Summer Series race at West Liberty, where he finished fifth. Still one to beat, though.
8 Brad & Nathan Chandler Sport Compact These two get to keep their combo entry for now. Nathan got the win at Southern Iowa Speedway in their dad's memorial race there, then finished third in the Merv Chandler Memorial 42 at Hawkeye Downs. Brad blew an engine at Osky, and led most of the 42 before their brother Dallas passed both of them to win. Brad finished second.
9 Tony Olson Sport Mod The Cedar Rapids driver went at least a month where he finished second or third seemingly everywhere he went, but couldn't break through. He finally did this weekend, winning both main events at Benton County Speedway in Vinton. He also ran third at Marshalltown on Friday, and third at Cedar County Raceway in Tipton on Thursday.
10 Bill Whalen Sport Compact The Riverside driver got back to his winning ways at Benton County Speedway, taking the Sport Compact main event on Sunday, the other of the two classes who only ran one main event. He finished fifth at Southern Iowa Speedway in Osky's Merv Chandler Memorial race, one that meant a lot to Whalen. 

l Comments: (319) 368-8884; jeremiah.davis@sourcemedia.net

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