INDEPENDENCE - For Independence, the prep football season opener bore little resemblance to its winless 2016 campaign.
Even in defeat, a clear message was sent that there are brighter days ahead for the Mustangs.
Independence nearly matc ... »
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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 comment in the comments section.
New this week: Austin Moyer, Justin Temeyer
Dropped out: Scott Hogan, Jay Schmidt
|1||--||Justin Kay||Late Model||Until he stops winning, someone is going to have to come and take this spot away from him. There are plenty of guys in the area winning, but not on such a consistent basis. Aside from last weekend (rain gives it an asterisk), he's got at least one win every week he's raced, and kept it up with a win at Dubuque on Sunday.|
|2||--||Andy Eckrich||Late Model||This is the "Mother Nature" spot of the rankings, apparently. Eckrich got rained out Saturday at West Liberty Raceway for the second straight week, and got rained out again Tuesday for the IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series show at Cedar County Raceway in Tipton. He's keeping busy, but itching to race.|
|3||+3||Benji Irvine||Hobby Stock||Irvine gets a big bump this week for how well he bounced back from last week. The Stanley driver was 2 for 2 this weekend, getting wins at Farley Speedway (not a regular track for him) and Benton County Speedway in Vinton on Sunday. Independence rained out Saturday, otherwise he might've been 3 for 3.|
|4||+1||Ronn Lauritzen||Modified||He might not have gotten a win this week, but Lauritzen continued to be a factor in his IMCA Modified. He worked his way forward for a second place finish at Marshalltown, missed out on Independence due to rain (the track's first rainout of the season) and ran fifth in Vinton on Sunday.|
|5||-2||Bill Whalen||Sport Compact||This drop in the rankings is more about what some other guys are doing rather that what he's not. Whalen took care of business again in Vinton on Sunday, winning his fourth straight Sport Compact feature and fifth in his last six. He got rained out at his other usual haunts of Southern Iowa Speedway and West Liberty.|
|6||-2||Jenae Gustin||Sport Mod||Gustin only got to race once this weekend herself, another victim to the rain at Independence. The Marshalltown native led for a bit in the Sport Mod feature at Marshalltown Speedway on Friday night, but lost the lead late and settled for second. Still, the win in Sport Mod usually goes through her.|
|7||+2||Troy Cordes||Modified||Sometimes when a driver gets a win, it's like the proverbial floodgates open, and wins come easier and easier. For Cordes, that just might be the case - at least at Benton County Speedway, anyway. He won his second straight Modified feature event Sunday in Vinton, indicating he's got his car working well.|
|8||+2||Tim Goettsch||Legends||The former karter continued his dominance of the Legends class at Hawkeye Downs Speedway on Friday night, getting his third win this season. But more impressive was the way he won this week. Goettsch drove from the back and had to be incredibly patient. He's going to make some noise at other places soon.|
|9||N/R||Austin Moyer||Sport Mod||Back in the rankings after a week away, and for good reason. The Dubuque native ran very well over in his home area, getting a win at Farley Speedway on Friday night and running second at Dubuque Speedway on Sunday night. Finding consistency will be key for Moyer as the rest of this season plays out.|
|10||N/R||Justin Temeyer||Stock Car||The Independence native makes his first appearance in the Eastern Iowa Driver Rankings this week. He may have gotten rained out at his home track, but he finished third to start the weekend at Marshalltown on Friday night. Then, on Sunday, he got his first win of the season at Benton County Speedway in Vinton.|
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