It’s time for another “Clash at the Downs” and, possibly, time for Brody Willett to pick up his first Big 8 Late Model Series win.
The Big 8 Series kicks off its season Friday at Hawkeye Downs Speedway, the home track for Alburnett teenager Willett.
This is Willett’s third season racing in the regional series, his second on a full-time basis. He finished third in the points standings last year, but still is looking for his first series win.
“He has a really good chance of winning the championship” this year, said Caleb Slouha, who does PR works for Hawkeye Downs and Willett.
The Big 8 Late Model Series holds an eight-race season around the Midwest, with events in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. It “allows top drivers from weekly short tracks to compete under common rules, providing fans a tremendous show with big car counts and the best drivers our short tracks have to offer,” according to its website.
Friday’s event at Hawkeye Downs — dubbed “Clash at the Downs IV” — includes qualifying races at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:30, including the 48-lap Big 8 feature. The program will include the Downs’ usual weekly offerings, too.
Because the rules are the same at Hawkeye Downs and in the Big 8 series, Slouha said most of the regular Late Model drivers — guys like Brian Gibson and Griffin McGrath — will challenge the series’ regulars. He expects 20 to 25 cars challenging for a spot in the feature race, which is offering $1,000 to the winner.
Gates open at 5 p.m.
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l All classes at Farley Speedway will run double features Friday after last weekend’s race were halted by severe storms. Hot laps begin at 7 p.m.
l Corey Dripps of Waterloo has two IMCA Modifieds feature wins at Benton County Speedway, but stands second in the points race to Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls, 189-172. Scott Hogan of Vinton is third.
l The Urbana Five event at Benton County Speedway is set for June 10.
l The “Super Modified Weekend” at Farley Speedway — which includes at $50,000-to-win Modified Championship race — has been rescheduled for Oct. 12-13.