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Suzuki 4 wheeler that Wilwert's has provided SPI for race track and  tee shirt shoot each night. The Suzuki Fun Gun provided by Wilwert's Inc.


September 15th, 2001

Eastern Iowa hot shoe Denny Eckrich netted the biggest win of his career on Saturday September 15th, taking home more than $15,000 in his dominating performance of the 24th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic.  Eckrich topped an event record 88 Late Models during the Budweiser Open Late Model Shootout portion of the four day event that saw a total of 315 racecars compete for a starting spot in one of the eight feature events on the high banked half mile.

After finishing second to Josh McGowan during the Cutting Edge Fast Dash, Eckrich lined up for the 100 lap shootout on the outside of the front row. Quickly establishing himself as the man to beat, Eckrich took off at the drop of the green and opened up as much as a fifteen car length advantage over seventh and eighth place starters Darren Miller and Brian Birkhofer before McGowan brought out the first caution on lap eight with a disabled mount.  Planting his car on the cushion on the restart, Eckrich held off the low challenge of Miller on the restart, stretching his advantage when Birkhofer began working on Miller for second.  Using the top of the track, Birkhofer was unable to push Miller back into third until a lap ten restart when Miller chose the topside of the track on the restart, leaving the bottom for Birkhofer to power past.   Lapped traffic helped the second consolation event winner and 22nd starter Jeff Aikey drop Miller back into fourth on lap 20 when the pair encountered a large group of cars fighting for position just prior to the  next yellow flag when fifth and sixth place Ray Guss Jr and Terry Neal tangled in the fourth corner.  Aikey made the most of the restart by advancing from third into the lead on the restart, beating Eckrich on the bottom into the first turn.  Aikey's stint as the pacesetter was short-lived when Eckrich returned the favor seven laps later by getting underneath Aikey in the second corner and beating him into turn three.   Eckrich showed his strength once again by pulling out to a full straightaway lead while Aikey, Birkhofer and Miller battled for runner-up status.  The three way battle ended following a lap 38 restart when Birkhofer retired to the pits with mechanical woes. 

Continuing to dominate, Eckrich was in compete control until the three quarters mark when he began struggling through heavy lapped traffic.  That allowed Aikey and Miller to eliminate the 30 car length lead that Eckrich had established by lap 80.  Miller took a look at the lead two laps later by getting around Aikey and pulling alongside the leader as the pair split a lapped car entering the third turn.  Miller came up short on that attempt but kept withing striking distance as slower traffic became a major factor in the race.  Close quarter racing eventually took it's toll when contact between two cars sent innocent victim Chris Smyser out of sixth place and into the turn three wall on lap 85.  With lapped traffic cleared, Eckrich was once again in complete control of the race, surviving one more caution flag when debris on the track set up a six lap shootout.

Crossing underneath the checkers with a fifteen car length advantage, Eckrich led Miller and Aikey under the checkers.  Kyle Berck parlayed his nineteenth place start into the fourth place finish with barely a scratch on his car while Dennis Erb made two runs through the pack, the first from his 23rd place start, only to get spun out of the eighth place on a lap 38 restart and again from the rear of the field to place fifth when the checkers flew.  Todd Davis led the second five across the line after starting sixteenth, ahead of seventh place Rick Wendling, the only driver to qualify for all 24 previous Yankee Dirt Track Classic's.  Matt Furman took the tough route to his eighth place finish after being involved in two on-track fracas.  Darren Mish kept his car on the lead lap all night to quietly sneak into ninth place while Ace Ihm rounded out the top ten.  Ihm garnered a starting spot in the Yankee Dirt Track Classic after trading his second place finish in the Auto Acres 25 for non-qualified cars earlier in the evening for the 29th and final starting spot.

Duane Coulson dominated the Auto Acres Non Qualifiers Feature, taking home $1000 for his efforts.  Ihm took home the second spot and the last position to be given the option of transferring by battling with pole sitter Pete Parker throughout the event with Mark Merfeld and Darrall DeFrance rounding out the top five.    

The Silver Anniversary 25th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic is scheduled for September 11th to 14th 2002.  For more information, please contact Simmons Promotions at 563-744-3620 or on the internet at www.SimmonsPromotionsInc.com.  For raceday updates and instant results upon completion please call your local McLeod USA InTouch directory category #3740 or #3741. 


1. 50   Denny Eckrich  Coralville
2. 32d  Darren Miller  Chadwick IL
3. 77    Jeff Aikey  Cedar Falls
4. 14    Kyle Berck  Marquette NE
5. 28    Dennis Erb Jr  Carpentersville IL
6. 3t    Todd Davis  Iowa City
7. 78    Rick Wendling  Hazelton
8. 51    Matt Furman  Iowa City
9. 79    Darren Mish  Cassville WI
10. 11  Ace Ihm  Kieler WI
11. 53  Joe Kosiski   Omaha NE
12. 21h  Brian Harris  Davenport IA
13. 70   Max Corporon  Marion
14. 45k  John Kresser  Bridgeview IL
15. 1f    Jason Friesen   Sutton NE
16. 25s   Chris Smyser  Lancaster MO
17. 37    Rolle Frink  Davenport
18. 3   Josh McGowan  Vinton
19. 32    Tom Cannon  Iowa City
20. 37b  Troy Bruder  Rock Falls IL
21. 26   Steve Boley  West Liberty
22. 15b  Brian Birkhofer  Muscatine
23. 99    Johnny Johnson  West Burlington
24. 12  Ray Guss Jr  Milan IL
25. 12n   Terry Neal    Ely
26. 58   Dave Eckrich  Coralville
27. 1a   Duke Whiseant  Texarkana AR
28. 07   Terry Ryan   Davenport
29. 21   Luke Merfeld  Dubuque


1. 44 Duane Coulson   E Dubuque, IL
2. 11 Ace Ihm    Hazel Green, WI
3. 10 Pete Parker   Kaukauna, WI
4. 8 Mark Merfeld   Dubuque
5. 99d Darrell DeFrance   Marshalltown
6. 28 Jeff Bair    Solon
7. 45 Curt Martin   Independence
8. 75 Billy Tuckwell   Peoria, IL
9. 1d Bob Dominacki   Bettendorf
10. 54 Ryan Dolan   Lisbon
11. 98.1 Bobby Hansen   Dike
12. 73 Greg Kastli   Waterloo
13. 18z Rusty Zook   Riverside
14. 88 Kevin Kile   West Liberty
15. 30 Gus Hughes   Monticello
16. 3z Randy Havlick   Madrid
17. 92.1 Craig Jacobs   Freeport, IL
18. 27d Bob Silaggi    Freeport IL
19. 9z Lyle Zanker   Inglewood, IL
20. 53x LeRoy Brenner   Davenport  
21. 72 Terry Huizel    Freeport IL
22. 77k Kevin Kile   West Liberty
23. 21c Todd Cooney   Des Moines
24. 35 Ed Kosiski   Ralston, NE


September 15th, 2001

After many years of trying and a very successful career in Eastern Iowa Modified circles, Ron Barker finally conquered the one race he wanted by dominating the 24th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic.   Capturing his heat race in which over 50 drivers were scrapping for the 28 starting positions, Barker's only blemish during the weekend was a second place finish to Mike Garland in the fast dash.

Using the cushion to rocket around the track, Barker beat Garland into the first corner of the 25 lap race and never looked back.  Garland hit the turn two wall in pursuit of Barker on the third lap, ending his evening.  Scott Megonigle took up the chase when racing resumed with Robbie Verbeck and Jason Schueller in tow from their fifth and seventh place starting positions.  Megonigle kept his car in the same line as Barker on the top of the racetrack while Schueller choose the very bottom of the high banks to make his run to the front.  Running door to door throughout the mid portions of the event, Megonigle and Schueller thrilled fans until two laps to go when Megonigle lightly tapped the turn two wall and slid back into the third spot.  Verbeck kept his car close to the leaders but was unable to capitalize on Megonigle's miscue, placing fourth ahead of Larry Herring. 

Jim Brokus topped the Pro Stock portion of the Yankee Dirt Track Classic on Friday evening, taking the lead away from polesitter Chad Simpson on the twelfth of twenty laps and benefiting from a late race restart scramble.  Brokus started on the outside of the front row but fell in behind Simpson on the drop of the green.   Fending off a brief challenge from John Maher, Brokus went to work on the third lap and began closing in on Simpson, closing in and taking the lead nine laps later.  A restart two laps later provided Brokus' biggest challenge when Dan Shelliam dove underneath the leader from fifth on the restart but failing to take over the top spot when the cars exited the second corner.  Lap sixteen saw the final restart and clear sailing to the finish when contact between the second through fifth place cars forced everyone to check up to regain control while Brokus sped away.  Shelliam recovered first to take home second ahead of Bobby Moyer, Maher and Simpson. 

TJ Leslein shadowed Duane Ahmann throughout the Hobby Stock main event, but wasn't declared the winner until after the checkers, when Ahmann's car failed post-race tech inspection.  Jeff Rienert crossed the stripe behind Leslein to finish second, ahead of Kory Haverly, Jerry Miles and Ed McIntyre.  Chad Hallahan proved his 2001 Season Championship was no fluke by taking home the fun car honors ahead of Russ Yonkovic and Ray Fawcett while Becky Roth started out the 4 day event by becoming the first female Yankee Dirt Track Classic Champion in 4 cylinder action.

The Silver Anniversary 25th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic is scheduled for September 11th to 14th 2002.  For more information, please contact Simmons Promotions at 563-744-3620 or on the internet at www.SimmonsPromotionsInc.com.  For raceday updates and instant results upon completion please call your local McLeod USA InTouch directory category #3740 or #3741. 


1. 37b    Ron Barker  Dubuque
2. 3    Jason Schueller  Dubuque
3. m2    Scott Megonigle  Cedar Rapids
4. 60     Robbie Verbeck Annawan IL
5. 96 Larry Herring  Lone Tree
6. 16 Ryan Dolan  Lisbon
7. 26p  Kevin Pittman  Waterloo
8. 33w  Steve Wetter  Platteville WI
9. 37 Todd Stoolman  West Branch
10. 74 Scott Nesteby  Asbury
11. 4 Jerry Miles   Dubuque
12. 1 Dan Chapman  Clarence
13. 2h Rick Hixson  Orion IL
14. 08 Mike Miller  Freeport IL
15. 10 Jed Hurst  Hazel Green WI
16. m50   Jim Sandusky  Davenport
17. 36 Leroy Brenner  Davenport
18. 00 Josh Vinnedge   Forreston IL
19. 27    Mark Schulte  Delhi
20. 111 Scott Holbert  Freeport IL
21. 66   Dan Bohr  Davenport
22. d55  Scott Lemke  Davis Junction IL
23. 5d Bob Dominacki  Bettendorf
24. 1a   Kelly Meyer   Wheatland
25. 72 Rich Lewis  Kewanee IL
26. 64 Bret Frieden  Cedar Rapids
27. g1 Mike Garland  Morrison IL
28. b3 Russ Olson  Cedar Rapids

1. 35 Jim Brokus  Dubuque
2. 16 Dan Shelliam  Hazel Green WI
3. 25 Bobby Moyer  Dubuque
4. 69 John Maher  West Branch
5. 25s Chad Simpson  Marion
6. 12 Jeff Tharp  Dubuque
7. 20 Ty Kleiner  Potosi WI
8. 91 Rich Pica  Prarie Du Chein WI
9. 2r Rusty Daufeldt  Blue Grass
10. 36 Jason Gingrich  Grandview
11. 18 Brian Culbertson  Dubuque
12. s1 Steve Hunter  Hopkinton
13. 7 Larry Johnson  Freeport IL
14. 77  Darren Plett  Davenport
15. 80 Jerry Hedrick   Tipton
16. 33 Randy Franzen  Maquoketa
17. 89  John Irwin  Lost Nation
18. 2k Jeff Kennedy  Dubuque
19. 4 Kevin Duerr  Scales Mound IL
20. 56 Andy Eckrich  Cosgrove
21. 56x Jamie Pfieffer  Freeport IL
22. 5w Scott Welsh  Cedar Rapids
23. 37c Roger Ciesielski  Waterloo
24. 41 Jeremiah Hurst  Dubuque
25. 57 Rod Clemeron  Vinton


1. 38 TJ Leslein  Durango
2. 97 Jeff Reinert  Farley
3. 44 Kory Haverly  Anamosa 
4. 23m  Jerry Miles  Dubuque
5. 28     Ed McIntyre Delhi
6. 2b     Bill Butteris  Lisbon
7. 23x   Jason Udelhofen Platteville WI
8. 81    KC Ansel  Dubuque
9. 13    Larry Benn  Earlville
10. 7b Randy Benn  Dyersville
11. 20   Dan Albright  Lisbon
12. 42v    Darrin Voss  Wilton
13. 59     Mike Hughes Galena IL
14. 99 CJ Ormsby  West Liberty
15. 61    Scott Riechers Belmont WI
16. 8k     Jerry Merkes  Farley
17. 97x   Robert Barnes Letts
18. 33     Jim Turpin  Shullsberg WI
19. 23    Dennis Etten  Dickeyville WI
20. 83   Rob Petsche  Centralia
21. 0    Stan O'Brien Cedar Rapids

30    Mark Massey Farley
29     Dave Wada  Muscatine
98 Duane Ahmann Epworth

1. 7 Chad Hallahan  Dubuque
2. 38  Russ Yonkovic Dubuque
3. 64 Ray Fawcett  Benton WI
4. 26  John Merfeld  Dubuque
5. 89 Kelly Welter  Farley
6. 70 Lance Mish    Cassville WI
7. b4 Brian Dirks  Anamosa
8. 67 Brian Helle  Lancaster WI
9. 30 Don Hughes  Monticello
10. 6 Mike Rymarz  Prarie Du Chein WI
11. 1 Bill Hallahan  Dubuque
12. 66 Brad Strang  Dubuque
13. 33h Joe Huenfeld   Platteville WI
14. 98 Terry Turpin  Lancaster WI
15. 44 BJ Schmitt  Dubuque
16. 22x Chuck Schnering Platteville WI
17. 20x Mike Wild   Dubuque
18. 33 Nick McElmeel Dubuque
19. 12t Tim Current  Maquoketa
20. 00 Brian Hubbard  Platteville WI

1.  21 Luke Merfeld   Dubuque
2. 3    Josh McGowan   Vinton
3. 12n Terry Neal   Ely
4. 32d  Darren Miller   Chadwick IL
5. 39 Rob Toland    East Moline IL
6. 78  Rick Wendling   Hazelton
7. 95  Ed Sanger    Postville
8. 98.1 Bobby Hansen   Dike
9. 7 Greg Hunter  Independence
10. 1d Bob Dominacki Bettendorf
11. 51x Mel Abels  Freeport IL
12. 8 Mark  Merfeld   Dubuque
13. 27 Bob Silaggi  Freeport IL
14. 78b Cory Best    Waterloo
15. 17 Marty Scheckel Bellevue
16. 70  Max Corporon   Marion
17. 45 John Kresser  
18. 51  Matt Furman   Iowa City
19. 61r  Jon Rogers    Freeport IL
20. 21x Michael Recker   Waterloo
21. 15  Cam Granger    West Union
22. 77  Jeff Aikey    Cedar Falls
23. 23d  Dana Wells    Moscow
24. 79  Darren Mish    Cassville WI
25. 32  Tom Cannon    Iowa City
26. 30 Gus Hughes  Monticello
27.  4 Jim Aschenbrenner Waterloo
28. 86  Rick Dralle    Waterloo
29. 11  Ace Ihm    Hazel Green WI


1. 69  Becky Roth
2. 99.3 Mark Jaeger
3. 31 Jason Roth
4. 5  Norb Ahlers
5. 1 Mark Thul
6. 71 Ken Pergande
7. 95 Darrell Huebby

Friesen's first-place run at Farley sets up Donnellson Deery showdown

by Kelly Becker

FARLEY, Iowa (Sept. 13) - Jason Friesen scored the first Deery Brothers Summer Series feature win of his career, in the first-ever series event at Farley Speedway.

Next, he'll get a shot at his first Deery Series championship.

Inheriting the lead after early pace-setter Rob Toland lost a tire, Friesen put his I.M.C.A. Sunoco Late Model on auto pilot, fending off Darin Burco and then Brian Harris to keep the front spot in the Yankee Dirt Track Classic show.

The victory, combined with point leader Mark Burgtorf's early exit, sets up a promising confrontation in the series finale Sept. 21-22 at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson.

Burgtorf took a sizable 48-point advantage over Friesen into the Thursday night race and could have wrapped up his second career Deery crown by finishing two places ahead of him.

Instead, Burgtorf got into the turn two wall on lap 10 and saw his margin over Friesen shrink to 14 points. On the basis of his three feature wins this season, Burgtorf would get the title nod if the two are tied in points after Donnellson; the championship goes to Friesen if he can finish eight places higher than Burgtorf next Saturday night.

Toland was in the process of checking out on the field when his left rear tire went its own way in another lap 10 misfortune.

That passed the point to Friesen, who stayed in front after numerous cautions. Burco ran second much of the way before falling back and lost his fourth-place finish to disqualification after weighing in too light on the post-race scales.

Harris made a charge with nine laps left but didn't have enough left to overtake Friesen and settled for second.

Rounding out the top five were Steve 'Ace' Ihm, Tommy Elston and Gary Webb.

"I had a good starting spot and that's key in these races," said Friesen, in the unique position of possibly winning both the CNCTA Challenge and the Deery series titles this season. "And when you hear guys like that coming, you get going!"

Heat winners were Kelly Tapper, Gary Russell, Mike Cothron, Greg Kastli and Friesen. Burgtorf and Johnny Johnson won the "B" races.

Fifty-four cars vied for the feature field.


1. 1f Jason Freisen  Sutton NE
2. 21h Brian Harris  Davenport
3. 11 Ace Ihm  Keiler WI
4. 45e Tommy Elston Keokuk  
5. 56 Gary Webb  Blue Grass
6. 6d Doug Nigh  Davenport
7. 99j Johnny Johnson West Burlington
8. 28c   Jeff Aikey  Cedar Falls
9. 99d  Darrall DeFrance Marshaltown
10. 20 Gary Russell  Biggsville IL
11. 78 Dale Stolte  Springville
12. 42 Tom Darbyshire Morning Sun
13. 42r Fred Remley  Blue Grass
14. 72 Brad Osborn  Janesville
15. 85 Kelly Tapper  Boone
16. 90 Mike Cothron  Moline IL
17. 73 Greg Kastli  Waterloo
18. 25s Chris Smyser  Lancaster MO
19. 5 Brenton Slocum Burlington
20. 39 Rob Toland  Hillsdale IL
21. 7 Mark Burghtorf Quincy IL
22. 66 Bob Dominacki Bettendorf
23. 20m Ron Gustaf  Moline IL
24. 75 Billy Tuckwell Washington IL
25. 18b Steven Borts  Ames
26. 53 LeRoy Brenner Davenport
27. 95 Ed Sanger  Postville
27 Darin Burco  Independence

Top 20 Point Standings - 1. Burgtorf, 566; 2. Friesen, 552; 3. Russell, 494; 4. Mike Smith, Jewell,, 434; 5. DeFrance, 422; 6. Toland, 416; 7. Terry Ryan, Davenport, 414; 8. Darbyshire, 400; 9. Slocum, 398; 10. Boone McLaughlin, Mediapolis, 348; 11. Jeremiah Hurst, DeWitt, 326; 12. Cothron, 314; 13. Smyser, 306; 14. Terry Schlipman, Mendon, Ill., 276; 15. Osborn, 272; 16. Elston, 260; 17. Stolte, 244; 18. Aikey, 238; 19. Tuckwell, 194; 20. Dave Schrader, Monroe, 192.

Copyright 2001-2004 Simmons Promotions Inc.
Simmons Promotions Inc.
27317 Olde Farley Rd
Farley, Iowa 52046
SPI office phone # 1-563-744-3620
Fax # 1-563-744-3598
Last modified: October 27, 2004

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