Stoa, winner of Wednesday’s Modified qualifying feature, won two of five starts for car owner George Eisenhower last year. Strickler, from Mooresville, N.C., took over driving duties and put the Harris ride in victory lane on 20 nights at tracks in Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.
“It’s just amazing here. The number of people and the number of cars are just amazing,” he said. “It would be a huge accomplishment for me and for our entire team to make it into the main event.”
Much impressed with the Harris Chassis and the technical support from John Logue and staff, Strickler came to Iowa earlier this summer for the Harris Clash and fashioned a midpack finish running against many of the top hotshoes from the Midwest.
On a side note, Strickler and Eisenhower are Pennsylvania natives and both graduated from Wilson High School in West Lawn.
As expected, his first Super Nationals experience has been an educational one for Lemoore, Calif., Stock Car driver Loren De Armond.
He ran alone for most of the eight laps in his Wednesday heat race after getting knocked out of his line in the first turn, then started 16th and finished a very respectable seventh in his “B” feature.
De Armond and sponsor Chris Hamilton then rolled up their sleeves and made setup changes to improve their chances in Thursday qualifying.
“We worked our butts off. Hopefully we get a good draw today and everything will pay off,” he said. “I felt real good after my “B” race. It gave me a little confidence.”
De Armond, the first California Stock Car driver to compete at Super Nationals, and Hamilton saw a lot of the Rocky Mountains before getting to the windswept Plains States. Their trip to Iowa included a stop at the Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville before they pulled through the pit gate at Boone Speedway.
Defending Super Nationals champion Donavon Smith finished third in Wednesday night’s Stock Car qualifier, stayed to watch the Modified feature, went home and was in the delivery room at Stewart Community Hospital in Lake City Thursday morning when his wife Amy gave birth to their son Blayn.
The latest addition to the already formidable Smith Racing Team arrived at 7:49 a.m., weighed 7 lbs., 10 oz., and was 21 inches long.
Mother and baby are doing well. Smith also reports that daughter Elysia, 6, is thrilled to have a little brother.
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