Opheim and Longnecker take 4th of July Eve of Destruction checkers

Opheim and Longnecker take 4th of July Eve of Destruction checkers

July 4, 2023

The annual Eve of Destruction along with the city of Boone fireworks display was held at the Boone Speedway on the Fourth of July.  There was a wide variety of stunts, trailer races, Buddy pit bike races, the two-person cruiser races, as well as the IMCA Stock Cars and Northern SportMods in racing action.  The Stock Cars and SportMods were running for National, Regional, and State points, but not for track points.

Kevin Opheim found that his recent new car really was a big help in getting him back into the winner circle when he took the checkers in the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature, and it was Hunter Longnecker taking the honors in the IMCA Friesen Performance SportMod class.  The duo of Hunter Rolfes and Dawson Mack won the two-person cruiser feature, the Buddy Pit Bike entertaining race was won by Tyson English and Austin Morman, and the trailer race was won by Jayden Glenn.

The IMCA Stock Cars saw veteran racer Kevin Opheim take his ride from fourteenth starting spot on the grid of twenty-two cars, all the way to the front in a thrilling run to the checkers.  Donavon Smith started on the pole and leaped to the immediate lead but was being challenge by Jay Schmidt, brother David Smith, and Jake Sachau much of the latter part of the race.  Then just after the halfway mark of the 20 lap event, it was Kevin Opheim making his presence known as he was running in the top five.

A caution flew at lap sixteen and by this time, Opheim had raced his way into the fourth spot, and was anxious for the restart.  Smith continued to lead, Schmidt was running second, and David Smith was third.   With just two laps remaining Opheim made the pass into second, and then in the closing moments, it was a dash to the finish line coming out of turn four looking at the checkers.  Opheim managed to push past Smith by 3/1000’s of a second as they crossed the finish line, and secured his first win at the track since his Eve of Destruction win in 2017. Donavon Smith had to be content with the runner up position, third went to eleventh place starter Jake Sachau, fourth was tenth place starter Jake McBirnie who made a late race charge, and Jay Schmidt completed to the top five.

The IMCA Northern SportMods ran an 18 lap feature that saw Curtis Veber lead the first eight circuits with Hunter Longnecker and Taylor Kuehl applying the pressure.  Longnecker was able to grab the lead on lap eight, as Kuehl ran the high side of the track and moved into second, Veber dropping to third.  Lap twelve saw a caution fly, and before the restart, Veber dropped out of the race with mechanical issues, and Dusty Masolini took over third as the race restarted.  In the final laps, Longnecker put some distance between himself and the field, and took the comfortable win as the checkers flew.  Masolini got by Kuehl in the closing laps, as they finished second and third respectively.  Cam Reimers took fourth, and visiting Pearl City, Illinois driver, Rayce Mullen started thirteenth and got a top five finish.

Regular weekly racing continues this Saturday night, July 8, with The IMCA Modifieds, Stock Cars, Northern SportMods, Hobby Stocks, and Mod Lites in action.  Pits open at 4:30, Grandstands at 5:30, Hot Laps at 6, and racing at 7.