Berry takes Watermelon Classic and the P1P Challenge
August 12, 2023
The Boone Speedway was back in action on Saturday night with the running of the Watermelon Classic plus the P1P Challenge race for the IMCA Modifieds. It was a draw/redraw night for all classes, with extra money on the line, plus many bonuses and giveaways to the drivers. And of course, all heat winners as well as feature winners were also awarded a watermelon.
Tom Berry, Jr. made it a clean sweep in two features, winning both the regular feature and the P1P Challenge race for the IMCA Friesen Performance Modifieds. David Smith came out on top of the IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, and Curtis Veber won in the IMCA Friesen Performance Northern SportMods. Andrew Berg saw Victory Lane in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks, and it was Josh May returning to the winner’s circle in the IMCA Stealth Racing STARS Mod Lites.
The headliner P1P Challenge race for the Modifieds, saw the top fourteen drivers qualify through group timing plus earn points in heat races. They ran 15 laps for a $1,000 payday. Tom Berry, Jr. would lead the entire 15 laps to take the win. David Stremme, former NASCAR driver from Mifflintown, Pennsylvania came to try his hand at Iowa’s Action Track, and finished in second place. Cory Sauerman, Cory Wray, and Izac Mallicoat completed the top five.
The Mod Lites, presented by Carquest Auto, Truck & Farm ran a 15 lap feature to kick off regular feature racing for the night.
Joe Glick led the field to green and took command of the race. With a handful of laps remaining, tenth place starter Josh May had caught the leader and was applying pressure. A topside swing around the leader then gave May the top spot at lap twelve, which he kept to the flying checkers and the win. Glick had to be content with the runner up position, third went to Austin Gray, Randy Bryan was fourth, and Cory Sonner was fifth. This was May’s sixth win of the 2023 season.
The Northern SportMods, presented by Elmquist Towing came to the track next for their 18 lap main event.
Curtis Veber wrestled the lead away from Jessiah Taylor on lap five and then took it the rest of the way home to the checkers. He finished comfortably ahead of second place Matt Avila. A distant third went to Cory Pestotnik, fourth was Dusty Lynch, and Dusty Masolini took fifth. Veber claimed his first Northern SportMod win at the track and a $600 payoff.
The IMCA Stock Cars, presented by Boone Moose Lodge, put on one whale of race the entire 25 laps as they ran for $1,000 paycheck.
When the race went green, Johnathon Logue powered to the cushion and claimed the lead with Jay Schmidt tagging on to run second. Several caution would slow the pace but Logue and Schmidt continued to run one-two on the track in an excitingly close race. Schmidt grabbed the lead on lap nine as Logue dogged him, but coming fast catching the leaders was tenth place starter David Smith. Smith got around Logue, and then Schmidt made a slight slip and Smith was on him, claiming the lead on lap eighteen. He then took his ride home to the checkers first, Schmidt taking second place. Johnathon Logue finished third, Michael Jaennette came from fourteenth starting spot to finish in fourth, and Scott Olson was fifth. This was Smith’s second feature win of the year.
The IMCA Modified, presented by D & E Outside Services also ran a 25 lap feature that paid $1000 to the winner.
Cory Sauerman led the first five laps, until David Stremme was able to get under him and take over the lead at lap six. Meanwhile, Tom Berry, Jr. had caught second place Sauerman and was applying pressure. Berry was able to take over second place and then the chase was on to catch Stremme. Berry slowly reeled in the leader and at lap seventeen had the lead. It was short lived however as Stremme was again the leader at lap twenty-one. The final circuits was a treat for the fans as Stremme and Berry duked it out. With a lap remaining, Berry, the defending IMCA Super Nationals Champion got the advantage and grabbed the lead away, and then went home to the win. Stremme, in his first time racing at the track, had to settle for the runner up spot. Eighteenth place starter Jeremy Mills made a late race charge and finished in third place. Fourth went to Tim Ward, who started sixteenth, and early leader Cory Sauerman rounded out the top five.
The 15 lap IMCA Hobby Stock feature, presented by Pickett Salvage closed out the night’s racing.
Solomon Bennett started on the outside front row and immediately grabbed the lead. He quickly had Andrew Burg breathing down his neck. Burg snagged the lead at lap eight, and then never looked back on his way to victory. Seventh place starter John Watson finished in second, Bennett took third, Rusty Bates was fourth, and Seth Janssen was fifth.
Next Saturday night, August 19 is Season Championship night. Pits open at 4:30, grandstand at 5:30, hot laps at 6:00, and racing at 7.