Logue nabs USMTS win at Butler County Speedway
by Ed Reichert
ALLISON IA (June 8, 2000) John Logue became the seventh different winner in as many races this season as the United States Modified Touring Series paid a visit here tonight to the Butler Co. Speedway. The USMTS sanctioned the stock cars and hobby stocks for the first time tonight also and Brian Tank and Jason Minnehan were the feature winners in those divisions.
The twenty four fastest cars of the fifty one modifieds entered tonight started the thirty lap main event. Red Monson sat on the pole position with Logue to his outside for the initial start. However, the yellow waved before a lap could be completed as Doug Hillson, Cory Dripps and Todd Ihde came together in turn one. Ihde was eliminated while Hillson and Dripps tailed the field for the restart.
On the restart Logue got the jump on the outside and moved into the initial lead. Monson ducked into the second spot with Mark Noble and Brian Mullen next in line. Logue began to put some distance on the field while Noble was all over Monson in the battle for second. The groove was high up against the wall and the majority of the field ducked into formation looking for an opening on the inside.
Kelly Shryock led the second group of battlers that included John VanDenBerg, Kevin Peters, Jamie Aikey and Bruce Hanford. Logue was really extending his lead at this point as Noble continued to hound Monson for second. Mullen, Tim Donlinger and Shryock continued to argue over third.
Just as the field took the signal for the halfway point, Monson blew his engine in a cloud of smoke and retired to the infield. Noble inherited second position but Logue was a full straightaway ahead so Mark had his hands full if he was to put a challenge on Logue. Meanwhile, back in the field, the driver making the greatest progress by far was Dripps. He worked his way back toward the front after going tailback and he cracked the top ten as he seemed to be able to make moves that other drivers weren’t able to accomplish.
The yellow Noble was praying for came with twenty three laps complete as Bret Hansen spun in turn two. This was also a break for fifth running Shryock as he had just blown a rear tire and this gave him the opportunity to change the tire and get back on the track without losing a lap.
The restart found Noble on Logue’s rear bumper and Mark applied as much pressure as possible. Several times he closed on Logue at the end of the chutes only to see Logue come off the corners better and gain a slight advantage as the two drivers ducked it out. Meanwhile, Dripps continued his charge as he was picking off more cars and advancing toward the top five. Logue stretched his lead slightly in the last few laps and drove home the winner of the Cyclone Classic. Noble, Mullen, Donlinger and Dripps rounded out the top five.
The stock car feature was a wild event that featured several yellow flags and the wildest wreck of the night. Brian Tank was the early leader with challenges coming from Tony Trower, Scott Williams and Scott Bauer. Early in the going Williams and Bauer got together and spun bringing out a yellow. Todd Foster moved into second and became the chief challenger of Tank as he rode close behind him looking for an opening.
The wildest wreck occurred after a restart when Matt Stoneburner got too high into turn one. He hit the wall and climbed up on it with his right side tires. He peeled off about eighty feet of metal attached to the top of the wall before he toppled back on to the track after which he took one quick flip. Fortunately, he was O.K. but the cleanup took several minutes. Tank continued to lead but Foster and Jason Wagoner were close behind.
With the groove so close to the wall, small mistakes usually meant a trip into the concrete and Todd Wendel and LaVern Carey both brought out quick yellows after hard hits into the wall.
Foster continued to apply the pressure but there was no stopping Tank as he drove on for the victory. Behind Foster and Wagoner, Tom McKenzie and Mark Elliott rounded out the top five.
The hobby stock feature got off to a wild start as a collision on the back staightaway on the opening lap saw Jamie Ayers roll. He was O.K. and the race was restarted. Dan Hanselman took the lead and easily put distance on the field. Behind him there was a wild scramble as drivers exchanged positions on nearly every lap.Ryan Griffith was running strong in the early going but he retired with a heavily smoking engine. Jason Minnehan, Scott Anderson and Tim Gebel were in the hunt early.
However, they all appeared to be battling for second as Hanselman seemed to have the field covered. That is, until suddenly on the back chute Hanselman slowed as he lost power. Minnehan inherited the lead for a bunched up restart after Brent Hanson lost a wheel.
Minnehan took off with Jeff Zehr and Gebel close behind. Zehr made a hard charge on the last lap but a spin in turn four saw the yellow wave and the race finished on the yellow and checkered. Scott Anderson and Aaron Miller rounded out the top five.
The next scheluled races for the USMTS are June 20 and 21 at the Crawford Co. Speedway in Denison and the Hamilton Co. Speedway in Webster City.