The Dawson County Fair was pretty much over when the final event, the car races, rolled into town. The track was good for multi-grooved racing, and the drivers used them all. Jay Steffens of North Platte, Colton Osborn of Cozad, Mike Nichols of Harlan, Iowa, Dusty Poessnecker of Atkinson, and Dalton Smith of Gibbon used all they could to gain the A Feature wins for the evening.
By far, the scariest event happened while the IMCA Stock Cars were packing in the track before their A Feature. After running a few hot laps, it was determined the drivers still needed to pack low. Push truck driver John Ford, from the Bertrand area, got out of the pickup to direct traffic low. A car did not slow down in time, clipped the back of the pickup, and sent John for a loop. He was taken to the hospital, treated for a dislocated shoulder, and released.
When the Stock Car feature was ready to go, Sara Powers of North Platte gave it a go at the front of the field and led the first lap. After a couple of cautions aligned the field on her back bumper, Colton Osborn took command. Heat race winner Mike Nichols was using the low line to gain ground on Osborn, and finally took control on lap eight. Osborn and Dan Walker began battling for second spot, and with three laps to go, made contact, sending Colton for a spin, bringing caution to the track, and forcing both drivers to go to the pits to change tires. Casey Woken of Ogallala inherited second place, but was unable to shake Nichols from the top position. Cale Osborn of Cozad, who lost his right side door panel, managed to finish in third place, ahead of Sal Hernandez of Columbus, who had to change a tire after an early skirmish. Colton Osborn came back to finish in fifth place. Jeff Whiting of Gothenburg was the other IMCA Stock Car heat race winner.
The four-cylinder Hornet class from Doniphan came to put on a show at Dawson County Raceway, and the eight drivers ran both the heat and feature race without a caution, nor a driver dropping out of either event. Dalton Smith of Gibbon, who has raced the class for a couple of years, started the night off with a heat race win, and drew the outside front row for the feature. The youngster was fast, but at times nearly drove off the top of the track. Travis Kernick of Kearney caught him one of those times and had the lead shortly, only to have Smith take it back at the scoring line. As the race progressed, Smith pulled out to nearly a straightaway lead, and held on for his first ever A Feature win. Kernick finished in second place. Richard Crow led a trio of Grand Island drivers for the next three spots, with Justice Colson and David Dembowski finishing in fourth and fifth places.
The IMCA Northern SportMod A Feature had a considerable amount of three-wide racing, and only three minor cautions to show for it. At the completion of lap one, it was a toss-up as to whether cash dash winner Jamey Kennicutt of Gothenburg or Craig Howard of Lexington had the lead. Howard took control for the second lap, only to give it up as Colton Osborn came by on lap four. Kennicutt locked into battle for second spot with heat winner Denny Egge of Kearney and Tyler Frye of Belleville, Kansas, to name only a few drivers who came up and raced for the positions behind Osborn. Colton kept all four tires up on the SportMod and all the other drivers behind him on his way to his second SportMod win in Lexington this year. Despite being as far back as fifth or sixth, Kennicutt worked his way back to second place at the finish line, with Egge credited with third spot. Frye finished in fourth place, while Shane Stout, who once was working on second place, ended up in fifth place. The other IMCA Northern SportMod heat race was won by Vince Leibert of Lexington.
The IMCA Hobby Stocks started getting wild early. Up front, David Easterday of Riverdale battled Larry Refior of Lexington for the top spot, with the two nearly side-by-side at the completion of lap three. Easterday took it back on lap four, one lap before heat race winners Lonnie Greuter of Grand Island and Jim Rayburn of Gibbon tangled running for fourth place. After Rayburn spun, Kevin Hagan of Eddyville ran into his stalled car. The paramedics were summoned over to the crash, but not only were there no injuries, both drivers came back into the race. On the restart, Jason Wilkinson of Neligh took the race for the lead three wide, and Easterday fell off the backstretch. That opened the door for Dawson County newcomer Dusty Poessnecker who drove underneath both Wilkinson and Refior in corner three and obtained the lead on lap six. Poessnecker stayed on the gas and stayed ahead of the battles behind him for the win. Larry Refior survived the battle with Wilkinson, then was able to keep a hard-charging Tyler Andreasen of Grand Island at bay to earn an impressive second place. Anthony Martin of Wilcox rounded out the top five.
Cole Hodges of Ogallala had a great start at the beginning of the IMCA Modified A Feature, as he took the lead, just about the time the caution came out, calling for a complete restart. Brent Bohmont of McCook took advantage of the second chance to have a better start and pull out to the lead. He had a good lead on the battle for second place between low-riding Jim Mlady of North Platte and Jay Steffens who had moved up on the track. A caution on lap eight closed everyone up, and and aligned both North Platte drivers on Bohmontís rear bumper. Within two laps, Steffens used a higher line to get by both of them and pulled out to a big lead. After several of the cars took the white flag, a car near the back spun, and the race was called. Steffens had won his third race of the year. Mlady finished in second place, while Hodges moved into third. Scott Smith of Davenport also got by Bohmont, finishing in fourth place. Wade Cross of Phillips and Charles Stryker of Eddyville were the heat winners for the class.
After taking next Sunday off, Dawson County Raceway will be back in action on Sunday, August 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
July 24 results
21C-Wade Cross (DNS)
IMCA Stock Car
16W-Jeff Whiting (DNF)
29E-Brendan Eilts (DNF)
IMCA Hobby Stock
5-Chuck Ledbetter, Jr.
80-Jim Rayburn (DNF)
66-Tamie McCance (DNS)
25-Natasha Coons (DNF)
Source: Darin Racek