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Author Topic:   Ray Guss Jr. Opens 2002 With West Liberty Spring Championship Win
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Total posts: 5556
posted April 07, 2002 10:17 AM UIN: 16262997
West Liberty Raceway


By: Jerry Mackey

Ray Guss Jr. Opens 2002 With West Liberty Spring Championship Win

The 2002 NASCAR Weekly Racing Series presented by Dodge season got underway on Saturday night April, 6th at the West Liberty Raceway. The popular ½ mile dirt track located on the Muscatine County Fairgrounds in West Liberty played host to the Iowa Illinois Taylor Insulation Spring Championships with 127 race car drivers taking part in the season opener.

Ray Guss Jr began his assault on the NASCAR Midwest region title with a very impressive feature win in the Iowa Illinois Taylor Insulation 50. The race program was run under a draw and redraw format which saw the top three finishers in each of the four Late Model heats redraw for the first 12 starting positions. Gary Webb drew the pole position and appeared to be the man to beat in the early going. Webb had built a comfortable lead in the main event which went flag to flag following a minor spin which caused a yellow before one lap was scored. Webb was working lapped traffic as the crossed flags were displayed signifying the half way point of the race. Webb was caught by the Eckrich brothers, Dave and Denny and Ray Guss Jr. On lap 26 the leaders were three abreast entering turn one. Guss was able to work the bottom of the track to secure the lead. Guss went on to build a comfortable lead and worked lapped traffic the remainder of the race on his way to the $2,000 victory. The second position was hotly contested with the two Eckrich’s and Webb swapping the position several times the last half of the race. At the checkers it was Webb by a car length in second over Dave Eckrich with Denny Eckrich taking fourth ahead of Steve Boley.

The Miller Time Modifieds delighted the fans with plenty of wheel to wheel racing action throughout their 20 lap main event. When the checkered flag flew it was 21 year old Mitch Way scoring his first ever NASCAR feature win and his first ever ½ mile win. Way chased down race leader Bret Frieden while doing battle with a very strong Larry Herring. This trio raced three wide for the lead on lap fifteen before Way was able to break away and score the win. Frieden crossed the stripe in second ahead of Herring and Rick Hixson.

The DADCO Corp/Parker Stores Pro Stocks are going to provide the fans with lots of excitement in 2002. The 15 lap Spring Championship feature saw Bruce Miller score a hometown win for the West Liberty driver. Miller led the entire feature event but was challenged all the way by Ty Kleiner and Jeff Tharp. Miller held his line to perfection in not giving up the lead position. Kleiner settled for a close second, Tharp crossed the line in third but was late DQ’d for failing to meet the minimum weight requirement. This elevated John Maher into third with Norman Bean rounding out the top four.

The “Racin Mason” C.J. Ormsby piloted his #99 NASCAR Hobby Stock to the Spring Championship feature win. Ormsby held off a fast closing Jerry Merkes at the checkers, Todd Hansen was able to hang on to third despite having engine problems.

Racing action will continue every Saturday night at the West Liberty Raceway with hot laps getting underway at 6:30 with racing slated for 7 p.m.

Iowa Illinois Taylor Insulation Late Models

Heat 1

88 Kevin Kile –West Liberty
45m Curt Martin-Independence
56 Gary Webb-Blue Grass

Heat 2

50 Denny Eckrich-Cosgrove
12 Ray Guss Jr-Milan, IL
58 Dave Eckrich-Coralville

Heat 3

26 Steve Boley-West Liberty
74 Ron Boyse-Kalona
26B Wayne Brau-Annawan, IL

Heat 4

8 Sonny Findling-Kirksville, Mo
45 Mike Klinkhammer-West Branch
78 Rick Wendling-Hazelton

Consi 1

18Z Rusty Zook-Riverside
77 Kurt Kile-West Liberty
3T Todd Davis-Iowa City

Consi 2

43 Kurt Stewart-Ainsworth
39 Rob Toland-Hillsdale, IL
8m Mark Ward-Muscatine

Iowa Illinois Taylor Insulation 50

12 Guss Jr
56 Webb
58 Dave Eckrich
50 Denny Eckrich
26 Boley
78 Wendling
21H Brian Harris-Davenport
39 Toland
88 Kevin Kile
8 Findling
74 Boyse
26B Brau
45M Martin
45 Klinkhammer
3T Davis
13K Denny Petersen-Rochester
4 Bobby Sexton-West Branch
28 Jeff Bair-Solon
30B Dan Brockert-Muscatine
51 Matt Furman-Iowa City
18Z Zook
43 Stewart
8M Ward
44 Duane Coulson-East Dubuque, IL
7 Andy Nezworski-Buffalo
3x Skip Frey-Ely
33g Dan Galant-Clinton
77 Kurt Kile

Miller Time Modifieds

Heat 1

22 Darrall Brick-West Branch
G1 Mike Garland-Morrison, IL
37 Todd Stoolman-West Branch

Heat 2

01 Mitch Way-Davenport
42 John Brumley-Riverside
96 Larry Herring-Lone Tree

Heat 3

37B Ron Barker-Dubuque
2H Rick Hixson-Orion, IL
16 Ryan Dolan-Lisbon

Heat 4

64 Bret Frieden-Walford
3 Jason Schueller-Dubuque
10 Jed Hurst-Dubuque

Consi 1

36 Gerry Brick-West Branch
1 Dan Chapman-Clarence
9Z Mike Zogg-New Liberty

Consi 2

25 Dustin Lovell-Rochester
27 Mark Schulte-Delhi
5 Denny Paulson-West Liberty

Miller Time Modified Feature

01 Way
64 Frieden
96 Herring
2H Hixson
22 D. Brick
16 Dolan
1 Chapman
60 Robbie Verbeck-Annawan, IL
45 Steve Kohli-Iowa City
26 Scott Friedley-Mechanicsville
37 Stoolman
37B Barker
34 Dave Hemsted-Lone Tree
36 Gerry Brick
25 Lovell
9Z Zogg
D55 Scott Lemke-Davis Junction, IL
71Z Ray Partida-West Liberty
27 Schulte
7 Mike Thomas-West Branch
10 Hurst
5 Paulson
G1 Garland
42 Brumley
3 Schuller
19 Terry Lawson-New Liberty

DACO Corp/Parker Stores Pro Stocks

Heat 1

2R Rusty Daufeldt-Blue Grass
77 Darren Plett-Davenport
9z Dan Werner-Muscatine

Heat 2

20 Ty Kleiner-Potosi, WI
7 Dale Franklin-Marion
29 Bruce Miller-West Liberty

Heat 3.

11 Troy Phillpott-Muscatine
17 Gary Beuter-Tipton
12 Jeff Tharp-Dubuque


29 Miller
20 Kleiner
69 John Maher-West Branch
62 Norman Bean-Muscatine
22 Jeff Valentine-Dubuque
56 Andy Eckrich-Cosgrove
2R Daufeldt
1 Matt Gilchrist-Grandview
32 Chris Simpson-Marion
11 Phillpott
21 Brian VanDusen-Atalissa
7 Franklin
44s Tom Struve-Palo
77 Plett
24 Monte Hayden-Wilton
38 Skeet Smith-Wilton
5m Larry McCall-Mechanicsville
36 Jason Gingerich-West Liberty
31 Jeremy Honts-Muscatine
0B Matt Bodman-Muscatine
3D Dan Lance-Rochester
17 Beuter
9Z Werner

NASCAR Hobby Stocks

Heat 1

99 C.J. Ormsby-Moscow
8K Jerry Merkes-Farley
51 Ron Doolittle-Davenport

Heat 2

1.66 Jason Erwin-Muscatine

2. 94 Jason Lange-Mt. Vernon

3. 2b Bill Butteris-Lisbon

Heat 3

21 Todd Hansen-Muscatine
57j Jermie Thompson-Ainsworth
77x John Gulick-Dubuque


1. 99 Ormsby

2. 8K Merkes

3. 21 Hansen

4. 2b Butteris

5. 0 Stan Obrien-Muscatine

6. 57J Thompson

7. 51 Doolittle

8. 66 Erwin

9. 38 T.J. Leslein-Durango

10. 77 Ed Obrien-Cedar Rapids

11. 94 Lange

12. 81 K.C. Ansel-Dubuque

13. 100 Dave Schrier-Muscatine

14. S9 Ron Schreurs-Fruitland

15. 2W Roger Whitccomb-Letts

16. 7 Tim Kemmerer-Fairfax

17. 72 Doug Yates-Monticello

18. 77X John Gulik-Dubuque

19. 42V Derrin Voss-Wilton

20. 15 Jared Collins-West Liberty

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