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posted April 09, 2001 12:07 PM
Two straight for Smith on Deery Brothers circuit
By Kelly Becker
WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (April 7) - It wasn't pretty, but Mike Smith found his way to victory lane for the second time in as many Deery Brothers Summer Series events.
This time, 34 Raceway at West Burlington was the site. Smith, the defending series champion, started on the pole but could not run away and hide at any point of the 40-lap main event for I.M.C.A. Sunoco Late Models.
The Jewell pilot took the checkers by a car length ahead of Rob Toland of Hillsdale, Ill., who made an incredible run back to the front after going off the track midway through the feature and losing seven spots.
Rounding out the top five were three more drivers from the other side of the Mississippi, Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Mike Cothron of Moline and Mark Holtmeyer, also from Quincy.
Sutton, Neb., Jason Friesen was sixth, moving up 19 places after taking the initial green flag.
While Smith set the fast pace early on, Jeff Aikey of Cedar Falls ran a lower groove and snatched the lead away on the ninth circuit.
A flat tire, however, sent Aikey to the pits and gave the lead back to Smith, whose next challenge would come from fourth-starting Tommy Elston of Keokuk.
The two traded paint on several occasions before Smith took command and Elston went to the pits a few laps later.
Burgtorf made his presence known through the latter part of the race, pulling alongside the leader twice, but was un-able to complete the pass.
A late race re-start set up the sprint to the finish. Toland moved into second and was almost able to catch up with Smith as well.
"The fast lane just kept changing, so I kept changing my line to find one that was both smooth and fast," said Smith, who earned $2,500 for the win. "It seemed like every five laps someone new was challenging. First Toland, then Elston and I hit on the backstretch, which wasn't so bad, but a couple laps later Burgtorf was on my inside on the front chute and I didn't see Tommy on the outside and I ran him into the wall. I really hated that. Tommy helped me at Donnellson the last race last year."
Smith had won the series opener at Webster City the week before. The victory at 34 Raceway was the 10th in his Deery career, which also includes the 1992 championship.
The race at West Burlington was originally scheduled to be a two-day event, but the Friday night program was called off because of rain and wet track conditions.
Heat winners were Burgtorf, Smith, Darrel DeFrance of Marshalltown, Toland and Gary Russell of Biggsville,Ill. "B" winners were Chris Smyser of Lancaster, Mo., and Jamie Wilson of Quincy.
Next up on the schedule is the Friday, April 13 event at Lee County Speedway in Donnellson.
Feature Results - 1. Mike Smith, Jewell; 2. Rob Toland, Hillsdale, Ill.; 3. Mark Burgtorf, Quincy, Ill.; 4. Mike Co-thron, Moline, Ill.; 5. Mark Holtmeyer, Quincy, Ill.; 6. Jason Friesen, Sutton, Neb.; 7. Terry Ryan, Davenport; 8. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls; 9. Darin Burco, Independence; 10. Curt Martin, Independence; 11. Jody Wood, Donnellson; 12. Tom Darbyshire, Morning Sun; 13. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown;; 14. Gary Russell, Biggsville, Ill.; 15. Chris Smyser, Lan-caster, Mo.; 16. Tommy Elston, Keokuk; 17. Bill Tuckwell, Washington, Ill.; 18. Tom Bowling Jr., Danville; 19. Greg Kastli, Waterloo; 20. Chuck Mayerhofer, Dixon; 21. Jeremiah Hurst, Dewitt; 22 Jamie Wilson, Quincy, Ill.; 23. Brad Osborn, Janesville; 24. Thad Wilson, Moline, Ill.; 25. Johnny Johnson, West Burlington; 26. Boone McLaughlin, Me-diapolis.