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posted September 03, 2001 03:53 PM UIN: 16262997

Denny Eckrich topped a strong field of NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Late Models on Season Championship Night at the Farley Speedway on Friday August 31st.

Starting the race on the pole, Eckrich was never seriously challenged throughout the 35 lap affair. Luke Merfeld gave chase late in the race but finished a distant second ahead of Josh McGowan, Matt Furman and Ace Ihm Points leader Jeff Aikey was battling his way up from the twelfth spot when a strange set of events centered around a lap 24 caution put him out of competition for the evening. Running fourth a full straightaway behind Eckrich, it appeared that Aikey got the break he needed when the yellow light signaled a slowing of the action. Unfortunately all the drivers didn't see the caution at the same time and Aikey got rearended at a high rate of speed on the backstretch. Somehow he appeared to escape damage and continued on until racing resumed, when he was tagged after spinning unexpectedly on the restart, ending his evening.

Ron Barker took home his fifth feature win of the season in Modified action after battling with Jed Hurst throughout the 20 lap race. Taking the lead following a lap three caution when leader Mark Schulte slowed, Barker spent the rest of the race holding off Hurst's challenge. A lap ten restart provided Hurst the break he needed when Barker locked bumpers with the third place car of Jason Schueller, causing Barker to fall six car lengths behind before he was able to shake himself free. In pursuit the rest of the distance, Barker quickly made up his lost ground, barley retaking the lead with two laps to go. An intense last lap war was wasted as the race ended under caution, giving Barker the win over Hurst, Schueller, Ryan Dolan and Dan Chapman. Dolan's finish was enough to hand him the Points Championship despite not winning a single event in 2001.

Pro Stock action was marred by a violent opening lap accident on the backstretch when contact sent the car of Jeff Valentine into the outside retaining wall with a series of barrel rolls. Valentine's car came to rest upside down and in a ball of flames with another car perched on top. Valentine somehow emerged unhurt after safety crews extinguished the flames. When racing did resume, Ty Kleiner went on to post his thid win of the season by a large margin over John Maher, Dan Shelliam, Jeff Kennedy and Dana Servoy. Roger Cieleski's crossed under the checkers in the third position but was disqualified in post race inspection for not making the minimum weight. Shelliam wrapped up the points championship over Jeff Tharp with his third place effort. Kory Haverly notched his first Hobby Stock feature win of the season by topping Duane Ahmann, Jerry Merkes and TJ Leslein while Jeff Reinert cinched up the Points Champioship with his fifth place effort. Brian Strang took home the Fun Car honors ahead of Chad Hallahan and Kelly Welter. Hallahan and Ray Fawcett ended up in a tie for the points lead, with the Champion undetermined at press time pending review of the tiebreakers.

Only three events remain on the 2001 schedule at the Palace of Speed, starting with a make-up night of racing on Saturday September 8th. Late Models will be running for regional and track points with Modified, Pro Stocks, Hobby Stocks and Fun Cars using the Open Shootout format of passing points to determine feature lineups. After that everyones attention turns to the 24th Annual Yankee Dirt Track Classic on September 12th to 15th. This year's Yankee format will change to the Budweiser Open Late Model Shootout rules and will provide the champion with over $15,000 in winnings, making the 4 day event Iowa's richest and oldest stock car race. Saturday October 6th will be the final event for 2001, the First Annual Farley Fall Classic for Pro Stock and Hobby Stock cars. This Open Shootout will pay the winner of the Pro Stocks $1000 with the Hobby Stock Champion taking home $800. For more information contact Simmons Promotions at 563-744-3620 or online at For raceday updates and quick results afterwards, call your local McLeod USA InTouch Directory, category 3740 and 3741.

Late Model
1. 50 Denny Eckrich Coralville
2. 21 Luke Merfeld Dubuque
3. 3 Josh McGowan Vinton
4. 51 Matt Furman Iowa City
5. 11 Ace Ihm Hazel Green WI
6. 23d Dana Wells Moscow
7. 44 Duane Coulson East Dubuque IL
8. 98.1 Bobby Hansen Dike
9. 61r Jon Rogers Freeport IL
10. 69 Todd Hormel West Liberty
11. 41j Jeremiah Hurst Dubuque
12. 12n Terry Neal Ely
13. 78b Cory Best Waterloo
14. 72 Terry Huizel Freeport IL
15. 78 Rick Wendling Hazelton
16. 77 Jeff Aikey Cedar Falls
17. 58 Dave Eckrich Coralville
18. 8 Mark Merfeld Dubuque
19. 21x Michael Recker Waterloo
20. 15 Cam Granger West Union
21. 95 Ed Sanger Postville
22. 1m Rob Moss Iowa City
23. 4 Dion Turner Waterloo
24. 86 Rick Dralle Waterloo
25. 79 Darren Mish Cassville WI
26. 70 Max Corporon Marion
27. 32 Tom Cannon Iowa City

1. 37b Ron Barker Dubuque
2. 10 Jed Hurst Hazel Green WI
3. 3 Jason Schueller Dubuque
4. 16 Ryan Dolan Lisbon
5. 1 Dan Chapman Clarence
6. 5d Bob Dominacki Bettendorf
7. b3 Russ Olson Cedar Rapids
8. 96 Larry Herring Lone Tree
9. 33 Steve Wetter Platteville WI
10. 74 Scott Nesteby Asbury
11. d1 Rich Smith Davenport
12. 27 Mark Schulte Delhi
13. 11 Mike Burbridge Delhi
14. 45 Steve Kohli Iowa City
15. 1a Kelly Meyer Wheatland
16. d55 Scott Lemke Davis Junction IL
17. 54 Doug Picray Monticello
18. 76 Matt Mish Cassville WI
19. 24d Daron Oberbroeckling
20. f7 Patrick Flannagan Cedar Rapids
21. 33x John Burbridge Delhi
22. 20 Cory Burmeister Glen Haven WI
23. 9x Richard Steadman Hiawatha
24. 2c Greg Chapman Dubuque
25. 1d Mel Saffran Dubuque
26. 00 Josh Vinnedge Forreston IL

1. 20 Ty Kleiner Potosi WI
2. 69 John Maher West Branch
3. 16 Dan Shelliam Hazel Green WI
4. 2k Jeff Kennedy Dubuque
5. 17s Dana Servoy Marion
6. 12 Jeff Tharp Dubuque
7. 25 Bobby Moyer Dubuque
8. 35 Jim Brokus Dubuque
9. 34 Ken Hanson Vinton
10. 99 Ken Martelle Dubuque
11. 4 Kevin Duerr Scales Mound IL
12. 71s Kevin Schroeder Low Moor
13. s1 Steve Hunter Hopkinton
14. 18 Brian Culbertson Dubuque
15. 89 John Irwin
16. 23 Jim Amos Peosta
17. 03 Don Hughes Monticello
18. 56 Jamie Pfeiffer Freeport IL
19. 22 Jeff Valentine Dubuque

37c Roger Ciesleski

1. 44 Kory Haverly Anamosa
2. 98 Duane Ahmann Epworth
3. 8k Jerry Merkes Farley
4. 38 TJ Leslein Dubuque
5. 97 Jeff Rienert Farley
6. 7b Randy Benn Earlville
7. 23 Dennis Etten
8. 81 KC Ansel Dubuque
9. 72 Doug Yates Monticello
10. 1 Tom Boyes Dubuque
11. 28 Ed McIntyre Delhi
12. 30 Mark Massey Farley
13. 33 Jim Turpin Shullsberg WI
14. 13 Larry Benn Dyersville
15. 61 Scott Reichers Belmont WI

1. 26 Brian Strang Dubuque
2. 7 Chad Hallahan Dubuque
3. 89 Kelly Welter Farley
4. 44 BJ Schmitt Dubuque
5. 64 Ray Fawcett Benton WI
6. 66 Brad Strang Dubuque
7. 38 Russ Yonkovic Dubuque
8. b4jr Brian Diercks Anamosa
9. 6c Chris Hinrichs Monticello
10. 6 Todd Moore Dubuque
11. 33 Nick McElmeel Dubuque

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