Masters wins Iron Man Challenge thriller at Deer Creek Speedway
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July 26, 2012  |  by Jason Feldman & Jeff Nun

SPRING VALLEY, Minn. -- Jake Masters of Graettinger, Iowa, was a little concerned when a caution flag waved with two laps to go in Thursday's USRA Stock Car feature. His comfortable four-car-length lead disappeared when a yellow flag set up a green-white-checkered finish.

Lynn Panos helped to make it perhaps the most dramatic finish in the three-year history of the Industrial Material Surplus Iron Man Challenge.

Masters had stayed strictly on the high side of the track and slowly pulled away from Panos over the final eight laps of the 25-lap feature. But the veteran Panos, from Protivin, Iowa, who led the first 15 laps, stayed side by side with Masters on the late restart and made the finish one that had to be decided by technology.

The transponders on the top two cars showed that Masters beat Panos across the finish line by one-thousandth of a second. Kyle Falck, who started 10th, made it a good three-car battle, finishing just behind Panos.

I didn't know about that last (restart), Masters said. It took me a couple of laps to get warmed up again. At the line, I thought I had my nose ahead of (Panos), but we don't have to worry about that with the transponders here.

Masters and Panos put on a good show at the front of the 26-car field for about five laps in the middle of the race. Masters, who started seventh, moved up from fifth to second in a span of two laps in the middle of the race. He and Panos raced side by side, with Masters up high and Panos below him, for the next four laps. They traded the lead three times before Panos led at the white flag, but Masters led the only lap that counted.

The win was worth $700. It was he second for Masters at Deer Creek this season, and his fifth overall in Iron Man Challenge competition.

Tom Schmitt of Independence, Iowa, who won the first heat race on Thursday, is a two-time USRA national champion. He finished fourth in the A Main ahead of Shawn Peter of Mable.

Defending USRA National Champion Mitch Hovden of Decorah, Iowa, was sixth, followed by Iowans Dan Christopher of Decorah, Matt Jones of Waukon and Casey Sebastian of Cresco. Truman racer Andy Altenberg rounded out the top 10.

The USRA Stock Cars have one more date with the Deer Creek Speedway. On Saturday, Sept. 15, they will join the World of Outlaws Sprint Series at the high-banked 3/8-mile oval.

The Industrial Material Surplus Iron Man Challenge returns to action with the USRA B-Mods on Aug. 9, at the Valley Speedway in Grain Valley, Mo., as they join the racing card for the first race in the Hunt for the USMTS Caseys Cup.

The next Iron Man Challenge event for the USRA Stock Cars will be Friday, Aug. 17, at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway in Fountain City, Wis., along with the USRA B-Mods.

To learn more about the USRA, visit or call 515-832-6000. You can also like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at

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American Racer USRA Weekly Racing Series
Industrial Material Surplus Iron Man Challenge
Deer Creek Speedway, Spring Valley, Minn.
Thursday, July 26, 2012

Showing finishing position, starting position in parentheses, car number, driver, hometown and money won. All heat race finishers advanced to the A Main with the top 8 redrawing for starting positions.


Heat #1 (8 laps):
1. (5) 18 Tom Schmitt, Independence, Iowa.
2. (8) 23 Matt Jones, Waukon, Iowa.
3. (9) 42 Dan Christopher, Decorah, Iowa.
4. (6) 00 Danny Cole, Lansing, Iowa.
5. (2) 7t Jim Gregoire, Ivanhoe, Minn.
6. (1) 47 Mike Mauer, Cedar Falls, Iowa.
7. (4) 14a Chris Adams, Staceyville, Iowa.
8. (3) 5 Mike Bergan, Cresco, Iowa.
9. (7) 11 Jake Lampert, Caledonia, Minn.

Heat #2 (8 laps):
1. (2) 2j Steve Jackson, Polk City, Iowa.
2. (4) 00 Andy Altenberg, Truman, Minn.
3. (3) 67 Kyle Falck, Decorah, Iowa.
4. (7) 97 Lynn Panos, Protivin, Iowa.
5. (8) 20t Malcolm Teachout, Granada, Minn.
6. (6) 33 Kevin Donlan, Decorah, Iowa.
7. (5) 67 Chris Toot, Albert Lea, Minn.
8. (1) 20 Dustin Wannarka, Winnebago, Minn.
DNS - 6 Danny Sacquitne, Decorah, Iowa.

Heat #3 (8 laps):
1. (1) 11x Shay Curtin, Waukon, Iowa.
2. (2) 11 Jake Masters, Graettinger, Iowa.
3. (3) 15 Mitch Hovden, Decorah, Iowa.
4. (7) 27 Shawn Peter, Mable, Minn.
5. (4) G12 Ryan Goergen, Staceyville, Iowa.
6. (8) 48 Casey Sebastian, Cresco, Iowa.
7. (6) 14z Ned Kalis, Wells, Minn.
8. (5) 427x Greg Haman, Pine Island, Minn.

A Main (25 laps):
1. (7) 11 Jake Masters, Graettinger, Iowa, $700.
2. (3) 97 Lynn Panos, Protivin, Iowa, $500.
3. (10) 67 Kyle Falck, Decorah, Iowa, $400.
4. (4) 18 Tom Schmitt, Independence, Iowa, $350.
5. (9) 27 Shawn Peter, Mable, Minn., $300.
6. (11) 15 Mitch Hovden, Decorah, Iowa, $250.
7. (8) 42 Dan Christopher, Decorah, Iowa, $200.
8. (2) 23 Matt Jones, Waukon, Iowa, $175.
9. (16) 48 Casey Sebastian, Cresco, Iowa, $150.
10. (1) 00 Andy Altenberg, Truman, Minn., $140.
11. (22) 5 Mike Bergan, Cresco, Iowa, $135.
12. (15) G12 Ryan Goergen, Staceyville, Iowa, $130.
13. (12) 00 Danny Cole, Lansing, Iowa, $125.
14. (13) 20t Malcolm Teachout, Granada, Minn., $125.
15. (6) 11x Shay Curtin, Waukon, Iowa, $125.
16. (14) 7t Jim Gregoire, Ivanhoe, Minn., $125.
17. (17) 47 Mike Mauer, Cedar Falls, Iowa, $125.
18. (20) 67 Chris Toot, Albert Lea, Minn., $125.
19. (18) 33 Kevin Donlan, Decorah, Iowa, $125.
20. (25) 11 Jake Lampert, Caledonia, Minn., $125.
21. (24) 427x Greg Haman, Pine Island, Minn., $125.
22. (19) 14a Chris Adams, Staceyville, Iowa, $125.
23. (21) 14z Ned Kalis, Wells, Minn., $125.
24. (5) 2j Steve Jackson, Polk City, Iowa, $125.
25. (23) 20 Dustin Wannarka, Winnebago, Minn., $125.
DNS - 6 Danny Sacquitne, Decorah, Iowa, $75.

Lap Leaders: Panos 1-15, Masters 16, Panos 17, Masters 18-23, Panos 24, Masters 25.
Points Standings: Schmitt 320, Jackson 300, Masters 291, Falck 256, Gregoire 233, Tory Reicks 221, Jones 215, Donlan 207, Hovden 172, Dennis Plain 170.
Next Race: Aug. 9, Valley Speedway, Grain Valley, Mo. (USRA B-Mods).

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