Davis sweeps USRA Modifieds, Hovey steals USRA B=Mod feature in Rivercity Rumble
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July 5, 2013  |  by Dan Bailey

Troy Hovey of Decorah, Iowa, won the USRA B-Mod feature on Friday, July 5, during the Rivercity Rumble at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. -- For the fifth year in a row, Rivercity Manufacturing and R & R Machining owners Steve and Kevin Reutzel joined Mississippi Thunder Speedway to roll out the red carpet for both racers and fans alike by presenting the 5th Annual Rivercity Rumble. Drivers started submitting pre-registration slips several weeks before Friday's event, and by the time race night rolled around close to 70 USRA Modified and USRA B-Mod drivers were ready to hit the track to battle for their share of the increased payout for the night’s feature finishers!

The Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modified division wowed the crowd with fast laps, close competition and nearly 30 of the best Modified racers the class has to offer. When the evening’s Rivercity Manufacturing 35-lap main event hit the track there were no fewer than 17 national champions, three Mississippi Thunder Speedway track champions and an almost uncountable number of other track champions represented on the super-fast 1/3-mile.

The 26-car USRA Modified field took the green flag for the race to the $3,000 paycheck being awarded to the feature winner. Unfortunately for several of the competitors, the night was filled with bad luck. Four racers, including Craig Thatcher, failed to complete even a single lap, while six more, including 2009 track champion John Doelle, heat race winner Eric Pember and USMTS star Rodney Sanders only completed three laps before heading to their haulers.

But once the early-race ‘caution fever’ was put behind them, the remaining drivers attacked the track with enthusiasm and skill and put on a show for the packed grandstands. A majority of the field, including front row starters Brandon Davis and Brad Waits, stuck to the bottom groove relying on the moisture laid down in a pre-race watering.

But while some freight-trained around the oval at the bottom of the banking, there were a few brave souls who hung it out and ran the top of the banking. 2012 Mississippi Thunder Speedway track champion Lucas Schott ran that extreme high line all the way to third place and once into the top 3 spent the rest of the feature stalking the top 2.

While Waits tried time and again to get even lower than race leader Davis, who was already running the low groove, Schott used a unique combination of the high, middle and low grooves attempting to challenge for any advantage he could find. While hanging out in that top groove, Schott turned in the evening’s fastest time: a blistering 16.044-second lap that made him the class of the field.

But a win wasn’t in the books for either Schott or Waits, as Davis put together a clean sweep on the evening. After winning the third heat race, he zipped to the $3,000 payday by pulling out to a half-second lead and winning the main event.

Celebrating in victory lane after the win, the 2010 USRA Modified national xhampion admitted to a pretty straight-forward plan that brought him the win.

“When I saw all the moisture down on the bottom I knew that was the way to the win,” Davis said.

2007 USMTS national champion and second heat race winner Jason Krohn halved his starting position of eighth and raced to a fourth-place finish while 2010 Mississippi Thunder Speedway track champion Josh Angst held on to claim the final spot in the top-5 finishing spots.

Brandon Davis of Medford, Minn., won the USRA Modified feature on Friday, July 5, during the Rivercity Rumble at the Mississippi Thunder Speedway.

Coming into Friday’s Rivercity Rumble, Decorah, Iowa’s Troy Hovey had already been enjoying a nine-feature-win start to his 2013 season. By the end of the night, he’d have the crowd on their feet compliments of his last-lap turn-4 pass for the lead and the win.

Through five heat races and two last-chance "B" mains, the crowd watched the Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mod action to determine the 26-car starting line-up for the 30-lap main event.

Starting from the outside of the front row, Parson, Kan., racer Jeremy Chambers stepped out front and led the first 23 laps of the feature before giving way to fourth heat winner Jacob Bleess. Bleess, who made a habit of winning high-dollar specials in 2012 at Mississippi Thunder Speedway, looked ready to repeat his winning ways as he put his #21 out front.

But Hovey was on a mission. Starting from the outside of the fourth row, he’d been slowly but surely making his way towards the front through the entire 30-lap main. Early on his attention was dominated by a battle with third heat winner Alex Williamson, two-time USRA B-Mod national champion and second heat winner Brandon Hare and first heat winner Jon Van Minsel.

After dispensing with those battles for position, Hovey caught a huge break on his way to the front when current USRA B-Mod national points leader Cory Crapser, who looked fast enough to claim the win, suffered a lap-20 flat tire after a tangle with a lapped car while battling Chambers for the lead.

But regardless of what might have been, the truth remains that a race’s winner is the car running out front when the checkered flag waives, and Hovey was determined to be that driver of the car out front.

With a drive and determination, Hovey caught Bleess and presented a story book last-lap turn-four pass for the lead and the win.

“The track was perfect and fast, and that battle at the end was fun,” commented Hovey after the win. “Yeah, ten feature wins already; but I’m not smart enough to make that happen. All the credit goes to my pit crew who put all the work into this car and give me a great ride every time I’m on the track.”

Bleess had to settle for a heart-breaking second-place finish while Williamson was elated with the strong charge to third.

Mississippi Thunder Speedway races back to action next Friday night, July 12, with a regular USRA Weekly Racing Series program comprised of Rivercity Manufacturing USRA Modifieds, Coordinated Business Systems WISSOTA Super Stocks, Black Horse Bar & Grill USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks, Redbox+ 600 Modifieds, and Elmer’s Auto Salvage Pure Stocks battling on the big 1/3-mile while the Sunshine Sanitation "A" and "B" Mini-Mods will again attack the Lightning Speedway for their evening’s action.

Mississippi Thunder Speedway is located 3.0 miles north of Fountain City on SR 35. For more information, call 608-687-3282 or visit www.mississippithunder.com on the World Wide Web.


USRA Weekly Racing Series
Mississippi Thunder Speedway, Fountain City, Wis.
Friday, July 5, 2013


1. (1) 50III Brandon Davis, Medford, Minn.
2. (2) 24 Brad Waits, Rochester, Minn.
3. (5) 69 Lucas Schott, Chatfield, Minn.
4. (8) 7K Jason Krohn, Slayton, Minn.
5. (3) 99 Josh Angst, Winona, Minn.
6. (11) 66 Dan Bohr, Decorah, Iowa
7. (7) 3 Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa
8. (16) 11 Lance Hofer, Cochrane
9. (14) 10 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
10. (20) 77 Tom Brink, Winona, Minn.
11. (13) 89X Dave Cain, Corcoran, Minn.
12. (24) 27S Jason Schlangen, Cresco, Iowa
13. (15) 6M Ted Marrs, Bethel, Minn.
14. (25) 15B Steve Bangart, Auburndale
15. (22) 15 Chris Loberg, Menomonie
16. (9) 71 Jason Cummins, New Richland, Minn.
17. (18) 27 Don Gerritsen Jr., Rock Rapids, Iowa
18. (19) 94JR John Doelle, Arcadia
19. (6) 89 Eric Pember, Pittsville
20. (12) 72 Doug Hillson, Blooming Prairie, Minn.
21. (4) 20 Rodney Sanders, Happy, Texas
22. (10) V2 Joey Jensen, Forest Lake, Minn.
23. (21) 59 Hank Rollinger Jr. Buffalo City
24. (23) 99L Steve Lavasseur, River Falls
25. (17) 91 Craig Thatcher, Knapp
DNS - 05 Jake Hartung, Elmwood


1. (8) 476X Troy Hovey, Decorah, Iowa
2. (7) 21 Jacob Bleess, Chatfield, Minn.
3. (6) 15W Alex Williamson, Rushford, Minn.
4. (14) 14M Brian Mahlstedt, Ionia, Iowa
5. (4) 56H Brandon Hare, Elma, Iowa
6. (2) 17 Jeremy Chambers, Parsons, Kan.
7. (15) 85 Ben Moudry, Cottage Grove, Minn.
8. (21) 1X Austin Kaplan, Des Moines, Iowa
9. (17) 39 Ben Anderson, Winona, Minn.
10. (9) RED1 Dan Wheeler, Savage, Minn.
11. (3) 1 Jon Van Minsel, Spring Grove, Minn.
12. (10) 23K Erik Kanz, Winona, Minn.
13. (20) 55 Mason Daughters, Polo, Mo.
14. (23) 21J Josh Smith, Eau Claire
15. (13) 98 Kyle Anderson, Decorah, Iowa
16. (12) 12K Casey Knutson, Spring Grove, Minn.
17. (26) 9 Brady Keefe, Stewartville, Minn.
18. (22) 97 Leigh Volkman, Rushford, Minn.
19. (11) 10 Jake Timm, Winona, Minn.
20. (5) 07 Cory Crapser, Chippewa Falls
21. (24) 90 Tyler Creeley, Winona, Minn.
22. (18) 05 Paul Nagle, Nevada, Iowa
23. (1) 95X Shaun Walski, Winona, Minn.
24. (19) 6M Mike Sandholm, Neosho
25. (25) 17B Matt Buddenberg, Decorah, Iowa
26. (16) 4G Chris Gilbertson, Trempealeau

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